Cafè de l’Acadèmia

Top choice

in La Rambla & Barri Gòtic

Smartly executed traditional Catalan dishes with the odd creative twist and excellent regional wines make this wood-beamed, stone-walled spot a packed-out local favourite, with tables also on Plaça de Sant Just. City-hall workers pounce on the lunchtime menú del día (€16 – or €12 at the bar!), which might mean pear-and-parmesan salad, vegetable rice with Mahón cheese or grilled sole.

In the evening, low lighting turns things rather more romantic.