When hungry at Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN), you better hope that you're flying out of Terminal 1. Having been renovated just two years ago by the architect Ricardo Bofill, it boasts a respectable if somewhat monochromatic offering of restaurants, cafés, and food shops; for the most part, they are all easy to find. If you're in Terminal 2, some bad news for you: 1) you're probably flying RyanAir, and 2) a passable bocadillo and some coffee are the only things available.
Renovations are currently underway at Terminal 2, and this guide will be updated to reflect any changes in the airport's culinary landscape. But, for now, here's a list of places at BCN for leisurely meals, quick bites, and to-go items.
1) Porta Gaig: If you have some time on your hands, this is probably the best bet in the entire airport. Carles Gaig, the noted Catalan chef who trained under Juan-Mari Arzak and owns two restaurants in Barcelona, oversees the menu. It includes pata negra and rustic classics like roasted chicken, croquettes, and veal. This is not Michelin-league, but they do it right. The space, which opened after architect Ricardo Bofill's 2009 renovation of the airport, makes everything look and feel a little more contemporary. [P3, or floor three]
1) Lizarrán: You won't have your mind blown at this — or any — outpost of the Catalan chain that boasts more than 200 locations worldwide. You can, however, count on finding a satisfying array of traditional tapas (bravas, lacón, pulpo a Feira) and their trademark, occasionally baroque pinchos. Make it fast or choose to linger. [Three locations on P1, one of which is before security]
2) La Pausa: There are tons of these in commercial and tourist destinations throughout Spain, and they all do the same thing: inoffensive traditional food. As its name suggests, you can take your time here. [P1]
3) Asador del Mar: If you're looking for some fish, this is a good option for simple grilled Catalan seafood and cured meats. [P1]
4) Mussol: Just as is the case at the two Mussol locations in the city, the one at the airport specializes in grilled meats and vegetables and offers a number of other traditional options, including cheeses and a killer plate of french fries topped with butifarra and a fried egg. As renovations continue on T1, plans are in the works to open another outpost in there. [P1]
1) Semon: The most pleasant of the quick bites, Semon offers a menu of tapas, a display of prepared cold and hot raciones (ensaladilla rusa and croquettes, for example), and even caviar. The space is airy and Euro modern in that IKEA kind of way. [P1]
2) Quasi Queviures: Slightly less high-end than Semon, the El Prat location of Paseo de Gracia's QuQu is a very solid spot for the usual suspects: tapas, hearty cooked raciones, and plenty of to-go items. [P1]
3) Pastafiore: If you really want pasta — and you probably shouldn't when you're at the Barcelona airport — this chain won't be too offensive. Lots of cream, bacon, ham, and sauces of the gloppy variety. Also: pizza! [P1]
4) Pans and Company: The ubiquitous and OK Spanish chain, serving bocadillos, chips, fries, and non-alcoholic beverages. This is the quickest option on here. [Two locations on P1]
5) McDonald's: Once in a blue moon, especially when you're traveling, you just crave it. [One location on P1, two on P3]
A Drink or a Coffee
·Medas Beer: The place to go if you're more in the mood for some Estrella Damm than you are for a few bites, which they also offer. [P1]
·Gambrinus: Another beer bar, where Cruzcampo is the star. [P1]
·Caffe di Roma: A good choice if you want an alternative to Spanish coffee, as they only serve Lavazza. [P1]
·Caffe di Fiore: There are three of these scattered throughout the terminal, one of which is actually before the security checkpoint. [One location before security on P1, the other two after, on P1 and P3]
·Häagen-Dazs: Coffee, beverages, and, of course, ice cream. [P1]
Terminal 2: A Culinary Hellhole (For Now)
·Caffe di Fiore: Same deal as the ones in Terminal 1, with a few pastries and snacks.
·Fresh and Ready: Pick up a beer, a bocadillo, and other assorted deli items for your flight. It's ready, but not always so fresh.
· Pans & Company: Same deal as the Pans listed above.
·Caffe di Fiore
·Fresh and Ready
·Caffe di Fiore