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Barcelona

born barcelona restaurant dining tables As in the rest of Spain, tapas -- or small plates -- are very popular in Barcelona. But Catalan cuisine is unique from the food you'll find elsewhere, featuring fresh seafood and distinctive sauces. One simple Catalan favorite to try is pa amb tomaquet -- sliced bread rubbed with tomato and olive oil. For casual meals, stop by a tapas bar along La Rambla or grab a chorizo sandwich from one of many local stands. If you're going out for a big restaurant meal, keep in mind that locals eat dinner late (think 9 p.m. and beyond).

Sample Mediterranean and Asian flavors on the fixed-price tasting menus at intimate Con Gracia, where chef Paul Treacy will "surprise" guests with seven beautifully presented courses. Reservations are recommended.

For one of Barcelona's hottest dining experiences, try Comerc 24, where the inventive tapas menu changes constantly. Can't get a table? Head to sister property Tapas 24, a tapas bar that's open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to midnight.

Locals and visitors alike stand in line at Cal Pep to sample what many consider the best seafood in the city. Menu options might include dishes like baby squid with checkpeas or cod with spinach and aioli. The tortillas are to die for.

Since its founding in 1903, Can Sole has been serving up traditional seafood dishes in its location near the marina. Try the paella, a deliciously seasoned dish with rice, fish and shellfish.

For great food and beer at affordable prices, check out Cerveseria Catalana. The ambience is crowded and noisy, but the tapas can't be beat.
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