La Paradeta: fish and seafood a stone’s throw from Sagrada Familia
If you're a fan of shellfish and of relaxed, friendly places to eat, stop off at La Paradeta, a venue for excellent seafood a stone's throw from Sagrada Familia.
metro: Sagrada familia
Passatge Simó 18
1pm-4pm and 8pm-11.30pm (midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights)
Tuesday to Sunday
around €25 per person
for excellent value for money
Hidden away down a small passageway 2 minutes from Sagrada Familia, La Paradeta is based on an original concept which is a mixture between fish stall, a cantine and a local restaurant.
In terms of operations, the focus is on fresh products, self-service, and a lively atmosphere!
La Paradeta, step 1: the fish stall
She sells seashells on the sea-shore. The shells that she sells are seashells, I’m sure… Well, we’re not exactly on the seashore here, but there are shellfish aplenty, laid out in all their glory on a stall at the front of La Paradeta. Not just cockles and mussels alive, alive-o, either, although you could end up with Molly Malone, or any of the other seafood-related songs, in your head whilst you’re waiting your turn!
We didn’t have long to wait before choosing our food – a difficult process, this, with the vast array of mussels, clams, cockles, tellin clams, oysters, giant prawns, crabs and squid. On the day of our visit, there was also monkfish and tuna steaks on offer, but they were nowhere near as appetising as the shellfish, so they were out of the running!
Prices are by the kilo, so it can be hard to keep an eye on the prices whilst you choose…
In the end, we opted for mussels, telline clams, razor fish and prawn, which were weighed before being handed over.
La Paradeta, step 2: payment
- La Paradeta doesn’t take cards – handy to know in advance!
Luckily, we had cash to hand. The server asked us to choose whether or not we wanted salad with our seafood before explaining how the process worked. You pay, remember your order number, choose a free table, then wait for your number to be called over the speakers. Simples!
La Paradeta, step 3: choose a table
Being clever, we decided to choose one of the blue formica tables closest to the kitchen hatch to avoid going forwards and backwards to collect our plates.
Well, we thought we were being clever… we forgot about the numbers being yelled through the speakers every time a dish was ready. MESA DIECIOOOCHO! (table eighteen – not us.) MESA VEINTITREEEES! (Yes! That’s ours!) MESA TREEEECE! MESA VEINTISIEEEETE ! MESA MESA DOOOOCE! MESA VEINTITREEEEES! (Hooray! Us again!)
Next time, we’ll sit a little further away from the speakers. Better have to walk a little further and save your hearing…
- Obviously, La Paradeta is not somewhere for diners looking for a calm, relaxed atmosphere.
- Top tip: if you don’t speak Spanish, try to remember how your number is pronounced when you’re at the till, or ask the server what it is in English!
La Paradeta, step 4: dig in
Dishes arrive pretty quickly, and our table rapidly disappeared under platefuls of seafood.
The verdict? Only the mussels failed to impress during our visit.
In third place, the navajas (razor fish), which were very tasty but a little sandy for our taste.
Second place goes to the griddled prawns, which were fresh and meaty.
Our very favourite dish was the tallarina clams, extremely tasty little morsels!
La Paradeta, step 5: our impressions
We think La Paradeta offers great value for money.
As you’ll have noticed, La Paradeta is far from being a traditional restaurant. There’s no table service, no starters and no desserts. The furniture is simple, and it’s noisy: not the best venue for a romantic dinner for two, then!
However, the cantine, mere minutes from Sagrada Familia, Spain’s most-visited monument, offers very fresh seafood at prices well below those you’ll find in other restaurants in the city, despite its highly ventral location.
For under 25 euros a head, we got four different types of seafood, each served in generous quantities.
This area of Barcelona is overrun with tourist trap restaurants, so this offers a great, authentic alternative for a meal before or after a visit to Sagrada Familia.
La Paradeta: all over Barcelona, and in Sitges too
There are 6 other La Paradeta restaurants. You’ll find them in the locations below:
- Eixample: Consell de Cent, 318 ( near the Passeig de Gràcia and Casa Batlló)
- Born: Carrer Comercial, 7
- Sants: Carrer Riego, 27
- Meridiana: Carrer Pacific, 74
- Poble Sec: Avinguda Paral·lel, 46
- Sitges (30 mins from Barcelona): Carrer Sant Pere, 24-26
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