Eat like Royalty in Barcelona with a Student Budget
“Have you been eating on a student budget in Barcelona? Have you been lowering the quality of your food to travel more? Try these five restaurants to eat like” royalty while still maintaining your travel funds…
Barcelona is a prime location for traveling, eating and sightseeing, but often times students can’t fully enjoy all the tasty restaurants and bars when they are slaves to their wallets. Learning how to budget can be often difficult, so I’ve made it more simple for you to satisfy your stomach without making you worry about an excessively high bill. This student budget list will also take you through Barcelona, allowing you to explore more neighborhoods, and experience every side of the city. Since this is a compilation of restaurants that are student budget friendly, we will limit ourselves, by not including anything that costs more than 9€.
After living for a short amount of time in Argentina, I was quickly enamored by the varieties of empanadas. Empanadas are small pastries often baked or fried with a variety of fillings inside (the most classic types being ham and cheese, spicy beef and egg, caprese, etc.). In Argentina, empanadas were delicious, cooked fresh every day, and cheap; so it was very easy to adhere to a student budget. Initially, these three factors were something that I found lacking in Spanish empanadas, until I tasted the empanadas at Rekons.
Not only did they sell the classic flavors, but they also had unique mixes like: “celery, blue cheese and walnuts,” “asparagus and feta cheese,” “chicken and plum” or even vegan options like “zucchini and almonds” (each priced for no more than 2,10€). The list of flavors go on for the regular sized (2,10€) empanadas, but if you were craving something more, they offer bigger “meat and pumpkin,” “meat and spicy eggplant,” and “soy hamburger” empanadas for 3,90€. The charm of Rekons is not only in the food or the tasty desserts (alfahores [2,00€] or others [ranging from 2,00€ to 4,00€]), but the atmosphere and the lively people that fill Rekons.
Where you can find it: c/Comte d’Urgell, 32
Another great restaurant that falls into our student budget list is a Chinese tapas restaurant. They have a wide selection of beers coming from the western side of the Canary Islands to Germany. And if you are a lover of Coca-Cola, I would recommend trying the Fentimans Curiosity Cola on the rocks. The restaurant provides heavenly meat and fish options like Cha Shao Bao (1,75€), Xiao Long Bao (4,50€ for four pieces) and costillas de cerdo (2,75€). But they also have plenty of scrumptious dishes for vegetarians like kimchi (2,75€), cold seasoned eggplant (3,50€) or stewed bamboo (2,50€). The wonderful thing about this restaurant, besides its cheap prices, is that when you bring more friends or roommates with you to share the food, you can order more for an even cheaper rate. Plus I’m a strong believer, that food tastes better when it’s shared with others!
Where you can find it: c/dels Carders, 46
Buenaventura is a hipster restaurant hidden in the city. One might not find this diamond in the rough unless they looked hard, or wandered and found it by chance. The food is not only tapered to suit people that have to eat with dietary restrictions, but it also has a wide selection of options that don’t exceed our 9€ rule. Breakfast is offered here until 1 o’clock from Monday through Friday, so be sure to try their avocado toast (4,50€). My personal favorite dish is their Spinach quesadillas (4,75€), but they also have incredible Vietnamese rice paper rolls (with incredible peanut butter sauce for 6,00€).
I’m breaking my rule already, but Buenaventura has two amazing student budget deals that offer you a lot of tasty food. The first is called the Benedict deal, where you can get fresh squeezed orange/pomegranate juice, Eggs Benedict, and a café (for 10€). And the second deal includes a drink (water, beer, wine, soda or juice), the soup of the day, the main dish of the day, and a dessert (or coffee/tea), but it only costs 10,50€. The key to successful student budgeting is planning, so be aware that the second deal is only available from Monday to Friday from 1pm to 4:30pm. Their fresh squeezed juices are delicious but pricey, so I’d pair them with one of the two aforementioned deals. The restaurant is a perfect place to take your roommates or friends, to eat, talk, or even study over some tasty and affordable food.
Where you can find it: c/Trafalgar, 50
Rosa Del Raval:
If you’ve been having a craving for Mexican food since you’ve been to Barcelona, I can relate. I don’t know how, but in my first four months here I wasn’t able to find any burritos in Barcelona. I actually believed that burritos didn’t exist in Barcelona. So I was stunned when I found this shop, but even more taken aback by all the student budget-friendly prices here. Not only are the Mojitos and Margaritas only 3,50€, but one can still order lots of options on the menu and still be under our 9€ target. The quesadillas (6,90€) can be filled with carne asada, chicken, pork, onion, and mushroom, or shrimp. And the burritos which fall just underneath our limit at 8,90€, have all the same options as the quesadillas but are filled with rice, lettuce, beans, pico de gallo, and sour cream. The restaurant also has ceviche or nachos with guacamole for 5,90€.
Where you can find it: c/dels Àngels, 6
All the restaurants mentioned above are great opportunities to have delicious food around our set student budget, but if you have just come back from a weekend trip with your roommates and find that your funds have fallen lower than expected. Or if you cannot afford to buy something beneath 9€; try to work within our extreme student budget of 5€. One can use any of the restaurants above for our extreme student budget list; however, Nostrum is one of the few options that will sell you multiple items for less 5€ in total. Nostrum not only offers salads, pastas, meats, and much more for a price range between 1- 5€ but also provides microwaves for you to heat up your meals. There are several Nostrum locations around the city; however, the address listed below is a large location that contains tables to eat your meal with your roommates. Other locations around the city are small, allowing you to buy your food in bulk to bring back to your flat.
Where you can find it: Vía Laietana, 33
Barcelona is a large city, so the options of our student budget list are small in number when one considers the vast majority of restaurants here. I implore you to explore the city with your flatmates, to try some of the restaurants on my list, and to discover some other student budget friendly restaurants on your own. I hope that in reading this list, you will see that your options for food have greatly expanded and that you will comment below to add your own student budget-friendly options to our list, as you continue to explore Barcelona.
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