La Cova Fumada is an old hole-in-the-wall restaurant located in the neighborhood of Barceloneta.  It can be difficult to find but well worth the effort. La Cova is known to always be busy but is a favorite of locals.  The food is renowned for being exceptionally fresh with seafood being brought in fresh daily.  This level of freshness is hard to come by, even by Barcelona standards.  La Cova is perfect for those wishing to feel like a local while dining on excellent food.

cova fumada

Upon walking in to La Cova you instantly recognize its status as a local favorite.  The inside looks as though it has seen its fair share of customers over the years.  The walls and ceiling look industrial in nature, weathered from years of serving the crowds of people that have passed through the doors.  It feels like a ‘cafeteria’, with a no-frills, practical interior.  This allows the focal point of the restaurant to be the food.  The simple exterior of doesn’t clue in the average passerby to the delicious food served inside.  It’s a small establishment and would be easy to walk by without noticing.  Don’t judge a book by its cover, the best restaurants are often those that aren’t well-known.

The Catalan language is dominant in the restaurant and everyday a menu is written on the chalkboard of what is available.  It can be an overwhelming experience for a tourist but you have nothing to worry about.  Those new to La Cova often say that the staff are exceptionally welcoming and most speak sufficient English.  Much like an aunt or uncle who always pushes food at family gatherings, the staff do the same, recommending the best dishes.  You’ll be glad you took their advice.

There is a variety of fresh seafood from grilled octopus to sardines and everything in between.   The restaurant is particularly famous for supposedly inventing “La bomba.”  And you guessed it: “la bomba” is Spanish for “the bomb”.  Las bombas are whipped potatoes, stuffed with meat, fried in oil, and topped with aioli or a spicy sauce.  They are a favorite of the locals and will be one of yours as well!  So don’t wait to experience this local gem!

Price: $$

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