I’m a seafood monster – mussels, crab, clams, prawns, lobster, octopus, squid – I love it all. You won’t find a better place to enjoy well-prepared seafood at a reasonable price than at one of La Paradeta’s four restaurants in Barcelona.
It’s a chain – but, apart from the unifying funky crab, octopus and clam logo, you wouldn’t really know it – each of the restaurants has a different atmosphere.
The restaurant at Sants, the “original and best” (and probably the best bet for avoiding the sometimes incredibly long lines at their outlets in El Born and Sagrada Familia) is a fun, friendly place and very popular with families, especially Sunday lunchtimes. Don’t expect tablecloths and waiters – they’re aren’t any – just simple, basic tables and chairs.
Line up at the market-stall like counter (paradeta means market-stall) cast your eyes over the mouth-watering selection of seafood, choose what you want and tell the assistant how much you’d like. They will weigh and put all your selected food on a tray and give you a numbered ticket. Move on to the next counter and order your drinks.
Put your drinks, cutlery and napkins on a tray, find a table, and wait until you hear your number called over the tannoy. When you hear your number called (which is sometimes difficult because of the chatter and clatter) go up to the serving-hatch and collect your food.
Simple and fun – a tasty meal for not very much more than the cost of the ingredients.