Barcelona is an incredible food city.
From the excitement of?La Boqueria market to dozens of quiet family run restaurants serving local specialities, you’ll find an abundance of delicious food to eat.
One of the most memorably delicious meals I had in Barcelona was at a very small restaurant called?Can Ma?o that specializes in seafood.
In this blog post I’ll share all the details with you about this gem of a restaurant in Barcelona.
Can Ma?o Restaurant
Located in La Barceloneta, a neighborhood in Barcelona located along the sea, Can Ma?o is small but friendly?family run restaurant that specializes in seafood.
They mostly serve raciónes, which are similar to tapas, but usually bigger in size – they are more considered full plates of food that can be a full meal.
The menu is filled with mostly seafood – from squid to shrimp?and occupying about half the menu, a selection of different types of fish.
The preparation of most of the dishes is quite simple, deep fried or grilled with garlic and parsley. The menu really focuses on the freshness and quality of the seafood itself.
They do also have some non-seafood dishes on the menu, but when I ate here, I saw almost everyone eating only seafood.
Since it was mid-morning when my wife Ying and I arrived to eat at?Can Ma?o, I decided to start off with a coffee.
The coffee was alright, but it’s definitely not their speciality (which was a type of house wine served in a?porron).
Deep fried eggplant
We started off our meal with an order of deep fried eggplant.
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Just like the rest of the meal would be, the deep fried eggplant was just simple and good.
The eggplant was sliced into thin rounds, coated in a thin batter (just enough to make it crispy), and then deep fried until the eggplant was creamy soft in the center.
Price – 3 EUR
One of my favorite things to eat are small little fish, because you can eat the entire fish, bones and all.
Both anchovies and sardines are heavily featured on the menu at?Can Ma?o Restaurant and I decided to get the anchovies deep fried.
Just like the eggplant, the anchovies came in a very thin and light batter, just enough coating to make them crispy like French fries, but full of protein in the middle.
With a squeeze of fresh lemon, they were wonderful. I especially enjoyed the fried anchovies as soon as they were served, right out of the oil so they were hot and crispy.
Price – 6 EUR
For the sardines I decided to order them grilled.
If you order grilled seafood at?Can Ma?o Restaurant they not only grill it up, but they?add on quite a generous amount of olive oil (I think), and a pungently?flavorful mixture of garlic and parsley.
Price – 5 EUR
Although not even close to being as small as the anchovies, you could eat through the entirety of the sardines.
They were grilled until the skin was slightly crisp, and everything from the head to the tail was delicious.
In addition to the sardines themselves, what I especially loved was the oily dressing with lots of garlic and parsley.
The flavor of garlic was such that it was strong and pungent, but it didn’t burn; It was amazing.
Along with sardines being incredibly tasty, they are also one of the healthiest types of fish to eat as well.
Grilled shrimp (gamberi)
While all the fish were fantastic, nothing even came close to the grilled shrimp.
I ordered the grilled shrimp, and just like the sardines, they came drizzled in what I think was olive oil and topped in a layer of sensationally delicious garlic and parsley.
Price – 15 EUR
What was also attractive, was how the shrimp came on a plate, neatly arranged in the pattern of bicycle wheel spokes.
After peeling the shell off?the shrimp, the meat underneath was cooked all the way through, but not overly cooked. They were creamy rather than rubbery, and the texture was incredible.
The fresh shrimp, grilled to perfect doneness, with that beautiful combination of garlic and parsley made these shrimp some of the finest I’ve had in a long time.
These shrimp go on the list of best plates of shrimp I’ve had along with Ayutthaya river prawns.
Watch the video of this meal:
(If you can’t see the video, you can watch it on YouTube here)
Located in the pleasant La Barceloneta neighborhood of Barcelona, Can Ma?o is a family run restaurant that serves mostly seafood.
While the deep fried anchovies were incredible, the two best dishes I ate at?Can Ma?o were the grilled sardines and the grilled shrimp, both of which I would consider dishes worth flying to Barcelona just to eat.
If you’re looking for local Barcelona seafood,?Can Ma?o serves delicious?food and has plenty of local character.
Can Ma?o Restaurant – Barcelona, Spain
Address: Carrer del Baluard, 12, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Open hours: 8:30 am – 4 pm and 8 – 11 pm on Tuesday to Friday; 8:30 am – 4 pm on Saturday; closed on Sunday
Prices: I thought the prices were very reasonable for being seafood and being a restaurant in?Barcelona. The most expensive dish I had was the shrimp, but they were still reasonable for how quality they were and they were well worth every Euro.
How to get there: Can Ma?o Restaurant is located just about a 5 minute walk from Barceloneta Metro station in Barcelona.