Jan 25 2014



When my friends and I were in Barcelona, the one thing that we were desperately craving was paella. I googled best paella restaurants in Barcelona and the one that came up was Cheriff, so I asked my hotel concierge to book it for the 6 of us for a Saturday dinner. I was pleasantly surprised we got a table as when I googled the restaurant it did say it was very popular and you had to book well in advance, not on the day like we did, and when we got there it was full and there were very few, if any, free tables. Cheriff is named after the founder of this fish shop that was opened some 45 years ago, who later expanded the fish shop into a restaurant and is now run by the Cheriff‘s daughter and son-in-law .It is located in the touristy area by the beach, Barceloneta, Barcelona´s fishing village. Also when I googles this place it said that locals visited this place much more than tourists and my friend’s Katrina’s taxi driver was also pleasantly surprised we were going there and he said he had been there recently, so clearly locals come here. We did not see many, if at all, tourists when we went there, the restaurant was full of Spanish people having a late dinner on a Saturday.
The inside of the restaurant is very homely, so you can feel why natives come here, as it feels like you are in your friends living room having dinner. The tables have red tablecloths, the chairs are wooden and there are wooden cupboards around the room.
Cheriff specializes in seafood and seafood paella is their house specialty (they don’t serve non seafood paellas). They also have various fish tanks around the restaurant full of amazing fish you can eat, the most impressive fish tanks are the tanks that have different lobsters in them, they have many different fish tanks with a wide variety of lobsters. You can chose which lobster you want, point at it (they even brought it to our table and showed it to us up close) and they will kill it and serve it for you the way you want it. They are not cheap at around EUR100 each but very fresh and delicious. I tasted one and it was superb.
We came here to have paella so we ordered two (each for 2 people even thought there were 5 of us eating it) and also some starters at the beginning. My friend Love chose the starters and he ordered a salad, clams cooked with butter, garlic and herbs, some snails that you had to get out with a stick from the shell as well as some cooked prawns and crab. The seafood starters were excellent. I am not a huge fan of snails or clams, so I did not particularly like them, but nevertheless I could tell they were fresh, good quality and simply, yet well, prepared. I liked the crabs and the prawns but needless to say it did require time to get them out, but these things were delicious.
The menu featured many different paellas with different seafood, lobsters, and in the end we chose the Cheriff paella which had prawns, clams and squid and also the lobster paella which had lobster and clams in it. Both paellas looked amazing when they arrived, in traditional paella dishes, smelling delicious, just beautifully presented. Both paellas had a powerful taste, they were absolutely full of flavour and delicious. I slightly preferred the seafood Cheriff one as the lobster one felt a bit saltier and even stronger in flavour, but both were amazing and probably the best paellas I have ever had. Also we had ordered paellas for equivalent of 4 people and usually when you order for less people than you are, even then you don’t finish everything and you have leftover paella but here we literally finished the whole thing and there was not a single grain of rice in the paella pots after we were done with them. Which shows two things, how delicious they were and how well we got the portion size, we could have even ordered paella for 5 people.
My meal was excellent here, and if you want great paella, whilst in Barcelona, you can most definitely count on this place. They even gave us some free shots after our dinner as they saw us having a great time there. The only thing that sort of ruined our evening afterwards was that as we were walking away from the restaurant to catch a taxi, my friend Katrina’s bag got stolen by two men on a motorcycle. So be careful if you come to this restaurant, as this area does not seem to be the safest. 

Date: 25/ 01/ 12
Location: Barcelona , Spain
Price for 6 people with alcohol, no service charge: EUR441

Maija rated: 



Carrer de Ginebra, 15, 08003 Barcelona
Cheriff Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4