el porvenir pulpo gallego

Porvenir: an authentic Galician experience with delicious octopus

by Carlos Vicente, 11/12/2015

Porvenir is a Galician seafood restaurant in the Hospital Clínic area (Villarroel 157). If there were an official prize for best octopus dish in Barcelona, we think they’d be likely to win in. It’s a brother of a saga of Galician restaurants in the area, including O Retorno and O Retorniño, lauded as the most popular Galician restaurants in Barcelona.

Porvenir is one of those typical places where the culinary experience builds strength on strength. For someone who’s never been, your first time can be impactful. Arriving at a fairly small restaurant, with tables close together, classic decoration, always full to the brim with people and lots of noise: on first sight, it doesn’t look like a place where you can enjoy a relaxed evening. But those who dare to overcome the initial toll gate will be duly rewarded with an authentic Galician gastronomic experience.

While dishes are on their way to the table and you’re about to get stuck in, you’ll notice that portions are abundant and the food is delicious, and served by very efficient, friendly waiters.

The best dish on Porvenir’s menu: the octopus

Porvenir’s star dish is octopus, true “Pulpo a la Gallega” with boiled potatoes, and absolutely delicious. For octopus lovers, it’s an absolute must if you’re in Barcelona. The half portion (€16) and the full portion (€23) are both beasts of a dish, so make sure you’re in a large group in order to be able to finish.

As well as octopus, Porvenir offers a large selection of purely Galician tapas which will tempt any lover of good food: from the plate of Spanish ham to calamares a la romana, passing via patatas bravas, garlic prawns and shoulder of pork with potatoes, all the food is excellent. Too many potatoes, I guess, but I’ll let them off.

el-porvenir-shoulder-of-pork-with-potatoes

If, when you get to dessert, you still have a corner left in your stomach, it’s always recommendable to put a footnote to a magnificent meal with one of the delicious homemade puddings prepared here. The blueberry cheesecake is particularly recommendable – if you like this kind of dessert, you’ll definitely enjoy it.

No dinner in a true Galician restaurant can end without a shot of orujo or “digestive” liquor. And if you fancy going back for more, no need to worry as they won’t take the bottle from the table…

This is a recommendable restaurant, and it’s a great place to go with groups of friends, work colleagues or teammates. I’d advise against going with your partner on a romantic date as it’s not quite the right atmosphere, although a good laugh. You can eat well and abundantly, and sharing dishes is the norm. That said, you should definitely book, preferably several days beforehand, as it’s always full.

I’d dare to say that the price-quality ratio in Porvenir is excellent, bearing in mind that the portions are huge, the quality of the raw material is good, you can eat really well and you’ll leave completely satisfied.

Porvenir is a good place to come if you’re not looking for luxury or fancy flourishes, you like to eat a lot at a good price and/or you’re an octopus fan. On the other hand, it’s not for you if you’re looking for a sophisticated date, you like designer restaurants and innovative tapas or if you value presentation and the decor of where you’re eating highly.

It’s no surprise that Porvenir has become one of the most popular Galician restaurants in Barcelona, thanks to its winning formula based on the following equation: generous portions + delicious food + reasonable prices = satisfied stomachs and happy clients. Who wouldn’t want to try that?

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