I’ll cover this on a later entry re. the tourist bus but one way to really get value for money is to take a wee explore around the area when you are at one of the big tourist attractions.
I live 5 minutes from Pl. Espanya and in my area there are a few places that are well worth a visit for some scran or a wee swally. On Gran Via as you head out towards the airport, 5 mins from Espanya is an unassuming place called La Fuente.
If I can digress for a moment the mantra “never eat anywhere where they have pictures of the food outside”, stick that up yer hole. Absolutely no guide to quality here in Barcelona. Indeed I know a man who rues the absence of pics outside a place he ate in. He saw the menu and he had a very basic grasp of Spanish. He was aware that “cerdo” was pork, and being a bit of a “I don’t eat that foreign muck” sort he had to physically restrained when he saw “Pies De Cerdo” on the menu, I’ll let you head off to Google translate to give the story punchline. He was ‘fishully “no’ happy”.
Anyway, back to business, of an evening La Fuente does a set menu for around 11 euro, it’s all good and a feed you’d happily pay twice the price and still be satisfied. The lesson from this place is not worry that there are photos in the window just have a peek inside and see how busy it is, that is a better indicator than anything else. Plus wherever you end up in the city take the time to wander around and you will undoubtedly discover your own “Local Hero”