My first trip of 2023 (if we neglect that I started the year abroad already), was Barcelona with my family. It was my third time there within six months, so by the time I was back to Lisbon, I felt I had plenty of material to put together this article on #foodIlovedinBarcelona. As always, I´ll start with breakfast and brunch places (including a great coffee spot and an artisanal ice cream joint), then head over to lunch and dinner restaurants, finally ending with some cool cocktail and dancing bars. I´ll be back to Barcelona in June, and might add some new spots after that trip, so stay tuned with this work in progress article. But until then, let this list inspire you.
We’re starting in the beautiful neighbourhood of Sarria, where I´ll walk you through a hip brunch place, a fantastic little bakery, hidden on a side street, a great speciality coffee shop, and finally a delicious ice cream spot. Kicking it off with brunch at Flying Monkey, which is not only hip and cute, but also has a great selection of wine to accompany your avocado toast or roast beef sandwich with. Next, we visit the Le Pain d’Éric&Benjamin Sarrià bakery. This is actually the company’s second bakery, after their first one downtown allegedly became a bit too popular and populated. Now on a little side street, the place is quite quiet, and serves delicious fresh bread in the mornings, while always having samples available for you to taste from. I highly recommend their chocolate and their olive bread. Ne I recommend you explore Sarria a bit more with a coffee from On Y Va. They make a mean flat white and a great cappuccino, and while you can enjoy them inside, I just love the fact that they have a little bench outside where you can sip on your caffeine (it reminds me of the benches people have in front of their houses in Romania´s villages). Finally, head for some artisanal ice cream at Paral-lelo. I recommend you choose fruit flavours, my favourites being fig and strawberry, and stroll the remaining streets of Sarria whilst enjoying it, before heading downtown for a nice lunch.
WHAT´S FOR LUNCH/DINNER?
When it comes to lunch and dinner, some locations really work wonderful for both occasions. But I´ll start with Ca La Nuri and Gallito, both which I really recommend you check out for lunch on a sunny day, as they have simple but cute outside terraces, right on the beach. In terms of aesthetic, I prefer Gallito which is on the Barceloneta. But while their food is really yum, they get quite busy and the service becomes very slow as a consequence. Ca La Nuri, is maybe not as popular, being situated on Somorrostro beach, but their food is equally yum, and their sangria delicious. The outside is more simple, but if you’d like a more elegant setting, like Gallito, you can just sit inside and enjoy the beach views through their glass wall. Try their sea and mountain paella (which is typical of Barcelona) and their patatas bravas. Fantastic for both lunch (since you can sit outside in a little square), but also dinner, is the Bocconi restaurant in the Sarria neighbourhood. They serve fantastic Italian food, and have a great wine selection to choose from. And well, they’re in one of my favourite neighbourhoods of Barcelona, wonderful Sarria. Finally, my last two suggestions also work for both lunch and dinner. Bar del Pla is a tapas bar which I discovered through Barcelona´s patatas bravos expert, @bravasbarcelona , who recommended their bravas. So before visiting the Picasso Museum, I went to check them out myself and let me tell you, they did not disappoint. There was plenty of sauce, and even though I thought it a bit oily, it tasted scrumptious. The patatas themselves were a bit chunky and not as easy to eat, but I would try them again and again nonetheless. The star of the show, however, were the mussels. I couldn´t help myself and asked the bartender for the recipe and while he wanted to keep it secret, he hinted at the sauce having both curry, ginger and turmeric, and let me tell you that something I never thought of trying on mussels works just wonderfully. Their wine selection is also extensive, so come here with time and enjoy your food and drinks. Finally, Bar Cañete is an institution in Barcelona, so I really recommend you book it in advance, no matter if yo´ure going for lunch or dinner. Here I recommend their bomba barceloneta, which is like a spicy meatball with a delicious sauce, and the steak tartare. Their motto is “f*** your diet”, and I couldn´t agree more, so prepare to indulge. Just a note: they are closed on Sundays.
DRINKS AND DANCING
Bar L´Amistat is a lovely little tapas bar in the neighbourhood of Gràcia. It seems to be a meeting place for locals and particularly artists, offering some small plates, vermouth cocktails, a nice selection of beers and quite a good selection of wines. The place is quite relaxed, so pop in if you’d like a nice place for a chat with your friends or a good date. For something more lively, try the Bitter Cocktail Bar. Don’t let their small interior fool you, they have more cocktail options than I could count. From well known classics to their own creations, you’ll probably find any cocktail you can imagine here. It can get a bit loud and the service can be slow, depending on how full it is, but you’ll have a fantastic time. Ideal for a fun night out with friends or an intimate date, as its quite dark and steamy inside. Finally, for proper dancing and debaucherie, check out El Rouge, closeby to Bitter Cocktail Bar. Be prepared for a packed interior, with good music, lots of locals and simple drinks.