My love runs deep for Barcelona. From summers spent day-tripping from nearby on the Costa Brava to city breaks at all times of the year, Barcelona is, and probably always will be, my favourite city. I chose Gaudi and his marvellous design creations as my Spanish AS-Level oral exam topic. I took my group of friends there when we were all 17 for an adventure. I lamented when I was sent to Santiago De Compostela as part of my university studies instead of Barcelona, even though I ended up having the best time anyway. I considered learning Catalan when I realised that Spanish wasn’t quite going to cut it for the hardcore locals. I once went there in December Christmas shopping with my mum just so I could get my fix of the place. I took my boyfriend there in the hopes that he would also fall in love with it and get on board with my dream of having an apartment in the city. We followed that trip with one with his father so that he too could see the wonder of the city. Most recently, I went to Barcelona for a friend’s hen do and enjoyed a weekend in the sun with the girls. No matter who I am with or at what time of year, Barcelona will always have my heart.
Here in the latest in my 5 Places to Eat series, I have chosen to focus on my favourite place of them all: Barcelona.
Milk Bar & Bistro
Milk Bar & Bistro is a great place for brunch. I discovered Milk a few years ago on a trip with my boyfriend. We popped in for a quick, late breakfast after an evening out and have been a couple of times since. I find that it’s never too busy as it is down a side street and therefore seating is indoors – and most people are looking for a sun-drenched terrace around 11am. The food is delicious, filling and great for soaking up a hangover.
I love Bilbao Berria by the cathedral for popping in for pinchos (tapas on pieces of bread on sticks) & drinks. You order a drink and then grab a plate and head up to the counter for a great selection of hot and cold snacks. At the end you simply pay by the number of sticks you have on your plate. This is great way to eat for a quick mid-afternoon snack or a light lunch (although it can turn pretty heavy if you do pile the plate up!).
El bosc de les fades
El Bosc de les fades is just hidden off the Ramblas and is the perfect place to pop into for drinks & snacks at a good price. Located as part of the wax museum it is an adventure woodland of fairies, dark and with hints of magic in the air. If you’re there at the right time, the lightening effects really add to the atmosphere. But to be honest, that’s not really why I go. I like to go for a quick drink – maybe coffee and a croissant in the morning or a happy hour cava or sangria dependent on the time of day. I love their empanada (thin slices of savoury pie) as a quick snack. It’s the best I’ve had since living in Spain when I was a student. It’s also nice to get inside somewhere cool after a morning in the sun.
I almost always like to pop into Cafe Opera on the Ramblas for churros con chocolate (doughnut sticks with a cup of dipping chocolate) when I am in Barcelona. They also do great cappuccinos or mini bottles of cava if you are feeling that way inclined, as I occasionally am. Cafe Opera is an institution in Barcelona. A place where Gaudi, Picasso & Dali all spent time with friends. I like to think of it as the intellectual’s corner of the city. It’s a place filled with history, which is why I always like to make sure I get a seat inside instead of outside to soak in that atmosphere. And what’s crazy is that there is always space, because only the locals know the true beauty of the inside of the cafe. I urge you to go and sit a while.
Bar El Canete
My favourite restaurant in Barcelona is actually a new one for me. I found it a couple of years ago and wish it was around the corner from my house. Bar El Canete has amazing tapas and an open kitchen, where you can sit at the bar and watch the team cook. However, the bar section cannot be reserved so it may be difficult rocking up as a big group. They do have a restaurant that serves the same food but, having never eaten there, I don’t know if it’s as good an atmosphere. Sip cold cava or white wine with piles of amazing seafood as you watch the chefs work.
Oh, and I can’t help but add a couple of extras for you, as I’ve got way more than 5 recommendations for places to eat in Barcelona. Some I have written about before include La Taqueria, a great Mexican restaurant near the Sagrada Familia and the food market (Mercado de la Boqueria Sant Josep) off the Ramblas is great for walking round, trying different foods, getting fresh juices in the morning and just basically soaking up the atmosphere.
I always have a list of places to eat in Barcelona for my next visit. Next time I go, I’m planning a paella tour: Can Sole, 7 Portes and Can Culleretes are on my list. They all vary in price and location, which will be good to see. Boca Grande is also on my list after my boyfriend went there on a business trip and has been raving about it ever since.
Do you have any favourite places to eat in Barcelona? Let me know below!