Barcelona, one of the food capitals of this world, is a foodcrafting mecca! It’s a real pleasure to get lost in the tiny paved streets of the Barri Gòtic, where one always ends up some hole-in-the-wall drinking holes, with great food, sublime wines, and an exciting atmosphere packed with locals engaging in lively debates (most likely about the latest encounter between Real Madrid & FC Barcelona).
There are many many many places to eat well, sadly the masses of non-discerning visitors in town fuel the subsistence of some tourists traps where food is at best edible (that is if you’re lucky!) and the corresponding bill indigestible. Nevertheless, most cheap-lit places with loud political debates running on their TV will at least feed you well. Much has been written about the food in the city, so take this post simply as a sampler with a few places we liked and where food crafters will feel at home.
Just like all roads lead to Rome, all lunches starts at the Boqueria, the city’s most famous food temple. No directions needed there, I guess, just walk around and enjoy the view, fight for the first stool that frees up at one of the many bars and start with some pimientos de padrón, a nice botifarra, or simply a polbo á feira. Then digest by buying around some specialties, and absolutely get some Pimentón de la Vera DOP (a fantastic smoked paprika). What a perfect way to start your day!
Cornelia and Co
A very nice shop’n’restaurant in the Eixample, Cornelia & Co recently opened and proposes a lot of high quality products and other goodies. Meat & cheese, bread, lunch, oils and wines, you’ll find all you need to fill your picnic basket before heading off to the beach. The best part might be their packaging! Vintage typography and filliesque design, their brand identity designed by the talented Oriol Gil already makes me salivate!
Sweet teeth, this is your dream! Jump in to Hansel and Gretel’s house. Since 1775, they have been making torró d’Agramunt (nougat) and other varieties according to traditional recipes and using only natural ingredients. Home-made torrons with every imaginable flavour wait silently for you to unpack them and enjoy their delicate textures and tastes. Our favourite is the crema catalana, which just can’t be missed! Judging by the speed it disappeared from the fridge, my mom loved would recommend the classic almond one as well!
Read more about them on the fantastic Culinary Backstreets blog.
Bar Del Pla
Right next to the Picasso museum, this friendly restaurant proposes fat, but yummy stuff! Not really tapas, not full big plates either, you will find here great little dishes to share and enjoy. We particularly enjoyed the zucchini blossoms tempura, liver with strawberries and balsamico, and fried artichokes. And the list of interesting local specialties goes on (just like your waistline will do after eating here, but hey, vacation is vacation). And a serious wine selection (Inspiración Valdemar must be tried )!
Irati Taverna Basca
A guide on Barcelona foodcrafting wouldn’t be complete without a tapas bar. Available in all sizes and colours in the city, the pintxos selection at Irati stood out from its competition both in taste and quality. Granted, 100m away from the rambla and packed with tourists, nevertheless those bites were much better than some others you might come across (and I’m sure there it’s far from the best in town). In fact it was so good, that we *accidentally* ate here more than once. The purple jam-covered cream-cheese and chervil tapas was simply out of this world (and yes, theoretically a desert… but who cares?)