As I already mentioned in my previous post, tapas are small portions of every
dish you could probably imagine, that were used to be put on top of your drink to keep the flies out of your glass. One of the best places to eat tapas, is
Cerveceria Catalana (C.Mallorca 236). They officially have the best tapas in
Barcelona! In high season, be sure to arrive an hour earlier to reserve a table
and drink something while waiting for it. Be sure to try the “patatas bravas”
(pieces of potatoe with spicy sauce) and the “pimientos de pardon” (fish
stuffed peppers). Also the seafood dishes like gambas, mussels and calamares
are really good. If you prefer something less posh and relaxed, Sol Soler (Plaça del Sol 21) in the hippie neighbourhood of Gracia is also a big recommendation.
variant of tapas are “muntaditos”. These are even smaller portions, usually on
a piace of bread, that you put in your mouth at once. Sagardi (C. Argenteria
62) is one of the best places that I can recommend.The muntadito system works as
following: each one of them has a toothpick in it, so you just eat as much
muntaditos as you want, and at the end you pay for the toothpicks. And YES,
there are thousands of ways to make a few of them disappear. I heard many crazy
stories about that, even people who ate them together with the food… If you want to try something more fusion, there is a very nice place that serves Asian tapas, called Moskito - located in the lively Born neighbourhood (C. Carders 46). Here, you can get the best dumplings in town, and enjoy a wide range of authentic imported beers, with a Belgian Kriek as my absolute favourite.
The best place to do that is La Xampañeria (C. Reina Cristina).This is
officially the best place in town for cava, and for Spanish fastfood. Here you can buy a bottle of Cava Rosada for
4,60 Euro (2,95 to take away), which results in the fact that nobody leaves
this place too sobre. Of course you have also Cava Brut, and many other sorts, all
of them are just outrageously delicious, but the Rosado is definitely a topper.
By Spanish fastfood I mean a hot or cold sandwich with about every kind of meat
or cheese you can imagine. Even my Mum was impressed, and believe me, that
REALLY means something!
Here I can
advise many places, which all have a different concept. The first is Cyrano
(C. Aribau 154), certainly a go for the alcoholics among us! A bar where you can server your own glass, starting from 4 Euro. You order
a drink, let's say... a vodka orange - they
give you the orange, a glass and the bottle of vodka to serve yourself. Yes,
you heard it well, you pour your own drink, that means as much or little as you
wish! Must admit that once I’ve had a blackout
and a poisoning after a visit, and wasn’t able to eat anything for 3
days… But anyway, a great place to get tipsy
before going to party if you're on a budget I guess!
place is a bit more cosy and colourful. Nevertheless, I didn’t
see a lot of sobre people eave this place neither :) The reason are the Mojito’s
and Margarita’s for 3,50 Euro, in all fruit tastes you could possibly imagine!
The passion fruit Margarita and the Strawberry Mojito are my personal
favourites. Also, they have supertasty Mexican food here, like fajita’s and wraps. The decoration is quite peculiar, varying from walls decorated with colourful flipflops and baby dolls, and gives you an instant 'vacation in the Carribean' feeling.
Strawberry Mojito's and a Raspberry Margarita @ Rosa Negra
For the ones who want to have fun while getting drunk, there is a third place I am obliged to mention: Espit Chupitos (C. Aribau 77). Chupitos are actually shots, and in Spain they like to make them as amusing as possible... Starting with the names. Be ready to order a "Dirty Orgasm", "Chupa Huevos" (suck my balls in Spanish), "Sweet Nipples" or a "Monica Lewinski". Actually, that last one is a, ABSOLUTE must-do when you're a girl (or if you want to surprise one). I can't tell what it's all about, you must see for yourself... The only thing I can say, it's the 5 Euro you're never gonna forget about how you spent them.
Espit Chupitos, "Nipples" shot
GET A TASTE OF THE NIGHTLIFE
important thing before you go out in Barcelona, is that you must understand the
concept of the guestlists. In general, all the nightlife spots work with
guestlists, but in an inverse way than in most countries. Here, it’s the
PR-people who want you to get on their list, because they’re getting money from
it. Just put the club you are planning on going to followed by "list", and you will find the most popular ones right away.
to go if you want to go to a dressed up party are all the disco’s in the Olympic Harbour (Puerto Olimpico), the most recommended would be Opium and Pacha. Dress up to get in here, they usually don't accept people on sport shoes or keds.
If you want
to visit the most luxurious and chic club of Barcelona, you must head to Sutton - near the Avinguda Diagonal. If you're out of luck and can't get in, just next to it is the - little bit less posh, but still very nice - BlingBling. Be prepared for overdressed ladies and overpriced drinks. A lot of Spanish and
international celebrities prefer to go clubbing here.
rather in for the alternative stuff, there are 2 huge alternative disco’s: Apollo
& RazzMatazz. Two enormous spaces with different rooms where they play electro,
drum&bass, dubstep, … A paradise for the
If you’re here with your boyfriend or girlfriend, there is one place you
should definitely visit! It’s a bar in the heart of the Gotic district, called
La Fianna (Banys Vells 15). Take a map with you, since it will probably take a
while before you find your way in the 3 meter large tiny streets, but it’s
definitely worth it! A very romantic oldfashioned bar/restaurant with, besides
normal tables, also beds for seating/laying. Good assortment of wines and nice
coctails. This one would make a perfect surprise for your better half! Another very cosy food and drinks bar is Salterio, with a darky atmosphere and special recipes. This place has already been here for about 20 years, and is still one of the cosiest bars in the Gotic district. Be sure to try some fresh fruit ice tea (I loved the cherry one) or the ginger-lemon milkshake.
LISTEN TO LIVE MUSIC
One of the first places I visited and that left an impression, has a wide range
of public and is called Mediterraneo (C. Balems 129). I used to live around
the corner, and I spent quite a few interesting evenings there. You can listen
to the live guitar music and singers, but also talk, have a drink, relax… The music
is going from English popular songs to Catalan classics, but there is always a
fantasticly cosy atmosphere. If you prefer something more danceable, there is a nice place just off Plaça Real, called Café Royal. Here, everyday has another themes and there are jam sessions, live music and even flamenco evenings on Tuesdays with shows that make your jaw drop.
RAMBLE ALONG THE RAMBLAS
If Plaça Catalunya is the heart of Barcelona, the Ramblas are definitely
the arterials. It’s actually one long promenade, filled with clothes and
souvenir shops, street artists, mimes, small shops with artisanal and authentic
food, ice cream, mobile animal shops, … Actually, here, you can find about
everything you can imagine. It goes all down from Plaça Catalunya ‘till the old
harbor, Port Vell. Defintely worth a stroll! The famous fruit and fish market
La Boqueria, earlier described in previous post, is situated on the Ramblas, somewhere
in the middle, very close to the Liceu metro stop. Also a very cosy place known very well by locals as well as tourists for its perfect location and noisy atmosphere to take a drink, is Plaça Real, just a street away from the Ramblas.
MAKE AN OFFICIAL GAUDI DAY
As already mentioned in my previous post, Gaudi owns Barcelona. He built
figurally half of it, and in about every neighborhood you can find something
that reminds you of his presence. The ultimate must-do’s are of course the
Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell and Casa Battlo. Besides that, there are a lot of other,
smaller or less known buildings, that are actually worth a visit too, since
they’re more hidden and like that you also see a bit of the real authentic
Gaudi, and not only the part that everyone who ever visited Barcelona even for
one day, already have seen. Examples are Palau Güell, Casa Vinçenç and Casa
WATCH THE FOUNTAIN SHOW
The fountain show is located near to the metro stop of Plaça Espanya, at
the beginning of the hill Montjuïc. When you get out of the metro around the
hours of the show, you’ll just have to follow the people streaming to get to the
fountains. The show is really beautiful, and something quite special in Europe,
since there are not a lot of places where you can find something likewise. The
combination of the moving fountains, the colors and the music make the time
stop for a moment and take you to some other planet.
ENJOY A REFRESHING ICE CREAM
What can you imagine that’s more delicious than a fresh homemade
icecream, on a hot sunny day in Barcelona? My favourite one has a name that
sounds everything except Spanish, but still is an authentic Barcelonian ice
cream place!! It’s called VIOKO, and surprisingly, located on the promenade
from the metro to the Barceloneta beach ( Passeig de Joan de Borbo 55). Besides
delicious homemade “helado” (which means ice cream in Spanish), you can find
also macarons, flavoured sugar, handmade chocolate tablets in all kinds and
tastes, and muffins.
TASTE THE SUSHI
One of the foods that I didn't expect to be so good and widely spread in Barcelona was sushi.
There are many "all you can eat" buffets, and most of them are quite good, yet there are a few exceptional ones. The best one mentioned by almost every sushi-fan that I meet is Yoshino. Yoshino opened quite recently, and has the buffet option - but then in an 'à la carte' version. You order what you want from the menu, and they prepare it right away and bring it to you. Obviously, these steps can be repeated 'till infinity :) Another one, which is a bit funky because it has the transport band like they are used in Japan, is Dao Kaiten
Sushi (Passeig Colom 4). This transport band will be passing next to your
table while you’re having dinner, and picking the things that you want to eat right from it. They
have great sushi here, freshly made in front of you, but also meat,
seafood, noodles, rice, and fresh fruit and cheesecake for dessert. If you go
for dinner, you can even enjoy lobster and oysters upon availability! Both places offer their 'free buffet' option for around 15 Euro.
SHOP 'TILL YOU DROP
Barcelona is a well known shopping City, headed by the Inditex imperium, who owns Zara, Bershka, Pull&Bear, Stradivarius, Massimo Dutti (yes, it DOES sounds Italian, but is also Spanish!), Oysho, Üterque, and more... Since these are all Spanish brands, here they are about 20% cheaper, and apart from the 2 month long official sales, there are often promotions. Also Mango and Blanco are from Catalonia, so this is the place to buy your stuff. If you're more for the highfashion stuff, you have Custo, Balenciaga, and also a very colourful brand named Desigual, that makes their clothes from coloured pieces, resulting in clothes full of joy. The main shopping streets are Passeig de Gracia (where also Casa Battlo is located), and Portal dell'Angel.
GRAB A BARCELONA BURGER
You might not consider that hamburgers are a very Spanish dish, but let me tell you, there are places here in Barcelona which have a lot of real hamburgesian allure!
The all-time favorite, which grew in the past years with a few different places to grab a burger, is Kiosko (Av. de Marques de Argenteria 1) - and the big brother Bacoa, which has a couple of locations, like the one on Ronda de Universitat. Both are born from the same mother company and have a similar assortment, but still have a slightly different atmosphere in my opinion. You choose from a couple of different recipes, including some marinated chicken or vegetable options, or you can just choose à la carte whatever you want on your burger. My favorite is the "Catalan", which features very typical catalan ingredients like "trinxat" and a generous splash of alioli. For a change, I am not going to explain what that means exactly... this one is about tasting, not thinking!