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It can all be a little overwhelming, the city may not be huge but the culture, activities, events, eateries etc. is vast. So we have taken it upon ourselves to amalgamate our local 12 years experience in the city via our blog. Whether you are planning on coming over for the festivals, want to find out vegan eats or general insider information, we will keep you in the loop.
This Argentinian-owned and operated restaurant and bar in Raval, is well-known in Barcelona circles for it’s nice space, friendly service and cool vibes. You can’t help but notice assortment of spirits and liqueurs that decorate the bar. The restaurant is situated in the back room, serving excellent Mediterranean food at reasonable prices.
Located downtown, next to the gothic district, Raval is an underground district with a variety of up and coming restaurant, bars and cafes in addition to art and cultural gems such as the pivotal MACBA museum and the CCCB museum. We love this area because there is a wonderful element of surprise with pop up places, new design stores and a laid back environment.
Tagged as an Asian snack bar this place will sure make an impression on the culinary scene in Barcelona. Just opened on May 1, 2008 it is located next to the Camper hotel in Raval. Apart from the fact that the entire staff wears camper shoes, there is no direct connection between the 2 says Albert Rauric (former head chef at El Bulli).
If there is one name synonymous with sophisticated dining in Barcelona it’s the Grupo Tragaluz. This prolific, family-run company has over a dozen restaurants in the city, each one with a different culinary offering, yet all sporting chic interiors, and a philosophy that manages to just ‘get it right.’ Here are a few of our favourites:
This flagship eatery, going strong since the late 1980s, spearheaded the New Catalan Cuisine Movement, with a modern, lighter take on traditional dishes. Its name comes from a large light well that gives this elegant, two-storey space situated in a laneway off the Passeig de Gràcia a Mediterranean ambiance. An elegant décor along with an oyster and sushi bar on the ground floor make Tragaluz a modern classic – and decades later a perennial favourite for a memorable meal in Barcelona.
Pasaje de la Concepción 5
A few steps from Tragaluz, Mordisco is a reincarnation of the company’s very first establishment – a casual café-bar where the city’s artistic community gathered during the years of the movida – the creative awaking in the early years of democracy. (The original was situated where the Hotel Omm now is – the Tragaluz Group’s only hotel.). It’s a wonderful place for a light lunch, with an array of tempting salads laid out buffet style in the winter garden.
Pasaje de la Concepción 10
There are many places to eat paella in Barceloneta, the city’s beachfront barrio. But none as stylish we feel as this Med-chic, indoor-outdoor restaurant at the foot of the Hotel W. Pez Vela, which means ‘flying fish’, takes inspiration from a chiringuito (beach bar) with simple pine tables and chairs and plenty of sofas to stretch out on and take in the beach vistas over a cocktail. But don’t stop there. The rice and fish dishes here are outstanding and the service friendly and lacking in the pretension of its upmarket neighbours.
Passeig del Mare Nostrum 19-21
Whether it’s tapas, lunch, a full dinner or an evening drink on the lively little square outside, Bar Lobo is one of the better options in the Raval district. The duplex interior dining room is decorated with funky graffiti – type artwork, reflecting the barrio’s bo-ho spirit and there are dishes on the menu to suit most budgets. Outdoor tables are the most coveted in the city, and are a good bet for a Sunday morning vermut.
Carrer Pintor Fotuny 3
Cuines Santa Caterina
Inside the remarkable Mercat de Santa Caterina, Barcelona’s ‘showpiece’ fresh food market designed by architects architects Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue, this large eatery boasts Scandinavian-inspired décor (natural wood surfaces, loads of plants) and a wide-open kitchen. The menu is divided into product (vegetable, fish, grilled meat etc.) and spans Thai curries to oven-baked cod. No bookings, so get there early, particularly for lunch.
Avinguda Francesc Cambó 16
You´ve done Barcelona´s big and famous art galleries such as the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC). You´ve marvelled at the works of Picasso and stared closely at the paintings and sculptures of Miró in their respective museums, and now you´re ready for something different – you want to explore those smaller and perhaps off-the-beaten-track galleries, full of local and emerging talent or alternative and contemporary exhibits. Here are some of our favourite smaller galleries – and what´s more, they´re all completely free to enter too.
Raval‘s little corner has had a revamp, now there is Carmelitas Tapas and Carmelitas Vermuteria, now under the TribuWoki group. We have always loved the space but it had got somewhat tired, so were more than excited to see how things have changed. Instead of just having one big general dining space the room at the back is now a bar dedicated to vermut, whilst the one by the window is dedicated to traditional and non-traditional tapas dishes. The two are interconnected by an internal corridor.
If the Museum of World Cultures wasn’t enough, Barcelona is due to open Museum of Illusions at the end of this month. It will be located in Raval, just by favourite haunts Caravelle and Nuovum. It has been developed by the same people responsible for the museums of optical illusions in Moscow, and St. Petersburg.
Barcelona welcomes The Fish and Chips Shop, a local dedicated to one of the Brits famous dishes, fish and chips. You might think with us being located by the sea and serving up an abundance of fish dishes, and the number of British expats living here, that we’d have a few of theses places but this isn’t the case. There was an infamous local in Raval, which was run by Julie Stephenson and Julia Fossi. The twosome were actually famous for having the first chip fryer in Barcelona – so much so that they were mentioned in Easyjet Traveller Magazine among others. They closed in 2013 and the void has pretty much been there for some, ever since.
Vintage stores have popped up like crazy over the last few years, as have markets and pop up events. When we heard about La Boutique in Raval, we were instantly intrigued because they are a vintage and designer store – hurrah! Were talking Hermés scarves, YSL dresses and even pieces buy Celine.
Sant Antoni is a neighbourhood in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain). Its non-official centre, the marketplace of the same name—designed by Antoni Rovira i Trias and built between 1872 and 1882—is one of the oldest and most popular in the city, popularly known for the secondhand book stalls that surround the building Sunday mornings.