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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.
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
When passing by El Liceu, you will notice a strange sight. It looks like a fairy-tale food truck attached to a network of candy cane tubes – more worthy of scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory than something at home of Barcelona’s famous opera house. continue reading
Paella is great and who can resist a succulent hunk of salt-roasted cod? But during Barcelona’s hot and humid days (and nights) sushi better suits our seafood cravings.
There are countless places to get eat out in Barcelona, or to grab a bite on the run, but online food delivery services haven’t exactly been abundant – until now.
If you’re searching for super semi self-service seafood (and can still say that after a couple of glasses of decent cava), make La Paradeta a port of call in your Barcelona adventure. This quirky restaurant chain has several eateries around town that offer fresh, affordable seafood in a casual no-frills setting.
Once upon a time, grabbing a bite around the clock was challenging in this town. Breakfast, lunch and dinner hours were set in stone, and a tummy rumble or parched throat ten minutes either side of these times left you at the mercy of the nearest vending machine.
These days, Barcelona’s grazing spots and watering holes are heeding visitors’ demands to munch, brunch and drunch, when their fancy takes.
Sweet-toothed wanderers will find no shortage of chocolate shops lining Barcelona’s streets like giant candy, exuding hypnotic aromas of toasted cocoa and burnt sugar. But if you’re a chocofile that feels you’ve tasted it all before, follow your nose to Señor Brown on the gorgeous tree-lined pedestrian street, Calle Enric Granados. And believe us when we say that this delightful experimental chocolatería dares to boldly go where few have gone before.
Barcelona is known for its fresh food markets and each district in the city has its own, where the locals go to pick up products such as fresh fruit and vegetables, seafood, local cheeses and olive oils. Mostly housed in impressive historic buildings they are worth a visit not only to pick up some local ingredients to use in your apartment´s sleek and well equipped kitchen in your apartment, but also just to wander round and admire.
In Barcelona there is always a new place in town, some good, some bad. When we recently walked by Bonavista in Gràcia we were pleasantly surprised by new joint Bar But. It was the cute wooden façade, plant pot lined doors and break out area that caught our attention. The vibe is laid back, the menu is simple and everything feels ever so effortless and welcoming.
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.