- willtravelforchow Sep 23, 2005 08:40 PM
Will be heading to Barcelona with friends for five days. would like to hit some non touristy down to earth chowhound places that are tried and true. We'll be staying in la Borne but we plan to hit all the area of Barcelona. We're all coffee drinkers so i'm sure that parts not a problem....but we love good food. any suggestions?
breakfast, lunch or dinners!
travelling for food
If you're staying in the Born, you should stop at Bestiari (C/Fusina 3). This belongs to a friend and is the first place I take out-of-town guests. Modern takes on traditional Catalan food, terrific artwork, good service, moderate prices. Just around the corner at C/Fusina 5 or so is Petit Bestiari, which serves the same menu in tapa-sized portions and is good for an early snack.
Breakfast here usually consists of a croissant and a coffee, and honestly it's about the same no matter where you go. Big production breakfasts will be neither traditional nor Catalan, so I'd advise you to do what the locals do and have something small, then have another light meal around 1200.
Another favorite, off-the-beaten-path place for tapas is El Vaso de Oro (C/Balboa 6, behind the Estació de França). Crowded with locals from the Barceloneta but there is always room for a couple more. You'll have to be aggressive to get a seat at the bar, but be persistent. Try the solomillo con ajo (beef filet grilled with sea salt and chunks of garlic) - expensive at around 14 for a plate but absolutely worth it. Also their take on pimientos de padrón is outstanding. You won't find tourists here, just terrific food.
Those are the two "traditional" standouts that come to mind. I'll post more if something occurs to me. Do you want to stick to local/Catalan food or not?
I was in Barcelona last week and tried Bestiari. It is not bad, but I was disappointed. I ordered a 'cruixent de verdures' (crunchy vegetables) and it turned out being tempura, which is fine, but wasn't anything special. Then I ordered beef carpaccio, and it was supersalty. My friend's was also extremely salty. My other friends were a bit more lucky with their choices, especially the tuna tataki seemed good, but I would not recommend this place for someone visiting Barcelona with limited time. In my opinion, it is mediocre.
I would recommend to head to El Pla de la Garsa and have one of the tasting menus. It is also inexpensive, but a better selection, better quality, and even larger quantity.
Pretty much any place in Raval will fit the bill -- it was pretty hard to find bad food or a touristy place in that neighborhood, even on streets close to La Rambla. A lttlle touristy but still worth going to is Tapas 24 in Eixample -- the food was great, the crowd was friendly and a good mix of tourists and locals, and the staff was both warm and professional (except for one flustered waitress). Also, a local foodie recommended Quimet in Montjuic. I didn't make it, but he promised it was great and he knows what he's talking about.
Glad to hear that Cerverceria Catalana came through...as I wrote to you earlier, it
really stands out. There are two other places that I think are worth mentioning if you're still in Barcelona, trinyc: 7 Portes and Restaurant Julius. The former is really a Barcelona landmark, specializing in rice-based dishes. Not cheap but also not excessive. Wonderful rooms (it's pretty big) and very traditional service style. Superb paellas and the like; fine wine list.
Restaurant Julius is in Barceloneta, by the water, kind of quirky service as I recall but very fresh and simply prepared seafood. Modern decor...very reasonable for the meals that we had...It's been a few years so I can't 100% vouch it's still that way.
Some more recommendations for those heading for Barcelona.
In the Born; the same Pep of Cal Pep has another place nearby, "Passadis del Pep", on Placa del Palau, no tapas here though, a rather classic place, no menu, big seafood platters being brought to your table, your glass of cava never empty, and a choice of fresh fish if you still have room after the seafood onslaught..bit hard to find, no sign at all, turn into the hallway next to the La Caixa, rather expensive but really worth it!! no tourists
Other favorites: In Raval , near Macba, "Bar Dos Palillos", never got to the restaurant part in the back, but the asian-catalan tapas served at the bar in the front are really splendid..check it out!
Maybe a bit out of the way (take a taxi) in the Eixample; "Me", C/Paris 162 (corner Muntaner) the 2 friendly owners (Catalan and Vietnamese-American) spent a good part of their lives in New Orleans. Their Saigon+New Orleans+Barcelona thing really works, and service is impeccable, moderate prices http://www.catarsiscuisine.com/site/m...