My Barcelona eating schedule: Comments welcome!!!
I'm arriving in Barcelona on Sept. 23 at 11 a.m. for 5 days (meeting out at the convention center in Diagonal Mar). I have rented a small apartment in the Diagonal Mar area.
1) My apartment is at Paseo Garcia y Faria 57-59. After checking in I wanted to head out to El Boqueria for shopping/eating. I will need to stuff my backpack with breakfast stuff: coffee, fruit, bread, butter, chocolate, and cava. But I probably won't be there til at least around 2-is that too late? My meal plan is to eat my way around the market, with a stop at Pinoxto of course.
DAY 2-My free day for sightseeing. I'll hit the high spots of the tourist trail, and I'm looking for a rec for lunch. Oh-I'd like to try some Basque cider, too. Where would be the best spot for that?For dinner I was thinking Cal Pep? I need somewhere casual as I'm not going back to the apartment to put on heels and makeup!!! (Uh-oh, this is a Sunday, are they open on Sunday?)
DAY 3-Meeting, so will have to grab lunch at the convention center (IS there a place to eat there???) I get out at 6 - I was hoping to connect with a good seafood place along the waterfront-travelling by cab or metro is fine.
DAY 4 - Meeting, out at 6. I am trying for a seat at Passadis del Pep. If that falls thru, where might I find the suckling pig with the crunchiest skin?????
DAY 5- I get out of the meeting at 2, so this is my afternoon for shopping: 1 pair of cool shoes and lots of food gifts: olive oil, wine, Iberian ham for attempted smuggling, saffron, and chocolate. Is there a tabernacle of all food Spanish where I might indulge?
Lastly- Oh oh oh-- Cinc Sentits or Commerc 24????? I can only do one!!!
Thanks for all your help!!!
And another thing!
That weekend (including the Monday) is a local holiday Festival de la Merce) in Barcelona - some places you would expect to be open will be closed (and possibly vice-versa). But as a tourist you may get to see things that are not usually available in Barcelona.
Hello I was in Bareclona in July. When at Pinoxto please try the garbanzos(?) the chickpeas which were so tasty. We ate at Commerc 24, Cinc Sentis and Gaig. I have to say by far my favourite was Cinc Sentis. So much so we were going to go back for lunch the next day, but couldn't fit it in. If you can have the tating menu with wine tasting as it is a worthwhile experience. You will have lovely iberian roast sucking pig on it. My experience of Commerc 24 couldn't have been more diffrent to DaveS. We also had the tasting menu but our waitress did not speak very much English and I don't speak much Spanish or Catalan so we were not able to understand what each course was made up of.As you know appreciation of fodd usually heightened by knowing what you are eating especially when it involves unusual combinations/forms. When we asked about wine pairing we were told that becasue it was a tapas style menu that it would be difficult to have a different wine for each course, so we ended up just picking one ourselves...
Second the La Vinya Del Senyor recommendation, its a great place to relax and grab a drink and a little bite. Senyor Parellada is not too far from there and I believe it is open on Sundays. Very good and reasonably priced. And its casual, so you wouldn't have to dress up (we stayed at the adjoining hotel, Banys Orientals, and went in our plane ride clothes as our luggage was temporarily misplaced). There is a recent post about it with pics.
On Commerc 24 Vs. Cinc Sentits, I'm partial to Commerc 24. Though my wife and I didn't do a tasting at either so that could have effected our experience. Commerc 24 was a little more fun, but the food was terrific at both. The service at both was excellent as well. A very nice woman, a native english speaker, was a great help before we came (answering questions related to some dietary restrictions my wife has) and she was our server when we arrived as well. The staff at Commerc 24 was also terrific and our server who was also the sommelier paired some fantastic wines with the meal for me.
Cinc Sentits is owned by the Artal family. The brother is the chef and his sister runs the dining room. Both had spent a few years in the San Francisco Bay Area working in hi-tech industry. They went back to their native Barcelona a few years ago and opened the restaurant. Frequently their mother is there to help out in the dining room.
DAY 1. La Boqueria is open until 7 pm. It will not be too late at 2pm for lunch. Also it has some good shopping stalls for things to bring back home.
DAY 2. Cal Pep is closed on Sundays as are most restaurants in Barcelona. Some are open for lunch until 4pm. Here are a few place are open on Sunday nights that I like(mostly tapas/pintxos):
Paco Meralgo, c/Muntaner 171, 93 430 90 27
Bar del Pi, Placa Sant Josep Oriol 1, old style tapas bar
La Vinya Del Senyor, pl Santa Maria 5, opposite Santa Maria del Mar, a great wine bar and outside seating with a few excellent tapas
La Cerveseria Catalana, Carrer de Mallorca 236, 93 216 03 68
DAY 3. Cal Pinxo, El Merendero de la Mari and Can Mao (don't get confused with Can Majo which is expensive and most find disappointing) are good places in Barcelonetta.
DAY 4. Barcelona is not know for roasting suckling pigs so I can't recommend a place.
DAY 5. The best general food store is probably Colmado Quilez on the corner of c, Arago and Rambla de Catalunya.
Gispert on c. Sombrerers 23, behind Santa Maria del Mar has honey, marmalade, dried beans, rice, spices.
Origens 99.0%, restaurant/gourmet shop; as the name implies the food is almost 100% Penedes in origin. They are located at c Vidriera, 6-8, in the El Born district just around the corner Santa Maria del Mar.
Jamonisimo, corner of c. Viladomat and Provença, for jamon. Warning: US Customs is absolutely adamant about NOT allowing meat into the States. Jamon iberico is very expensive so it would be a shame if it gets confiscated.
I like both Cinc Sentits and Commerc 24. The food at Cinc Sentits is more consistent and the service is better. The tapas festival menu at Commerc has more courses but the food also has more ups and downs, also more creative. Cinc Sentits is low key whereas Commerc is very lively and full of buzz. Depends on your preference.
Except for cafes and tapas/pintxos, lunch is usually 2pm and dinner never starts before 9pm.
Hope the above is of some help.
I will second Paco Meralga, one of our best meals in Barcelona. However, it is quite out of the way from you, in L'Eixample (easy enough by metro or cab though).
If you can get to Cal Pep, sit down for lunch at 1:30 before the crowd hits. You will not be disappointed. Get the tiny fried sardines...I dream about them. And cigarillas (escamarlans). And xipirones with garbanzos.
You will surely pass the market in Barri Gotic (near the cathedral and Picasso Museum) many times and we got nice olive oils at a shop in there (also got to taste them first). There's a wonderfully rustic organic olive oil with a bitter finish called Suerte del Campo.
Vinya del Senyor is on a perfect scenic plaza across from one of the best Catalan Gothic churches (Santa Maria del Mar), fabulous place to sit sipping outstanding Spanish wine and people watching. The bites to eat are French in style and delicious.