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Long week end in Barcelona


Me and my wife are going for a long weekend in Barcelona, 15-18 September.
We are booked at Hesperia Sarria for the duration.
As this is my first time in Barcelona I would very much appreciate any tipps which you may throu my way.
I am very interested in tapas and paellas.
Read a lot in this message board about various tapas place i.e Taller de Tapas,Quimet,El Xampayet,Cal Pep,etc the food seems very nice,but as we are on a budget of sorts would like to know how much it would cost roughly to dine at these places.
Is the Bocqueria closed over the weekend?
Were is the best place to enjoy a good paella?
Thanking you all in advance.

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  1. The Boquería is closed on Sundays.

    1. Except for Cal Pep, a meal for one would be around 25E before wine. Cal Pep would be about twice as much. Of course, one can spend more depends on ones appetite. Wine is very inexpensive in Spain. I think Taller de Tapas have a website, so you check their menu. They are a little more expensive than most tapas places. Paella is not a specialty of Barcelona, but I had good ones at Cal Pinxo and El Merendero de la Mar in the Barceloneta area. Can Mao is also good. If you have specific questions or need other recommendations, would be to help.

      3 Replies
      1. re: PBSF

        Hi, PBSF,
        I enjoy reading all of your comprehensive posts and am going to Barcelona for the first time in June 2008! Quick question about El Merendero de la Mar and Can Mao. Does El Merendero have a "prix fixe" menu only--do you HAVE to choose a starter, main course and dessert? Their web site indicates that it is 46 Euro a person, so I wanted to confirm. Also, does Can Mao also go by the name Can Mano? Are they open on a Sunday--it's difficult to find their hours posted anywhere, and their line is always busy when I call. Of the three that you recommend in Barceloneta, which serves the best paella? I have the misfortune of only being in Barcelona on a Sunday and Monday and wanted to find out if they are open on a Sunday (hoping around noon). Our flight arrives on Sunday at 10:00 a.m., and we have a cruise that departs later that evening. We were hoping that Barceloneta would be a convenient stop before checking into our cruise (we'll be toting our luggage in the meantime, unfortunately). Thank you in advance!

        1. re: grubcrawl

          El Merendero de la Mar has a full a la carte menu. You can order what ever you like. I think the suquet and their rice dishes are the best (not necessarily their paella). Can Mao and Can Mano are NOT the same. Can Mao is a similar to El Merendero but probably a little less expensive. I have not been there in a few years.
          Can Mano is a down to earth, bare-boned, inexpensive place in the middle of Barceloneta. Most of the food is good and hearty, nothing spectacular. Wines are simple and charged depending on how much of the bottle one drinks (in tumblers). If one is looking for a quiet, leisurely meal, this place is NOT it. It is packed with locals and families from the neighborhood. And one can watch the young working guys putting away their inexpensive and overflowing "combination plate". It is one of the places that I frequent with friends and I have never spent more than 15E there.
          It is difficult to find restaurants that are opened Sunday evenings. Most are opened for Sunday lunch, (a very popular meal for Barcelona residents), including El Merendero and Can Mao but not sure about Can Mano, until around 4pm. A very good place that is opened Sunday evenings is Paco Meralgo.

          1. re: PBSF

            Thanks, PBSF! You're such a great resource. The reason I asked if Can Mao and Can Mano were the same is because I've searched online that they are both listed as being located at Carrer Baluard 12, both on Barcelona-Guide (http://www.barcelona-guide.info/zones...) and eG Forums (http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?s...). Thank you!

      2. Thank you PBSF,

        I have noticed that you have extensive knowledge of Barcelona`s/Spains hot spots. Good on you!
        By the way checked the Taller de tapas menu,but they do not advertise their prices.
        Passadis del Pep looks good,but noticed that you have to talk to them first before they turn your table into a buffet.Do I ask for a racion,can I return dishes that we do not like (do not eat pork), is it expensive after all?
        Thanks again.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Norga72

          Unlike Andalucia, the Basque and to lesser extend Madrid, eating tapas/pintxos in Barcelona is not necessarily inexpensive. I have not been to Taller in a couple of years but as I remembered their prices range from 3E for fried potatoes to 7/8E for some of their seafood tapas. They have a daily menu posted outside of both restaurants so you can check it out before hand. Both places are located in becautiful placas. The tapas are mostly good and the restaurants are comfortable and easy to negotiate but really don't have atmosphere of a good tapas place. There are many other better choices in Barcelona.
          Passadis del Pep has no menu and serve mostly seafood; portion size depends on how many in your party and you ask them to stop when you have enough to eat. You can tell them before hand what you don't eat. Four of us ate there few years ago and the bill came to about 275E with the house cava.
          Barcelona is an easy city for visitors. The restaurants are casual and most will speak some English. It is not an inexpensive city for food but a bargain compare to European cities like London or Paris.

        2. I don't recommend looking for paella in Barcelona. Its not their specialty and is often produced just to please tourists. I had good tapas type eats at Origens (at least 2 locations in Barcelona)and they have a website to peruse (www.origen99.com). I also had a great time at Meson David which serves some Galician specialties (try the octopus) and is worth the visit just for the atmosphere.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Julie Woo

            THank You Julie,

            I checked out the Meson David, and a lot of people recomend it ,so yes I will gladly give it a go and will try the octopus as you sugest.
            Sadly could not open the www.origen99.com).

            1. re: Norga72

              Sorry Norga, the Origens website won't be much help to you anyway as it is only written in Spanish and Catalan. The menus at Origens are great; they provide pictures of everything so all you need to do is point. They do print english versions if you get stuck.

          2. Thank you PBSF,

            I hope that the guys @ Passadis del Pep speak some English ,because my Spanish is non existant.
            Do you know some places to visit (towns) in vicinity of Barcelona for a days trip?
            You have been a great help.
            I could buy you a drink if you were in Barcelona between 15-18 September.

            1. Since this site is for only food related posts,I'll be brief. Girona is a wonderful medieval town and easy to get to and explore, about 1 hour by train from a station near Placa de Catalunya. If you only have 3 days, my advice is to stay put and enjoy Barcelona. There is so much to see and the best part is just stroll, wander and hangout in this wonderful city. Make a reservation at Passadis del Pep and don't worry about speaking Spanish/Catalan (neither do I). They are used to dealing with visitors. You'll enjoy some great seafood which you've admired earlier in the day at the Boqueria.
              The recommendations of the previous post, JulieWoo, of Meson David and Origens99% are both good. Meson David is very inexpensive and gives one a chance to eat some good traditional Catalan food. Origen99% is a casual cafe/gourmet shop, great for a casual lunch. The location near the universitat has pleasant outdoor seating while the one in El Born is very quaint.
              Bits of info: most restaurants are closed Sundays; some are opened for lunch until 4pm. Except for cafes and tapas/pintxo places, lunch usually at 2pm and dinner is after 9pm.
              Thanks for the offer...too bad the timing is a bit off. Will be in Barcelona early Nov. Have a great trip and please report back.

              2 Replies
              1. re: PBSF

                while a good suggestion, Meson David is a galician Meson, and thus does not really offer catalonian dishes but rather galician ones.

                1. re: SillyDisciple

                  Thanks for the correction/clarification.

              2. Hi Norga,

                You are going to have a wonderful time in Barcelona sightseeing and eating!

                If you are on a budget, I definitely take advantage of the menu del dias (menu of the day) which are offered for lunch at most restaurants and usually includes a 3 course meal. Some of the best value for the money.

                Definitely make a trip to the Boqueria and have lunch there. Kiosko Universal serves great menus for around 11E. You get a choice of a first platter (I love their grilled vegetable salad with sweet peppers, mushrooms, eggplants and asparagus), choice of various fresh grill fish or grilled steak and a dessert. You can see the fresh fish laid out on the counter so all you need is to point, no spanish or catalan required. There are also a few other food stands in the Boqueria that look good as well. But lunch inside the Boqueria is just wonderful.

                There is decent paella in Barcelona. As mentioned, tapas and paella do not have their origins in Barcelona. But paella (or Catalan versions of rice dishes) is more a staple of daily life in Barcelona than tapas is (in fact, I don't know any native Barcelonian that regularly goes to tapas bars for dinner). PBSF named some very good places to get paella. Senyor Parellada also has good paella and is a accessible and cheaper option for someone on a budget (primeros for 7-10E; paellas for 11E pp). The place is a bit touristy (but not that much more than Cal Pep) but the service is friendly, english menus are available, beautiful setting, prices are very reasonable and offers a wide range of solid traditional Catalan food. They serve Paella Parellada, which is the most famous non-Valencian paella and was invented in Barcelona.

                I also like Origen 99.9%. They don’t serve “traditional” tapas (like the kinds you find in Madrid or Andalusian) but small to medium portions of well-cooked Catalan dishes that can be eaten like tapas. The ingredients are fresh and it is a nice place to sample different dishes.

                I’ll sneak in a travel recommendation: If you have only a few days in Barcelona, I’d certainly concentrate on seeing the city. A possible short excursion is a visit to Montserrat.

                1. Thank You mielimato,

                  Barcelona does sound marvellous indeed. You Guys have been a great help.
                  I am sure will enjoy my time there,and probably more so now that I got a few pointers.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Norga72

                    Your welcome! Please report back about your experiences and any new discoveries! I learn something new from reading these post all the time.

                  2. Hi! Guys, i know this response is quite late.. but I am living in Barcelona for now and I can recomend you few places.. Talking about El Mesón David, yes I can confirm that it is a good place to go and try spanish (Galician) food. Prices are really good + the ambient. So, don ́t miss this place in your visit to Barcelona. Ah! I heard they got a web site: www.mesondavid.com, check it out!

                    1. Hello!!!
                      Me and my wife live in Barcelona and we would be extremely pleased to help you during your weekend in barcelona to make the most of our city.

                      Please email me at danielutrillas@hotmail.com

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: utrillas

                        Do you realize you are responding to a 2 year old post?

                        1. re: rrems

                          No...thanks for pointing out how I am wasting my time! On the other hand...surely someone else will be going to BCN soon and will benefit from my brilliant (ha!) commentary.

                      2. Barcelona is not cheap, but it is possible to eat well for not too much money (25 euros/pp) Certainly you should go to some of the better tapas restaurants such as El Xampanyet, El Quim at the Bocqueria, and one in Barceloneta not mentioned by others which is wonderful...El Vaso de Oro.

                        I've had the best paella that I've ever had in Barcelona at 7 Portes. It's not cheap, but we did not think it outragious. Perhaps you should consider it for your special treat. Paella is their speciality, and a Catalon friend of ours took us there. It was great.

                        Two other restaurants which were fairly modest in price which we enjoyed a lot were Cafe de L'Academia near the cathedral, and L'altre set de Born in the Born district. L'Academia is the nicer of the two, but both have very good food at reasonable prices.

                        If you want a more upscale pleasant atmosphere, Taller de Tapas in the Born is nice, but somewhat more touristy than the others.