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Oct 1, 2006 10:08 PM

Recs for Barcelona


My about-to-be-wife and I are spending three weeks in Spain, starting off in Barcelona, then going down to Seville, Grenada and thereabouts.

We've rented an apartment in Barcelona right next to the Santa Maria Del Mar church, and I just thought I'd see if anyone has any good recommendations close to there. Food stalls, holes in the wall, bars, mid-range, upscale, we'll try anything. Atmosphere is of course a big plus.


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  1. Your apartment is located in a terrific bustling area of El Born. There are loads of good eating places around Santa Maria del Mar. The following are some that I like. Also scroll this forum because there are many threads on eating in Barcelona. Don't limit yourself to just this area.
    Bestiari, C/Fusina 3
    La Vinya Del Senyor, pl Santa Maria 5, opposite Santa Maria del Mar, one of the best wine bars with small plates to go with the wine.
    El Xampanyet, c/de Montcada, 22, popular, cava and tapas (lively though the food is so so
    Bar Celta, c/de la Merce 16, c Merce (just cross via Laietana), has some of the most atmospheric tapas bar in Barcelona. This one specializes in Galatica seafood, especially octopus.
    Mar de la Ribera, c/Sombrerers 7, near Santa Maria del Mar, 933 151 336, good Galacia seafood at reasonable price
    Origens 99.0%, c. Vidriera, 6-8; restaurant and gourmet shop. As the name implies the food is almost 100% Penedes in origin
    Senyor Parellada, carrer Argenteria 37; 34 93 310 5094, excellent inexpensive Catalan restaurant, large menu with very good food, highly recommended
    La Paradeta, behind the Santa Maria del Mar market for inexpensive seafood. Very informal and lively. Just pick your seafood that are on display; they will cook it for you while you pick up your drinks.
    Cal Pep, Placa de les Olles 8, very popular counter seating, much has written about this place on this forum as well as the more expensive Passadis del Pep.
    Barceloneta is just a short walk from Santa Maria del Mar. Popular for seafood on the harbor and very crowded for weekend lunch. The following are my favorites and medium priced:
    Cal Pinxo, El Suquet de l'Almirall, El Merendero de la Mari and Can Mao (not to be confused with the more expensive Can Majo).
    Have a great trip and if you need any more recommendation or any specific questions, would be happy to answer them.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PBSF

      Wow, those are terrific recommendations - thanks so much for taking the time. We will definitely be exploring other parts of the city, but it's great to know that all that good food is just around the corner!

      1. re: flipp

        You're welcome. Of course, every guidebook and friend have recommended a stroll in La Boqueria on the is definitely a must for food shopping. Prices are a bit expensive compare to some of the markets further away but the selection is amazing. If you are into hot chocolate, etc, visit c. Petritxol in the Barri Gotic: these places close early evening
        Granja-Xocolateria, Petritxol 11,, is a small, homey cafe with lots of seating and lots of locals; local specialities - tigernut drinks, flans, a strange form of flan-like custard; xocolat caliente-melted hot chocolate, xurros.
        Dulcinea, via Petrixol 2, churro and hot chocolate, fried pastries
        Just a reminder: lunch usually starts at 2pm, dinner is after 9pm. Tapa/pintxo places get crowded much earlier.
        Couple of inexpensive, atmospheric places in the Barri Gotic/El Ravel:
        Can Calleretes, c/Quintana 5, 93 317 64 85
        Restaurante Can Lluis, c/Cera, 49; 934 41 11 87, El Ravel
        Meson David, C/Carretas 63; 93 441 59 34, El Ravel
        And Barcelona has no shortage of upscale places, especially if you are interested in modern Catalan cooking.

    2. Barcelona is truly a wonderful food city. I'd like to annotate PBSF's comprehensive list above with a note about the first entry, Bestiari. There are actually two - a restaurant and a tapa bar. The restaurant is located on the corner of C/Fusina and C/Comerç, and Petit Bestiari, the tapa bar, is a couple of doors down from there on C/Fusina. The restaurant is the place I bring any out of town foodie guests: it is fabulous.

      I posted some other Barcelona recommendations on FT: Note that since then Mastroqué has changed owners and is now a disappointing shell of its former self.

      One other addition, if you're interested in something a little downscale but fun is a trip to La Xampañería in C/Reina Cristina. This is a cava bar where you get a couple of great sandwiches and a passable bottle of cava for 5EUR. It will be throbbing with a fun international crowd, and will make a truly memorable Barcelona experience.

      1. Oy, thinking of Barcelona makes my mouth water. Unbelievable food, and so affordable (Granada/Andalucia is even more so). Definitely try "arroz negro" (black rice w squid ink).

        I know most of my recommendations are near the Ramblas, but I hope these aren't snubbed as "too touristy":
        - Set Portes: more upscale, very old place (est. 1850 or something). Excellent.
        - Bar Egipte: great tapas place on Ramblas; fun atmosphere.
        - Quinze Nits: amazing decor, great location on Plaça Reial. Delicious "botifarra con mongetes" (catalan sausage w white beans).
        - Romesco: a couple blocks off Ramblas, great hole-in-the-wall kind of place run by (I think) a Cuban. Had a truly memorable meal here. Incredibly inexpensive.

        While you're in Spain, definitely sample some "turron" (nougat), especially "turron massapan".

        1. Many good places in Barcelona - less so in Andalucia!
          For the big blow out try and get to La Alqueria in Sanlucar la Mayor (20 km from Seville). It's worth it, but not cheap. Serves 'El Bulli's Greatest Hits' (and you'll never get to El Bulli itself).
          In Granada try Cunini (two streets behind the Cathedral). Excellent service and both seafood and meat was fresh. And they keep hawkers outside - unlike many places in Seville. Do try the ham 'Jamon Iberico' while you're in Spain (best ham in world) but avoid Bodegas Castaneda in Granada - terrible food and awful service (worst ham I had in Spain too); and they let hawkers bother you the whole time (don't understand why guidebooks recommend this place - it's old and shows it!).

          1. Thanks all. We're taking off tomorrow, well armed with all your great suggestions. Can't wait to get there and start eating!