Headed to Barcelona!
HI! We're headed to Barcelona for 2 weeks (Nov 10-24) and are interested in ideas/thought you might have about this trip. We're interested in true CH places, and price isn't really a barrier. We're thinking of day trips to Tarragona, Siteges and Gitrona, and we're staying at the Hotel Majestic in the L'Exiample. DH is at a conference and I get to play the whole time, so I'm also interested in other things to do (La Boqueria is high on my list, but are there other things?)
Thanks, these are very helpful! Abac and Drolma were pretty high on our list (and we're staying in the Drolma hotel--the Majestic), and I'd also heard of El Cellar and El Cafe de la Plata. Good to know what's open/closed (or when the trains don't run, since we'll be on the train!), so that info will help me plan. Love the other suggestions too--I'll have to take notes and report back to everyone.
I think a sleepy town should be fun--intend to hit lots of museums/cathedrals and do a lot of walking to just explore the city/area. Have never been to Spain at all, so very much looking forward to trying a new country!
Thanks so much for your suggestions!
We found Abac more 'french' than catalan - especially the service which was dismissive (both to us and adjacent tables). For example, the tasting menu (not described in detail at any stage) had identical dishes for both of us (no substitutions) and no wines-by-the-glass options. When we asked about wine to match the undescribed forthcoming dishes 'help' was offered that was totally useless and confined to the more expensive wines on the list - not a single spanish wine was suggested! One surprise was they served BUTTER - no other place in Spain seemed to possess this (and had to be asked for if needed).
Abac seems to cater to tourists only - didn't see a single local there.
I second the train to Girona option (we did that) and reinforce that last train back is around 9:00 so only lunch is feasible. Can Roca was exciting (but flawed, both in service and food) but we were convinced that they can do better. I understand that some of their more exciting dishes (e.g the 'component' dishes where they break down a perfume or grape variety into its parts) are also available at Moo in Barcelona. We'd definitely try that next time.
And we also enjoyed Espai Sucre - a complete meal of desserts (OK a couple of savoury options too). Something different and quite exciting
If you make it to Sitges, it's worth a trip to El Café de la Plata in Port Aiguadolç. Specifically, the solo mio is really special. I think they're only going to open on the weekends during the winter this year.
Be on notice that the entire town is very sleepy during this time of year and if you come during the week you won't find much to do, though the museums will be open and as spectacular as always.
It's also always fun to stop by Eguzki, in C/Sant Pau, for pinxos. It's not high-end, and it's not Catalan, but it's good.
There are many posts on eating in Barcelona on this thread. As a casual visitor (couple times a year), these are some of the places that I like:
Abac, my two best meals in Barcelona
Drolma, almost as good as Abac, this restaurant and Abac are more expensive then those below
Comerc 24, lively, lots of fun though the food is not as consistent as some.
Sauc, one of my favorite restaurant, nice staff, great food, a little earthier than the rest of this group.
Gaig, a little more traditional
Restaurante Can Lluis
Quimet e Quimet
Bar del Pi
La Vinya Del Senyor, excellent wine bar
La Cerveseria Catalana
Alta Taberna Paco Meralgo
If you go to Girona and if you are interested in modern Spanish cooking, I would recommend El Celler de Can Roca where I had two of the best meals ever. If you go by train, you will to take lunch as there won't be trains running after dinner.
Hope the above are helpful. If you have any specific questions or recommendation, I would be happen to help. There is also threads where I recommend places for hot chocolate and churro/places for seafood in Barceloneta.