1st time to Barcelona and Valencia
My wife and I are travelling to Barcelona and Valencia for the first time for our 10 year wedding anniversary this coming November. Until I found this site, I had no idea that there was a chance that some restaurants might not be open that time of the year? Can anyone explain why that is and what we can do to ensure our trip is a "culinary" success as well as a cultural one? Any suggestions on where to eat in Barcelona and Valencia would be greatly appreciated...
I was in Europe for 2 weeks last Oct and the best meal of the trip was at La Paradetta, which is a little hard to find the first time. If you're facing the Picasso Museum, walk to the right of it, then 1/2 way down the 1st alley, turn left in the other little alley and get in line. It's open Sat/Sun noon-4, closed Mon, other days 8pm on. Try to go early because when they run out they close and also will close the doors with people still waiting in line.
It's very informal, very fresh seafood, esp shellfish. You point at what you want (I got big prawns and Maine lobster better than I've been able to find in San Francisco) and choose if you want it steamed or grilled (I chose grilled) and they charge you accordingly. 2 of us stuffed ourselves, with a bottle of Turbio white wine, all for 62 E.
We were going to go to Valencia but instead took a few trains to go to the castle in Carcassone, France. Beautiful. We wish we'd spent the night at one of the hotels near the castle instead of rushing back to Barcelona.
We had great paella at the Boqueria market off of Las Ramblas,wish we'd eaten prawns there, too. (It's like an indoor farmer's market with lots of stalls, some places selling cooked food with a counter and stools.)
We did not stay at 1898 Hotel on Las Ramblas, but we looked instead and it was peaceful and beautiful and pricey. If you can afford it, go for it.
November in general isn't a time when things are closed, apart from all saints on the 1 Nov. What makes you think things might be closed?
Many restaurants are closed for at least lunch or dinner, if not both, on Sundays and Mondays, so if you're visiting just on those days, that could be a problem. Otherwise you shouldn't have any particular problem finding anything open.
What sort of recommendations are you after? High-end? Spit and sawdust? Seafood? Meat? Romantic? Fashionable?
Thanks for the info. To be honest with you, I'm looking for any recommendation as long as its good eats! We're doing dinner at Cinc Sentits one night and by everything I've read, we definitely need to try Cap Pep. I'd love to hear about any "off the beaten path" places that are frequented by the locals both in Barcelona and Valencia. Thanks again for the input.
One thing to be aware of, timing-wise, is that most restaraunts do not open for dinner until later in the evening. If you're hungry at 5pm, do what Spaniards do and go to a pub for tapas and a glass of vino tinto. The bartender will hand you a small plate, then you select from platters of gorgeous tapas and keep the toothpicks so that you can be charged accordingly for what you ate. I was in Barcelona and Valencia in Jan. 2006 and loved the food! Keep researching posts on chowhound for other recs, esp in Barcelona where the maze of streets can easily confuse.