eating on Las Ramblas - gems? or all tourist traps?
I am staying in Barcelona for 4 days in early July. I am interested in doing the typical (though I imagine one can never do the same walk twice) Las Ramblas walk on one or more of my evenings there.
My guidebook says to stay away from Las Ramblas for eating. Is this true? Are there any places you would recommend for Tapas on Las Ramblas?
I currently live in Montreal and it took my 8 years to find some of my favourite and consistent places to eat ( and oh how I love to eat well) I will only have 4 days in Barcelona and really hope to find some recommendations for the not to be missed places in Barcelona...
One very obvious thing to note is that La Boqueria is on La Rambla, and that place is not to be missed. Another legend on La Ramba is Viena, a century old sandwich shop with amazing bocadillos. The NYT recently said they had the world's best sandwich:
Stay away from anything offering paella on La Rambla or anywhere you see a ton of non-locals.
All tourist traps in my experience. But, hey, you'll be a tourist.
Sit; order some olives; drink an over-priced drink; watch the street entertainers and other tourists. Great way to pass an hour.
I rather like the Cafe de l'Opera. Unavoidably touristical but it still seems to
maintain a shred of integrity. There probably exist better churros and chocolate
somewhere in Barcelona but I stopped looking when I found the ones here.
The only decent place other than those in the Boqueria is the pastry shop/cafe, Escriba. Excellent morning pastries in the French style as well as cakes and chocolates. Cafe de l'Opera has good buzz after the opera but the decor is tire and the wait staff is in the sleepwalking mode. Better head into the Barri Gotic, around the the Pl. Sant Josep Oriol and Pl. del Pi for tapas. Also Dulcinea on c. Petritxol for hot chocolate and churros. In the Placa Real off the Rambla, Taximdermista is decent and fun but avoid the other places in the placa. Papapabubble, Ample 28, is an artisanal candy shop, with in-store demonstrations. Fun for kids.
Yeah, they're all pretty much tourist traps, but.... a very fun bar to go to for a drink is (somebody help me here with the exact name) Bar de Las Hades which is a stone's throw from the entrance to the wax museum. As you are nearing the end of the Ramblas (the sea in front of you), on your left will be a little green ticket kiosko with white Christmas lights. Go left there and approach the entrance to the museo, but go right down the alley. You will see a door on your right, and I think there is a small sign. Go in!! It's a complete surprise (I won't spoil it)!! Anyone else been there?
It's worth eating at some of the stalls in the market half way down Las Ramblas on the right hand side as you're looking at the sea. There was a really good bar serving tapas on one of the streets off on the right hand side, but I don't know the name of the street or the bar... Sorry that this isn't very precise, but I think it was about half way down, and about 50 yards from Las Ramblas. It's a small bar with just a few men in there when we went. It was next door to a shop/takeaway with a window full of cooked chickens. We had really good quality tapas there - pimientos de padron, prawns and chicken wings were all delicious and the guy serving was really friendly.
There's a busy, homey spot just North (northwest?) of Ramblas called Romesco. Lots of locals there and very VERY inexpensive. Sant Pau 28. During our 2 visits to Barcelona we've stopped there for dinner there on the way to Bar Marsella (known for serving absinthe!!). It's a bit of a seedy area, but it's absinthe - seedy is perfect! I think Bar Marsella is more 'must see' than the cafe. 8-) Enjoy!
Amaya has really good basque cuisine according to one of the partners in my law firm who goes to BCN all the time. It is on the lower part of Las Ramblas.
Best restaurant close to las ramblas is called La Fonda. It is a must food is delicious, so inexpensive, and nice atmosphere. we wnet last year two nights in a row...it compares to high end food in NYC