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Mar 8, 2008 03:07 AM

Hole in the Walls - Barcelona

Hey guys,

I love cheap little local places (that perhaps look like shit) but serve great food. Kind of place where the mother cooks and the daughter serves and the neighborhood eats. Know any in Barcelona?



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  1. Bar Pinocchio in the La Boqueria market, just off Las Ramblas, is a gem of a place for good and freshly cooked tapas and refreshing cavas amidst the very colorful fruit, meat and vegetable stalls. It may not be exacty a hole-in-the-wall type of place as it has gained popularity, but I highly recommend the place,

    1. Any place in the boqueria, particularly El Quim de la Boqueria and Bar Pinocchio. Also, in Raval there are schwarma places that are good. And Pollo Rico, a chicken joint in Raval that not only had great chicken, chicken soup, croquets, but also great lentil soup, beans. One of the cheapest places, just eat at the counter. Also in Raval is Romesco - didn't get in b/c of a line but lots of happy students eating cheap seafood.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dpastor

        Pollo Rico definitely qualifies as hole-in-the-wall! I've walk by there several times. Have been curious for a long time but also terrified of stepping are a brave and admirable person! But the fact the food is good gives me hope. I will try next time!

      2. Much as the Boqueria is fun to visit it is now very much on the tourist trail and the owners of the small bars and cafes in and around there know this. It is not what it was 10 years ago.

        1. Some of the absolute best tapas in BCN are at Quimet y Quimet. 25 Poeta Cabanyes It is truly a hole in the wall. Three bar stools and three high rise cocktail tables to stand at. If there is a wait, be patient and you shall be rewarded.

          1 Reply
          1. re: CorkDorkWithFork

            QyQ is wonderful but note that it is primarily dishes made from "conservas" ie high quality tinned [predominantly seafood] products, much favored by the Spanish.

            This is also a bodega (bottle shop) so a good place to buy wine.

            Along the same lines is El Xampanet in the Gothic Quarter.

          2. Thank you for posting. Most of the posting in this section are for top end places but there are a lot really good cheap, very local places in Barcelona that are worth trying, Most are farther out of the center so not always convenient if you are doing the tourist routes.

            Here are a few of my favorites in the neighborhood of Gracia.

            Palador del son
            C/ Torrent De Les Flors 6
            08024 Barcelona
            932 851 740

            Cuban restaurant with homey cuban standbys--like ropa viejo and oxtail stew. They have a live jam session on Sunday afternoons and it is always a riot. It is by all definitions a hole in the wall but has great ambiance. Dishes are all around 10 Euros.

            La Llesca

            C/ Terol 6
            08012 Barcelona
            932 850 246

            Grilled meats, pan i tomaquets, cheeses, cold cuts, roasted vegetables. Everything is cooked on a open fire. Butifarrra y mongetes (sausage and beans) are great. The escalivada is excellent and the grilled artichokes are delicious! All dishes are 10 or under.

            Gelataria (no idea what the name is)
            Placa the revolucio (near Travesseria de Gracia and Verdi).
            Handmade ice-cream by two Roman women (mother and daughter). Pear gelato that actually tastes like pears!! Plus the women sing to you in Italian. There is always a line out the door.

            Oh and there is this place that only serves used to be frightening before they renovated and peeled off the oily wallpaper. Don't remember the name or the street...will report later.

            7 Replies
            1. re: mielimato

              Hole-in-the wall Pakistani:

              Restaurante Kashmir
              in the Ravel (on Calle San Pere?)

              Very cheap and probably the best Pakistani food I've ever tasted (and I have lived in most large American cities with high immigrant concentrations). Their curries are slow cooked with the meat in the sauce as opposed to lots of places that make the curried separately and mixed in later with the meat. So the favors are beautifully absorbed in. Plus I think that a lot of the Indian/Pakastani restos in the Raval are pretty authentic because they tend to exclusively cater to the immigrant populations whereas in the States they cater to second or third generation immigrants who may have more "American" sensibilities.

              1. re: mielimato

                I meant the Raval and it is on Calle San Pau not San Pere.

                1. re: mielimato

                  Thanks for the suggestions, I'm looking forward to trying them. Any update on the name of that Ice Cream place? Thanks much.

                  1. re: cynthonline

                    Here you go! They close for the winter but opened their doors last month--haven't been back this year. Let me know what you think!

                    Gelateria Caffetería Italiana
                    Plaza de la revolución, 2 (Gràcia)
                    08012 Barcelona
                    Tel. 932102339

                    1. re: mielimato

                      Thanks for the info. We went last weekend. We got there in the afternoon and were disappointed because they don't open until 5, but we went back in the evening, and, of course, there was the line out the door. No singing unfortunately, but loved the lemon ice and the atmosphere. Will definitely go back.

                      1. re: cynthonline

                        Sorry to hear that there was no singing! But did you see that they sell DVDs of their ice-cream making? Hah!!

              2. re: mielimato

                There is the recommendation for the "game" place in Gracia. It is not what I'd call hole-in-the-wall (they have a website so I think that pretty much disqualifies them). But it is family run, very local and served traditional homey food. Plus, it was very affordable--appetizer, entree, a bottle of cava and wine, 4 bottles of water, 2 desert and coffee (shared among five people) for 25E per person.

                Here's what we had and they were all excellent!

                Amanida d’alvocat i foie (foie shaved very thin and served a top avocados)
                Salmon in escabeche
                Bacallà al “ajoarriero” (Codfish in a tomato and pepper ragout)
                carpaccio de buo (best I've had ever)

                Cua de bou estofada (Oxtail stew...delicious but a bit difficult to eat)
                Civet de senglar (Wild boar stewed in wine)
                Farcellets de carn “El Tossal” (beef wraps stewed in a tomato sauce--I was told the beef was a bit tough but the saucy was delicious)

                Crema Catalana
                Mató de Montserrat

                El Tossal