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Mar 23, 2010 08:43 AM

Planning for my May trip to Barcelona

I have been impressed with the depth & breadth of the suggestions on this board. My husband & I are travelling to Barcelona to Barcelona in early May. Our hotel is on c/ Arribau just off of the Av. Diagonal. We will getting into the city around midday Friday after an overnight flight from Boston.

I am looking for a places close by to have an early lunch and/or an early (7-7:30) dinner that night - jet lag will prevent us from "eating like the natives" on that first night. I have read plenty of good suggestion on this blog, but I have particular "requirements" and need more information.

We have travelled to Spain many times before so I suspect tapas bars may be our best bet for that first day. However, I am a "plump", short ,55-year old woman and I'm not crazy about bar stool seating or leaning on the bar kind of places. Are there recommended places with real tables? We don't care if they "charge extra" for our comfort.

My other "issue" is that I can't eat any seafood (it makes me queasy). I have eaten happily all over Spain (including Galicia (!)). I just need suggestions for places that have plenty of other choices (besides sausage).

My next question is about a "fine dining" experience for Saturday night. We are interested in either traditional or "modern" Catalan quisine, but I'm not a big fan of "molecular gastronomy". We do enjoy tasting menus (with wines) as long as I can avoid seafood. This is our first time in Catalunya! Thanks in advance.

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  1. Bilbao Berria, in front of the old Cathedral in hte old town on Pla├ža Nova, has excellent tapas and has tables and "real" chairs. I am somewhat embarrassed by the touristy spot but it is truly good.
    At Euskal Etxea on Montcada (in Born) and also at Cerveceria Catalana (Eixample), - both tapas temples, - you can ask to be seated at a table.
    I don't know what to recommend for your fine dining. You like tasting menus but don't do molecular or seafood. It might be best to avoid tasting menus...

    1. For high-end traditional Catalan cuisine I don't think you can beat La Dama, and it is on the Diagonal. The stuffed pigs feet are to die for, but there are also many other meat options. If you go for modern, Cinq Sentits is excellent and not "molecular". If you have a tasting menu there it will include some seafood but you can possibly request a substitution or order a la carte.

      5 Replies
      1. re: rrems

        Thanks to both of you for your suggestions. I have had good luck in both the US & UK in asking for substitutions in tasting menus when I make my reservation. In Germany they have happily offered substitutions when I was ordering. I'm just wondering if restaurants are equally generous in Barcelona.

        Any more ideas about tapas restaurants with tables? What about restaurants that are open at noon? Thanks again

        1. re: melachap1354

          If you want to eat at noon, you'll have better luck with bars and cafes than restaurants. Restaurants normally open for lunch around 1:30pm. Fortunately, there are lots of bars and cafes in Barcelona. Where you go depends on what you feel like eating. That being said, If you want to take advantage of the great lunch deals that can be had here, you'll have to stay hungry for an hour or two.

          1. re: melachap1354

            Try La Flauta on Balmes, just below Diagonal. They have a long bar with chairs as well as a full dining room. It will be open early for dinner and it's very close to your hotel - and the flautas are quite good. They also have a full tapas/plates menu.

            1. re: Barcelonian

              I just looked at the Con Gracia website and they stated that they take "dietary needs" into consideration. I'm interested in all opinions! How far in advance do we need to reserve for a Sat. night after 9 pm?

              1. re: melachap1354

                I hadn't heard of this one so I looked up the website and saw the menu. It doesn't look particularly Catalan, just generically modern. You won't find Catalan cuisine anyplace but in Catalonia, so why not have food that is at least rooted in the region, whether modern or traditional?