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Aug 1, 2010 01:23 PM

Barcelona Monday in August

Our third time in Barcelona, always to or from cruise ships and never experienced any memorable meals. We have two days and two nights this time, Sunday and Monday 22/23 August. Thinking Sunday beachfront paella lunch at Can Majo and Sunday night at Paco Meralgo. Monday we plan to start at Boqueria and work our way up to a drink on the roof at Espai Gaudi roof terrace, perhaps with a siesta in between. Would appreciate suggestions for Monday lunch and dinner. We eat everything and like fish and lamb. Have enjoyed tasting menus, especially in Buenos Aires, but not interested this time. Too many interruptions. It's the last night of our vacation so we are looking for atmosphere. Possibly Ca l'Isidre or somewhere in Sarria?

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  1. Sarria restaurants are almost all universally shut in August although that may differ a little this year due to the "crisis".

    I always recommend the bar at Botafumeiro because it´s such a classic. Expect to be entertained and leave with a happy belly, although lighter wallet.

    7 Replies
    1. re: bettybop

      Thanks for Botafumeiro, it looks atmospheric and it seems to be open on Mondays in August. I saw a post from PBSF recommending Sauc, Hisop, Gresca and Hispania. Will check websites for days of operation. Also considering Cal Pep for Monday lunch. Any comments? Anyone?PBSF?

      1. re: britinflorida

        Gresca was closed on Monday; Cal Pep only open Monday evening - that was in April when I was there.

        1. re: estufarian

          We ate at Cal Pep this Monday, they close on Aug 6th and don't reopen until September 1

        2. re: britinflorida

          Most restaurants are closed for parts of August, usually two or three weeks during the middle of the month. Two good modern Catalan restaurants might be open for the Monday you are there are L'Olive and Gresca. I would call them as August closings are tentative. Sauc, Hisop and most of the other modern Catalan restaurants are closed most of August. Hispania is located in Arenys de Mar, about a 45 minutes train ride from Barcelona, therefore, it will not fit your schedule. If you like lamb, might consider Asador de Aranda, a very good. Castillian asador. Tragaluz is good for traditional Catalan food, though expensive. Ca I'Isidre is a famous traditional Catalan that has it's fans but based on a meal a few years ago, the food is so so, somewhat tire and way overpriced with an overbearing staff. Considering it is August and Monday, Cal Pep is fine for Monday lunch but make sure you get there right before they open their doors, otherwise, there will be a long wait. To me, it is somewhat similar to sitting at the counter at PacoMeralgo. Inside the Boqueria are good informal lunch spots with El Quim and Kioske Universal being my favorite. A good dinner fall back is Senyor Parallada, always open with a large traditional menu of decent food. The big draw: fun, lively, very moderately priced and nice comfortable street level dining room (NOT the upstair alcove).
          I have not been in Barcelona in August, therefore, I am not much of help.

          1. re: PBSF

            Señor Parallada certainly has atmosphere. But the service can be really haphazard and the food hints at too much pre-cooking and re-heating for my taste.
            Asador de Aranda is a sure bet. I like the Tibdabado branch which is a fantastic location or the c/ Londres. C/ Pau Claris not so much.
            Casa Delfin on Paseo del Born has a great location and serves traditional Catalan food with a twist at very good prices.
            Fonda del Gaig has very good traditional Catalan food but quite stuffy and very expensive.

            1. re: bettybop

              Fonda Gaig is very good but I believe it is closed on Mondays and also Sunday nights. Never been to Casa Delfin but good chance it is closed in August. The OP can check if there is interest as closing days/dates do change. I have never found it to be stuffy but rather lively with more casual service than Can Gaig. And main plates are a little over 20E which is not "very expensive" by large European city standards.

              1. re: bettybop

                My friends and I have had great luck at Señor Parellada, both with the food and the service. My girlfriend who was alone on New Year's Eve while we had gone back to different parts of the world dined alone there - splendidly. On her way out, the manager (or Senyor himself?) invited her to come back a couple of hours later for the midnight champagne countdown, all don the house. She had a blast.

        3. Casa Delfin open all August as is Señor Perellada I think.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bettybop

            Many thanks for all your input. Unfortunately many of them will be closed when we go. Am now considering Pla for Sunday night. it is open and walking distance from our hotel. Any comments? Would Paco Meralgo be better considering it is a taxi ride away? For Monday night I am thinking Senor Parellada as most reviews have been good. Am concerned about very bad reviews for Asador Aranda service, plus there only seems to be lamb and sausages on the menu.

          2. Pla, the more expensive traditional Catalan restaurant in the Barri Gotic, and Bar del Pla, their tapas bar offshoot, in Ribera/el Born, are both good. If it is a nice warm evening and you like strolling, I would recommend walking to PacoMeralgo up the beautifully lit Pg de Gracia (where the Modernista archecture are on displayed, much more fun than than the Rambla) then turn left on c/Corsega; then back to your hotel by taxi (not expensive).
            You can't go wrong with either.
            Like most asador, Aranda's menu is limited and the main reason to go is for their meat, especially their roast lamb. If I have limited time, I would definitely choose PLA or PacoMeralgo.

            8 Replies
            1. re: PBSF

              Thank you, PBSF, the Sunday night stroll to Paco Meralgo is very appealing so that is what we will do, hopefully walking off our paella lunch and shaking off the subsequent siesta. Many thanks to everyone for your advice. Bon profit!

              1. re: britinflorida

                If you do decide on PacoMeralgo and/or Senyor Parallada, make a reservation because they are very popular, especially with all the August closings. PacoMeralgo usually gets busy before the customary evening dinner starting hour of 9pm, whereas Senyor Parallada doesn't get buzzing until after 9. Probably, reservation is a good idea for PLA also. Have a fun time; Barcelona is a beautiful city, so full of life.

                1. re: PBSF

                  Many thanks for your Barcelona in August 2010 recommendations. We enjoyed Paco Meralgo - and the stroll - also paella at Can Majo. Señor Parellada was disappointing, good atmosphere but food just OK.

                  Now we will be 12 of us in Barcelona for a Saturday night in November. My friends think I am a world traveler foodie, so I have a reputation to uphold. Cafe Academia was my choice but they are not open on a Saturday. Pla is walking distance from our hotel on the Ramblas. Botafumeiro sounds good but we would have to take taxis. Help please!

                  1. re: britinflorida

                    For a party of 12 in the Barri Gotic, PLA is probably your best bet. Other than tapas places, I don't think that neighborhood has many good sit down dinner places.
                    For more choices, I would consider the Eixample. As for Botafumeiro, it is a very expensive traditional seafood place. The quality of their seafood is good but personally I wouldn't spend that kind of money. I would rather go to the less expensive (not cheap) Els Pescadors or slum it by having a good time at La Paradeta in El Born.
                    Which ever restaurant you choose, including PLA, you should discuss how they deal with a large party. Some may require a set menu rather allowing your party to order a la carte or perhaps large platters family style.

                    1. re: PBSF

                      There is also Set Portes, which is on the edge of the Brri Gotic. It really is quite nice even though the queue of tourists outside gives it somewhat bad vibes. The Sunday lunch atmosphere is actually very local. Come to think of it, lunch atmospher is always more local.

                      1. re: Parigi

                        Thank you for your input. Set Portes was also on my radar. I would like to go there for Sunday lunch but I think my friends will be hot to trot to the ship. If PLA will accept this booking for Saturday night, that is the way I will go. Thanks PBSF for reminding me about group restrictions. Pla only accept telephone reservations, so I will call and use my best Spanglish ... My friends are first timers to Barcelona and all arrive on different days. I arrive on Saturday so will suggest we all meet for a drink at La Boqueria before it closes at 8 pm and then wend our way to Pla. BTW, the cafe bar immediately south of the Royal Ramblas hotel is brilliant for a Spanish breakfast, wonderful fresh orange juice, good strong coffee, free croissants and marvelous jamon on baguettes. It was written up in the NYT.

                        1. re: britinflorida

                          Most of the stalls in the Boqueria will have been closed by late afternoon.

                          A good pre-dinner drink place may be La Vinya del Senyor in front of the Santa Maria del Mar church.

                          1. re: Parigi

                            I second the La Vinya del Senyor reco

            2. I will also be in Barcelona Mid-August. I am looking for recommendations for less expensive restaurants with quintessential Catalan cuisine and tapas that will be open and aren't super touristy. I know that this is a tall order in mid-August. Any suggestions would be great. We are staying in the Gotic and Born sections but can travel to any part of the city.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Mshelly97

                Can you give folks an idea of what "less expensive" means to you?