How's my Barcelona food itinerary looking?
Heading to Barcelona in early September for four days. Have been pouring over the Chowhound boards and think I have a good idea of options and where to go. I still am having a hard time understanding how the timing will work (big lunches, siestas, tapas, late dinners, etc.), but hopefully once there we'll figure it out.
Take a look at what I have below and let me know your thoughts. I know I'm missing a fine dining/gastronomic experience but we are more fans of low key, local, great dining for great value. We get plenty of upscale dining in NYC so want a more relaxed time on our vacation. Also, it is my husband's birthday, so want to make sure we have good restaurant choices for that.
Arrive in a.m. Breakfast (but will feel like lunch) – Café Viena
Afternoon snack before jet lag nap – Foodball
After nap tapas – Ginger, anything else good in Barri Gotic/La Rambla? Or going to Montjuic and would hit Quimet i Quiment
Dinner – Tapac24 (chose this over Inopia)
Breakfast – La Boqueria
Early picnic lunch – Take picnic from La Boqueria to Parc Guell
Afternoon tapas after Saguarda Familia – Euskal Etxea, El Bitxo, Sagardi
Dinner – Café De L’Academia
Saturday (Husband’s Birthday):
Breakfast on the Go – good churros/cortado near Barri Gotic or Camp Nou (going on a tour)?
Lunch 13:30 – Can Majo (have reservation)
Dinner – La Mar Salada? Kaiku? Cerveceria Catalana?
Breakfast near Museu Picasso?
Lunch – Any of the tapas we didn’t get to go to on Friday afternoon? Cuines Santa Caterina? Bacl to Barceloneta (La Cova Fumada)?
Relax with a glass of wine at Vinya del Senyor
Dinner 21:00 - Paco Meralgo (have reservation - hopefully. Made it on the phone and I don't speak spanish, so we'll see!)
I too am going to be in Barcelona/San Sebastian at the same time. your list is tremendously helpful!
We had a fabulous lunch at Alkimia, after a morning visit to the Sagrada Familia. I don't know El Bitxo but Euskal Extea and Sagardi are not exactly around the corner from the Sagrada Familia. Perhaps you plan to be in Barri Gotic for sightseeing?
Kaiku was delicious for arroz and deep fried sea urchin fritters. What would you order at Can Majo? And what will you do down in Barceloneta between lunch and dinner in the same neighbourhood?
For b'fast around Museu Picasso, I would go to either Escriba on Las Ramblas or Patisseria Hoffman, Carrer Flassaders 44.
"Barri Gotic the first two days and then Barceloneta"
Strange, those two neighborhoods are within walking distance to each other. Why the move?
"Friday: Breakfast – La Boqueria
Early picnic lunch – Take picnic from La Boqueria to Parc Guell"
All the best things in the Boqueria are cooked dishes from the restaurant stalls, such as fried chipirones, sautéed asparagus, etc. They do not travel, and Europeans in general do not do doggy-bag style takeout. And it would be regrettable to settle for an indifferent sandwich in an epicurean city like Barcelona. I would strongly recommend that you have an actual lunch at the Boqueria, then spend the afternoon in Park Guell.
Btw, there is a very good churros stand on the walk between the metro station and Park Quell. Just follow the near sickening fried fat smell.
Which reminds me… Dunno about churros for breakfast. A good breakfast place is the Granja Viader, with an array of horchatas, very near the Boqueria, on Carrer D'en Xuclà.
An indifferent sandwhich? Are you serious? A picnic of produce from the Boqueria is an amazing idea. I would kill for a few slices of jamon de Guijuelo and some good queso manchego. Add a bottle of wine and some good bread (hard to find in Spain, but you can't have everything) to that and you could have a meal you'll remember for the rest of your life.
I know it is weird about the move, but wanted to just try two different hotels -- one is very old world charming the other more modern/contemporary and beachy.
Looks like a toss up on the picnic! Guess we'll see how we feel once at the market and if we see bread, jamon, fruit, etc. we want to throw in a basket and take with us we will...otherwise it will be a sit down at El Quim or some place.
I don't know when you intend to go for afternoon tapas, but you should know that a lot of these places close between 4pm and 8pm. That's merienda time, not tapas time.
Thursday: Ginger is a large hip modern cocktail driven place, probably better in the evening (very late in the evening). There are many other good atmospheric tapas places in the Barri Gotic: Bar del Pi, El Portalon Onofre, Convent des Angels, Bilboa Berria (thanks to Parigi).
Friday: maybe too much eating
Saturday: if you've settled on Can Majo, definitely not La Mar Salada unless you want to repeat the essentially the same experience in Barcelonetta (as pointed out by an earlier poster). And I don't trust any place on the Pg Joan de Barbo for food. Kaiku is good but it is also in Barcelonetta and like Can Majo, seafood and arroz. Since this day is your husband's birthday, I would move Can Majo to Sunday lunch and make this evening celebratory. For me, none of your choices fits that; they either too big, crowded, noisy or informal. I am not a NYC expert but have some idea of that city's restaurant scene. High-end places in Barcelona are very different, from the authenticity of the food to the general less formal and more intimate ambience. For a birthday, I want quiet and intimate without breaking the budget or being the over the top: Can Gaig, Cinc Sentits, Sauc, Colibri, all cooking good modern Catalan food without being too molecular.
Sunday: breakfast near the Picasso Museum; as mentioned above, Pasteleria Hoffman is good and there are couple of sit down cafes on the near by Pg del Born. Also there are bakeries on c/de la Princesca; cross Via Laetena to c/Llibreteria and you find very good good cafes including Pasteleria Santa Clara.
A general comment: your sightseeing and eating itinerary might be too ambitious but that has a way of getting out once you get there. I might map your sightseeing and eating to make sure that one is not covering too much distance.
I definitely know I am too ambitious and once we get there, that is when the decisions come in and it is all based on how we feel, so will surely be flexible! Will start to rethink a few things now based on all the excellent recommendations.
Really appreciate the breakfast notes as that is one area I hadn't been able to make much progress on at all.
Breakfast, like most European countries, are not a big deal. There are cafes everywhere serving coffee and pastries. For something more elaborate, it is more difficult; the Boqueria, Mercado Santa Caterina will have kioskes opened for breakfast (closed Sundays), Tapac24 opens early for breakfast and so does couple of the sit down cafes on Pg del Born. Some are closed Sundays.
hey - my wife and i were in barcelona back in october (there's a post somewhere on chowhound about it) and so here a few tips:
1) do not replace inopia with tapac24. tapac24 was very good, but inopia is on another level. it is fantastic and fun. just make sure to get there before the crazy night time rush (probably around 8:30 pm). do not pass on the pina with molasses and lime (if its on the menu) and the fried rabbit. unreal.
2) we had great food at paco merlago but the service was just ok. the seafood was fantastic but i felt very rushed throughout dining. their pan con tomate was the best we ate all trip.
3) don't bother with cal pep. it's a tourist factory.
4) there isn't that much to eat around parque guell but picking up food at the boqueria is a good idea. you can get great cheeses, breads, fruits, wine, and pig products. if you have a few minutes to kill, saddle up to bar pinotxo (within the boqueria) and get the squid with chickpeas and maybe some eggs.
we actually chose not to eat at the fancier barcelona restaurants so that we could just eat tapas around town all night. and, if you are able, take a trip out of barcelona maybe 2-3 hours to exteberri in axpe. it is hands down the greatest dining experience i've ever had.
Wow! Well glad I am on Chowhound or else I would have probably wound up there and been disapointed.
Any advice on Tapioles 53? Read on the board from 2007 that they allowed smoking in the restaurant itself and wondering if that is still the case. The way it is described in the post, feel like that would affect me from enjoying a meal there. Place looks and seems great though. Thinking of watching the fountain show one night then going here for dinner afterwards.