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Barcelona-suggestions for my first night and my last night?

I've been lurking on the board for quite a while as I plan my trip to Barcelona and San Sebastian for 31 August - 9 September. I could use some advice for restaurants my first night which is a Wednesday, in Barcelona, and my last night, which is a Thursday, in Barcelona.

Restaurants we want to hit include Tickets, Paco Meralgo (Sunday night), Cinq Sentits, Alkimia and Comerc 24.

1. First night -- We arrive Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. and will taxi to our apartment in L'Eixample on Passeig de Gracia itself, near the Passeig de Gracia subway station. I know we will be tired after flying in from San Francisco, and would love a casual neighborhood selection of tapas since I don't know how hungry we will be. Paco Meralgo comes to mind but I was thinking of saving it for our Sunday night dinner, so other suggestions in L'Eixample in that theme would be helpful.

2. Last night - we will be driving back to Barcelona from San Sebastian on Thursday and our flight leaves at 11 a.m. on Friday. We haven't booked a hotel yet for this night so ideally our restaurant would be casual and close to a hotel and on the side of town that is closer to the airport, to try and shorten our drive to the airport on Friday morning. Suggestions for a restaurant (and a nearby hotel)?

Thanks all. I am so excited about this trip!

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  1. On wednesday night you'll be much nearer to TapaƧ24 which is as good or better than Paco Meralgo. I personally love TapaƧ24, but not everyone on this board agrees. Other options could be Cerveceria Catalana or Ciutat Comtal. Both of which are well liked by board regulars.

    On a side note, if you were willing to go as far as Paco Meralgo, it's not any further from metro Passeig de Gracia to the Born than it is to the other side of the Eixample. You could always do a Born tapas crawl if you wished..

    1. Just my 2 cents but I would rather return the rental car to one of the agency office's in town the night before and take the Aerobus out to the airport on departure day. Having a rental car means finding a hotel with good parking (probably near Placa Espanya) and putting limitations on last-minute dining or shopping. I only need one hand to count the number of places near Placa Espanya where I would like to eat, drink or shop.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Aleta

        I agree. In fact I would just leave the car in San Sebastian and take the train to Barcelona. Driving in European cities is no fun at all.

        1. re: SnackHappy

          Or even fly out of San Sebastian (Hondaribbia) if you want to save more time. If you fly out of Hondaribbia, you can try out a great pintxo bar (like Bar Gran Sol) that most people don't visit.

          http://bargransol.com/

          Winner of 2010 Basque Country Pintxo Competition

          (ha ha, now you know MY plans...)

          1. re: Aleta

            Another address for my ever growing to-do list. Thank you!.

            1. re: SnackHappy

              O SnackHappy... have you had lunch yet? :-P This video may make you drool.

              http://www.eitb.com/videos/gastronomi...

              @FarmersDaughter, sorry to get so far off topic (Barcelona).

            2. re: Aleta

              Agree with everyone re the non-feasibility of holding on to the rental car in Barcelona and returning it to the airport.

          2. re: Aleta

            I am so sorry my post was not correct in this detail. We do plan to drop the car off on Thursday in Barcelona when we arrive by car from San Sebastian. And we will taxi to the airport on Friday morning. Although we have lived in Italy so are experienced European drivers in small cities and large, we agree that it's easier to get rid of the car. But we still would prefer to have the hotel / restaurant for our last night closer to the airport if possible. Not sure if there will be any traffic and my husband gets nervous about me underestimating how long it will take to get there.

          3. If you want a blow out meal go to the Hotel omm and eat at Restaurant Moo http://www.hotelomm.es/moo/default-en... . Goofy name sure, but the food was incredible. My wife and I went there for our one high priced dinner (anniversary) and it rocked. Incredible from start to finish. And its in the Passeig de Gracia. Have fun in BCN. BTW, be careful of your wallets and/or purses. Seriously! Cheers!

            1. Although it's really not my #1 choice, Fira Palace Hotel has parking and it's near Placa Espanya.

              Pre-departure dinner? After time spent in the Basque country, maybe something very different would be good. Like a combination of Tickets and 41. Or a traditional Catalan rice/noodle/seafood restaurant, originally from Vilanova i la Geltru (recommended by a friend whose family still lives there), Peixerot. The Barcelona location is 2 stops away nr metro Sants.
              http://www.peixerot.com/

              2 Replies
              1. re: Aleta

                I love the idea of the rice/noodle/seafood combination. Great way to say goodbye to Barcelona. Since I won't be tied to the car, any other hotel/restaurant combinations that wouldn't be too far from the airport?

                1. re: farmersdaughter

                  There is one hotel/restaurant combination close to the airport AND in which the restaurant boasts a Michelin star... but it's really not 'in Barcelona' at all.

                  It's the Hesperia Tower Hotel with the late Santi Santamaria's EVO. It's in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, 8 km from the airport or 13 min by car.