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Aug 30, 2011 04:28 PM

Where to eat on night of arrival in Barcelona?

My husband and I have just started our restaurant planning for our trip to Spain. We will have 5 nights in Barcelona--arriving Saturday and departing early Wednesday morning. So far we have (not much):

Saturday: Arrive at 6pm.
Sunday: No decision yet as we have tickets to the FC Barca game but game time hasn't been set.
Mon: Maybe Hisop
Tues: Tickets
Wed: Not sure yet. We have an 8:30 am flight to Bilbao, Thursday morning and haven't yet figured out what kind of meal we want the night before. I wish I had reserved Tickets for this night. Oh well.

Right now, I'm stuck on trying to come up with ideas for Saturday. We arrive at 6pm and will need to go to our apartment rental which is located on Calle Casanova & Calle Valencia in Eixample. We will be very jet lagged since we will have taken a red-eye from Los Angeles. We would like an "easy" dinner and be able to sit down. By "easy" I mean nothing too formal or a service that is long and drawn out. Just some good food and preferably a place where reservations aren't required since our timing will be a bit up in theair. Walking distance from the apartment. Any restaurants that someone can think of that fits (or closely fits) these parameters?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Late Saturday night, no reservation, jet lagged: I would go one of the tapas place in the Eixample; forget about the pintxos as most are standup or if one is lucky snag a stool. The two best are probably PacoMeralgo (few blocks toward the Diagonal; have your apartment host/hostess call them when you meet to reserve a table, otherwise, there will probably be a wait if one just drop in; also Vinya Roel is nearby) or Tapac24 (just the other side of Pg de Gracia). Some others near your apartment are the atmospheric La Bodegueta and Ubeda; the big party scene at Cerverseria Catalana and its small sister Cuidad Condal. If you just want to stroll around and check out what is good, the first couple blocks of Ramblas de Catalunya (NOT Las Ramblas) is your best bet. Skip all the places on the Pg de Gracia. Barcelona is a late city on weekends, tapas places can be packed until midnight and many open later.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PBSF

      Thanks PBSF. Paco Meralgo sounds like it will be a nice way to begin our stay in Spain. You really think that we won't have a long wait at the restaurant if our apartment greeter calls them upon our arrival at the apartment? If that doesn't work, I suppose we can walk to some of the other places you mentioned. Thanks again.

      1. re: siam

        Ask your apartment greeter to call them to reserve a table for you. If they can't, at least ask them how long is the wait. It depends on when you want/able to get to the restaurant. For saturday nights, it gets packed by 8:30 and won't let up until around 11:30pm. The place is quite large and the turnover is fast. There is also counter seating which one can see much of the behind the scene action and browse what looks good at the seafood counter.

        Except the nearby Vinya Roel, there is not too much up that way, therefore, if you can't get a reservation and you are tired, better just go to Cerverseria Catalana where the food is not nearly as good but it is a huge barnlike space with plenty of seating. Great for people watching. Or the many places on the first couple blocks of Ramblas de Catalunya. The nearby Tiktika Berri is great for pintxos but is is mostly standup. If you are not too tire, that would be a good choice. The seat down back room serves very good traditional Basque food where you can order just one large plate if you don't want to eat too much. That room takes reservations. Might ask your greeter to call them if PacoMeralgo is too difficult.

    2. For Saturday and Sunday, you should be aware that both the day and time of La Liga matches is determined only 10 days in advance - your match could actually be played on Saturday. It's all up to TV schedules/networks. It's a usually a safe bet that the "best" game of the weekend will be played on Saturday night, though there are exceptions.

      2 Replies
      1. re: caganer

        I knew that the time of the match wouldn't be set until shortly before the game, but I didn't know about the date! Yikes. I won't be crushed but my husband might.........

        1. re: siam

          Even if you do end up having tickets to the 10:00 Saturday match you should go. It's a great experience and the games really aren't as stressful as attending an American sporting event. Crowds are more relaxed and reserved (trying not to say "civilized"...).