HOME > Chowhound > Spain/Portugal >

1 Week on Barcelona/1 Day in Valencia

josephsuarez Sep 25, 2012 07:42 AM

Looking for authentic/non-touristy tapas places. Staying in El Borne. Any recommendations are appreciated. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. erica RE: josephsuarez Sep 25, 2012 11:38 AM

    I wrote this after my last visit to Valencia:


    1 Reply
    1. re: erica
      josephsuarez RE: erica Sep 25, 2012 03:09 PM

      Thank you Erica!!! :)

    2. Paprikaboy RE: josephsuarez Oct 6, 2012 04:33 AM

      Can't help you on dining in Valencia as I've only really passed through on the way to friends further down the coast.
      However make sure you check out the central market in Valencia it's wonderful.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Paprikaboy
        josephsuarez RE: Paprikaboy Oct 6, 2012 01:11 PM

        Thank you! I will definitely check out the central market! :)

        1. re: josephsuarez
          erica RE: josephsuarez Oct 7, 2012 08:36 AM

          Yes, the market is one of the best I've visited in Spain. One of the most interesting vendors is the man who specializes in saffron, and who will give you a fascinating tutorial on the various qualities and uses. He also sells pimenton, not only in picante and dulce, but also the agridulce variety, which is not as widely available.

          1. re: erica
            josephsuarez RE: erica Oct 7, 2012 09:35 AM

            Wow.. I can't wait. Thanks for the info!

      2. SnackHappy RE: josephsuarez Oct 7, 2012 02:40 PM

        There are tons of interesting, not too touristy places in the old city, but it's almost impossible not to run into tourists when in central Barcelona. It's just too popular a destination. The number of tourists and expats is astronomical. Nonetheless, it's quite easy to have an "authentic" experience and avoid the tourist holes.

        The bars on Carrer de la Mercè are a good place to start. Bar Celta, La Socarrena and Bar La Plata offer good food and good fun at decent prices. There are other places around that area of the Barri Gotic that are also nice, Baserri not too far on Correu Vell is a personal favourite of mine. The pintxos are dead cheap and the crowd is almost exclusively Basque students.

        In the Born, El Xampanyet might get its share of tourists, but it is also very much frequented by locals and has a lot of soul. The food is really good and the house Xampanyet wine is great to go along with it.

        There are lots of other places which you can find by just walking around. Just stay away from multilingual menus with pictures and places with employees trying to bring you in from the street and you should do fine.

        One note: Even though the guide books say to order cava at El Xampanyet, the drink you should be ordering is xampanyet – The semi-sweet carbonated white wine from which the bar takes its nickname.

        4 Replies
        1. re: SnackHappy
          josephsuarez RE: SnackHappy Oct 7, 2012 03:35 PM

          Thanks for the tips!!! :)

          1. re: SnackHappy
            caganer RE: SnackHappy Oct 7, 2012 04:09 PM

            I agree on everything but the xampanya at El Xampanyet but that's completely a matter of taste - the vino espumante/xampanya is a sweet sparkling wine not too much unlike Asti Spumanti. If sweet sparking wine isn't your thing, I'd recommend their vermut - one best house vermouths in town and one of the few spiked with vinegar (everyone adds something sharp, be it olives, citrus or vinegar).

            1. re: caganer
              SnackHappy RE: caganer Oct 7, 2012 05:05 PM

              I'm usually not a fan of sweet wines outside of dessert, but I find that the semi-sec xampanyet goes very well with the food they serve.

              BTW, I'm pretty certain they call it xampanyet and not xampanya. Xampanya being the Catalan word for Champagne, xampanyet is a diminutive for their "vi espumós gasificat" (carbonated sparkling wine).

              1. re: SnackHappy
                caganer RE: SnackHappy Oct 7, 2012 05:16 PM

                All I know is Sr. Ninou (the owner ) calls it xampanya and if you press him as to what it is he'll call it vino espumante dulce (in Castellano because I don't speak Catalan).

          Show Hidden Posts