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Sep 26, 2012 03:25 AM

Barcelona in Oct. Authentic Hole In the Wall Sought

We seek hole in the walls, clean, creative, reflective of Barcelona's seafood cuisines and dining influence. Tapas, ok or course plating. Fun and funky, even better. Thanks

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  1. El Vaso de Oro in barceloneta neighborhood. Great locals tapas bar with amazing food.

    7 Replies
    1. re: foodcoupleSF

      Thanks for that tip! I'm making a list :) Off-topic, but north to south in BCN, is it walkable? Trying to get a sense of time and distance. You know, have a meal, walk it off, have another meal, repeat :)

      1. re: c oliver

        Google map says that the walk between El Vaso de Oro (Barceloneta, very south) to Park Güell (north) takes a little more than an hour.
        For your future inquiries about walking distance, you too can use Google Map's walking distance option.

        1. re: Parigi

          Thanks, Parigi. I wasn't familiar with that app. I had the sense that most everything was walkable (we'll be in kinda the SE of Eixample). Getting quite excited tho' not til Nov.

          1. re: c oliver

            I agree totally with PBSF. There are 1-hour walks and 1-hour walks. I too who love to walk would not do such a walk, much of that walk gets quite boring.

        2. re: c oliver

          If you are thinking about walking from El Vaso to Park Guell, it is a long long walk. I have walk from Pl de Catalunya to Guell and it was bit of a trek as the last third is not particularly interesting. I love to walk but my limit is El Born to Sarria where I usually stay with friends. Historic central Barcelona (Barri Gotic, El Born, El Ravel) plus the Eixample is definitely walkable between meals. This entire central area should be explored by foot as most of the interesting sights for visitors are in between the good eating places mentioned on this board.

          1. re: PBSF

            Thanks for elaborating. I really just wanted to get a sense of distances. We'd be doing as you describe.

        3. re: foodcoupleSF

          I'm not sure when you are going, but they are closed for vacation through Oct. 3rd (as I sadly discovered when I tried to go there today).

        4. "hole in the walls, clean, creative, reflective of Barcelona's seafood cuisines and dining influence. Tapas, ok or course plating"

          Real holes in the walls cannot fulfill many of the other conditions of yours. Hole in the walls and plating? Might as well say "holes in walls and damask napkins". :-)

          My idea of hole in the walls is Bar Celta in the old town. I have never got sick there but cannot fully answer the clean question either. The light is (perhaps mercifully) dim, and when one comes out, the clothes always smell of fried octopus. It certainly is fun and funky.

          It is a place where I like to drop in for a plate of fried octopus and a glass of wine and then move on to more serious dining or a real tapas crawl. it may be the last, relentlessly non-gentrified holdout of the Barri Gotic's funky old joints.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Parigi

            Now THAT is my idea of a hole-in-the-wall! It goes on the list :) Thanks, again.

            1. re: Parigi

              Thanks Parigi, where would you go after Bar Celta for more tapas as part of a Tapas crawl..brilliant idea..and what time is ideal to start in Barcelona?

              1. re: Parigi

                On the same street as Bar Celta are a couple of Asturian bars that are worth a visit for cabrales cheese and cider - Tasca el Corral is the only name I remember now. From that point it's a short walk into El Born where there are a handful of good places to stop and copious discussions of them on this board.

                As for Bar Celta, first, I would go there if I were you. It's fun and cheap. Try a galician style bowl of the house white and have some snacks. But, their fried food is not cooked fresh to order - it's pre-fried and then reheated in the fryer (not at all unusual but not ideal either). If you're inclined to limit your intake of fried food even a little, I'd save that indulgence for elsewhere. They don't fry octopus either way but it is a very good place to try octopus cooked galician style.

                The two pictures below are from Bar Celta and it's pulpo - the interior picture was taken in the evening with no flash thanks to the flourescent lights (I disagree that it's dim...). They've got a new place on Princesa as well.

                I think Can Maño in Barceloneta does the best job with fried seafood and is just about everything else the OP asked for. I'd also consider Cal Papi and La Cova Fumada in Barceloneta.

                1. re: caganer

                  One should always listen to anything and everything someone called Caganer says.

                  Just as Caganer suggested above, after Bar Celta, I usually go back to the very nearby Born where I always stay, to a handful of my favorites tapas bars there, my fave of faves being Euskal Etxea.

                  A pre-tapas tapas hour would be 8pm for me. Any earlier would be geezer's early-bird tapas. :-)
                  Then you start your Born tapas crawl from there, yippee.

              2. Everyday eating in Barcelona: Can Mano and La Cova Fumada in Barceloneta, Allium, Anima, Man l Teca in historic. Add to Parigi's recommendation of Bar Celta on c/de la Merce; on the same street are La Plata and El Tropezon. North of the Diagional are Sant Joan, Foxo. Bar Tomas, Bar Mandri, El Vell Sarria, Canet in Sarria. Not what you would called 'hole in the wall' are La Paradetta and El Barkito for relatively inexpensive seafood. What is 'course plating'? meaning separate presentation of first course, main course, dessert with plate clearing in between? throw in your need for 'creative', that is a lot to ask for 'authentic hole in the wall'.

                2 Replies
                1. re: PBSF

                  "What is 'course plating'? meaning separate presentation of first course, main course, dessert with plate clearing in between? throw in your need for 'creative', that is a lot to ask for 'authentic hole in the wall'"
                  Exactly my point, as usual expressed much more eloquently by PBSF.

                  1. re: PBSF

                    If you disregard the hole in the wall part of the request Tapas 24 fits well. (They seem ambivalent about spelling recently - alternately using "s" and "c" w/cedilla so I'm taking the easy option). Besides, "design-y" is probably more authentic to Barcelona today than "hole in the wall."
                    The menu is mostly traditional and I think that's the place to focus. It's full of tourists, so it's very easy - maybe good for a fist meal. Some waiters have spoken english with me no matter how much I've replied in perfectly fine Spanish. I think this is a great place for fried seafood because their standards are a bit higher - everything is cooked to order. Very good pa amb tomaquet and xuixos to start and finish with as well.

                  2. If you want a hole in the wall try LA Cova Fumada in Barcloneta (closed at weekends). Great freshly prepared authentic food at super prices in a very atmospheric room. Probably only for the noise tolerant (but then so is Spain generally).