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Jan 17, 2013 12:50 PM

3 nights in Barcelona-help?

Hi All,

I am traveling to Barcelona for my first time in a couple of weeks with a co-worker. We are staying in El Raval and plan on having breakfast at the boqueria everyday. I think I've read every single thread here, and now have a few questions and need a gut check on a few places that have received mixed reviews on the board.

I didn't get the news early enough to book Tickets OR 41 degrees (sucks!). Am interested in that type of experience, but also tapas, cafes, beer/wine/cocktail bars as well. Also, we thought about making the trek to Can Roca, but with only 3 days we didn't think we could spend that much time traveling back and forth.

We arrive Friday morning. The only seats I have so far are:

Friday Dinner- either Hisop or Comerc24
Saturday Lunch- Cinc Sentits for their lunch only Gastromic Tasting.
Sunday Dinner at Paco Meralgo.

I've seen mixed reviews for Comerc24 and Cinc Sentits on this board. Can I do better for both meals?

Where can I watch the Sunday Barca game with lots of rabid Barca fans before we go to Paco Meralgo?

If I do keep the lunch at Cinc Sentits I was thinking about tapas for dinner that night with plenty of wine to wash down..maybe a tapas crawl? Any recommendations there would be helpful.

Saturday dinner is also vacant....paella? non-modern catalan?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Paella for Saturday dinner can be a pretty sad experience since no locals ever eat these big rice dishes for dinner. I know that from experience. We once booked El Vell Sarria for Saturday dinner and were one of only two tables in the whole restaurant. Paella is the traditional Sunday lunch, so I would try to do it then.

    If you're looking for something Adria related, the brothers' new Nikkei restaurant Pakta reportedly opened on 15th January. I have no other info on that one for now, but I'll post anything I find in this thread.

    EDIT: Looks like the opening has been pushed to March:

    6 Replies
    1. re: SnackHappy

      Thanks! Sunday lunchtime sounds good. The game starts at 6PM and our dinner reservation at Paco Meralgo is at 9.

      Can someone recommend a Sunday lunch place for Paella? I've seen Kaiku and Can Ros on this board as highly recommended.

      1. re: SnackHappy

        At the Boqueria eat at Quim and Pinoxto.

        Do not miss Bar Canete for tapas. OR Bar Mut.

        ABAC is another choice for high end molecular dinner.

        Quimet y Quimet and Cal Pep are sure things too.

        1. re: sushiman

          I'm not quite certain why the reply to my post, but for the OP's benefit, here's a recent discussion of Bar Mut.

          1. re: SnackHappy

            Just an honest mistake. Meant for the OP>

          2. re: sushiman

            Thank you! The Bar Mut website alone with its Almodovar-esque movie promo is worth our stopping by.

          3. Reading deeper into the board it looks like Gelonch is one of the few restaurants without mixed reviews. Maybe I should cancel my reservations at Hisop/Comerc24 and try to get one at Gelonch. Thoughts?

            Saturday evening is looking like tapas- Do people in Barcelona tapas crawl the way they do in Madrid, or is it more appropriate to find one place like Cal Pep and just sit and eat tapas?

            5 Replies
            1. re: Michael1234

              You won't see people on a tapas crawl in Barcelona. Seems the Catalan prefer to have their food sitting down, and there are very few true tapas bars. Most places are restaurants serving tapas or tapas-like dishes. Cal Pep is one of those. It doesn't bill itself as a tapas bar. It's a restaurant serving dishes in the tapas style and that's what you'll find at most places like Tapas24, Paco Meralgo, etc.

              You can have a bit of a tapas crawl on C/ de la Mercè in the Barri Gotic. I recommend the pulpo at Bar Celta, the pescaditos at Bar La Plata and the queso de Cabrales at la Socarrena. You could then move on to the Born, for some canned seafood at El Xampanyet and pintxos at Euskal Etxea or Golfo de Biscaia.

              1. re: SnackHappy

                We were in Barcelona last summer and had three wonderful meals. First we had the tasting menu at gelonch and loved it. My SO said it was his favorite meal ever! Next we had a very Spanish lunch at cal pep and really enjoyed it. We ate in the back dining room and loved the fact that they just brought you food, no ordering. A nice break from the crazy tapas bar. Our last meal was at aqua on the beach. It was a beautiful trendy restaurant that was fun. The people watching was fascinating. I had Fideus and thought it was very good and interesting. Would highly recommend all three. We also had lunch at bar lobo that we liked very much. Enjoy!

                1. re: Gloriaa

                  Thanks for the Gelonch vote of confidence. I've scoured the board and can't find a single negative thing said about the place. I think we will do that for Friday night.

                  In the meanwhile I will check tickets and 41 degrees everyday!


                  1. re: Michael1234

                    first time looking for Barcelona restaurants - please tell me about 41 degrees and tickets!

                2. re: SnackHappy

                  Thanks SnackHappy. We've got Paco Meralgo on Sunday so that's good. With the big tasting for lunch at Cinc Sentits on Saturday we are just worried we won't feel like a huge meal at dinner. Maybe waiting on line at CalPep and just eating whatever comes will be a good way to spend that evening.

              2. Hi All,

                Still looking for a place to watch Barcelona FC on Sunday. Any Barca bars to recommend?


                1 Reply
                1. re: Michael1234

                  During games most bars are Barca bars. There are sports bars and FCB bars but I think it would be a lot more fun (for most people) to watch at a regular bar where, invariably, multiple generations come out to cheer together. The trick is picking a bar with good snacks and good drinks. You can count on there being people there to watch (unless it's an Espanyol bar).
                  Not sure where to steer you that's near Paco Meralgo, though. I'm sure someone here can help. There was a recent discussion here on the nearby St. Gervasi-Saria areas.