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May 8, 2013 02:33 AM

First time in Barcelona on moderate budget

Hi Folks,

Me and a buddy are going to Barcelona next week for six days.
Will probably stay in Born and traverse the city by foot.

We are both food fans, but have a budget of max. 40 Euros for a meal that does not include drinks (only aqua for us), and most places should be within the 10-25 Euros range.
We are not fans of small portions and pretentiousness, prefer local and unusual stuff with decent value for money.
Places should not require a reservation, although if it's absolutely great and necessary...
Lunch menu recommendations are definitely welcome.

I looked at some posts and the forum and came up with interesting places like Paco Meralgo, La mar salada, Flo, Gresca, Sesamo, Quimetx2.

What I'd really like to hear from you is, which places are the best for these dishes or cuisines:

1 Goose barnacles , if in season and less than 40 E a pop.
2 Good Paella with seafood
3 Great Tapas
4 Very Catalonian specialties
5 Iberian pork cheeks
6 Seafood delight, especially pulpo and lobster
7 Sweets in general and especially Turron if it can be found out of season

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Hi, you might want to look at my previous post where i did feedback on my visit of a year ago. My budget find was La Cova Fumada in Barceloneta (closed on weekends). Really good, fresh, authentic catalan food with a lot of seafood. Popular so ge thtere early eg midday for lunch, or be prepared to wait in the pretty square outside. For tapas, try Taktika Berri in the Eixample really great quality. Apparently it's Basque but I'm not an expert in these regional matters, I just know it tasted damn good!

    2 Replies
    1. re: whataboutbob

      La Cova Fumada is open Saturdays (not sundays as I've said before)

      1. re: whataboutbob

        Thanks whataboutbob,

        La Cova Fumada looks like just what I was looking for.

        Any other tips by anyone would be appreciated.


      2. A few thoughts on your requests:
        1&6) The places that do big seafood platters are expensive - La Paradeta is a budget alternative(probably no goose barnacles, though).
        2) I'd go to Xiringuito Escriba - great location towards the less touristy end of the beach.
        3)too many options to get into but this board is full of BCN tapas info
        4)As mentioned, La Cova Fumada is great for simple, fresh seafood and good versions of rustic Catalan classics like beans and sausage or shredded salt cod (bombas are fun too) BUT, it's not the only place - which brings me to:
        4&5) I'd check out Alium, which does slightly-upscale, traditional, Catalan with a focus on featuring great local, seasonal ingredients. (it's easily accessible in the middle of everything too) Great lunch menu al dia for 15 euros or so. They usually have something with fresh Iberico pork on the menu - I think rather than cheeks, more "steak-like" cuts are better for really showcasing the qualities of the meat (i.e. tenderness and richness/fattyness).
        7) it's always sweets time. I like Planelles Donat for turron (and really good turron gelato). La Colmena makes hard candies in dozens of interesting flavors -- as well as good pastries and chocolate. Cacao Sampaka and Bubo, among many others, are good for fancy chocolate.

        4 Replies
        1. re: caganer

          Thanks Caganer for some great tips,

          Allium looks really exciting.

          My current list of candidates for the 6 days looks like this:

          1 Lunch menus: Allium, Gresca, La Mer salada, and possibly Cinc Sentits
          2 Seafood: Jaica,Fumada, Cheriff, Xiringuito and La Paradeta.
          3 Tapas: 24, Cal Pep, Pinotxo bar, Meralgo,and El Quim.
          4 Veggie: Sesamo.
          5 Sweets: Bubo, Espai Sucre and Planelles Donat.

          I envy me!

          I'm missing a place for a great juicy steak, as my lust for steaks has declined recently, if anyone has a tip on an unmissable cut of meat I might try to rekindle my lust.

          1. re: lriemann

            Is that Jaica on your seafood list is Bar Jai Ca in Barceloneta? If so, I wouldn't discourage you from going because I love it (great vermouth cocktail). But it's not really a seafood destination. The gambas are frozen. Fried foods are pre-fried and re-fried to order. It's just good bar food. Cal Papi or Can Maño, also in Barceloneta, have better seafood.

            1. re: caganer

              Thanks again, someone praised Jai Ca as a great seafood joint in some blog and it seemed nice and undiscovered.

              Another question: is mass produced Turron, like the ones made by PICO, available in supermarkets all year round?
              I really like the stuff and it's ideal as a present from Spain.

              1. re: lriemann

                Jai Ca is a lot of fun but the real reason to go is the booze - the vermouth specifically - without that it loses a lot of allure. It's not bad, most places do the double frying trick in all honesty, but frozen gambas are sad. There are better restaurants.
                The seafood is freshly cooked at Can Maño, La Cova Fumada and Cal Papi and all are pretty cheap - maybe 25-50 euros for two.
                I don't think you'll have any trouble finding turron in a supermarket (and Planelles Donat is pretty expensive, by the way)

        2. Just came back from Barcelona, what a great city!

          Will be posting my quick and dirty reviews soon.
          I failed in most of my missions, but still had a great time.