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Sep 18, 2013 04:02 PM

Birthday lunch in Barcelona

Hi, we have a birthday lunch reservation next week at la palmera, hisop, and llamber. Any opinions on which one to keep? Or should we try and take in more than one of them over a few days? We are staying in Gracia district and any other ideas welcome.
thanks, jaben

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  1. Hisop is one of our favorite restaurant for modern Catalan cooking. The food at La Palmera is much more traditional. Also very different in ambience. Hisop is modern and sparse whereas La Palmera is rustic with wine bottles everywhere. They are both good, depends on what you are looking for. Have not been to Llamber; think it is more in the style of Hisop, modern Catalan.
    Gracia district is a large neighborhood, depends on what part: Crusto in the Mercat de la Llibertat has very good bread as will as simple pastries. I like the tapas at La Bodeguita de Marisol. Roig Robi is excellent for traditional Catalan food but expensive. Less so is El Toc or El Glop.
    Central Barcelona (the area between the harbor and the Diagonal) is well covered on this board. Just do a search and you'll find many good recommendations for all types of eating places.

    5 Replies
    1. re: PBSF

      Thank you PBSF for the reponse! We are staying on carrer Goya X carrer Gran de Gracia if that helps. Both sound good so maybe we will try both and drop Llamber. We like fresh,local food and comfortable mom and pop ambiance so the rustic and wine bottles everywhere sounds more appealing. General pattern will be to seek out sit down lunches for the big meal of the day and then do some tapas/light meal in the evening. We also like to cook so any ideas on shopping like Crusto in our area appreciated too. Wine,ham,cheese,seafood, fruits and vegies. oh, and ice cream.
      thanks again.

      1. re: jaben

        We ate at all 3 on our visit this summer. We liked La Palmera the best and taking value into the equation, it's not even close. For 4 of us with as much wine as we could handle it was 120 Euros out the door. Much more casual than Hisop, no pretention what so ever.
        Llamber is a fun atmosphere, food more whimsical than either of the other two.
        Unless you're set on trying a Michelin starred restaurant, I'd personally skip Hisop, also found the service sterile and unfriendly.
        I'd also recommend Gresca for something more upscale than La Palmera, but way more friendly than Hisop (and much cheaper).

        1. re: saeyedoc

          Excellent saeyedoc! Very helpful. Dont care about stars or pretention. Like to laugh and eat good food in a casual setting. I will check out Gresca also. Thx

          1. re: jaben

            I posted reviews of all these (maybe not Llamber) on Trip Advisor

        2. re: jaben

          Gran de Gracia is the main street in a bustling shopping/eating area. The Mercat de la Llibertat is just a couple blocks away. It is one of Barcelona better city markets and has everything one needs foodwise. We are in Barcelona only a few days a year visiting friends in Sarria, therefore, I am not too familiar with Gracia area. No specific shopping suggestions other than the breads at Crusto. But you will have no problem finding smaller shops in your area. And the better ice cream places that I like are all in the center of the city (Eixample, Born, Barceloneta). The list: Helados Fratello, Delacrem, Vioko, Acrobaleno, Cremeria Toscana.