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Mar 25, 2014 07:55 AM

Seeking Monday birthday dinner recs in Barcelona

My husband and I will be in Barcelona in early May celebrating my 60th birthday. My actual birthday falls on a Monday and I know many restaurants are closed on Mondays. Does anyone have suggestions for a delicious meal in a memorable setting? We are not looking for fine dining, in fact we already have reservations at a number of top spots in BCN and San Sebastian. Just something featuring local cuisine that will feel a little special. Thanks!
Also, debating between Taste Barcelona and Aborigen Barcelona evening food tours. Aborigen is more pricey. Is it better?

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  1. Here's an article that mentions about a dozen restaurants open Monday. Scroll down about half way, past the Sunday openings.

    There are also some Chowhound 'Sunday/Monday' threads here as well.

    For our 'Monday' meal in BCN we debated between Hisop vs Alkimia and choose Alkimia. Not sure it fits your 'memorable setting' criteria though :)

    5 Replies
      1. re: msmolly

        Happy birthday! We'll be there about a week after your trip (Barcelona, Bilbao, San Sebastian).

        1. re: willyum

          The article is excellent. And I'm just reading all the many threads on Chowhound. What a great resource!! Sounds like you've done your research so feel free to share any other recommendations. FYI, in San Sebastian we have reservations at Akalarre, Mugaritz, and Martin Berastegui. Kind of over the top, but hey, it's my birthday. My dream is to get into El Cellar Can Roca in Girona, but I have had no luck so far.
          Enjoy your trip and thanks again for the great link.

          1. re: msmolly

            LOL ... similar tastes. My first post here was something like "Which 2 of Akelarre, Arzak, Mugaritz, MB", and I was also keen for Can Roca but waited too late. Now I have two copies of their "all full for 11 months" kiss-off form letter.

            Anyway, we'll be at Mugaritz on this trip, I think May 15. We went to MB's Barcelona restaurant Lasarte last October, and I would like to go to Akelarre but my wife has rebelled and said "NO" to a constant stream of long tasting menus.

            So this trip we are mixing in some simpler places with a la carte or shorter tasting menus ... the current schedule is Mina, Etxanobe and Azurmendi in Bilbao, then the day we move to SS we'll have lunch at Asador Etxebarri on the way up, where the chef is famous for grilling everything.

            Then Mugaritz in SS, then the anti-Mugaritz in Ibai (see Andy Hayler's review), then one final day that's still up for debate in the Willyum household (Elkano or Akelarre or Berastegui or a tapas crawl). So a mix of styles and cuisines.

            @ ... "so feel free to share any other recommendations."

            You've done the research and have a good list ... I would just add that Azurmendi was our favorite last October and it's at the top of our list this year too. You might read the articles on it and see if it sounds like your style. Unfortunately it's just outside Bilbao so about an hour's drive from SS.

            If you're going to be in SS the same week as us let me know, maybe we can meet for a tapa. There's already one Chowhounder who will be at Ibai the day we're there.

            1. re: willyum

              Well, my husband rebelled at Asador Etxebarri--too far from SS. In fairness to him, we won't be in SS that long and we want to have time for lots of pinxtos, too. At the moment we are not planning to go to Bilbao, but that may change so your recommendations there are noted.
              We are going to be in SS from May 1-5, so no tapa-meetup I'm afraid. Thanks again for all of your info!

    1. Hi I just read your post re: post trip report.Thanks for the feedback. My husband and I leave for Barcelona on July 5th (arriving Sunday morning). It is our first time in Spain and we will be there for 18 days (5 in Barcelona). We will be celebrating my b-day as well (54). I was very intersted in possibly doing one of the food tours. Do you reccommend the one you chose? Can you send me a link or if I google it will I find it? Do you have a choice of which tour guide you get? My b-day falls on a Wednesday. I was trying to decide if we should do the food tour that night or I was thinking about going to Cinc Sentits. We have reservations for Tickets on Tuesday night. If we choose to go on the food tour Monday night would that be a mistake with so many places closed? Sorry for all the questions. Thanks in advance for your response.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ranh

        Hi! I do recommend the Aborigen food tour. It's pricey tho and the food, while very authentic and plentiful, is simple. You can read more about it and other food tours on TripAdvisor. Look under Activities, then choose food and drink. There are other food tours listed there. We are foodies so we loved how knowledgable our guide was about the entire food scene, in Barcelona and elsewhere. And that we went places we otherwise never would have gone. They were very responsive to email, so I recommend emailing and asking about which night might be best. My guess is that most of the neighborhood places will be open on Monday but I'm not sure. Cinc Sentits has a great reputation but we didn't go there. Watch out for overloading too many high-end experiences in a row. Mugaritz right on top of Pakta was a lot. It all starts to blur together. Hope that helps!