29 January, 2016
Best Bites in BarcelonaPosted in : Cava, Dining in Barcelona - Catalunya - Spain, Restaurants, Travel Guide for Barcelona - Catalunya - Spain on by : The Gourmez
Disclaimer: I have only been in Barcelona for five days of my life. There is no way I can determine the best bites in the city. None. But “Best Bites in Barcelona While I Was There” is not a catchy title. That said, these are guaranteed by the Gourmez to be good bites, some of them exceptional!
For my breakfast choices, click here, where I started my Barcelona travelogues a whole year ago. For the rest of a day’s gastronomy needs, read on for my final installment!
Best Post-Airport Binge
We flew into Barcelona in the evening, and after checking into the Hotel Claris Grand Luxe (150 Carrer de Pau Claris)–
— and exploring the neighborhood at night–
— it was getting late. Luckily, Restaurant Josephine (147 Carrer de Pau Claris) was right across the street! It’s elegant, yet warm, atmosphere felt quite inviting.
The escarole salad with poached egg and pancetta was expertly done, yielding a great mixture of soft yolk and crunchy ingredients.
Perhaps the best part of the meal was our introduction to this essential Barcelona menu item: pan con tomate.
I enjoyed it at Restaurant Josephine more than I did anywhere else during our trip. The fresh, summery taste of the tomatoes in the midst of winter, lightly salted and smashed up top of crackly bread, was just the beginning I needed to a Barcelona feast that would last for days.
Best Market to Stumble Upon
We were in Barcelona in mid-December, so open-air markets were more plentiful than normal with the addition of holiday markets. Hopefully, you’ll find this one around any time of year. Walk north through the trendy, fashion-heavy Passeig de Gracia retail area and continue past the Avenida Diagonal into the Gracia neighborhood.
The market is at the Plaça de Nicolas Salmeron, and we found a vendor selling glasses of cava for half a euro. Who could say no to that just before dinner?
— becca gomez farrell (@thegourmez) December 19, 2014
Purchases also included Marcona almonds on a return trip. Ben was more pleased that he looked, I promise.
Best Bakery in Gracia
There’s a bakery on practical every block in Barcelona, or at least it feels that way when you’re passing by in the short space between meals! But the neighborhood surrounding Passeig de Sant Joan’s northern terminus has an even higher density than most. Yet Pastisseria Cusachs (223 Carrer de Bailen) stood apart.
That amazingly dense and beautifully assembled chocolate tart was only one of their many options. Order from the counter and take your treats to go or head to the red bar in back, where you can linger over a cappuccino as you ruminate on each bite. Maybe strike up a conversation with this fellow?
Churros are not hard to find in Barcelona, yet ordering them from a counter stall that draws crowds despite being off the main strip feels just that little bit more right. That’s the case at Churreria El Trebol (341 Carrer de Corsega), one of the oldest churro makers in the city.
Churros come chocolate covered or stuffed with dulce de leche, but the Barcelona way is ordering plain with a cup of hot dipping chocolate. Or just eat it as fast as possible.
Cheap, but I wouldn’t call them satisfying because you will want to go back for more!
Best Escape in the Barri Gotic
While exploring the splendors of the Gothic Quarter, we came across a mysteriously quiet square, the Plaça de Sant Pere. The tourist waters parted to reveal En Aparte (2 Carrer de Lluis el Piados), just when we needed a breather from the glorious, yet endless, gawking. The list of teas was impressive, and I adored the faux rustic tables covered with newspaper and bad stain jobs.
The sunny patio on the plaza would be ideal for warm days, but we were happy to cozy up inside with that cheese platter — a quite generous portion for 12 euros, especially in that area! Of course, there’s the bonus of returning to your stroll of Barcelona’s most historic streets after your rest.
I could happily get lost in those alleys for hours.
Best Meal for Meat Lovers
I’m not suggesting that Carpaccio Cut (353 Avenida Diagonal) be your destination if you want to slide your knife deep into a steak. Rather, it’s the place to go for all forms of carpaccio, the celebrated way to present meats in their purest raw forms, or as their slogan puts it, “Cooking by Cutting.” Sometimes those forms are cured, sometimes not, but Carpaccio Cut serves them well no matter the preparation.
I’ll admit, the halibut was a bit too much for me and Ben, though it paired nicely with a citrus glaze and bean sprouts. The duck breast with cherries and crushed hazelnut was delicious, and we also enjoyed the jamon selection. Even the side of rice showed off the thought put into the chef’s careful selection of ingredients.
Carpaccio Cut also serves fruit and vegetables in the carpaccio style!
That pear salad was delightful, though I can only remember vanilla oil from among its ingredients — this is not a restaurant apt to keep the same menu items as freshness is of upmost importance to carpaccio preparations. So is good bar design!
I hope I’ve given you a few plates to check out when you’re in Barcelona. In a city that thrives on tapas culture, small snacks spread throughout the day is the ideal way to enjoy the city and get a taste of its many different treats. Don’t be afraid to duck into any shop that catches your eye; that’s how I found most of these suggestions! The best finds come from an adventuring spirit.
That’s me with my largest unexpected find while exploring outside Barcelona’s downtown blocks — Fernando Botero’s aptly named Cat in the Raval. Not edible, but certainly as memorable as every Barcelona discovery we made. Adéu i bon profit!