After a couple of weeks gap this is the third, final and FAVE part of my #barcelona travel diaries (catch up with Part 1 and Part 2 here) – where to eat. Food is such a big part of sociability (is that a word?) in Spanish culture, which is something Mr Alice and I wholeheartedly embrace!
The print above is from Bacoa, a burger bar that does things a little differently. To order you complete a little questionnaire about your preferences so you get exactly what you want and there can be no confusion about what you asked for. There are I picture of the food because we are so hungry we just didn’t want to wait but I assure you it was delicious. A definitely recommendation for any burger fans. Also, there are baskets built into the seats to store your bags in, which is a really handy touch.
Placa ReialWe kind of stumbled on this gem whilst we exploring the side streets of La Rambla, as it was only a couple of minutes from our hotel. As well as being gorgeous to look at (the street lamps are Gaudi architecture) there’s a pretty decent amount of entertainment to fill a whole night. As well as street performers there are 2 clubs offering live music and flamenco Jamboree & Tarantos) open until the early hours.
We chose to eat at Les Quinze Nits as we’d heard great things; it seemed everybody else had too as there was a fairly sizeable line of people waiting for a table! Though their tapas is their most recommended food, we both ended up ordering roast duck with cinnamon potatoes. Personally I’m a fan of mixing sweet and savoury together so knew I’d love it, Mr Alice less so but he was pretty enamoured with it too. The food is definitely on the higher (but not grossly expensive) side if evening meals we had, but well worth the spend. However the house cava was pretty reasonable – we paid about €10 which was cheaper than in the supermarkets.
For a truly authentic tapas experience, you NEED to visit Bodega Biarritz, which is on a tiny little side street to the top right of the placa. It’s teeny, so I don’t know how they do it, but they make some of the most delicious tapas and cocktails EVER. Speaking as a very passionate foodie, that’s a pretty big claim for a gal to make!
Everything is displayed on the bar; you simply tell the staff what you what and they’ll cook it to order. Alternatively the staff are happy to pick the dishes for you if you tell them what sort of thing you like, allergies etc. This is super helpful for anybody who is overwhelmed by the choice and simply can’t choose, or wants to be surprised. We visited twice and did it both ways.
All of our dishes were presented really nicely as if we were in a restaurent, which was a really nice touch.you can order as many dishes as you want (8 is recommended for 2 people) and take your time, but once you’ve decided you’re done eating it’s time to pay up and go as its not a place to sit and drink.
Price wise, this was really good value – most dishes were €3-4 each, mojitoes €5. Because it’s cheaper than most other places in Barcelona we did use this an opportunity to eat a little bit more…oops! The only downside is that they don’t serve churros, which would have been an amazing way to round off such a lovely feast.
The Mercat La Boqueria is another must visit place. Even if you’re not a die-hard foodie it’s a great place to grab a snack or even just wander round and look at the variety of cuisines and colours on offer.
As it was right across the street from our hotel we bought breakfast these each morning, fresh juice and a fruit cupEvent the ice lollies were made of healthier fresh fruitThese sweets, however, were not! Neither were the chocolate…but we were very good and just looked
You may remember from my Marbella post that my Spanish dessert of choice is churros, which are widely available in Barcelona too. However waffles and gelato are also very popular (and a favourite of Mr Alice) so we had these instead. With waffles in particular, having them with fresh fruit means it totally counts as one of your 5 a day. No, really…
We didn’t get too adventurous with places to drink and ended up staying pretty close to home. Sangria and cava are two of my favourite tipples, so a couple of nights we sat and enjoyed a glass whilst shooting the breeze and doing a bit of people watching. The bars we frequented were Temple Bar (which had really cool pub meets Gatsby decor) My Bar (next door and owned by the same people) and Cheers (directly opposite our hotel and did special offers on cocktails every day). All of these were Irish; they’ve really made their mark in Barcelona!
A few tips for fellow foodies:
– the places we ate in are pretty popular; so arriving earlier to guarantee a table is adviseable. If not, prepare to wait (though it’s worth it)
– taking a seat without a prime view will often mean you can jump a queue and be seated more quickly
– avoid eating on the main La Rambla thoroughfare if possible; the food is fine, but for the prices charged you want more than fine! The side streets offer much better quality and value
– if you’re not into eating local cuisin, don’t worry, there’s plenty of other options available. There’s even a few chain restaurants if you really wanted to play it safe.
– restaurants on La Rambla normally have a ‘drink per person’ minimum if you’re not eating, and won’t seat you in a prime spot at the front.
– stall holders in the mercat are fine with taking pictures (I think they kind of expect it) but don’t lean in too close to the products.
That’s it for the travel posts for now; I’m currently starting to plan my next adventures so I’ll have lots more to experience and share! Stay tune for more food, beauty and fashion in the meantime.