¡Hola Y’all! Welcome back to Travel Tuesday and this fourth post in the Barcelona Travel Guide Series specially curated for you by yellowtrace. Hooray! Are you ready to hear about some fantastic places to eat and booze up in the fine city of Barcelona? Yes? Perfect – you’ve come to the right place. Let me just start this post by saying that the food in Barcelona (and Spain in general) is extremely awesome. And I mean extremely extreme awesomeness, freshness and deliciousness. You are pretty much guaranteed to have an excellent meal just about anywhere you eat.

Most restaurants offer Menu del Dia (Menu of the Day) which typically includes an entree (soup or salad), main course with a side dish and dessert – all for one price. Menu del Dia is the most economical way to eat in Spain, and a great way to try posh restaurants for lunch at a fraction of the cost you would pay for À la carte menu.

Forget plain bread or garlic bread, order traditional Catalan Pa amb tomàquet (bread with tomato and olive oil) – it’s friggin’ delicious! The locals eat lunch at 2pm, followed by a siesta, then marienda (light snack) at 7pm, supper from 9pm, then party after! Or you can go to bed like a tragic tourist that’s been pounding the pavement all day – your call.

Ok, let’s get into it, shall we? Also, please remember to leave any of your own tips and recommendations in the comments section of the post if you have any. Thank you!

Barcelona Travel Guide | Curated by Yellowtrace! // Places To Stay. // Places To Eat & Drink. // Places To Shop.

Big Fish.

This place seriously rocked my world. Located on a small cobblestone street behind the Mercat del Born, Big Fish is a great place if you’re looking for yummy food and loads of charm. With a spectacular interior designed by Lázaro Rosa-Violán (I blogged about their amazing studio back here), the space is inspired by loft style restaurants of New York’s Meatpacking District complete with leather Chesterfields, eclectic and mismatched dining tables and chairs, 70s chandeliers, mirrored ceilings and lots of other super cool stuff.

With an owner who’s a professional fishmonger, you can expect to find the best of fish, seafood and sushi style dishes. The restaurant tends to fill up by 2pm on weekdays, and apparently is almost impossible to score a table on Sundays. Reservations are strongly encouraged in order to snatch a great table, or go there around 3pm for a late lunch and sample their excellent Menu del Dia like we did. Winner!

Big Fish | C/ Comercial 9 | 08002 Barcelona, Spain | Ph: +34 932 681 728
Closest subway stop is Barceloneta.

Tapaç 24.

Tapaç 24 is a bustling tapas bar with a young, fun and casual vibe. This place is the brainchild of celebrated Catalan chef Carles Abellan, one of Ferran Adria’s disciples (of El Bulli fame) and it is usually packed for both lunch and dinner. But don’t worry – even if you have to wait for a table, it won’t take long as they turn them around quickly. Plus it will totally be worth the wait cause the food is friggin’ delicious!

We had a fantastic meal and the standout was these amazing little burgers with truffle oil (that’s about all I can remember now) and they were to die for! The kitchen is open daily from 9am until midnight, so you can also drop in for breakfast, mid-morning and evening snacks. Do it!

Tapaç 24 | C/ Diputació 269 | 08007 Barcelona, Spain | Ph: +34 934 880 977
Closest subway stop is Passeig de Gràcia.

Quimet & Quimet.

Ahhh… Quimet & Quimet. I start to salivate every time I think of this place, which is quite often actually. Located on a residential street in Poble Sec, this teeny tiny standing room only taberna has a faithful following of customers from all over the world, with many food critics placing it on their must-do list of places to visit in Barcelona. And I couldn’t agree more! Quimet & Quimet is nearly 100 years old, and it specialises in serving farmhouses cheeses, pickles, mussels and conservas – tinned seafood, which is often more highly regarded in Spain than the fresh variety.

The co-owner Joaquim Peréz is a super friendly guy (even if you don’t speak Catalan like me) and he has a knack for arranging the finest ingredients with an eye of an artist to achieve the most intriguing and delectable combinations. If you can’t make up your mind, or feel like trying a whole bunch of stuff then ask him to assemble you a plate. Bottom image shows one of the most delicious things I’ve eaten in my entire life – smoked salmon with crème fraîche and truffle infused honey. Oh. My God! I know, it’s not even pork, but it is seriously THE BEST THING! You absolutely must go there, ok?!

Quimet & Quimet | Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes 25 | 08004 Barcelona, Spain | Ph: +34 934 423 142
Closest subway stop is Paral·lel.

Bar Velódromo.

Bar Velódromo appears in just about every tourist guide book, food blog and newspaper supplement about Barcelona, hence this place is usually crushingly busy. Since it reopened in 2009 after a big renovation, it’s become a fashionable place to queue outside at peak periods. If you are like me, and this queuing business is not for you, I suggest you head there for breakfast or an early dinner (by local standards) from 8:30pm before the hoards arrive.

This place is an institution with a rich history and an interior to match – many of the original art deco design elements were maintained, such as the high ornate ceilings and windows, original chandeliers and stunning mahogany staircase. It’s truly stunning! By the way, mornings are a great way to blend in with the locals and pretend like you are not a tourist for a few moments. Perfect.

Bar Velódromo | C/ Muntaner 213, 08036 Barcelona, Spain | Ph: +34 934 306 022
Closest subway stop is Hospital Clínic.

Paco Meralgo.

After a day of shopping like champions (but more about that in the last post), one of the lovely and friendly locals we met during the day, highly recommended we try Paco Meralgo for dinner. Winner! This place was brilliant. Not only were there no other tourists in sight (yes!) as most of them hang around the Gothic Quarter in the evenings, instead you will be rubbing shoulders with the city’s bourgeoisie. Although there’s absolutely nothing snooty about this place.

Paco Meralgo serves up an excellent fare of classic Catalan tapas with lots of fresh seafood and all kinds of fried goodies covered in olive oil. Welcome to Spain, no. A reservation – even made the day before – is highly recommended. We of-course weren’t that organised, so we had to wait to be seated at one of the counters which was also super fun. By the way, food portions here are bigger than tapas. They are in fact “montaditos”, so you will need to order less food. Do you want to know how I know this? Anyway, if you don’t speak Catalan (or Spanish) ask for an English menu, but do your best to order in Catalan no matter how ridiculously crap you sound. The waiters will really appreciate it and you will get much better service. It’s totally worth it, I’m telling ya.

Paco Meralgo |  C/ Muntaner 171, 08036 Barcelona, Spain | Ph: +34 93 430 90 27
Closest subway stops are Diagonal [L3, L5] and Hospital Clinic [L5].

Can Ravell.

Can Ravell was also highly recommended by another super lovely and friendly local (btw, Barcelona is full of those kinds of people). We headed there for dinner on a Saturday night without a reservation, which of course is a massive FAIL. Please do not do that – this place is an institution and hence very popular amongst the locals. Be smart and book ahead, otherwise you will not get a table which will be sad for you.

The restaurant is located above perhaps one of the most glorious delicatessens I have ever seen. Founded in 1929 by Ignassi Ravell, this dairy and deli has one of the finest selections of Jabugo (the best cured jamon in the world) in a city that knows exactly how it likes its ham! I only wish we got to eat in the restaurant. Next time for sure…

Can Ravell | C/ Aragó 313, 08009 Barcelona, Spain | Ph: +34 934 57 51 14
Closest subway stop is Girona.

Dry Martini.

Oh my, oh my, OH MY… If for some (very sad) reason you only have the time to go to one place whilst in Barcelona, then Dry Martini would have to be it. This also happened to be the very last place we visited before departing for Madrid the next day, and I am just so very glad our stay in this amazing town crescendoed into a spectacular finale by visiting this place.

Considered as one of the best bars in the world, Dry Martini has been around for over 30 years and is somewhat of a shrine to the celebrated cocktail. But wait – there’s more. Here you will find an atmosphere which is positively vibrant, sophisticated and chic, but never stuffy or pretentious. Seriously, does it get any better than that? No sir! There is an abundance of dark wood lining the walls, including a spectacular old school mahogany bar, leather banquette seats filled with a grown up crowd and fine art collection which adorns the walls.

As it is was getting late and we were feeling seriously hungry (having been turned down at Can Ravell – see previous restaurant), we asked if they had a menu we could look at… Well, as it turned out, Dry Martini has a whole restaurant hiding behind a big wooden door next to the bar. We were escourted down a narrow corridor which lead through the most amazing looking kitchen, passed the private dining areas and main dining space, into a front room with another bar. And Oh My Goodness!!! This space was just so, so, so beautiful! I died again and again, pinching myself in disbelief that this unplanned dinner was the most brilliant thing I could have ever asked for.

We proceeded to order what was going to be one of the most memorable meals of our trip. There was caviar with chips and egg (I know, totally weird right, but just go with me on this one), giant freshly shucked oysters, crazy style tender and delicious beef steak, scollops which something I can no longer remember, and a decadent chocolate desert medley… Phew man. It was epic. Plus I’m sure there was more, but these are all the photos I have to show you right now. Everything was mega delicious! I kept saying to Husband – “Can you believe this place?” I felt as though someone reached into my head and pulled out a bar and a restaurant straight out of my dreams and built it around me. So I don’t care what you do, just go there at least once before you die, ok?

Dry Martini | Aribau 162-166, 08036 Barcelona, Spain | Ph: +34 932 175 080
Closest subway stop is Provença.

Here are a couple of other places we either – A) tried and liked but didn’t take photos (how this happened nobody will ever know) or B) wanted to try but ran out of time/ couldn’t get a reservation.

Cervecería Catalana is a beer bar and tapas restaurant, considered one of the best places to try more tasty tapas and “montaditos”. When you arrive, have a look at a huuuuge selection on display and good luck choosing, cause everything looks (and tastes) so friggin delicious!

Cervecería Catalana | C/ Mallorca 236, 08013 Barcelona Spain | Ph: +34 932 160 368

Tickets is the latest restaurant by the world famous Ferran Adrià, one of the pioneers of molecular gastronomy and previous owner of world’s best restaurant elBulli. With prices kept at a level accessible to most, the restaurant is booked out at least 3 months in advance. You can either get organised, be patient (if you have the time) or book a spot at cocktail bar 41º, also owned by Adrià, but with much better availability. The bar serves snacks featuring a lot of the same tapas as the main restaurant.

Tickets | Avinguda del Paral·lel 164, 08015 Barcelona Spain | [email protected]

Bar Lobo serves market-fresh produce and Japanese style food. Open from breakfast till late, particularly on the weekends where after midnight the DJs take over the space until 3am for some booty-shaking. Giddy up!

Bar Lobo | C/ Pintor Fortuny 3, 08001 Barcelona, Spain | Ph: +34 934 815 346

And that’s another wrap! I have one more post left for you next week, all about places to shop. Please leave your tips and suggestions in the comments section below.

[All images © yellowtrace.]

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With a disarming blend of authority and approachability, Dana is a former refugee-turned-global design visionary. Through her multi-faceted work as a creative director, keynote speaker, editor, curator, interior designer and digital publisher, Dana empowers others to appreciate and engage with design in transformative ways, making the sometimes intimidating world of design accessible to everyone, regardless of their familiarity with the subject. Dana's been catapulted to the status of a stalwart global influencer, with recognition from industry heavyweights such as AD Germany, Vogue Living, Elle Décor Italia and Danish RUM Interiør Design, who have named as one of the Top True Global Influencers of the Design World and counted her among the most visionary female creatives on the planet. Her TEDx talk—"Design Can Change the Way You See the World"— will challenge and transform your understanding of design's omnipresent and profound influence. Through her vast experience in interiors, architecture and design, Dana challenges the prevailing rapid image culture, highlighting the importance of originality, sustainability, connecting with your values and learning to "see" design beyond the aesthetic.

4 Responses

  1. Linda from OEKE

    Last week I had a client lunch at Movida in the city and oh my .. it was SO delish. The food pics from Dry Martini look just like we ordered and made me want to dash straight back for more. (although I’m guessing the food in Barcelona is a lot tastier and more authentic???).

  2. Lauren

    I remember when we arrived late at night in Barri Gothic and walked into the first place we saw. The interior hadn’t been touched for 20 years complete with terrazzo floor and jamon hanging everywhere from the ceiling. The paella was amazing and the 80 year old waiter wore a bow tie and was smoking – hilarious!

  3. yellowtrace

    Linda – I’ve never had the pleasure of eating at Movida, even though it’s been on my list of things to do for a while. We are pretty lucky in Australia with amazing fresh ingredients and super yummy food, although no doubt that meals always taste extra special when on holidays. Must be all those holiday endorphins or something…

    Lauren – the jamon hanging from the ceiling kills me every single time! I’m so tempted to recreate the look in my own house ;)


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