Although we love a good boutique hotel – Barcelona is home to hundreds of incredible Airbnb’s – we recommend staying in the El Born region for a truly atmospheric experience.
You’re bound to find one you love in your budget.
We did nothing BUT eat whilst in Barcelona, and you’ll pass hundreds of restaurants whilst strolling around. In no particular order, here are some of our absolute faves!
You can’t come to Barcelona without visiting Mercado de la Boqueria, the legendary market and home to all things foodie. Similar to London’s Borough Market, you’ll find weird and wonderful produce for sale as well as plenty of stalls selling hot food available to eat there and then. Just inside the entrance, on the right hand side you’ll find Pinotxo Bar. Pull up a stool and soak up the hectic environment while they rustle up classic Spanish tapas. With food this fresh and the market so busy, we nabbed the last portion of Padron Peppers of the day. Feeling bad we shared with our neighbours, who just so happened to be the Drummer from The Black Keys & his wife – it pays to be friendly kids.
Bastaix – Grab a seat by the window and people watch to your hearts content. A glass of cava with Goats cheese, honey & olive oil on piquillo peppers for when you’re not even hungry but you just can’t resist.
We preferred the smaller, more intimate restaurants around Barcelona, but for something a little grander try 7 Portes. Check out the “Rich man’s paella” which is topped with fresh lobster and request to sit at Che Guevara’s table.
Head through a heavy door to a converted wine cellar where you’ll find La Tinaja. It’s dimly lit and mega romantic. We recommend grazing over this selection of charcuterie with a bottle of wine.
One of the few places we couldn’t resist revisiting on our short trip was La Vinya del Senyor. The ultimate in laid back all day drinking and grazing, one glass of wine will always turn into a bottle, will turn into two. With only a handful of stools inside, the best spot is out on the terrace with an uninterrupted view of the Santa Maria cathedral. Raw chorizo with honey blossom & a selection of queso are must orders.
Mercat Princesa – Another market but this time indoors. More like Street Feast, this former palace now features 17 vendors selling modern tapas of every description. I literally cannot resist a croquette so worked my way through Croquetta & Co’s interesting selection, including Black squid ink. Wash it all down with a cocktail or more cava. Sick of sight of tapas (never!!) they also do pizza, tacos and sushi.
A beautiful lunch spot, El Jardi is tucked away in the gardens of the Old Hospital Santa Creu. Ideal during the spring and summer, the restaurant serves fresh salads and tapas and also features an extensive wine list.
An absolute must visit is Xampañería Can Paixano. A crazy place to the uninitiated, from outside you might not get why you’d want to barge your way into this cramped basic bar, but trust us, you do.
Once you eventually make it the heaving bar, it will take a lot of exaggerated hand gesturing to secure a drink but the cava here is excellent and its unbelievably cheap at around 1 euro a glass! If you want to order a bottle you’ll need to order food too – go for a generous portion of the oily chorizo. A perfect way to set up your night!
After all that cava you can count on Satan’s Coffee Corner to wake you up. Beautifully designed, it wouldn’t look out of place in Hackney.
We hope you find this guide to Barcelona helpful – happy feasting!