I land around 11am to Barcelona. It’s december. And 21 degrees ? Like any person seeing sun for the first time after many cloudy days of fall, confused, I take my sweatshirt off without hesitation. Barcelona is winning me already.
First thing on my mind after an 6 am flight, lunch. All the research for the best Tapas Bar lead by Quimet y Quimet.
Quimet y Quimet - most hyped Tapas bar
It is quite empty when we got there at 12.30pm, and it started to get crowded around hour later at 1pm. Looks like it is popular among locals, most of them are having Cava - so I order one too.
What is Cava exactly ? It is a Spanish sparkling wine.
Approaching to the bar, I order mostly small sandwiches, which Quimet y Quimet is famous for. You can order Pimientos del Padron as well - which is fried green pepper quite popular among the city.
My favourites are below.
1. prawns and baked red pepper
2. salmon, yoghurt and honey. Balsamic honey sauce was a winner.
3. goat cheese and dried tomato.
Service was pretty good and staff was warm. I didn't have 0.80 cent change, they smiled and said that's okay.
Chök - dessert heaven
Chocolate and dessert heaven. They make their chocolate themselves and you can taste the difference. And yes, it tastes as good as it looks, even better. Might be too sweet for some but accompanied by coffee, it is just the right for me. Strongly suggest truffles.
.Price: Almost everything is in 1.95-3.95€ range.
Those lollipop looking one are called "Piruchok". They are two biscuits hugging a thick chocolate cream in the middle, coated by chocolate.
I've been dreaming of it for 7 months. No jokes.
Couldn't try the brownies, because I decided not to run around Barcelona fuelled by sugar rush.
Escriba - overhyped desserts
There are many bakeries and patiseries in Barcelona, it seems like Catalans love their carbs and sugar. Searching for best pastry in Barcelona, Escriba came up several times and it was so central - right in the middle of La Ramblas, we decided to pop up. At the end me and my friend felt like Hansel and Gretel, allured by outlooks and got trapped by a witch or an unpleasant experience in my case.
I grabbed one spoon of Crèma Catalan left the rest. Crèma Catalan is a Catalan dessert similar to crème brulee but differenciating itself with a layer of burned and caramelised sugar on top. The other dessert wasn't good either. Desserts and chocolates are shaped interestingly like purse, lipstick - looks nice, no doubt. But what about that but taste? Nah. Service ? Too slow.
El Nacionel - all day open restaurant
So you are hungry, wishing to eat at 4pm? Chances are you will stay hungry until 9pm until all the restaurants open for dinner service. Unless you head to El Nacionel. It is open 12pm to 3am.
The atmosphere is amazing. It was during christmas time and the lights, decoration of interiors were breathtaking.
El Nacional is composed of many small restaurants from tapas, seafood to a dessert bar.
Patatas Bravas - Spanish fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce.
Hamburger. It is served without the buns. so actually a patty.
Creme Brûlée was so creamy, melted in my mouth.
Cerveceria Catalana - great casual Tapas Bar
It is a big tapas restaurant, very popular among locals and bunch of tourists. It has great tapas and good service. Right next to Las Ramblas.
We start off with a decent priced bottle of Cava. Followed by Patatas Bravas and Calamari.
When we look at the other tables, locals seem to order another potato dish. It is like a salad of fried very thin and long potato slices. Couldn't figure out what that is, let me know if you know what it is.
We wanted to mix things up with:
Four cheese open sandwich.
Aubergine and avocado tower topped with goat cheese.
Mini cheese burgers with caramelised onions.
Other things you can order at the tapas bars:
Pimientos del Padron: Fried green pepper
Pan con Tomate: Fried bread with tomato and olive oil