Tuesday Tips: Barce-loning
Barce-loning [pronounced: bɑːsəˈləʊning] The act of wandering off the beaten track in Barcelona.
Courtesy of Monarch Customer Service Centre Team Leader Arian Antinolo, we’d like to present some of the best places to wander in the Catalonian capital.
There is life beyond the picturesque La Rambla when you go to Barcelona. Veer off the main street to explore the winding roads of the old city, discover new neighbourhoods, mix with the locals, and uncover the hidden gems of Barcelona’s bustling food scene. Start Barce-loning in style – here are some great gastronomic tips for your next trip.
Tickets: La Vida Tapa
Tickets is a gastro-restaurant situated right in the heart of the Paral.lel Avenue, next to Plaza España and close to the Palacio Real and the Cerralbo Museum.
Created by celebrated chefs and brothers, Albert and Ferran Adrià, in collaboration with the Iglesias’ brothers, Juan Carlos, Borja and Pedro, the restaurant is based on a unique concept: La Vida Tapa.
The space is divided into several distinctive areas. La Estrella (the star) is the beer destination; La Presumida (the vain) offers a sea-inspired menu with Galician nibbles; Camarote de los Marx (Marx brothers’ cabin) is decorated like a box office from a vintage theatre; and Nostromo 180286 is a high bar serving bread-based tapas and delicate salads. El Garatge (the garage) goes back to the tapas basics while La Dolça (the sweet) is the perfectly sugar-sweet end to a grand tapas journey.
There is normally quite a long waiting list so make sure you book a table before you go.
Federal: A Seat with a View
If you fancy a chic brunch in Barcelona, Federal is the place to go.
They serve great coffee along with hearty, fresh fare including burgers with a fried egg on top, scrambled eggs with halloumi, croissants with jamón and cheese, and smoked salmon blinis. In short, this is no place for anyone on a diet! The restaurant spans three floors so you can usually get a table and, if the sun is out, have a seat on their upstairs deck, soak up the sun, and relax in style.
If you can face more food after a delicious brunch, wander through Sant Antoni market, which dates back to 1882. In addition to colourful rows of fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish, you’ll find an incredible selection of clothes, homewares, souvenirs, and even collectable stamps and second-hand books every Sunday.
Bar Calders: A Mediterranean Escape
Also convenient to Paral.lel Avenue and right next door to the Federal Cafe, Bar Calders is a completely different vibe. Low key and casual, the food here is what sets it apart. Think no-frills, hearty and homemade family-style tapas.
The restaurant is exactly what you expect a Spanish tapas place to be – red shutters, potted plants, cheerful floral tablecloths, and an umbrella-covered patio area with a lovely breeze.
OVAL: Yummy Burgers
Stroll down the architecturally-striking Passeig de Gràcia, which is lined with the undulating constructions of Gaudi, the neo-Gothic and modernista designs of Josep Puig i Cadafalch, and some of the best shopping in Barcelona.
After a morning of sightseeing and shopping, a burger at OVAL will top your day. This trendy restaurant is a must if you are around the area and fancy a more local experience, away from the restaurant chains of the popular Passeig de Gràcia. The sweet potato fries alone are worth the trip, and the burgers are made to order so you can choose your own bread, meet, cheese, and toppings!