The Best Catalan Restaurants in Barcelona

Which are the best Catalan restaurants in Barcelona? Catalan restaurants in Barcelona are certainly not difficult to come by – here you’ll find some of the best eateries serving local cuisine, but how can you possibly choose?

One of the best parts of visiting and experiencing a city is taking a seat to try the best food from the region. In this article, we encourage you to pull a chair up amongst the locals and learn about their history with each bite.

Catalan cuisine in itself can be quite varied, ranging from the wonderfully simple, yet moreish pà amb tomàquet (slices of home-baked country loaf toasted lightly under a grill then rubbed with garlic and tomato), to more hearty dishes including the spring-time calçots (grilled long sweet onion) and butifarra amb mongetes (Catalan sausage served with delicious white butter beans).

So, where can you try these wonderful Catalan dishes? Look no further than our selection of the best Catalan restaurants in Barcelona!

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we recommend always booking Catalan restaurants in Barcelona in advance and checking with the restaurant regarding their most up-to-date opening times and capacity.

Cal Boter

Carrer Tordera 64

If you find yourself in the beautiful neighbourhood of Gràcia, we recommend dropping into Cal Boter. The best way to try its scrumptious Catalan cuisine is the menu del día: this daily set menu of seasonal specials is excellent value (€12.50 during the week and €14.80 at the weekend) as it comes with three courses, bread and wine. What more could you ask for?

Best Catalan restaurants in Barcelona - Cal Boter
Cal Boter – Best Catalan restaurants in Barcelona

La Panxa del Bisbe

Carrer del Torrent de les Flors, 158, 08024 Barcelona

Also located in the quaint neighbourhood of Gràcia is La Panxa del Bisbe. On the menu you’ll find the most typical Catalan dishes with exciting modern twists and contemporary flavours. We’d advise washing it all down with a bottle of local organic wine which the waiters will be more than happy to recommend.

Best Catalan restaurants in Barcelona - La Panxa del Bisbe
La Panxa del Bisbe – Best Catalan restaurants in Barcelona

Can Punyetes

Marià Cubí, 189, Francesc Giner, 8-10 & Ciutat de Balaguer, 50

With the essence of a local tavern, these three restaurants are found in the north of the city. Run by three friends, Can Punyetes combines family tradition with the best quality local food. This Catalan restaurant in Barcelona specialises in grilled meats, and homemade desserts.

Best Catalan restaurants in Barcelona - Can Punyetes
Can Punyetes – Best Catalan restaurants in Barcelona

Taverna La Llesca

Travessera de Gràcia, 86, 08006 Barcelona

This tavern – that claims neither to be pretentious nor fancy – prides itself on serving local food with no additives. Visit this welcoming and homely Catalan restaurant in Barcelona where you’ll findhearty servings of traditional food, with, plenty of flavour and the best hospitality. Although they specialise in grilled meats, why not try something new and order the flame-grilled artichokes!

Best Catalan restaurants in Barcelona - Taverna la Llesca
Taverna La Llesca – Best Catalan restaurants in Barcelona

Can Culleretes

Carrer d’en Quintana, 5, 08002 Barcelona

A two-minute walk from el Liceu and the famous Les Rambles, you’ll find one of the oldest Catalan restaurants in Barcelona. This old-world, sleepy tavern where history and tradition come together dates back to 1786. This restaurant takes its name (culleretes means teaspoon) from the phrase the head waiter would shout to his staff to prompt them to polish the cutlery. Serving an array of the most traditional Catalan dishes from roasted suckling pig, wild boar stew and baked a la llauna cod, everything on the menu is simply delicious!

Best Catalan restaurants in Barcelona - Can Culleretes
Can Culleretes – Best Catalan restaurants in Barcelona

Can Vilaró

Carrer del Comte Borrell, 61, 08015 Barcelona

The owners of Can Vilaró pride themselves on cooking and serving the best-quality food from the neighbouring San Antoni market for the best price. Sisco and Dolers offer everything from liver, tripe and trotters, and on Saturdays the fricandó beef stew in a wild mushroom sauce is simply to die for. Why not drop into a more conventional Catalan restaurant in Barcelona and discover its authenticity for yourself!

Best Catalan restaurants in Barcelona - Can Vilaró
Can Vilaró – Best Catalan restaurants in Barcelona

Casa Delfín

Passeig del Born, 36, 08003 Barcelona

This Catalan restaurant in Barcelona has been serving food in El Born for over 100 years. It first opened as a 24-hour eatery for those who worked at the market, and is now well-know and loved among locals and tourists alike. It still conserves its traditional essence in both its food and ambience – the rustic rice dishes and crema catalana dessert simply cannot be missed.

Best Catalan restaurants in Barcelona - Casa Delfín
Casa Delfin – Best Catalan restaurants in Barcelona

On your next trip to Barcelona, why not try a selection of these restaurants and tell us what you think. Remember to make the most of your stay by booking a bizflats.com apartment for a privileged location close to all the best Catalan restaurants in Barcelona. Tuck in!

More recommended restaurants in Barcelona that you will love:

The Barcelona Calendar 2021 – Holidays and festivities to plan your year

The Barcelona Calendar 2021 is finally here with the dates of all next year’s public holidays, so you can start planning.

The year 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride for many. We’re sure it’s not just us looking forward to bidding this year farewell. So let’s look at the Barcelona Calendar 2021 and discover something to look forward to in 2021!

We’ve put together this Barcelona Calendar with all the city’s public holidays, including local festivities and special events, to ensure you don’t miss out on time with your loved ones, which is more special now than ever.

Bookmark this Barcelona Calendar with all of 2021’s holidays and refer back to it throughout the year.

Barcelona Calendar - Calendar of holidays and festivities in Barcelona 2021
Barcelona Calendar 2021

1 January – New Year’s Day

However you choose to spend the first day of 2021 – whether a meal with your loved ones, going to the cinema, or exploring the city’s festive events – we wish you all the best for the New Year!

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

6 January – Three Kings Day

The day the Three Kings arrived bearing gifts for the baby Jesus is the main gift-giving day in Spain. Celebrated across the country by young and old, be sure to catch this year’s Three Kings Parade broadcast live on TV as the Magi come to Barcelona, as welcomed by the city’s mayor, Ada Colau.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

12 February: Santa Eulàlia

The Day of Santa Eulàlia, co-patron Saint of Barcelona, is celebrated with many cultural events and activities for all ages. Please note this day on the Barcelona Calendar is a working day and all shops are open.

Working day? Yes

Will shops open? Yes

14 February: Carnival

The well-known festival of Carnival (known as Carnestoltes in Catalonia) is celebrated around the world seven weeks after the first full moon following the winter solstice.  Get your costumes ready!

Working day? Yes

Will shops open? Yes

Holy Week: Palm Sunday, 28 March – Easter Saturday, 3 April

A week-long religious celebration, if you happen to be in Barcelona this time of year, get ready to be awed by magical parades and to try the tastiest Easter treats.

2 April: Good Friday

Good Friday marks the start of the long Easter weekend on the Barcelona Calendar. Despite Barcelona not being known for its Easter celebrations, you’ll still be able to catch some spectacular Easter parades in the centre of the city.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

4 April: Easter Sunday & 5 April: Easter Monday

A big event in the religious year, Easter is celebrated in Barcelona with parades, masses and family meals. It’s typical for children receive a “Mona de Pasqua” from their godparents or grandparents. This round sweet brioche cake was traditionally topped with a hard-boiled egg, but now comes in all shapes and flavours.

Working days? No

Will shops open? No

23 April: Sant Jordi

One of the most-awaited days on the Barcelona Calendar is Sant Jordi: the Catalan’s very own Valentine’s Day. Be sure to visit the bookstalls lining the city’s main streets and buy a rose for that special someone.

Working day? Yes

Will shops open? Yes

1 May: Labour Day

Labour Day is celebrated around the world to honor workers and additionally marks the beginning of spring.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

24 May: Pentecost/Whitsun

The Pentecost, or Whitsun, is celebrated 50 days after Easter and is often called Second Easter.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

24 June: Sant Joan

Get ready for fireworks, fun and entertainment: the Summer Solstice, which occurs on the longest day of the year, is known as Sant Joan in Barcelona. This celebration that marks the beginning of the warmer months normally takes place on the beaches with bonfires and live music.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

11 September: The National Day of Catalonia

Known as La Diada in Catalan, this day on the Barcelona Calendar commemorates those who defended Barcelona during the Spanish War of Succession.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

24 September: La Mercè

In this week-long celebration of music and culture, the streets of Barcelona come alive with an array of free concerts and events. Check out last year’s programme to know what to expect.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

12 October: The National Day of Spain

The National Day of Spain commemorates when Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

1 November: All Saints’ Day

The 1 November celebrates all those who are no longer with us. It comes the day after La Castanyada – a day known throughout Catalonia for its roasted chestnuts and other sweet treats. Why not try your hand at making the typical panellets? Check out our recipe here.

Working day? No

Will shops open? Yes

6 December: Day of the Constitution & 8 December: The Immaculate Conception

These two holidays are often combined to form the December long bank holiday weekend. If you’re visiting Barcelona, check out our guide to Eixample for the best sightseeing and accommodation tips.

Working day? No

Will shops open? Yes

25 December: Christmas Day

Celebrated all around the world, if you’re spending Christmas in the city you can check out our handy guide here, with everything you need to know about the local Christmas markets, New Year’s fireworks and nativity scenes.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

We hope this Barcelona Calendar 2021 comes in useful when planning the upcoming here. And if you’re planning a trip to Barcelona in 2021, be sure to check out our blog with all the latest tips for enjoying the city like a local and also check our long term and short term apartment rentals in Barcelona.

Everything you need to know about Christmas in Barcelona

Christmas in Barcelona is almost here. With only ten days to go until Christmas Eve, we’ve put together this article bringing you the best that Christmas in Barcelona has to offer.

From traditional Christmas markets and fairs for those last-minute gifts, festive events for all the family and the best Catalan traditions, get ready for a Christmas in Barcelona that you’ll never forget.

This year Christmas in Barcelona is going to be different from past years. Please always check the most up-to-date COVID-19 regulations before visiting and always respect social distancing and capacity limitations.

Christmas in Barcelona: Nativity Scenes

Christmas in Barcelona wouldn’t be complete without visiting the traditional nativity scenes around the city. These scenes that represent the birth of Christ are also very typical in Catalan homes, and you’ll find many market stalls selling delicate, hand-made figures.

This year, as mentioned, Christmas in Barcelona will be a little different. The city mayor has decided not to have the city’s most typical Nativity Scene in Plaça de Sant Jaume to avoid large crowds of people. However, there will be a free photo exhibition of the city’s nativity scenes over the past decade at the City Hall.

Below are some smaller nativity scenes that are open to the public:

Reial Monestir de Santa Maria de Pedralbes

Open from Saturday 12 December to 2 February, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, visit this beautiful nativity scene sculpted by local artists in the heart of this royal monastery. It is closed on Christmas Day and 2 January.

Address: Baixada del Monestir, 9, 08034 Barcelona

Museu Frederic Marés

This classic nativity scene can be visited in the patio of this art and culture museum in the centre of Barcelona. It is open from 28 November to 2 February, and closed on bank holidays. Please check check the exact opening times at the link below, where you can also book advance.

Find more information in English about the city’s nativity scenes and book in advance here.

Address: Plaça Sant Iu, 5, 08002 Barcelona

Christmas in Barcelona - Museu Frederic Marés
Christmas in Barcelona – Nativity Scene in Museu Frederic Marés

Christmas in Barcelona: Christmas fairs and markets

Synonymous with Christmas in Barcelona are its fairs and markets selling everything from nativity scene figures, including the famous caganer, and Christmas decorations to homemade crafts and gifts, sweet treats and much more!

This year, there will be a range of local fairs and markets scattered around the city and in spacious squares, all in line with current COVID-19 restrictions, including one-way routes around the stalls and restricted capacity.

Not to be missed is the Sagrada Família Christmas Fair, open every day until 23 December. What’s more, the Santa Llúcia Fair in the Cathedral square is the city’s oldest fair, and dates back to 1786. Hand sanitiser will be available at the entrance and visitors contact details will also be taken.

For a list of all the city’s festive fairs and markets, including their exact locations and opening times, click here.

Christmas in Barcelona - Christmas fairs in Barcelona

Christmas in Barcelona: Cursa dels Nassos

This Christmas in Barcelona, why not get a kick start to the new year by taking part in one of the city’s most emblematic runs? The Cursa dels Nassos takes place on 31 December for participants to say goodbye to the old and welcome in the new with the last run of the year.

This 10 km circular route starts on the Llevant beach and finishes on Passeig Marítim del Bogatell. What are you waiting for? Find more information here.

Cursa dels Nassos - Christmas in Barcelona

Christmas in Barcelona’s Plaça Catalunya

This Christmas in Barcelona, find fun and festivities for all the family in the city’s central Plaça Catalunya. From the 19–30 December, enjoy free arts and crafts, workshops, live music and much more.

Don’t miss out on this exciting program activities! Advance booking is necessary to secure your place and comply with COVID-19 capacity restrictions. Find out more and book online here.

New Year in Barcelona

This year’s new year celebrations will be slightly more modest and in line with current restrictions. The city curfew will be extended to 1:30 am to allow for celebrations with no more than 10 people.

Despite there being no large-scale parties to dance away 2020, a spectacular 15-minute firework display will follow the 12 chimes of the bell at midnight. It visible from most parts of the city and will also be shown on TV for everyone to welcome in the new year from home. Find more information here.

New Year in Barcelona 2020 - Christmas in Barcelona

The Three Kings in Barcelona

On 5 January 2021, the Three Kings will arrive in Barcelona and receive the keys to the city to make sure they can deliver their gifts to all the children of Barcelona.

Unfortunately, this year the parade will not be open to the public, but the arrival of the Three Kings will be broadcast on TV for everyone to watch in the safety of their own homes. Find more information here.

We wish you all the best this Christmas in Barcelona. Be merry and stay safe!

25 facts about Barcelona that you didn’t know

It’s impossible to cover all the interesting facts about Barcelona in just one article. This wonderful city, replete with modernisme relics, culture, history and more offers an array of secrets just waiting to be discovered.

This article on facts about Barcelona takes you from Roman Barcelona, to its role during the Civil War and its-most loved sites and landmarks. We’re sure that in addition to surprising and astonishing you, you’ll be packing your bags to visit in no time.

So let’s dive in and see which of these facts about Barcelona you already knew!

  1. Did you know that over 1,400 bomb shelters were constructed during the Civil War, above all by the citizens of Barcelona themselves? Read more about them in our article here.
  2. There have been many books written about and set in Barcelona over the years including Ildefonso Falcones’  The Cathedral of the Sea, which was recently made into a Netflix series. Find out other facts about Barcelona books here.
  3. Barcelona’s metro has 12 abandoned stations that are closed or have never been used – some of which don’t even appear on the metro network map. The most well known is the Post Office station on Via Laietana.
  4. Did you know that the name Tibidabo comes from Latin and means “I will give you” taken from a verse in the bible where the devil offers Jesus everything he sees before him.
  5. Another interesting fact about Barcelona’s Tibidabo is that the theme park is built upon a volcano that has been dormant for 7,000 years.
  6. Perhaps you’ll want to keep fact about Barcelona to yourself – the city has several secret bars, one of which is Bobby’s Free. You’ll need a password to get in. But shhh, don’t tell anyone!
  7. One of the windows of the Basílica de Santa María del Mar is dedicated to Barcelona FC. Can you spot it?
  8. Here’s a fact about Barcelona you have definitely wondered about. The area of el Born takes its name from the Catalan for “jousting field” as the location for the medieval city’s tournaments.
  9. There is an eternal flame in Barcelona in el Born that burns for those who fell during the September 1714 battle defending the city.  Discover more facts about Barcelona’s Born in our article here.
  10. You don’t have to go to the Picasso museum to see this great artist’s work. Just head to Plaza Nova to see his “Mural of the Giants” painted as an ode to Catalan culture during the years of Franco.
  11. Did you know that the Roman name for Barcelona was “Barcino”. Now you know it’s more than just a beer!
  12.  If you look carefully at the passion of the Sagrada Familia you’ll find a magic square of numbers. No matter how you add them up, the total is always 33. Any guesses as to why?
  13. Talking about the Sagrada Família – until recently it was due to be finished in 2026 to coincide with 100 years since Gaudí’s death.
  14. Finally, our last interesting fact about Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia: its architect, Antonio Gaudí, was run over by a tram and initially wasn’t recognised due to his weathered appearance.
  15. Barcelona has its very own maze: Laberint d’Horta. Discover more green areas to explore in Barcelona here.
  16. The name “Barça” in fact refers to the city’s football club. Locals actually refer to the city as “Barna”.
  17. The walls of the Plaça Felip Neri tell a tragic story not known by many. If you look close enough you’ll see the bullet holes. Learn more here.
  18. Barcelona is home to a plague of Monk parakeets that are thought to have originated in the city after they became popular as pets.
  19. Barcelona has its very own zoo in Parc de la Ciutadella. It was famous for being home to Floquet de neu (Snowflake), an albino gorilla.
  20. Barcelona’s famous concrete “almond flower” that paves the streets of Eixample and is an icon of the city was designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch. Don’t forget to look down!
  21. Barcelona’s Eixample was designed in a grid pattern with large avenues and chamfered corners that would make it easy for trams – that were never installed – to turn them.
  22. The Eixample Esquerra in Barcelona was voted the best neighbourhood in the world this year by Time Out. Read all about this interesting fact about Barcelona here.
  23. The next time you walk down Las Ramblas, don’t forget to look up. The Japanese-inspired umbrellas, fans and dragons you see are thanks to the influence of this country on European architecture.
  24. Barcelona has its very own Valentine’s Day: Sant Jordi is celebrated every year on 23rd April. Read more about this romantic fact about Barcelona here.
  25. Last but not least, legend has it that if you drink the water of the Canaletes fountain – where Barça FC celebrates its victories – it’s said you will return to Barcelona. We hope to see you soon!
Facts about Barcelona - Santa Maria del Mar Barça
Facts about Barcelona – One of the windows of the Basílica de Santa María del Mar is dedicated to Barcelona FC

 Did we miss a fact about Barcelona off the list? Let us know!

Where to Run in Barcelona

If you’re wondering where to run in Barcelona this autumn, you’ve come to the right place. We’re living in strange times, with restrictions on our activities changing the way we live.

However, running is an outdoor activity that is safe and currently. What better way to get out of the house and enjoy the best this city has to over.

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a beginner, more and more people are hitting to the streets to run in Barcelona and enjoy the fresh air.

Whether you like to run at the beach, mountains, with scenic views or among the urban cityscape, Barcelona and its all-year-round mild climate is the perfect place to get your sweat on.

But where are the best places to run in Barcelona?

This city offers many possibilities to runners of all ages and abilities. With this article we’ve summed up our favourite places to run in Barcelona: from flat, short routes in parks that are perfect for beginners and after-work runs, to longer urban and rural routes perfect for training longer distances.

Read on to double check the current Covid-19 regulations when running in Barcelona.

Where to run in Barcelona: Covid-19 regulations November 2020

Before you discover the routes we’ve prepared for you, this a small reminder on the current Covid-19 restrictions on outdoor activities in Barcelona and Catalonia.

  • Individual sports activities may be practised outside and between adjoining municipalities (see below)
  • The 10 pm to 6 am curfew applies to all individual sports activities
  • Exceptions to the restrictions regarding mobility and entering and leaving Catalonia (and municipal areas on weekends) include doing individual outdoor activities

We recommend checking these regulations regularly as they may be subject to change in your area.

Read on to find out where to run in Barcelona!

Where to run in Barcelona: 5 of our favourite routes

Run in Barcelona at Parc de la Ciutadella

This famous park lies in the heart of Barcelona’s old quarter, the Ciutat Vella. If you’ve recently taken up running, or are looking for an easy run that is perfect for all members of the family, this is your ideal place.

Its dirt-sand tracks and flat surfaces make this an easy route for beginners. The route around the entire park is a total of 2 km. What’s more, there are many grassy areas where you can stop and take a break if needed. Let’s get running!

Where to run in Barcelona -Parc de la Ciutadella
Where to run in Barcelona -Parc de la Ciutadella

Run in Barcelona at Carretera de les Aigües and Collserola National Park

This is one of the most well-known running spots in Barcelona, and when you get there you’ll understand why. Get ready for breath-taking views over the city and pure nature, approximately 30 minutes from the centre of this cosmopolitan city.

This route can be adapted to all levels, with a total distance of almost 20 km there and back. The running route is almost all flat and is popular with runners, cyclists and dog walkers.

For those seeking a bit more of adventure, why not head to the Collserola National Park for some mountainous trail running routes in the heart of nature.

Where to run in Barcelona - Carretera de les Aigües
Where to run in Barcelona – Carretera de les Aigües (Collserola)

Run in Barcelona at Avinguda Diagonal

If you’re a runner who gets inspired by urban trails, Diagonal is sure to have the route for you. The entire distance of one of Barcelona’s most famous streets has wide walkways and room for cyclists, pedestrians and runners. No matter where you start from, it is well equipped to run in Barcelona.

For a 3 km running route, we recommend starting in Les Corts, from Francesc Macià and ending at Parc Cervantes, with its beautiful rose gardens and stunning views.

Another option for a run in Barcelona is to start at Francesc Macià and head down towards Glòries and the Torre Agbar with a total distance of 4 km to stretch your legs.

Where to run in Barcelona - Avinguda Diagonal
Where to run in Barcelona – Avinguda Diagonal

Run in Barcelona along the Passeig Marítim

Why not start or end the day with a run along Barcelona’s stunning coastline. This seaside promenade has ample space for runners, cyclists, skaters and dog walkers.

The best running trail starts from Barcelona and ends at el Fórum. You will pass the beaches of Puerto Olímpico, Bogatell and Mar Bella among others. This run in Barcelona is a total of 10 km approximately if you run there and back. So lace up your shoes and enjoy the sea breeze!

Where to run in Barcelona - Passeig Marítim
Where to run in Barcelona – Passeig Marítim

Run in Barcelona at Parc Güell

Another option to run in Barcelona is at the beautiful Parc Güell in Gràcia. What better way to get your dose of fresh air, than surrounded by nature and some of Gaudí’s masterpieces?

This park offers great routes and marvellous views over the city. Bear in mind that it is located in the upper part of the city and is perhaps more suitable for experienced runners. Be prepared to climb many a hill on this run in Barcelona!

Where to run in Barcelona -Parc Güell
Where to run in Barcelona -Parc Güell

Make the most of your run in Barcelona and plan ahead by choosing one of our running routes. We also recommend using Google Maps to check your route before starting. What’s more, remember to take a water bottle with you and apply sunscreen regardless of the time of year.

Where is your favourite place to run in Barcelona? Let us know!

Crema Catalana: Best recipe for Catalonia’s most typical dessert

Crema catalana is Catalonia’s most renowned dessert; made with an egg custard base and caramelised sugar topping, find it on the menu of almost any restaurant in the region and you won’t be disappointed.

Traditionally served in a clay dish, this dessert steeped in history and legend is will tickle both your curiosity and your taste buds. So what is the story behind crema catalana?

The chances are you’ve tried France’s crème brûlée or Portugal’s creme caramel – two desserts that are similar to crema catalana – however today we’re going to delve into the history of this sweet treat and explain to you step by step how to make it at home.

As far back as we can remember, crema catalana has been associated with Catalonia’s local holidays, being above all the typical dessert served on the day of Sant Josep in early spring (19 March). Yet, legend has it that the dessert became so popular in the region of Catalonia in the 18th century when the monks of a Catalan monastery served this dessert to a visiting bishop.

As the story goes, the flans the monks were going to serve to the bishop didn’t set, so instead the monks served crema catalana. When the bishop tried a spoonful of the dessert, which he expected to be cold, he cried: “Crema!” ­– which in Catalan means, “it’s burning hot!” And this is where this curious dessert gets its name “Crema Catalana”.

So now it’s your turn. Today we bring you a homemade recipe that uses basic ingredients you can find at any supermarket. What’s more it’s simple enough for everyone at home to join in and help.

So, roll up your sleeves and get stuck in: it’s time to make your very own Crema Catalana.

Crema Catalana - Crema catalana recipe

Crema Catalana recipe step by step

Ingredients

  • 1 litre of whole milk
  • 8 medium-sized egg yolks
  • 25 g of cornstarch
  • 250 g of white sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • zest of half a lemon

Instructions

  1. First of all, wash your hands and all surfaces you are going to use thoroughly before starting to prepare this delicious homemade dessert. Now let’s get to work!
  2. Wash the lemon well and peel it. Be sure to remove all the white part from the zest, as it can give your crema catalana a bitter taste.
  3. Pour a glass of milk and add the cornstarch. Stir well to ensure the cornstarch dissolves.
  4. Pour the remaining milk into a large saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick and the lemon zest.
  5. Slowly bring the milk to boil on a low heat.  Be sure to stir regularly and make sure the milk does not burn.
  6. When the milk reaches boiling point, take it off the heat and cover with a lid for the cinnamon and lemon to release their flavours. Leave to one side to infuse and cool.
  7. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with 200 g of white sugar until combined.
  8. When the milk has cooled, add the egg and sugar mixture to the saucepan and combine well. Then, add the glass of milk with cornstarch and mix.
  9. Next, leave the mixture to heat slowly on a low heat. Stir for approximately five minutes with a wooden spoon always in the same direction (for example always clockwise) until the milk slowly begins to thicken into cream. It’s important not to let the mixture boil and to remove all lumps.
  10. Take the cream off the heat and remove the cinnamon stick and lemon zest. Pour the cream into a large ovenproof dish or individual dishes, depending on how you are going to serve it.
  11. Leave the mixture to cool to room temperature. When it has cooled, you can store it in the fridge if you don’t plan on eating it immediately.
  12.  Before serving, sprinkle the crema catalana with the remaining sugar. Lightly burn the sugar topping with a cooking torch until it begins to turn golden brown and caramelise.

Now, grab a spoon and dig in to your very own homemade Crema Catalana!

Tips:

  • If you’re not a fan of cinnamon and lemon, remove them before leaving the milk to cool down in step 6. This will give the Crema Catalana a milder flavour.
  • Why not try infusing your crema catalana with something different? We suggest citrus fruits, lavender or even rosemary. Let’s get creative!
  • You can buy cooking torches from any hardware stores or specialist cooking stores.
  • It’s important you caramelize the sugar topping immediately after adding it, before the cream base absorbs it. This will ensure you get a solid caramel topping.

We hope you enjoy this traditional Catalan dessert! Bon profit!

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Eixample Esquerre: the coolest neighbourhood in the world 2020 according to Time Out

Eixample Esquerre has done it. Beating the likes of Soho, London, Downtown, Los Angeles, and even the most stylish and upcoming neighbourhoods in Berlin, Paris and Hong Kong, it has been voted the coolest neighbourhood in the world right now by Time Out.

With the help of its international team of editors and a global reader survey, every year the online magazine picks a favourite. This year Esquerra de l’Eixample in Barcelona has taken the top spot and we couldn’t be happier.

Why Esquerra de l’Eixample?

It was not only Esquerra de l’Eixample’s unique grid-like architecture, its endless list of restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries, and its LGBTQ+ clubs and bars, (hence its nickname “Gayxample”) that have taken it to the top spot this year.

Above all, it was Esquerra de l’Eixample’s community spirit that has proved it to be the most authentic, and coolest, neighbourhood on earth. Dealing with the most unexpected circumstances earlier this year, this community has come together to support its most vulnerable during this time of hardship.

In our complete guide to Eixample Barcelona you can learn about the history of the sprawling Eixample neighbourhood, which is actually split into two main districts: Esquerra (left) de l’Eixample and Dreta (right) de l’Eixample. As a rule of thumb, and as their names indicate, one is to the left of Passeig de Gràcia and the other to the right.

So, we’ve put together a short guide to Esquerra de l’Eixample, the lesser-known Eixample district, so you can get to know it like a local.

What to see and do in Esquerra de l’Eixample

Here’s a round up of our favourites things to see and do in the Esquerra de l’Eixample neighbourhood. We recommend you check online before visiting, as opening times may very due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parc de Joan Miró

C/ d’Aragó, 2, 08015 Barcelona

Visiting Esquerra de l’Eixample with kids? Not to worry! This park is ideal for kids of all ages with areas shaded by palm trees and pines, a playground and a striking sculpture by Joan Miró. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Eixample esquerre - Parc de Joan Miró

Mercat de Sant Antoni

Carrer del Comte d’Urgell, 1, 08011 Barcelona

Discover the best-quality local produce and history in this magnificent building by the local architect Rovira i Trias. After almost a decade of renovation, it has recently opened its doors once again. What’s more, don’t miss the second-hand book market right outside on Sundays.

Eixample Esquerre - Sant Antoni

Casa Sayrach

Avinguda Diagonal, 423, 425, 08037 Barcelona

Also known as the House of “Cream” due to its milky colour, this fantastic example of late-modernist architecture by the architect, Manel Sayrach, took inspiration from Gaudí.

Eixample Esquerre - Casa Sayrach

La Model


Carrer d’Entença, 155, 08029 Barcelona

Although visiting a former prison may not be the first thing you think about when planning your trip to Barcelona, La Model project remembers over 100 years of history. Discover more with guided visits and a range of cultural events, art exhibitions and concerts hosted regularly.

eixample esquerre - La Model

Where to eat & drink in Eixample Esquerre

Carrer d’Enric Granados

Stroll down this pedestrian- and bike-friendly street lined with trees at any time of day and you’re sure to find locals of all ages out and about. Stop at any of its restaurants, bars and coffee shops, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Fàbrica Moritz

Ronda de Sant Antoni, 41, 08011 Barcelona

A microbrewery belonging to Barcelona’s famous Moritz beer, drop by to try any of its variants with a selection of tasty Catalan-inspired tapas, take a tour of the brewery and learn the history of the city’s local tipple.

Malasang

Carrer del Comte Borrell, 148, 08015 Barcelona

With its sleek, modern interior decked out in wooden fittings, Malasang boasts character and captures the modern-vibe of Esquerra de l’Eixample. Drop by for tapas, vermouth or beer. You won’t be disappointed!

Pastisseria Takashi Ochiai

Carrer del Comte d’Urgell, 110, 08011 Barcelona

This Japanese bakery serves the best Nippon treats. From matcha cappuccinos, homemade mochis and doriyakis to local and equally delicious sweet treats. Not to be missed!

Bar La Principal

Carrer de Sepúlveda, 186, 08006 Barcelona

An emblem of the neighbourhood, this bar on the border of Sant Antoni offers a unique experience with its tiled interior and street-side terrace. Offering simple bites to eat and a selection of local drinks, grab a seat and tuck in.

Where to stay in Eixample Esquerre

Now you know where to eat and what to see and do, there’s only one thing left to make sure your trip is as comfortable as possible. Our flats located in the heart of Eixample Esquerre are perfect for discovering this area and ensuring you don’t miss out on a thing.

Our ethnic-style Livingstone apartment is located close to the Sant Antoni marketplace. This light-filled pad it is perfect for corporate visits. Also in Eixample Esquerre is KissMe. This romantic 2-bedroom apartment has a balcony overlooking Carrer Rocafort, and is ideal for an early-morning coffee or late-afternoon drinks.

Our apartment Noname also in Eixample Esquerre is just a stone’s throw away from Plaça Espanya and boasts three spacious bedrooms. And, finally, the ArtBlue penthouse is a haven for art lovers that is located on the fashionable Carrer d’Aribau, boasting a plethora of local-run shops, bars and restaurants.

We hope you enjoy your visit to Eixample Esquerre!

La Castanyada in Barcelona, The Chestnut Festival

La Castanyada  is almost here here! La Castanyada is a custom of eating roasted chestnuts and panellets (traditional Catalan sweets) during the 1st and 2nd of November.

This is a custom held deep in the hearts of Catalans since we are children. We observe this day in school years, not falling foul to the Halloween pageant and its pumpkin lanterns.  This tradition has been going for much longer and is hosted by the Castanyera – a kind of mythical good lady witch – who would sit behind her charcoal fire roasting chestnuts for everybody in her peasant rags.  Some of the traditions have also been borrowed from traditional funeral offerings that have long been forgotten in the passage of time.

Eat Roasted Chestnuts in La Castanyada

La Castanyada is the survival of those traditions in a more modern form that pays homage to all of the Catalan Saints (1st November) and the Day of the Dead (2nd November).

Castanyada - Castanyada Catalonia

The first day of La Castanyada would begin with the churches beginning a non-stop ringing of bells to warn the citizens on the arrival of the time to pray for their deceased.  The chestnuts are said to have been roasted for the bell-ringers who would be working all day, and that the chestnuts and sweet pieces were to replenish their strength and stave off the cold while they took turns to rest.

According to some sources, the tradition became more widespread across Catalunya and other regions of Spain and Portugal during the Eighteenth Century.  So if you are visiting Barcelona during this time, La Castanyada 2017 will be right on your doorstep, as virtually every street corner in the city will host a stall roasting chestnuts and sweet potatoes (moniato) for you to buy and eat right away in hot portions.

Try the Delicious Panellets in La Castanyada

The best ones are almond-flavoured, candied fruit that are coated in pine nuts and are a typical meal for the La Castanyada celebration.  The origins of this part of the tradition are somewhat lost in history, but some ideas hint that this custom is linked to the blessing of loaves, which were deposited as an offering to family tombs in honour of the memory of the ancestors and also as food in their journey to the beyond.

Panellets - Castanyada

La Castanyada  with all its beautiful tasting chestnuts and sweets is actually a communion celebration to worship deceased relatives.  Traditionally, while there will be many roasted chestnut vendors on the streets, it is not really a street-style festival.  It’s actually a very private moment for the Catalan family as they spend time together and pay respect to their lost ones.  In fact during La Castanyada, families would normally go to the cemetery and put flowers on the graves of their deceased family members and then spend the rest of the day at home, together.

However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be things going on the city.  Barcelona is one of the most vibrant places in Europe.  If you are looking to stay here during this time, or anytime even, we have a fantastic choice of holiday rental apartments to ensure that your trip is pleasant and comfortable.  Check our selection here.

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