tips in Barcelona for Foodies about the best places to eat healthy, how to make local recipes in the kitchens of our apartments and where to buy the best fresh produce in Barcelona. Mindfull eating, cooking and health
Sant Jordi is one of the most eagerly awaited days on the Catalan calendar. This year the great literary event has officially been postponed to 23rdJuly, yet as we explain in our article here, you can still celebrate this much-loved event from home on 23rdApril.
So whilst at home this Thursday why not try your hand at baking one of our favourite Sant Jordi recipes? What better way to enjoy your favourite books than with the smell of freshly baked bread floating through your home?
We’d like to share with you the recipe for Pa de Sant Jordi (Sant Jordi bread), which was first made 25 years ago by a baker in Barcelona. Normally sold in bakeries across the region, with this traditional yet simple recipe that even the youngest members of the family can help with, you can recreate the colours of the senyera (the Catalan flag) at home. Enjoy!
– 500 g of strong flour – 80 g of grated emmental or Parmesan cheese – 80 g of Mallorcan sobrasada sausage – 40 g of walnuts or mixed nuts – 8 g of yeast – 350 ml of lukewarm water – – 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter – 1 teaspoon of salt – 1 teaspoon of sugar
Please note: Remember to wash your hands thoroughly and any work surfaces before starting to bake.
Finely chop the nuts and put them to one side. Take the Mallorcan sobrasada out of the fridge.
Next measure out 350 ml of lukewarm water. Add the yeast and stir making sure there are no lumps.
Measure out the flour and add it to a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the water and yeast, the salt and the olive oil.
Mix together and knead slowly until the dough no longer sticks to your hands or to the side of the bowl. If necessary add more flour. Cover the dough with a cloth and put it aside for 30 minutes.
Next, divide the dough into three equal parts – one for each of the flavours.
Add the room temperature Mallorcan sobrasada sausage to one, the cheese to another and the chopped nuts to the final part. Mix each section of the dough together with its ingredient and knead well for ten minutes. Cover with a cloth and leave them to rest for one hour.
Now it’s time to shape the bread. Shape four strips of sobrasada mix and five of strips of cheese mix. With the nuts mix make one longer and thicker strip, which will act as the frame of the flag. Stick the strips together in the form of the Catalan flag using wet fingers if necessary.
In a pre-heated oven at 190 degrees, cook the bread for around 45 minutes. It’s really important not to open the oven during this time to ensure the bread rises properly
Once the bread is golden brown, take it out of the oven and let cool on a rack.
Serve with your favourite book!
We hope you enjoy your Pa de Sant Jordi from home this year!
Whether you’re a supporter of veganuary or a long-time vegan or vegetarian, or simply a lover of everything nutritious and green, Barcelona has a plethora of options for you.
We’ve compiled a list of Barcelona’s best veggie spots where you can care for your body inside and out.
The Green Spot – Carrer de la Reina Cristina, 12
Located in the neighbourhood of La Barceloneta, the interior design of this vegetarian restaurant is almost as beautiful as its imaginative dishes. Boasting creative and fusion cuisine that will make even a non-vegetarian’s mouth water, everything is made with fresh and natural ingredients.
Teresa Carles – Carrer de Jovellanos, 2
It is no wonder that the Teresa Carles restaurant is one of the most popular veggie spots in the cultural hub that is Barcelona. Be prepared to be blown away by contemporary, innovative dishes that take inspiration from Catalan cuisine. We think it will completely change the way you think about the plant-based approach.
Flax & Kale – Carrer dels Tallers, 74b
Just around the corner from Teresa Carles is its sister restaurant, Flax & Kale. Created with the same innovative spirit, this flexitarian restaurant offers something for everyone. Think raw food, super food, gluten-free and vegan. Drop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner or grab a freshly squeezed juice to take away – you won’t regret it.
Sésamo – Carrer de Sant Antoni Abat, 52
This quaint and cosy vegetarian restaurant is located in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Sant Antoni. Although the menu is not that extensive, you’ll find roasted vegetables, stuffed pasta and homemade desserts. We’d recommend booking a table to avoid disappointment.
Veggie Garden – Carrer dels Àngels, 3 and Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 60
This vibrant and colourful space is perfect for those on a budget and with a hearty appetite. The daily set menu is extremely affordable and boasts delicious Indian- and Nepalese-inspired options, including dahl, thalis, curries and spiced vegetable dishes. Tuck in!
L’Hortet – Carrer del Pintor Fortuny, 32
A family-run restaurant located in the area of Raval, l’Hortet offers a feast for body and soul. The restaurant opens only at lunchtime during the week and for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. Get there early to enjoy their delicious daily three-course set menu, with hearty vegetarian creations–from veggie meatballs, soups and stews–and a colourful salad bar. What’s not to love?
Café Camelia – Carrer de Verdi, 79
This light-filled café-come-restaurant serves vegetarian and vegan delights all day long. Choose from curries, burgers, a range of tasty snacks and sweet treats. Located in the quaint neighbourhood of Gracia, Café Camelia is a cosy spot to enjoy a peaceful coffee or tasty meal after a long day sightseeing.
We hope you enjoy this selection of colourful, innovative plant-based alternatives.
In the last few years, the scene of Japanese restaurants in Barcelona has been rejuvenated by the izakayas (small Japanese taverns serving food and alcohol) which have been popping up left, right and centre in Barcelona. These charming and welcoming eateries serve a lot more than just sushi and often specialise in one particular dish.
It might not be the first thing you think of when planning a trip to Barcelona, but we’re sure by the time you finish this article you’ll be craving Japanese food.
What’s more, in cosmopolitan Barcelona you’ll find not only the best of Japan, but also a range of exotic and exciting fusions. Read on to discover Japanese tapas, steaming-hot ramen, fresh sushi, okonomiyaki and much more!
Located close to Carrer Princesa and the Picasso museum, in the lovely El Born area you’ll find Mosquito tucked away on a side street. Choose from a range of freshly baked dumplings and small Japanese tapas washed down with a pint of local craft ale. We recommend getting there early to put your name down for a table, as this quaint tavern can get particularly crowded. Carrer dels Carders, 46
If you’re looking to try the best ramen in Barcelona, you’ve come to the right place. Rumour has it that their speciality stock is slow-cooked over 48 hours. With seating for less than 20 customers, get there early and join the queue before opening time. Trust us, it’s worth the wait! Carrer de Girona, 164
Sato I Tanaka
For the true sushi experience that you’re not afraid of paying for, we’d recommend this discreet and modest restaurant. The mere 15 seats are arranged around the bar and kitchen so you can watch in awe as chef Sato delicately prepares each piece of sushi. Discover the art of sushi preparation in this tranquil atmosphere and impeccable service. Carrer del Bruc, 79
Step into Tokyo with this beautifully decorated restaurant located in the Eixample area of Barcelona. Capturing the essence of day-to-day life in Japan with a varied range of typical dishes, we’d recommend trying the curry, takoyaki (bite-size fried octopus) and donburi dishes (grilled meat in breadcrumbs or fish served on a bed of steaming rice). Carrer del Comte d’Urgell, 112
If you’re feeling adventurous, try something at one of the most unique Japanese restaurants in Barcelona, Can Kenji. Serving simple yet exquisite dishes that combine the best of fresh, local Catalan ingredients with traditional Japanese cuisine, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed. Carrer del Rosselló, 325
Fan Shoronpo Ramen
Specialising in steaming-hot bowls of every type of ramen, including ramen for vegetarians, Fan Shoronpo is a perfect choice for these chilly autumn nights. Be sure to try their speciality dumplings filled with hot stock. Carrer de Sèneca, 28
A cosy Mediterranean-style izakaya close to the San Antoni market, Bouzu specialises in Japanese-inspired tapas. Offering a lot more than just sushi, we’d recommend the okonomiyaki – an omelette-style dish from the region of Hiroshima made with grilled egg, noodles and vegetables topped with sweet Japanese barbeque sauce. Dig in! Ronda de Sant Antoni, 26
Yoi Yoi Gion
A great central location, this restaurant that specialises in udon dishes can be found on the corner of Passeig de Gràcia/Diagonal. These thick wheat noodles are served in hot stock and can be combined with a range of delicious toppings. Don’t miss the selection of second hand Japanese books and vinyls and Japanese Asahi beer served on tap! Avinguda Diagonal, 383
Recharge your batteries after a long day of sightseeing with these tasty options! Let us know, what are your favourite Japanese restaurants in Barcelona?
All over the world, the 31st of October and the 1st and 2nd of November hold special significance for many different people and cultures. From Halloween to All Saints Day, it’s a holiday celebrating by many. And although Halloween is getting more and more popular in Catalonia, the region’s local traditions still hold strong.
A guide to chestnut-roasters in Barcelona
This holiday represents a time for intimate family gatherings, for paying respect to those who are no longer with us and for enjoying age-old traditions and recipes. Known as the holiday of la Castanyada (literally ‘The Festival of Chestnuts”), the first days of November are a special time for all Catalans. If you’d like to read more about the origins of this custom, read our article to discover how this festival came to be what it is today.
At this time of year, the flavours of autumn take on a new meaning in Catalonia and become the protagonist of this holiday. You’ll see how the old and young alike come together to enjoy a range of autumnal treats that we’ll share with you today. Discover them here!
Don’t forget the moniatos
As the cold sets in and the nights become longer, the smell of roasted castanyes (chestnuts) and moniatos (sweet potatoes) fills the streets of Barcelona.
There are around 30 stalls located around the city that sell these roasted delights. Many belong to local chestnut roasters whose task and dedication has been passed down to them over generations.
What’s more, during this season you will also find typical panellets. These sweet, sugary delicacies boast flavours of almond, marzipan and pine nuts, and are one of the most popular treats to be savoured during this holiday season. Discover our recipe with step-by-step instructions for how to make them here.
Where to buy castanyes in Barcelona – the list
We’ve put together this small guide to the chestnut-roasters of Barcelona. Visit these renowned street stalls where you can try roasted moniatos and castanyes until your heart’s content.
Wherever you choose to spend your time in Barcelona, make sure to indulge in the flavours of this holiday and join the locals in celebrating this special festival.
Where to buy castanyes in Eixample
Passeig de Sant Joan, 2
Rambla de Catalunya, 2
Carrer d’Aribau, 2
Where to buy castanyes in Les Corts
Carrer de Déu i Mata, 49
Avinguda Diagonal, 589
Avinguda Diagonal, 668
Where to buy castanyes in Ciutat Vella
Ronda de Sant Pau, 76
Passeig Joan de Borbó, 1
Avinguda de Francesc Cambó, 16
Where to buy castanyes in Sants – Montjuïc
Carrer de Vilà i Vilà, 101
Carrer de Creu Coberta, 24
Plaça de Sants, 1
Where to buy castanyes in Sant Martí
Carrer de Pallars, 63
Rambla del Poblenou, 57
Rambla del Poblenou, 124
Avinguda Diagonal, 26
Where to buy castanyes in Sarrià – Sant Gervasi
Carrer Major de Sarrià, 1
Plaça d’Adrià, 1
Plaça de Joaquim Folguera, 3
Where to buy castanyes in Horta – Guinardó
Carrer del Tajo, 39
Discover the taste of autumn in Barcelona! However you decide to celebrate this upcoming holiday, don’t forget to delight your taste buds while exploring the city.
And if you’re looking a place to stay during your trip, we have a range of exclusive holiday apartments to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
The culinary tradition of tapas is well-known worldwide, and nowhere will you find a more exciting and varied selection of it than in Barcelona. From the traditional Catalan tapas plates like “pa amb tomàquet” and “escalivada”, to classic staples like “patatas bravas”, and exciting modernized fusion plates, going out for tapas in Barcelona has something for every occasion. When wandering through Barcelona, it’s easy to be tempted by the mouth-watering smells that float from every street corner, but to be sure you’re going to the best tapas restaurants in Barcelona, follow our guide below.
As the sister restaurant to the well-known Pla restaurant, Bar del Pla gives you all the taste but in a more casual and laid-back setting. With a menu that changes continuously to reflect the season, Bar del Pla use fresh components to make tapas plates that vary from both traditional to experimental. This is also a great place for wine lovers, as they house a huge selection of natural and organic wines, as well as local beers. Tables here can be hard to come by, so if you want a guaranteed seating at one of the best tapas bars in Barcelona, it’s best to book.
Many tourists make the trip out to Poble Sec to explore the mountain of Montjuic but fail to discover what lies in the streets below. Wander over to Carrer Blai and you will find a street full of some of the best tapas bars in Barcelona that serve mouth-watering bites called “pintxos”. Originating from northern Spain, “pintxos” can be almost anything as long as they’re on a stick. The unique experience involves going up to the counter and selecting anything that takes your fancy. At the end of the meal your sticks are tallied up for your final price. With each “pintxo” coming in at between €1 and €1.85 this can be a great value option.
Blai Tonight is one of the more famous “pintxo” restaurants on the street and it’s obvious to see why when you get there. Slices of bread with indulgent halves of avocado and smoked salmon await, along with a selection of other fish and meat bites. La Tasqueta del Blai is similarly delicious and with a slightly larger variation of options and unique combinations. Try and get to Blai in the early evening so you can grab an outdoor terrace table and people watch as you wash down your “pintxos” with traditional Basque cider.
If you know anything about the culinary scene in Barcelona, you almost certainly will have heard of Tickets as the best tapas restaurant in Barcelona. Headed up by the famed Catalan chef Albert Adrià, this Michelin star restaurant focuses on a sense of fun as much as the exquisite quality of the food. After being seated in the weird yet wonderful surroundings, you will be presented with a stream of intriguing and experimental tapas plates until you request the waiter to stop. However, getting a table at this famed restaurant is notoriously hard. Bookings open every day for the day three months ahead and often get booked out in minutes – it is, however, possible to try for cancellations on the day of if you’re lucky.
When you’re thinking about where to eat in Barcelona, Barceloneta isn’t always the first place that comes to mind. However, Cal Papi is an excellent choice of tapas restaurant for those looking for something authentic near the beachside. As opposed to some of the other more experimental restaurants on this list, Cal Papi focuses on serving traditional tapas classics, and does it well. Its proximity to the beach means it’s a great place to try out some fresh sea food, especially in the form of fideuà, a traditional Catalan style paella, that makes great use of noodles instead of rice.
The low-level lighting and eclectic but beautiful setting of Elsa y Fred make it the perfect location for romance, or for a meal with a group of old friends. The ambient surrounding is compounded by the stunning taste of the food with a menu that changes seasonally, but often includes the likes of tuna tartar and grilled octopus. And that’s not to mention their “patatas bravas” which are thought by some to be amongst the best in the city.
Located in the heart of Gràcia, La Bicicleta offers up tasty and inexpensive tapas in a casual and laid-back environment. This is the perfect spot for when you are wondering through this trendy neighbourhood and looking for a bite of cheap and tasty food to fill your stomach. With friendly service and a good atmosphere, this Barcelona tapas restaurant is also the perfect location for your Sunday afternoon “Vermouth” and “bravas” pit stop.
In the heart of Barcelona’s vibrant Raval district you will find Bar Cañete, one of the city’s better known tapas bars. For an authentic Barcelona tapas experience, head to the “Barra” section of the restaurant. Instead of being seated at a table, like in the “Mantel” portion, you will stand at the bar or if you’re lucky get a stool from which to consume your gourmet tapas. From this area diners can watch as the chefs create their food and the barmen hurry round with bottles of Catalan cava and trays of fresh seafood.
The newest addition to the Can Pijaume group of restaurants, founded in 1984 by chef Jose Gandoy, Marcelino1968 offers up some of the most sophisticated tapas in Barcelona. Placed in prime position within Gràcia’s Plaça del Sol, sit on the terrace to enjoy the squares lively atmosphere or inside to enjoy the wonderful ambiance of the restaurant itself. Whatever you do, make sure you order one of their opulent cocktails, exquisitely made by the expert bar tenders, to sip on as you enjoy your tapas at this Barcelona restaurant.
Having been around for over 25 years, La Flauta is a mainstay on the Barcelona tapas scene. Popular with locals, La Flauta has a little something for everyone. As well as being able to order traditional and delicious tapas, La Flauta lives up to its name by offering an elaborate selection of sandwiches, which are literally called “flautas”. Fillings for the sandwiches change throughout the year with market availability, so you can pop in any time to find a fresh new creation to fill your stomach.
Location: Aribau, 23
Make sure your trip to Barcelona is the best it can be by trying out our recommendations for the best tapas bars in Barcelona and you will see why it is rated as one of the best gastronomical cities in the world.
’Tis the season of eating onions charred over live fire… In a previous post, we talked about the best places around Barcelona to find a calçotada. Yet, in a quarter century of at least one or two calçotades a year, I probably only have ever had 2-3 in a restaurant. Funny thing was that I would just order off the regular menu while the rest of the party would eat the calçotada menu, like I was purposely avoiding it. More about this later.
From humble beginnings in the “Golden Triangle” of Valls, Reus and Tarragona, the tradition has now spread through most of Catalonia, in restaurants, and more important, at home. It has even reached further afield with calçotades available in Madrid, London or Rotterdam; even Anthony Bourdain featured a calçotada on his “No Reservations” tv show.
A dear friend went as far as to throw a big calçotada party for all his friends in Orange County, USA to celebrate his 50th birthday! Nowadays, every company, social club or group of friends worth its salt has its yearly calçotada – the social aspects of the calçotada are key to its success – if you are anew arrival in Catalonia, no doubt you’ll get an invite to a calçotada – go for it!
Back to the real calçotada, the homemade – the feast lends itself quite well to doing it at home in an outdoor setting. First time I was ever invited for a calçotada, it was in Sitges at the home of my parent’s friends, and it was a friend of theirs from Valls who came over as the expert – an early sign that the ritual was expanding outside its homeland. He brought the equipment, a large reversible grill with different length legs allowing the grill to be higher for flaming the calçots and lower for grilling meat over coals. However, the most important bit of kit that he brought along was the recipe for the sauce: salsa de calçots. Any veteran will tell you it’s the heart and soul of the calçotada, getting it right is an art, too runny and it doesn’t stick to the calçots, too thick and it takes forever to dip. Starting from the basics of almonds and hazelnuts, roasted tomato, raw and roasted garlic and nyora (a type of slightly hot pepper), each chef adds their own touch, and the recipe becomes a closely guarded secret.
Just last week, with a group of friends we had a calçotada out in the country, very near my hometown of Artesa de Segre, just under the village of Montsonís with its castle looming over us. It was a perfect spring day, kids roaming freely all over thefields, making friends with random dog who just appeared, adults poking fun at a neighbour who was air-drying her multi-coloured thongs, and of course, grilling those calçots on a very original barbecue pit. It was a perfect day, but I still couldn’t get Agnès to tell me the (secret) recipe for the salsa de calçots.
Michelin starred restaurants in Catalonia: restaurants with one star
Today it’s time to talk about the Michelin starred restaurants in Catalonia with one star. Recently we published an article about Michelin starred restaurants in Barcelona with one star to be your definitive guide of all the gastronomical wonders in the city. But Barcelona doesn’t have all the glory, there are even more one-star Michelin restaurants surrounding the city in Catalonia’s beautiful villages and countryside.
For a day or two away from the city, Els Casals is the perfect destination. It is located outside Sagàs, a picturesque village nestled in the Pre-Pyrenees valley. The country house hotel/restaurant is situated on lush farm land and sprawling gardens. Els Casals is down to earth fine dining – all the ingredients come from the farm itself, or from families nearby (Tatjé‘s family’s pigeon, boneless and roasted orange duck from Bessa’s family).
This gorgeous converted farmhouse is a scenic hour’s drive from Barcelona. The dining room is a romantic haven of stone walls and soft lighting. Their tasting menu samples a vast range of their culinary talents from Grandmother’s canneloni to sliced roast veal and foie, each garnished with a different herb.
Venture an hour north of Barcelona to the foothills of the Pyrenees for a breath of fresh air. Fonda Sala has had its Michelin star for longer than most and its dining room reflects its timeless dedication to fine food and wine, free of any fads or pretension, but still at the forefront of innovative cuisine with dishes like sweet and sour wild rabbit.
To the north of Barcelona, not far from the Montserrat monastery you can find L’Ó, a modern hotel/restaurant nestled amongst the medieval houses and churches that mark the area. The town in which L’Ò is situated, Sant Fruitós de Bages, has its own monastery and the food at this restaurant is indeed worthy of the gods; slow-cooked baby goat shoulder with mushrooms and truffle, and oyster with ponzu sauce, apple and codium.
Another restaurant worth venturing out of Barcelona for, Santa Coloma de Gramenet is home to a Michelin-starred restaurant that offers the most affordable tasting menu (dinner Tuesday to Thursday and lunch Tuesday to Friday) at just 40€ per person. Dishes like solid mojito, Campari & orange stuffed olive and Mojito truffle signal a restaurant that is not afraid to experiment.
In a converted farmhouse about an hour’s drive from Barcelona, Can Jubany offers a sumptuous choice of menus, from their own signature dishes (Catalan cured sausage ‘llonganissa’ and crispy pancetta), a gastronomic tour of Catalonia (pigeon rice with pork belly and sausage) and their sublime meal (Salad of red shrimps from Palamós with a thousand islands sauce ice cream).
If you fancy a day on the coast, head to El Masnou, just past Badalona. It’s less than a 30 minute drive away and features seafood of the highest quality such as slow-cooked red tuna belly with potato cream and “allioli” of avocado, basil, spinach and sesame as well as Duck Royale with foie gras. It’s renowned for its vermut too, so be sure to start with the local aperitif or have a light lunch of burrata with pear and walnuts or steak tartar.
Just plan a daytrip away from Barcelona and taste the best of the rest from Michelin’s one-star A-list in Catalonia!