Okay, I know eating out three meals a day is extravagant, but I swear, I’m not a crazed foodie who only eats out while travelling. But, when you’re in place for just one day, you gotta. If you get to spend a month somewhere, I urge you to hit the markets and cook like a local, but that just wasn’t the case for us this summer. Adam and I had 48 hours to eat up Barcelona after spending 10 days with my family in the beach town of Algorfa.
There was no way to eat everything I wanted to eat. Heck, if I had been there a month I probably would have felt the same way. So we settled on Barcelona for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This is what we ate.
Breakfast at Hüle in Barrio Gràcia
We stayed at Casa Gràcia, a hostel in what I think is the coolest neighbourhood in Barcelona. Gràcia is just far enough away from the crazy crowds of La Rambla, but only a 20-minute walk to Sagrada Familia. Honestly, I barely felt like a tourist hanging out there: think cool Modernist architecture and quiet streets with tons of local shops, hip gin bars and tiny tapas joints.
Hüle Bar is a great spot on a quiet street off the Passeig de Gràcia, just around the corner from our hostel. We popped in for breakfast around 10am and found the place teeming with locals: hipsters working on laptops, seniors chatting with the baristas, and even groups of business people having morning meetings. Great neighbourhood energy.
It’s intentionally sparsely decorated, with brick walls roughly painted white, graphic light fixtures and an eclectic array of vintage chairs. We munched on fresh pastries, espresso and fresh squeezed juice. A simple and typically Spanish (if not a little hipster) start to the day.
*This place turns into a cocktail bar with a completely different (and younger) vibe at night.
Lunch at Chiringuito Las Sardinitas
For lunch, we headed to Barcelona’s beach. After a morning of sightseeing at Sagrada Familia and strolling (weaving and bobbing miserably) along La Rambla, we were ready for beer and cool breezes.
We wandered through Barceloneta’s quaint streets before hitting the main drag of overpriced restaurants and nightclubs along the beach. We finally came upon a more quiet stretch along la Platja de la Nova Icària where we found Chiringuito Las Sardinitas.
This seafood joint is part of a bigger group of restaurants, but it has cheap beer, greasy-in-a-good-way calamari and of course, the always necessary patatas bravas. Done like lunch.
My sentiment the whole afternoon: carefree joy about eating all the tapas I wanted. Between the beers, the bright beachy decor and the salty breezes I could have sat forever.
Dinner at Bobby Gin
Post-day-drunk siesta came after a long trek back to Gràcia, but we were hungry by the time we got to Bobby Gin at 9:30pm, which we thought was late.
We were the first people there. After two weeks of 10pm dinners, we still found ourselves unfashionably early for dinner. This time I didn’t care because the waiter treated us like royalty and the chef himself brought out tapas.
Gin bars are super popular in Spain these days (along with Vermouth bars). Bobby Gin is no exception. Oozing coolness, the tiny spot has big personality and serves more than 100 types of gin. We drank many a cocktail, including some fan-fucking-tastic G&Ts, which I don’t usually like, but when in Spain…
Bobby Gin was recommended by my co-worker at Travelzoo, and it delivered. The tapas were phenomenal, which was great because the reason I chose this place was solely based on the fact that it was close to the hostel.
So. Many. Tapas.
A blend of traditional and modern tapas, with a kick of Asian flare, we ate Ibérico ham done “roast beef” style with parmesan and almonds:
Foie gras on crackers with apples:
Croquettes filled with sharp cheese and topped with fruity compote:
Then patata bravas and battered calamari with miso, soy and chili. Just to name a few.
And then we went home to bed, because we had eaten all day long and that’s freaking exhausting.