Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Europe Part III: Barcelona

While I love French culture, I really really love Spanish food. Barcelona was warmer than London and Paris so it was nice to shed my coat and enjoy some sunshine during the day. Perhaps it’s wasn't peak tourist season or that I was there in the middle of the week, but Barcelona was much quieter than my last visit. This was nice since there were less pushy tourists but this also meant bars were pretty empty at night. We made up for the lack of nightlife by eating more. Bocadillos, jamon, chorizo, Spanish omelettes, it’s all a big blur at this point--a whirlwind of great food washed down with bottles of cava.

bocadillos and coffee....best way to start the morning

We went to Tapas 24, a casual tapas bar in the L’Eixample neighborhood recommended by a couple friends. We loved it so much, we went back the next day and stayed for awhile. The food is simply divine. I can’t even describe how good a basic sandwich (a bikini) with jamon and cheese tasted. Except to maybe compare them to the patatas bravas---fried potatoes covered with aioli and bravas sauce. Simple and delicious. We were seriously swooning (fueled by the ridiculously cheap cava.) Everything we ate there was great as was the friendly, personable staff that tolerated our loud laughter and squeals.

front and center at the bar
pan con tomate
patatas bravas
onion soup
bikini (love)
 delicious custard pastry
chocolate gelato with olive oil

Taking a recommendation from one of our waiters, we went in search of authentic paella along the water. A couple miles later, we found Xiringuito Escriba, a seaside restaurant packed with locals. During our long lunch, we marveled how locals seem to think nothing of spending two hours at lunch knocking back bottles of wine in the middle of the day. We also gawked at celebrities filming a reality show, whereas most of the restaurant hardly turned to look. Gotta give it to Europeans for nailing the cool demeanor. Hours passed as we ate gobbled down our giant pans of paella,  washed it down with Spanish wine and people watched. It was the best paella I’ve ever eaten. A perfect delicious ending to the trip. 

ocean front dining
this is for two
vegetarian paella

Another one of my favorite spots was La Boqueria St. Joseph, an outdoor marketplace along the bustling Las Ramblas. We stopped here a couple times to poke around and find snacks. This marketplace was amazing. Every stall had beautiful, fresh looking products. Since I couldn't eat it all, obviously I pulled out my camera and took pictures. The stall owners probably thought I was crazy but I didn't care--this was my version of heaven.

catalan chocolates
fruit galore
giant squid
salt cod
butchering right in the open. love it.


  1. Dear Jennifer, thank you so much for choosing our restaurant during your visit to Barcelona. We hope everything was as you expected and you enjoyed your meal.

    We look forward to seeing you again the next time you're in Barcelona.

    Thank you and all best, Chef Joan EscribĂ  and Team.

  2. Oh my goodness, the food here sounds amazing! I love Tapas places, so these bits sounds amazing, especially the bomba/bomb that sounds like something I would love! nightlife Barcelona