I wasn’t in particular stoked when I visited Barcelona for the first time. In fact, the tourist masses almost scared me away, but when I went off the beaten patch, Barcelona charmed me more than I could’ve imagined. Here’s a recap of my favorite brunch, lunch and dinner places in the city that literally never sleeps.
Barcelona is consideres #1 beach city in the world and it’s also the first city worldwide to win a Royal Gold Medal for its architecture. These reasons are undoubtedly contributing to the city’s increasing popularity and the fact that it’s now exceeding Rome in terms of tourist. But Barcelona is so much more than La Rambla and tapas. I fell in love with the city because of its multi-cultural diversity and laid-back approach to life.
Being close to La Rambla in the lively district of Raval, Bar Lobo is great for people watching and pre-dinner drinks! The cuisine isn’t high scale, but tapas are made with love (try the Padrón peppers or fried artichokes) and the staff is friendly. Be aware that it can be hard to find a free table, so come well in advance or late at night. The atmosphere is the best thing about Bar Lobo!
The Surf House
Fancy a laid-back lunch with a view to the busy beach promenade? Then Surf House is the place to be. The name reveals that this is paradise for surfer dude’s off duty (and young girls who love to look at them!), but the food here is actually well-made and quite healthy, too. Grab a Corona and enjoy the chilled vibe.
W Hotel has received an overwhelmingly big amount of praise from tourists who believe that this is the place to be in Barcelona. I don’t necessarily agree with them. The five star hotel allures visitors with its waterfront location and amazing rooftop views - and that’s why it’s worth a visit. It’s a bit far from the old city center, so consider taking a cab. It’s quite pricy and the dress code is chic (like the clientele), so dress up for a night and enjoy the sunset from a different angle.
Brunch & Cake
Salad for breakfast? Or pancakes for dinner? The possibilities are endless at Brunch & Cake, which also happens to be my favorite morning/afternoon-hangout in Barcelona. There’s a bunch of similar venues around the city like Cup & Cake (best for cake) and Brunchelona (best for brunch), but Brunch & Cake combines both! You’ll be in brunch heaven when sinking your teeth into a homemade waffle with fresh fruit or a Nutella sandwich - and the atmosphere is super cosy as well.
A must-visit for foodie’s - or anyone visiting Barcelona, really. La Boqueria is the famous food market opening early in the morning and closing late at night, and this is where you can experience everything Barcelona has to offer in terms of gastronomy. It’s a big mess of shouting vendors, delicious foods and drinks and curious tourists filling their shopping bags with all sorts of delights. Sometimes, a local chef can be spotted in the crowds as well, cause La Boqueria is for everyone. Be aware that it’s usually over-crowded, especially around lunch time. Tip: Buy a to-go cup with fresh fruit (strawberry, melon, coconut etc.) when strolling around the market. It’s only €1,50 and it’ll keep your blood sugar in place.
A modern breakfast and brunch venue with healthy options and good coffee. The large communal tables make sure you’ll have a friendly chat with your neighbor (even though you don’t know them), and the atmosphere is very hipster laid-back and relaxed. Go for an avocado sandwich or a yoghurt with homemade granola to kickstart your day. Federal is located in both the Gothic quarter and in Sant Antoni.
Carlos & Matilda
A cute little place specializing in classic cocktails. C&M is located in a picturesque square next to one of the best preserved parts of the Roman wall of Barcino in the old city center. Even though cocktails are what you should come here for, there’s also a small selection of food to choose from, for example a tapas plate and salads. The cocktail menu changes every month, but quality is always in focus.
Being one of Barcelona’s newest boutique hotels, The Serras is a wonderful venue if you - like me - value good service and rooftop views. Located close to the beach promenade in the Gothic quarter, the five star hotel overlooks the old port and the ocean - and you can easily spend an entire afternoon here, even if you’re not a staying guest. You can have cocktails, snacks and lunch at the rooftop, and there are live DJ sessions every weekend.