In this week's post, Maya lists her top 10 recommended restaurants and cafes to eat in Barcelona, which includes a mix of local and international cuisines, pastries, desserts, and affordable, student-friendly options.
When applying to study in Barcelona, one of the things I was most excited about was the food. I couldn’t wait to get to Spain and taste all the new and yummy foods. In today’s blog post I am going to tell you my top 10 restaurants and cafes (so far). They are not going to be in any particular order because all of these places specialize in their own specific cuisines, so I recommend them all equally. :)
A Vivari pastry and hot chocolate!
Located right down the street from our apartment, Vivari is one of our favorite places to grab a light breakfast before classes or our internships. They prepare fresh sandwiches, bake tasty pastries daily like croissants and muffins, and have great desserts. It is also a great place to find hot drinks like tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. (Side note: The hot chocolate in Spain is not like the hot chocolate you would find in America. It is very thick and made for dipping pastries).
Located on the same street as the CAPA center and only a few stores down, Konig is where we frequent for lunch between classes. My classmates and I love stoping here for budget-friendly sandwiches and freshly squeezed juice. They have seating both indoors and outdoors, so we can enjoy our lunch and the beautiful sights/weather at the same time!
3. Alsur Cafe Lluria
This was a gem we found while wandering around and exploring Catalunya one day. After reading the menu, we noticed that this was an experimental cafe that adds their own twist to meals that are popular in America. For example, two of us ordered the chicken and waffles, which was made spicy with jalapenos, and came with freshly made waffles with bacon bits baked into the waffle. They also make their very own bacon-infused syrup. (They also were able to make this dish bacon-free for me since I am allergic to beef and pork, but it was just as good!).
4. 100 Montaditos
Located literally one store over from Konig lies 100 Montaditos, another extremely budget-friendly shop for small meals with friends. My housemates and I usually frequent this place on Wednesdays, because that is when they have their €1 sandwich deal. You can get any sandwich on the menu plus chips (or crisps as Europe calls them) all for just €1! They also have a mini menu with finger food sandwiches that also come with chips for only €1.20-1.60! Definitely perfect for when you want to eat out, but save money at the same time.
5. Los Caracoles
An appetizer of snails at Los Caracoles.
This is where CAPA held our first family dinner. Our Resident Director took us out for a big lunch with our choice of appetizer, main course, and dessert. The most interesting part of this restaurant was the appetizer—snails! We were all scared to try them at first, but they were actually really good and were salty and chewy. This was also where I tasted my first paella, one of Barcelona’s most famous dishes, and it was super tasty.
6. Taco Alto Born
Another location we found while wandering Catalunya: Taco Alto Born, a small taco shop that is so tasty and super cheap. Dollar tacos and quesadillas are their specialty, with cool unique flavors (there was even one that included pieces of cactus!). The tacos are small like tapas, but are pretty filling so for €2-3 you can have a nice little lunch.
Golden donuts at Demasie!
After you have your dollar tacos, right in the same little neighborhood is Demasie cake shop. This spot is perfect for dessert. Their specialty is creative and crazy donut flavors. They even have one topped with gold pieces! They are known for their cinnamon buns, and people come from all over to try them and even buy t-shirts with the dessert on them. We, of course, HAD to try some desserts, and they were delicious! Not as sugary as American desserts of course, but still yummy (and you feel less guilty for having more than one, haha).
Located in Diagonal lies Patachou, a pastry shop based around French delicacies. Run by French natives, Patachou has some of the best desserts I have ever tasted. When you walk in the door you are immediately hit with the lovely smell of butter and pastries in the oven. Their desserts are light and fluffy with very bold flavors. My favorite is the chocolate eclair—the filling is SO good!
9. Gelateria Palau
Located right across from the Palau de Musica, this gelateria has so many unique flavors. There are so many great gelato places in Barcelona, but Gelateria Palau is one of my favorites because you can take a walk through the cute cobblestone streets with your treat and take in the beautiful scenery. Some of my favorite flavors are Stracciatella which is like a light vanilla with chocolate pieces, and the Kinder egg flavor. I have also been obsessed with the chocolate and vanilla gelato in Barcelona, it tastes nothing like those flavors do in America!
10. Dine Along the Beach
Prawns by the beach.
This last one is not necessarily one specific restaurant, but a recommendation. One thing you must do for dinner is have seafood or a picnic along the beach. The restaurants near Barceloneta were so yummy that I cannot recommend just one. I had some of the best prawns, calamari, mussels, and more of my life! Also, picnicking on the sand is so beautiful both during the day in the sunshine, and during sunset!
There is so much good food in Barcelona, from cafes, to sit-down restaurants, pastry shops, gelaterias, and more. One of the best parts of eating out in Barcelona is the freshly squeezed juice that almost every restaurant offers. The food, especially the seafood, tastes so fresh, and there are so many affordable places to eat for days when you want something tasty but not too expensive. If you choose to visit or even study in Barcelona, all the amazing food will be your favorite part of the experience!
Maya Crawford is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Business Administration major at University of Massachusetts Lowell, she is studying abroad in Barcelona this semester.
Maya's journey continues every Thursday so stay tuned.