Classic Barcelona Taste & Tapa Tour Pocket Guide,



Welcome to the grand old city of Barcelona, and your Classic Taste and Tapa tour.

This is a continuation of my first day, my first tour and subsequent refining excursions over the last 25 years, exploring the historic Rambles, Raval, the Gothic and the Born districts of Barcelona, between Placa Catalunya and the Old Port.

Most of the establishments you visit form part of the history of Barcelona, it is very hard to beat them for their perserverence and authentisity. Like good wines, they get better with age, they're all a bit old fashioned, traditional and sometimes slow, lunch could easily take 3 hours. You just need to relax and absorb, the aromas, flavours, the history and the pace, and let Barcelona do the rest.

Within minutes of your arrival you will find yourself in Placa Catalunya, and the Bar Zurich on the corner of Placa Catalunya at the top of the Rambles is and has been the place to meet since the inaugeration of the first train station of Barcelona and the first "Zurich" Café in 1862.

As you sit on the terrace in front of the Bar Zurich, before you, the Rambles stretches down to the port, the statue of Cristopher Columbus and the Mediterranean Sea. The 18C Barrio Chino and Raval are on the right and the Medieval and Gothic district of the city, are on the left.
Behind you lies the uptown Rambles de Catalunya, the Modernist Eixample residential and business district of Barcelona, the Diagonal, and the small towns of Gracia, Lesseps and Sarria on the foothills of Tibidabo mountain.

You will find a google map of all points of interest at the bottom of the page
and more photos of points of interest on Facebook

Bar Zurich, train and metro station, 1862
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The Bar Zurich, is situated in what is known as the golden triangle of Barcelona beside two of the busiest train and metro station entrances.
It doesn't matter if this is your first visit or your hundreth, whether you are skipping classes, missing work, going shopping, hanging out, meeting a friend or a lover, you can sit on the vast terrace on the corner of Placa Catalunya and the sun will be shining on you.
Enjoy a café con leche en vaso, a large white coffee which will allow you to finish your croissant.

On a typical taste and tapa tour you will be able to visit between 4 and 8 locations and these are my favourites

Cafe de l'Opera, 1929, La Rambla, 74
Bar Quim, La Boqueria
La Pineda
El Portalon
El Seu
Vilaviniteca
La Vinya del Senor
Euskal Etxea
La Xampaneta
Bar Celta
Palau de la Musica


To start your tour, cross the Ronda and walk about 50 meters down the Rambles to the Font de Canaletes.

The Fountain of Caneletes
No matter how far away you travel, if you drink the water of the fountain of Canaletes you will always return to Barcelona.
In the 1930s, supporters of Barcelona football club would gather here for the latest results, and it has become a important meeting point for Barça fans ever since, especially when they win the King's Cup, the League or the European Championship.

Points of interest on the Raval (right) side of the Rambles

The first street right off the Rambles is C/Tallers which goes across the Rambles to the old university.
C/Tallers is a shopping street if you are interested in historic or alternative vinyl, musical instruments, skate boards and punk fashion.

Elisabets restaurant. Carrer d' Elisabets, 2-4, Raval
The Menu is an institution which allows the man-in-the-street to enjoy a 3 course meal at reasonable cost. The menu changes daily, with a choice of 5 or more starters and main courses and dessert, with wine and water included for about 12 . 15 euros.
Proximity to a big market is always a big plus and indeed the style of cooking is locally called “de Mercat” or fresh every day.
Elisabet’s is one of those non touristy places. There’s even a snug, which is like a sanctuary within, but you may have to get there early or it will already be occupied by a grateful group of Bohemiens.
Home cooking, generous proportions and nobody has every been asked to hurry-up. You could be here for 30 minutes or 3 hours.

Museum of Modern Art of Barcelona, Plaça dels Àngels, 1, 08001 Barcelona.
For modern art and skating
Magba Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona

Bar Kasparov, Pl. Vicenç Martorell,
The Bar Zurich is helpful if you want to see everyone, the Kasparov is when you are a seasoned veteran and want some peace and quiet. Tucked into a corner of the small quiet Placa Martorell, this is a good place to relax after a day walking the city, meet an old friend and catch up, especially parents with younguns. It’s hard to believe one of the busiest streets in the world is 100 meters away.
There is a small park, a fenced off children’s play area, and you can keep you eye on everything from your seat under the cool arches.
There’s a decent bottle of wine or cava. I stick to coffee, Gin Tonics, good tapas and the best avocado and brie sandwich. Not a bad brownie

Old University faculties
Numerous convents and abbeys on this side of the Rambles were converted into schools and the original faculties of Barcelona University, the Royal Academy of Medicine. Today these buildings and their gardens offer sanctuary often missed by the busy tourist and locals alike.

La Paradiso del Indios, Carrer del Carme, 24

Fantastic and fading modernist shop, one of the last of the Indios. In the late 1800s many Noveau Riche returned to Barcelona and established businesses. Articles from South America and the Philipines were very popular.

Biblioteca de Catalunya‬ / Library of Catalunya 1401
The Library of Catalunya is located at the old Hospital de la Santa Creu since 1939. Founded by King Marti, the Hospital is one of the most important Gothic ensembles in Catalonia. Built between the XVth and XVIIth centuries, it was the largest hospital in Catalonia.

Shop Escribà 1906, La Rambla, 83, Pastries and Chocolates and Mural Cakes!

C/Puertaferrisa
In the 11th Century, an iron gate in the old wall of Barcelona was opened to allow the Christians to attend Mass, look out for the tiled fountain.
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la Boqueria, 1836. Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria.
" If the Unicorn existed it would be sold here." Barcelona's first municipal fruit and veg market.
Nowhere is it more evident the variety, quantity and quality of food available for the Catalan table all under one roof. Get past the inital and expensive stalls and into the centre. Buy with your eyes, but not everyone want's you to touch or pick the fruit. You will be fascinated by smells, colours, the range of prices and the shouts of the traders big and small. Lace clad queens and princess' call you darling and "guapa" as they proffer their best cuts, and it seems the more selective the product, sweetmeats, tripe..., the more glamourous the hairdo, makeup and lace.
Regular visits will teach you who is taking care of you best. When your Spanish has reached a certain level and you are not quite sure what you would like for dinner, ask the ladies. Tell them you are entertaining you parents in law (suegros) and you have 10 euros and 1 hour to prepare. Nothing will give them more pleasure than to give you the 5 basic points of a tasty recipe as they will chop and prepare your order. The price will be the same if you bought the chicken, fish or side of meat whole and never said a word.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Boqueria

While in the Boqueria enjoy the bars, snacks and watching the traders

El Quim de la Boqueria, 1987
A hard working crew of lads accompany Quim and part of the atmosphere is how they all fit in such a small place. There's the constant banter, joking and slagging that comes with the buzz of the Boqueria. Over the years visitors and chefs from all over the world have enjoyed this down to earth cheerfulness as they sit on Quim's famous stools and allow their apetites to follow their imaginations. Imaginative and delicious is how you would describe Quims creations and fusions.
Try: Oxtail and shrimp, fried eggs and squid, rice with lobster, fava beans and cured ham, washed down with a glass of cava from Colet, a red wine from Penedès or a white Albariño

Cafe de l'Opera, 1929, La Rambla, 74
Located opposite the opera house, the Café de l'Opera has witnessed the coming and goings of every bohemien, artist, archietect and philosopher to pass through Barcelona. Everyone has to squeeze through the narrow front door which would suggest a small bar, however, find your way into the back and thinks start to open out and up. There are numerous pleasant lounges in a historic setting. The Café de l'Opera continues to be very socially active with regular "Tertulias" and meetings of, musicians, dancers, politicians, archietects, wine and whiskey tastings and even a regular radio program.
The Café de l'Opera has a modestly named bottle museum but nowhere have I seen such a comprehensive collection of spirits from around the world. Where I would be surprised to find one bottle of Irish Whiskey, here I was astonished to find an entire cupboard of whiskeys from the Emerald Isle. The same goes for Tequilas, Canadian and Burbon.
Early in the day I would recommend teas, coffees, chocolate and churros, a "bikini" toasted cheese and ham sandwich or Pa amb Tomaquet with cured ham or fuet. For a quick sip on the hoof try a carajillo de cognac, a small glass of coffee cut with spirit of wine.
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Gran Teatre del Liceu 1847, Rambla. 51 - 59
Barcelona's Opera House has been at the centre of the Rambles and the centre of Barcelona's cultural life for 160 years.
Distroyed by fire in the 1994 the Opera house was enlarged and reopened in all its glory in 1999. Today it is one of the largest and most technically advanced theatres in the world. Well worth checking out if you like to dress up and if you appreciate Wagner which is very popular. There is also a program of concerts, dance as well as small format productions in the Petit Liceu.

The Quiet Man, Irish Bar, Carrer del Marquès de Barberà, 11.
The first Irish bar of Barcelona. For people who need an English speaking barman and a quiet atmosphere to enjoy a pint of Guinness. Big enough so you can find a quiet corner. Busy when Barcelona football team is playing and live music Friday nights. - no cover charge. Many locals come here to practice their English so swop stories.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Quiet-Man-Barcelona/161558863795

Bar Marcella 1820, C/ Sant Pau 65.
Bohemian location for trying your first and perhaps last glass of absinthe, busy at 12h, crowded at 1h

Plaza Reial, Barrio Gotico
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You are now halfway down the Rambles, past McDonalds, the C/Ferran and Kentucky Fried Chicken. The bottom half of the Rambles offers more pickpocketing and prostitution but you are already getting the idea.
Plaza Reial is left off the Rambles and offers an atmosphere of relaxed neoclassical splendor cut with a ribbon of lowlife decadence. Tall palm trees and large fountains for cooling off. The cast iron lamps were one of Antonio Gaudi's earlier commissions.
The arcades of the square are dotted with restaurants, Bars, Nite Clubs and several historic establishments. While the Rambles is busy, the Placa Real is for eternal relaxing and watching. Something always happens, a Mariachi festival, painters, musicians, Barcelona’s recent arrivals, pickpockets, drunks, police, people jumping in the fountains.
Choose a spot in the sun and enjoy a Gin & Tonic.

Some highlights of Placa Reial

Herboristeria del Rei, 1823, Plaza Real / Calle Vidre, 1
Herboristeries sold herbs and spices, many with medicinal properties. The Herboristeria del Rei is the last of a breed.
Even if you don't need it, purchase some oregano, You will probably be the only client.

Night time, nightclubs including Sidecar, Jamboree, Karma, Pipa Club

La Pipa Club, 1962, Pl. Reial, 3 pral,
Historic Sherlock themed late evening/nite bar & lounge, Tango dancing classes, jazz sessions, Pool table, one of the best Bcn nightlife observatories.
The Pipa club is reached by a small staircase to the Entry or first floor. Requiring very little publicity thanks to its position in the university folklore of the world, the only hint to its existence is a well pressed small bell button. So far everything is reeking with barely legal decadence. However, once in the door and into the small hall, a certain elegant comfort returns. A generous reception room is used for Tango classes and Jazz concerts. As usual there’s a room that no one enters, out of respect or fear, probably the principal senior pipe smoking members room overlooking the main Placa Real. From the hall you can enter the lounge/bar. A small bar seems to have everything you need and it faces a collection of inviting armchairs and the best semicircular sofa in the city. Know when you enter you are observed by the cute characters who got the best seats. Of course nothing beats arriving just when one of them is vacated and your further enjoyment is guaranteed as you sink back and become a bonafide Pipa Club member. The sounds and vibes are good and nobody gets particularly excited even if a great saxophone is screaming at the city in the next room. A Corridor leads past glass cases of pipes and memorabilia to a small pool room,
Enjoy long slow drinks such as a Cuba Libre, or a Mojito. No food so come nourished

Sidecar, Plaza Real. live music. rock & flamenco, sounds and drinks

Jamboree, Plaza Real. live music, jazz. sounds and drinks

Restaurants, Bars and Terraces, Plaza Real.

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Caracoles Restaurant, 1835, Calle de los Escudellers, 14
The exterior rostiserie is a first and classic apetiser to draw you into the establishment. To reach the dining rooms you go through the kitchen and past coal burning ovens. The interior is what you came to Spain to see, historic and beautiful. The waiters are also historic and they either love you or you can’t get a word in.
The typical restaurant waits until you have perused the menu and ordered before asking what you want to drink, so, best tell the waiter you want a 10 euro bottle of Rioja before you are seated, especially if they are busy. You will enjoy this a bon ritme while you wait to order the meal and another more carefully chosen bottle to accompany. Always ask for “hot” soup or it will take two servings to get it right.
Riojan wines, rabbit and the house speciality, snails are recommended.
Price 3 course dinner and wines 40/50 euros

Plaza del Pi and Plaza Sant Josep, Barrio Gotico,
The Plaza del Pi is a great meeting point inside the Gothic district of Barcelona. Surrounded by streets, arcades and small shops and dominated by the basilica of Santa Maria del Pi. The square is named ofter a long fallen pine tree, the current tree was planted in . Approach from the Rambles, Port del Angel, Plaza Sant Jaume.

Church of Santa Maria del Pi. Spanish Guitar recitals

Gavineteria Roca, 1911
Probably the most comprehensive knife and cutlery shop in the city. A shop with that historic way of displaying so many items it can be hard to make up your mind.

Bar del Pi,
The Bar del Pi offers limited seating but an intimate atmosphere. Most customers prefer to have a coffee at the bar or on the terrace under the trees. The Marti Pujol family have run it since 1927. It was once a coachhouse and it and the hotel beside it were a starting point for stage coaches in and out of Barcelona. A plaque on the wall commemorated the founding of The Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia in 1936.
The walls are also decorated with drawings and posters by artists such as Simó Busam, Ramon and Josep Mascardo, Iranzo, Ester Castells, Floren de Retano amoung others. If you feel like entertaining yourself and the guests there is a piano in the small salon.
Early in the day try a "café con leche en vaso" for a substantial white coffee with cream filled Xuxos. X is pronounced ch.

There is usually an artesan food market, and Aritsts regularly exhibit and sell their paintings right beside the Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi

The Shopping arcade leading onto the Placa del Pi is going through a renaissance. Almost forgotten because so many of the old shops just hung on in there. It seems to be coming back to life with attractive new shops, fashion, lifestyle accesories and snackeries.

Traditional toy shops. Amoung my favourites are the old toy shops that have refused to go electric. Traditional toys and games in a historic location. Look out for the one on the corner of Placa del Pi and on the street between the Port d'Angel and the Cathederal.

Coses de la Casa, furnishings
In a quieter corner of the Plaza del Pi you will find a soft furnishings shop which has been here for generations. Towels, sheets, cushion are beautifully displayed in an already beautiful modernist shop window. Quality natural fabrics, most made by the house, eat your heart out Ikea.

Charcuteria la Pineda, 1930, Carrer del Pi, 16.
wine skins, cured hams, Spanish cheese, parmesan, assorted tapas, tinned goods, good cavas. white jacketed shopkeepers
The wine list is very old school but then this is one of the oldest grocers shops in the Gothic quarter. Although the tables are tiny they are perfect for a glass, a plate and a couple of forks.
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La Pineda is one of those grocers shops where there are far more items than can fit in the shop, but they do. Just sitting in the same place it will take 20 minutes to take it all in, from chequered floor to cava and jamon lined ceiling, from the packed old display fridge and hanging sausagesto the bottle deep glass cases, it is inconceiveable that another product could be displayed, and yet it is still possible for them to continue chopping orders of cheese and sausage and serve up to about 12 patrons without all hell breaking loose.
The staff are courteous white jacketed and ring from another age when downstairs knew more about keeping upstairs. They are not giving it away but they do have a good handle on quality so you never feel ripped off.
This is a spot for good Ensalidilla rusa,, artichokes and anchovies, jamon Serrano, cheese, parmesan, washed down with sips of good cava or a hearty rioja. Try a cava or red wine with a selection of boquerons and clams in vinager, Russian salad, Iberian cured ham. The tables rotate regularly and although not cheap, its is hard to puncture the 25 euros.

Cakes and chocolates
A popular sight on Sundays is a well dressed family, visiting the cake shop. On leaving someone will becarefully holding a methodically wrapped cake on the palm of their hand and in the crook of their arm, a bottle, probably cava, purchased at the same Bakery, I beg your pardon, Pastisseria.
When you receive you invitation to lunch at a Catalan house, you will find eyebrows raising in welcome if you present yourself with a cake or chocolates and a bottle of gran reserve cava, brut, if there is an older lady.
Almost every street and neighbourhood has a cake shop of great pedigree.

Fargas, Carrer del Pi
The finest chocolate pralines and turron
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Real Circle d’Artistes, Carrer dels Arcs 5/Port d'Angel.
The Reial Cercle Artistic was founded in 1881 and since 1959 has occupied the Palau Pignatelli andi the former Casa Bassols.
This gothic/modernist building sits in one of the busiest streets of Barcelona but very few have ever entered.
There is a comercial gallery with a "Dali" attraction. Climb the stone staircase and you will be greeted by a Conserje. Ask to see the current exhibition of members work and restaurant. Access to the terrace overlooking the Port d'Angel is through the restaurant. Excellent place to enjoy the rays and a book.

If you are a visiting artist and are planning to spend some time in Barcelona you might request a visit to the main drawing room and artists workshops. Membership is quite reasonable and open to all artists but particularly painting and drawing. The drawing room dtes from the early 1900 and is well worth a view.

Barcelona's best terrace
The members restaurant is a paladian space complete with domed ceiling, statues, a white jacketed waiter. The food used to be extremely cheap and edible but no one was trying to impress. The Cercle now outsources the restaurant which is trying to do a Italian/catalan thingy. Find your way into the restaurant and onto the large balcony terrace which overlooks one of the busiest streets in Barcelona the Port d’Angel.

Palacio del Juguete, 1936, Carrer dels Arcs, 8
Historic toy shop, Opposite The Reial Cercle Artistic. The entrance and window display are enough to ignite the imagination of the oldest child.

Plaza Cathederal
The Gothic Cathederal may indeed be 2000 years old but the facade is faux Gothic from the 1800s when Barcelona went through its first "Posat Guapa" or Gentrification.

El Portalon Bar & Restaurant, C/Banys Nous 20
On Carrer Banys (Bath Street) leading from the Cathederal square and continuing to C/Aviño is one of Barcelona’s oldest bars, the Portalon. The Partalon has cleaned up nicely. 25 years ago the vaulted ceiling was dripping with decades old cobwebs and the ghosts of Conquistadores.
Tavern atmosphere behind the cathederal, Gruff busy waiters, wooden tables, jugs of red wine, garlic shrimp, bombas (potatoe balls filled with tomatoe ketchup)
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La Granja Catalana
Churros and chocolate desfeta for generations of Aunts and nieces

El Gran Cafè, 1920, C/Avinyo 9. Beautifully patinated restaurant with a variety of ambiances,
Sorry, not a tapas bar but great for unhurried lunch and dinner, Waiters are very helpful, Piano evenings,
Romantic modernism with a nice twist on favourite Catalan dishes.
Turn it into a tapeo by ordering 4 starters, Chiperones, Catalan Canelones and Catalan Rosé wines and cavas such as Mas Comtal, Nadal, Gramona

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El Seu Cheese Shop, Carrer Dagueria 16
A Hibridean selection of non pasteurized farmhouse cheese, modest wines, lovely old creamery interior
Katherine Mc Laughlin travelled the back roads of Spain in her search for real farmhouse cheeses, preferably non pastureised. Since 2000 she has won the hearts of Barcelona’s cheese lovers and many a restaurant that she now supplies. At this historic creamery you can join Katherine for a tasting of cheese and wine during normal shop hours.

Papa’s Bar, English spoken since before the Olympics, home sweet home.

Vilaviniteca 1932, C/Agullers, 7, Shop and Delicatessen, situated on opposite corners
Founded in 1932 the Vila family have been grocers and wine merchats supplying many of the downtown restaurants of Barcelona. in 1993 and coinciding with the Renaissance of Catalan wines and cavas the third generation of the family decided to dedicate their efforts to the sale, distribution, export, importation and diffusion of fine wines and gourmet products.
Take a minute to get familiar with their display of the best Catalan wines and cavas in the wine shop. In the Deli on the next corner snack on a selection of great Spanish cheese, bread, cured ham and Albariño wine in the Deli.
If there is a large group you can sit in the arched cavern under the shop.

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La Vinya del Senor, Pl. Santa Maria, 5. The Lords Vineyard with more than 400 wines
This tiny wine bar has earned respect for the excellent selection of wines by the glass and bottle, original and appealing tapas, historic building and superb location opposite the Doors of the Santa Maria del Mar Cathederal.
Have a look at the shelves of over 400 wines from all over Catalunya and Spain. Climb the spiral staircase and find the smallest room with a view of the Cathederal, just for two or maybe one more.
The tasting menu will include a provocative suggestion of wines from form lesser known wine regions and wine makers. As you are in Barcelona and Catalunya you should try any of these regions: Penedès, Priorat, Terra Alta, Montsant, Emporda and Bages. Marry these with Sobrasada and honey, oysters, cured Iberian ham...ask the waiters who besides good service are willing to interpret wines and nibbles.

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Santa Maria Cathederal 1329
Built by merchants, sailors and tradesmen. Enter the front door to the left and walk up left aisle and behind altar and Absis to back door which opens onto the Plaza del Born. Enjoy lighting a candle to long lost friends. The lack of ornamentation and simplicity of the structure draw the eye to the windows and ceilings. Without seemingly any butressing on the exterior the ceilings og the aisles and nave join to create one of the highest and widest spaces. You may me moved to feeling spiritual and don't feel surprised, many visitors are so inspired by its beauty that there is a long waiting list to celebrate weddings and baptisms.

Enter the Plaza del Born, views of Born Mercat 1878 Metal.

Parc de la Ciutella
A wonderful green escape, Catalan Parliment, zoo and gardens.

Cal Pep, Plaça de les olles, 8
Selective hours, sitdowny, cheerful barmen, tapas and dining

Euskal Etxea 1979 Basque Bar, Restaurant, Culture Centre, Placeta Montcada, 1
Eat with your eyes from a selection of continuously rotated Pintxo tapas, neat assemblatges of ham, egg, sausage, artichokes, anchovies.. small meals on a slice of bread. Take your time and order a glass of young Rioja red, a Tempranillo if ever there was, or a Txacoli fresh white wine. Either will help you to adjust to the crowd, grab a stool and give you time to choose your Pintxo. Survey the whole counter and once you know what you want grab a plate and pickup the ones that entertain the most. Keep the cocktail sticks to calculate the bill when you are finished.
The Euskal Etxea cultural centre, around the corner on Carrer l'Arc de Sant Vicenç 4, promotes a wide range of activities, concerts, theate, lectures, language courses, book presentations, conferences, and the celebration of major Basque festivals and traditions.

Pintxo, a piece of bread decorated using the entire pallet of Catalan and Basque ingredients, combinations and textures.

La Xampaneta, la Montcada 22
Leather drinking pouches, beer, cider, a cheap and cheerful house fizzy wine by the bottle, ceramic tiles, old barrels and fridges, lots of cavas
Theres nothing like a bar with old fridge doors calunking and waiters hollering to the kitchen at the back, happy organised caos run with a steady hand. Every neighbourhood had a bodega that served as the central stop for all preferred wines, vermouth, rancid, rioja red, penedes red, white, by the bottle and also stored in overhead barrels and gravity fed to taps behind the counter. It worked for a 100 years and then the European Union health inspectors had a fit, so now everything is bottled and the barrels are decorative.
La Xampaneta is a family run bar with a quality selection of wines and cavas, and an above the average tapa selection, excellent buzz and selection, the house fizz is brilliantly presented but don't over do it, you're mixing as it is! they have very good cava, wines and beers by the glass and bottle. Try seafood and savoury tapas, boquerones and clams, thin sliced cured fuet or langonissa sausage, goat cheese stuffed baby peppers, Piquilllos de bacala...and try the red vermouth with ice and a little spritz.
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Va de Vins, Banys Vells, 16,
Historic gothic warehouse, Hidden away artistic mecca, cheese platter and cavas from Penedès

Pulperia Celta. Carrer de la Mercè, 16. soon to move to C/ Princessa 50 in the Born district
In 1970 a couple from Galicia opened their bar. The same year their favourite football team made it into the first division, hence the name. The Galicians are masters of seafood and they run all the best fish restaurants in Barcelona. Enjoy the Octopus with paprika, whitebait, Pebrots de Padron (green salted peppers/not hot), croquettes, Bomba, washed down with a light fresh Vino Verde or Ribero by the ceramic cup. Don't be surprised if there is a little sediment in the bottle of white wine as this is part of the elaboration process, a slight fermentation in the bottle adds a tingle of freshness and contact with the sediments smooths acidity.

Palau de la Musica
The mother of all modernist buildings, the pinacle of artistic and cultural expression, a building that touches all the senses, home of the Catalan choir. The Palau has a very active and varied program of concerts, changing daily. A perfect place to round off the day of sight seeing and discovering Barcelona. As you appreciate the music, your eye will be drawn to the incredible display of ceramics, forged iron, marble and bronze statues, incredible inverted stained glass ceiling and walls.
The Palau has a beautiful and very respectable tapa bar which leads onto a spacious terrace patio.
Choose tapas by sight and always thrust the Cava, Try a Cava Nadal,

End of Tour
Thank you for visiting Barcelona and for using this guide.
The great thing about the tapas bars you haven't visited is you can always return to Barcelona again in the future.

More places downtown

Christopher Columbus monument, at the bottom of the Rambles
This is where the story of modern America begins and sorry the lift may not be working
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbus_Monument,_Barcelona

Barceloneta, fishing port and beach
cheep watches, CD players, phones, gadgets, bazars and tiny shops, dodgy characters, beach and sunworshippers
The port neighbourhood, sea breezes and beach, sailors and workers housing,
Prior to the Olympics in '92 the scene of the most abstract experiences, a thousand people with seat and table in the sand, snatches of Spanish guitar playing between the breezes and breaking waves, paella, a salad, a bottle of light white wine, the best calitat/preu in a town that takes quality and price very seriously.

Cal Paixano
Crazy Bodega, the cheapest cava and sandwiches in town and what an atmosphere at anytime of the day. Rule No1, do not drink more than two glasses or the hangover will make you wait a year before you return.

Poble Sec / Montjuic District,
The Gardens of Montjuic a hill on the south side of Barcelona behind the Paralell street and Poble Sec district is a recreation area dedicated to almost every track and field sport. The magnificent instalations of the Catalan Institute of Sport, the Olympic stadium and the Palau de Sant Jordi dominate the top south facing. Closer to Placa Espana are the Exhibition buildings of the 1929 worlds Expo. As the Main Barcelona Exhibition Arena has moved to Hospitalet, these are gradually being given over to Cultural uses as theatres, and museums.
Favourite points of interest are the Miro Foundation, Font del Gat park and restaurant, the Funicular cable car connecting to the Paralell and the Teleferico connecting to Barceloneta, the Institute of Sport, Mercat de les Flors Theatre and Pavelló Mies Van Der Rohe

El Mercat de les Flors, Lleida, 59, Dance and Movement, Institute of Theatre
show up at 8.30, pay about 15 euros and you will be swept away by great professionalism and a theatre with a close and stimulating nature.
I saw the Contempory Dance Company of Cuba here, wow!

Apres theatre.
stroll back down to the Paralell through the old neighbourhood of Poble Sec.

Mies Van Der Rohe Pavillion
Built in 1929 at the same time as the neoclassic buildings nearby, apart from its aestetics which are cool and modern, it is by far the best place to watch the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, far from the crowd, perfect views, lots of seating, bring a picnic bag with two cava glasses.
http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Barcelona_Pavilion.html


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Bar Quimet i Quimet, Poeta Cabanyes, 25, Poble Sec
I had the pleasure of being a neighbour for 2 years and 15 years later I returned and they remembered me. Family bar with an eye on incredible combinations of cheeses and every kind of preserves but almost always ones you have never tasted before. I can also claim I introduced a Catalan-belgian beer producer to a Belgian Cava producer, touché. Quality always, a seat never, unless you take up residence.

Funicular Train Paralell - Montjuic

Fundació Miró,
Catalan artist supreme. Fresh air, light, colour, views, beautiful spaces, wonderful art

La Font del Gat Restaurant, Monjuic
Miro’s hidden garden and scene of enough naughty goings on between soldiers and young girls to inspire a popular song. There is no signposting which always adds to the discovery, so follow your nose and the greenest path. Once the pavillion of the Tennis Club, it is an oasis to gather thoughts after visiting the wonderful Miro foundation. Enjoy open air lunch midweek for around 15 euros.

Upper Barcelona

La Bodegeta Rambla de Catalunya 100,
Historic interior, bar and fridges, snug atmosphere and smart hip clientele. be careful of the house cava, aggh! choose a good cava or white wine, and they have good Catalan reds too. Do try the Patatas Bravas, Tuna, Croquettes...
Bodegeta2_big

Bar Tomas, Sarria, Mayor de Sarriá, 49
Historic Sarria hangout and meeting point, old school service, Barcelona's most famous patatas bravas
...another bar / restaurant that is so old and so popular, they will never need a webpage.

About Barcelona Food and Service

Jamon Bellota:
Bellota describes cured ham from free grazed Spanish black hoofed pigs that have fed on acorns, wild mushrooms and berries. The pigs are weened after 6 weeks and bred in captivity for 6 months. They are then tagged and released into the wild for up to two years. Between December and March the pigs are captured, weighed and inspected to determine quality. The meat is cured with 5 kilos of sea salt per kilo of meat for as many days as there are kilos. The salting and post salting process can take up to 90 days at low temperatures at a humidity of 90 %. In April and May the joints are hung in naturally aired lofts at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level. During July and August the temperatures can rise to 35ºC, and this encourages the fat to sweat and blend into the meat. This along with day and night temperature changes allows the development of the joints and of the unique flavours and aromas. In Autumn the legs are stored in cool dry chambers at temperatures of 12ºC from 12 to 30 months to further enhance the texture, aromas and flavours.
Don't be surprised if the best joints reach prices of in excess of 200 euros a kilo, enjoy!

Vichy Catalan
how do the Catalans stay out all night and look fresh in the morning?
Drink a large glass of Vichy Catalan mineral water before you sleep and another when you wake up

Salted Cod / Bacalla

Tunafish / Atun

Calcots

Artichokes/Alcaxofas

Barcelona Points of Interest Google Map

Mostra Barcelona Taste & Tapas & Culture en un mapa més gran


Thank you for discovering Barcelona with me, Cheers and all the best Paddy

Copyright:
the copyright of the foillowing material is for the exclusive use of Pocket Guide, El Moli Tours and Paddy Mannion, January 2013