I arrived in Barcelona via Luxair (the picture is of my departure from Luxembourg City). My first experience with, and first memory of, Barcelona was aboard this airplane. As we were descending to land at Barcelona–El Prat Airport, I could see the city’s Mediterranean coastline off to my right. It was exciting because I had neither visited Spain nor seen the Mediterranean Sea.
A great friend of mine had traveled to Barcelona before and stayed at BarcelonaBB. She recommended it highly, so that’s where I stayed. I rented the Blue Room and had a terrific experience. The common area is awesome, too.
BarcelonaBB’s location is very close to several restaurants, the metro system and public buses. It’s also within walking distance to La Sagrada Familia, one of Spain’s most popular tourist destinations (more on that later). I had to take care of a little business, though, before…
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Again, I searched for the top 10 restaurants in Barcelona. This time, though I decided to only tackle a few. Reasons: I am trying to maintain my weight while enjoying fresh baked bread (why can’t I have it in America???), and handmade gelato. And also, I have been receiving recommendations and strangely enough those restaurants did not make it to the top 10. Being me, I value my friends suggestion more than TimeOut so I reserved the places for other places like Abac, Tickets, Comerc 24, etc.
Nevertheless, I took the walk to Dos Palillos for a try. And I am so so so glad I made it. I will take my little sister – Bella here when she comes (if she decides to move those fingers to book tickets…). So a little bit of background on the chef, I know I usually don’t share these facts, but I got…
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On first impressions one might be inclined to think that Barcelona (or all of Spain, even) is unfriendly to someone who avoids eating animal products. Whilst there are indeed legs of ham as far as the eye can see, the city actually has a lot of plant-friendly eating options. I arrived in Barcelona with a fairly long list of vegetarian restaurants I wanted to try, but truthfully we didn’t really feel the need to seek them out all that often. Tapas was our friend, and whilst a lot of tapas dishes do include meat, there are plenty of great non-meat options available at most restaurants. We enjoyed some amazing vegetable paella at a tapas bar off Passeig de Gràcia, and ate more grilled padrón peppers and patatas bravas than one would think possible. Pan con tomate and escalavida were also among my personal favourites.
Whilst we didn’t get make it…
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Spain has always been one of the top places in the world when it comes to food. I confess that over these 2 years I’ve never tried so much different food and tasted so much wine. In Barcelona, I visited a wide range of restaurants, from small and cheap locals to prestigious locations renown worldwide. But recently, a new restaurant caught my attention: Pepito.
With a prestigious location between Rambla Cataluña and Paseo de Gracia, Pepito specializes (evidently) in Pepitos. This classic meal turns into a gourmet dish with ingredients such as Brie cheese, foie and pimientos de padrón (the typical green Galician peppers with a salty touch).
The menu holds a variety of plates such as salads exquisitely finished, meats, tartar, cod with honey and gourmet tapas. As well, many D.O. from Spain are available for you to choose and marry your meal to boost each flavor.
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This Sunday (November 3th), in the Melia Hotel’s Auditorium, will take place the event “La Tapa de l’Any de Catalunya 2013” organized by El Gremio de Hostelería de Sitges and Estrella Damm.
In the contest, 18 tapas will be prepared by 18 chefs. If you go there this Sunday, you can enjoy the competition and have the option to taste one of the finalist tapas + an Estrella beer. Price: 3€. You can see how to go to the hotel and buy tickets here.
This event is complementary to the Tapa’s route in Sitges ( October 29th -November 10th). Different bars and restaurants in Sitges will sponsor one of the finalist tapas. So, you can taste them walking around this beautiful town. See the offer here.
On the other hand, Monday will be dedicated to the professional sector, with presentations of first-order chefs: Albert Marimon, Xavier Franco, Josean Merino, Nandu…
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For the price of admission to Antoni Gaudi’s legendary La Sagrada Familia, you can buy yourself a decent sit-down three-course lunch, reserve a bed in any number of top-rated hostels, or go to any number of art-house cinemas and buy a ticket for you and friend, plus have money leftover for snacks. What I’m getting at is that it’s damn expensive to enter a building still at least a decade away from completion. Although I have mostly approached this trip with the mindset of “I might never come back here again,” I feel that Barcelona is a city I could visit time after time without exhausting myself. So entering La Sagrada Familia will just have to wait–but luckily there are a host of other incredible places around the city to see art, most of them much cheaper, if not free.
For starters, there’s the Fundacio Antoni Tapies, a…
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