Tag Archives: cafés

Milk bar and bistro, Barcelona


I must admit I am really lucky. Once walking around Barcelona and searching for a breakfast/brunch and soymilk latte I found this small fancy bistro and it comes out to be a popular brunch bar in Barca. Breakfast is served till 16.00. So perfect for a hangover chill. Salmon eggs Benedict and pancakes are a must.
Carrer d’En Gignàs 21 in the centre.







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Plaça Vila de Gràcia

The old and the new

Plaça Vila de Gràcia

Plaça Vila de Gràcia

As Gràcia was absorbed into the expanding ¨new¨ Barcelona of the latter 1800s, its old town square adopted a rather priapic clock tower, its most striking -pardon the pun- architectural feature, facing the town hall on its southern side.

Vila de Gràcia is very much a local square where residents of all ages and backgrounds sit out on sunny days to chat, play chess, kick footballs around or enjoy a drink at one of the several outdoor cafés. Its character has not changed much in recent years and it has a more tranquil and less bohemian feeling than other parts of the district, as it isn’t in the thick of the cosmopolitan shopping, artistic and gastronomic experience further up across Travessera de Gràcia. It is the ideal place to stop off and relax and let your kids run around while visiting this part of Gràcia.

Plaça Vila de Gràcia is only a ten minute walk from the Diagonal and the upper part of Passeig de Gràcia, and therefor not far from some of the most notable modernista houses such as Casa Fuster,  Palau Robert, Palau Baró de Quadras and Casa Terrades, the House of Spikes

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The street with an exotic treat

As you move deeper into the left Eixample, the character of the streets gradually changes as the modernista influences of the early 20th century are replaced with less flamboyant styles of later periods.



However, finely carved stonework, colourful façades and richly decorated balconies and galerias still grace the streets as you progress away from the Quadrat d’Or (Golden Square) centred around Passeig de Gràcia and bordered by Aribau and reach carrer Muntaner.

Starting out on the edge of Ciutat Vella, Muntaner heads mountainward, cutting across the Gran Vía and Diagonal, into the upper reaches of Sant Gervasi. Along its way the typical Eixample cityscape is interspersed with modernista architecture, pavement cafés, more classical buildings and a smattering of unprepossessing 70s rectilinear edifices. But for me, a must-see of lesser-known Barcelona architecture is La Casa China, or Casa Ferrán to give it its official name, at the lower end of the street on the corner of Consell de Cent, an exotic art deco mélange of classical and Oriental styles, unveiled to mixed acclaim in 1930.


The Eixample section of Muntaner has some other fine buildings at its upper end off the Diagonal and at the lower end Gran Vía. Starting from the Diagonal:

La Casa China

La Casa China

Casa Parés de Plet (off Diagonal – behind Hotel Presidente) – A striking modernist house with a twin column of highly decorative stained glass oriel windows, stone parapets and ironwork balconies.

down at the lower end towards Gran Vía:

Casa Ferrán La Casa China (Corner of Consell de Cent) – An exotic fusion of art deco architecture with Ionic columns and a pagoda-like central turret incorporating Moorish designs. More…

and 5 buildings down towards Diputaciò on the same side of the street:

Muntaner 44 – A classic Eixample house with decorative façade and fine stonework, particularly on its upper level.

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A hub of Eixample life

As a main artery from the city centre to its upper reaches in Sant Gervasi, ending at Vía Augusta, Aribau is a busy – and

carrer Aribau

carrer Aribau

diverse – throughfare with several bus routes running up it. Between Plaça Universitat – where it starts – and the Diagonal, it has multiple personalities: at its lower end, a variety of shops, bazaars, cinemas and cafés offering cheap and cheerful consumption to the students at the university round the corner, including the famed traditional orxatería La Valenciana that has been drawing in customers for its refreshing orxatas (tiger-nut milk) and ice-creams from far and wide for the best part of a century.

As you progress up through an array of blocks mixing street cafés with modernista buildings, cuisine from around the world, a specialist wine restaurant-shop, art galleries, antique shops and boutiques, you experience that certain something that gives Eixample living its distinctive character.


There are several worthwhile buildings to see along Aribau in the section between Plaça Universitat and the Diagonal, combining a mix of classical and modernista styles.

Aribau 48

Aribau 48

Aribau 46,48,50 (between Consell de Cent and Aragó) Three adjoining buildings with classical features and carved stonework at no. 48 probably inspired by Central American pagan iconography.

Aribau 54 (corner of Aragó) Now home to the Cram hotel, this broad-fronted xanfrà building has fine stone carvings on its façade and handsome galerías.

Aribau 61 (between Aragó and Valencia) A classic Eixample house with fine stonework on the ground floor and ironwork balconies.

Aribau 91 (corner of Mallorca) A decorative façade with 4 richly carved stone columns on its upper level. A classic Eixample xanfrà building from 1901.

Aribau 146, 148, 150 (between Rosselló and Còrsega) A trio of fine carved stonework façades with decorative ironwork balconies.

Aribau 175, 177 (between Còrsega and París) Blending clasical with modernist, two fine houses with imposing entrances and stone carving on lower level and galería on first floor in stone.

Aribau 179 (corner of París) This building sports a decorative turret on its upper level with colourful ceramic work in the Spanish style.

Aribau 182 (corner of París)  A classic xanfrà corner building flanked by two smaller modernista houses with carved stone façades and ironwork balconies


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A classic Eixample street

Named after the island of Corsica which was briefly under the Catalan sphere of influence, this street, intersected by the Diagonal at Passeig de Gràcia,



cuts across the Eixample, running along the lower part of Gràcia towards the Sagrada Familia. A bustling thoroughfare, it offers a plethora of shops, delicatessens, cafés and restaurants, as well as some further fine examples of Barcelona architecture.


Còrsega 237, 239 (between Aribau and Muntaner) – two adjoining buildings from 1901 with impressive carved stonework entrance doorways, balconies and galerías.

look across the street and to the upper levels to view

Còrsega 224, 226 crowned with intricate stone-carved parapet decoration

Còrsega 241 (corner of Aribau) – a handsome wide-fronted xamfrà building displaying all the finest characteristics of elegant Eixample stonework architecture.

Casa Comalat

Casa Comalat

Còrsega 236 (between Aribau and Enric Granados) –

Diputació de Barcelona (corner of Rambla Catalunya) – baroque stone architecture with modernist touches – colourful ceramic tiling on balconies, roof and pinnacle.

across the Rambla is a pedestrianised section where you will find

Còrsega 298 (between Rambla Catalunya and Diagonal) – richly decorated stonework and columns

Casa Comalat (corner of the top part of Pau Claris) – a Gaudí inspired building with a chocolate box exuberance of colour and forms, finely decorated glass windows, ceramic mosaics and curved stone parapet. It is the rear of the building with the main entrance on Diagonal 442.

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Enric Granados

Running parallel to Passeig de Gràcia and down from the Diagonal to the old University, this is one of the most relaxed, leafy streets of the Eixample,  largely pedestrianised with a huge variety of pavement cafés and restaurants, interesting shops and, if you´re using a bike, a pleasant and safe ride between the Diagonal and the Gran Vía with a dedicated cycle lane in both directions, free from the fumes and noise of busy traffic.

Enric Granados

Enric Granados

Motor-free squares and gardens with children’s play areas at both top and bottom of the street and plenty of stopping opportunities along the way make Enric Granados the ideal way – especially for families – to walk or cycle between the town centre and the Diagonal.


  • Casa Sayrach (Diagonal 423, Corner of Enric Granados) – a must see! One of the last modernist houses to be built, its elegant stone-carved façade and richly decorated entrance lobby will charm you. It houses the classy La Dama restaurant. While you´re there, the adjoining house at Enric Granados 153 is worth having a look, especially for its lobby.

this block of the street is fully pedestrianised with benches, street cafés and a children’s play area

  • Enric Granados 106 (between París and Còrsega) – this building sports some intricate stonework on its façade with a riotous overhanging stained-glass galeria.
  • Enric Granados 119 (corner of Còrsega) – awarded the 1907 diploma of honour for urban buildings, this wide-fronted xanfrá edifice has impressive columns and beautifully-crafted oriel windows and galeria.
  • Enric Granados 32, 34 (betweenValencia and Mallorca) – these two adjoining houses display the attractive features of decorated façades and Catalan ironwork balconies typical of the less flamboyant bourgeois buildings of the Eixample.
  • Enric Granados 26, 24, 22  (betweenValencia and corner of Mallorca). In their own way, each of these houses represent the diverse creativity of Barcelonese architectural design, with exuberant stone-carved entrance doorways, balconies, oriel windows façades crowned with designs inspired by the modernista movement.

at the next block down you will find a small park with children’s play areas and benches.

Across the street (Aragó) you will reach the bottom section of Enric Granados with a pedestrianised area popular with local dogwalkers, with more benches and fenced-off children’s play areas, pavement cafés and a variety of restaurants.

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Filed under Barcelona with children, Eixample Streets, Parks, Sightseeing, Streets, The Eixample


A relatively tranquil street during the day, carrer París boasts a host of Barcelona’s best restaurants, bars and cocktail bars to spend the evening among the residents of the Eixample and further afield, who choose it as one of their favourite meeting points.

Carrer París

Carrer París

Running obliquely to the Diagonal and meeting it at the junction of carrer Balmes, the street is an alternative route between the upper part of the Left Eixample and Rambla Catalunya and Passeig de Gràcia, with some elegant modernista and classical buildings along the way and some excellent gastronomic experiences.


The main buildings of interest are located close to the Diagonal.

  • París 202, 204 (between Balmes and Enric Granados) – two adjoining residential buildings with imposing
    París 182

    París 182

    carved stone doorways and façades and inticate ironwork balconies. París 202 has a particularly colourful entrance lobby.

  • París 182 (between Enric Granados and Aribau) – richly decorated stonework and carved wood entrance door with Gothic windows and parapets on its upper levels

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Finding your way around

Discover a different Barcelona

This site is here to give you the tips you need to explore a part of central Barcelona that’s easy to reach but away from the tourist traps  – the less known streets for sightseeing , with pictures to give you a feeling for all the places to be enjoyed off the beaten track and away from the crowds. We’ll also tell you about where you can stay, eat, stop for a coffee, visit public gardens etc., with a rough price guide so you can plan your day.

The Diagonal

The Diagonal

Click on the categories on the right to see street-by-street guides, shopping, restaurants, cafés, getting around and so on. We’ll be adding new information all the time, so keep checking in for updates. For the moment, all the content is about the Eixample and Gracia, but we’ll be adding other areas for those wishing to explore further afield in the future.

If you’d like to add your own comments or tips for other visitors to the site, you’re most welcome.

Thank you for visiting myDiagonal and come back soon!

(PS – I’ll be publishing random posts about nothing in particular every now and then)


A street-by-street guide of places to see with maps to plan your route and find places to stop off on your way.

Restaurants, cafés, bars

Classified by nationality, speciality, location, price range, etc.


We’ll tell you about boutiques, wine shops, chocolate shops and delicatessens and other interesting places to find original gifts or treats for yourself.


Places to stay by price range, location, boutique hotels, etc.

Getting around

How to move around on foot, by bike and by public transport, including dedicated cycle routes.


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Gràcia, once a village outside Barcelona, has been enveloped by the city to become one of the most cosmopolitan and trendy neighbourhoods, like Paris´s Montmartre. With many of its streets pedestrianised and leafy squares dotted around, it maintains the charm of a small town and is the ideal place to enjoy the city´s life away from the noise of the traffic and still explore the delights of the café life, food from around the world and small specialist shops and boutiques, antiquarians and art galleries.

Lying between the Diagonal to the South and Parc Güell to the North, this vibrant residential quarter, home to artists, artisans, designers and architects, has unspoilt old style cafés, small grocer’s shops, boutiques, theatres, galleries, barber’s shops, jazz joints, pubs and restaurants – a veritable feast for the senses. Its markets have a much more authentic feeling than the Boquería on the Ramblas and its squares are teeming with life, young and old, dog owners, groups, cyclists and pedestrians mingling and meeting to share the relaxed atmosphere.


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Exploring the Diagonal

The Diagonal is one of Barcelona´s main avenues. With the growing prosperity of the 1800s, the city expanded beyond the edges of the original old town with the building of Plaça Catalunya and the Eixample beyond. The Diagonal cuts through this “new” Barcelona. Here I will explore with you the shorter central stretch, easily reached on foot, by cycle or by public transport from Plaça Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia and Rambla Catalunya.

The Diagonal has some fine examples of Barcelona’s famed modernist architecture (see Sightseeing below), as well as a host of classy – but not always expensive – boutiques, shops and restaurants. Even though it is a main traffic thoroughfare, its wide palm-tree lined walkways amply accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists, and you can hop on and off the many buses (including tour buses) that run along its length.


  • Palau Robert (Passeig de Gràcia 107, Corner of Diagonal) – a substantial but relatively unremarkable classical building, its lovely garden with orange and palm trees is an oasis in the heart of the city. It hosts a range of exhibitions year round.
  • Palau Baró de Quadras (Diagonal 373, just off Passeig de Gràcia) – a delightful palace combining neo-Gothic and modernist styles and richly decorated interiors. Open for visits except Mondays.

2 blocks along Diagonal away from Passeig de Gràcia and across the road is

  • Casa Terrades (Diagonal 416, Corner of Bruc) – also known as the House of Spikes because of its pointed spires crowning a Gothic extravaganza resembling a castle that houses a residential block.

Go back along the Diagonal on the same side of the street to find

  • Casa Comalat (Diagonal 442 just off Passeig de Gràcia) – a modernist building in the Gaudí style, with colourful ceramic features and curved stone arches and balcony. It is well worth visiting the rear of the building on carrer Còrsega
  • Casa Fuster (Top of Passeig de Gràcia) – overlooking the garden square just off the Diagonal, this is another striking example of the modernist style with flowing stone columns and balconies. Now a luxury hotel.
  • Casa Pérez Samanillo – Círculo Ecuestre (Balmes 169, Corner of Diagonal) – another fine example of modernisme, this palatial building features elegant turrets and flowing arched stone windows.
  • Casa Sayrach (Diagonal 423, Corner of Enric Granados) – one of the last modernist houses to be built, its elegant stone-carved façade and richly decorated entrance lobby will charm you. It houses the classy La Dama restaurant. While you´re there, the adjoining house at Enric Granados 153 is worth having a look, especially for its lobby.
  • Diagonal 556-564 (Corner of Aribau) – although relatively unremarkable at ground level, look up to see some imposing white stone rococo features and twin turrets. Best viewed from the opposite side of the Diagonal.
  • Museu de l’Esport (Corner of Diagonal/Casanova) – this mansion, with a hint of an Alpine hotel, is home to one of Barcelona´s sports museums with displays relating to Catalan sporting achievements and Olympic history. Closed weekends.


Shopping in the Diagonal can offer both a high-end and a more affordable shopping experience, catering to all tastes and needs, with small specialist shops as well as the better-known chains like Zara and Mango.

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Filed under Eixample Streets, Streets, The Eixample