Jan 212013
 

This is part three of my Barcelona trip – for parts one and two, please see below.

Barcelona – Lufthansa First Class and First Class Terminal
Barcelona – Mandarin Oriental, Gaudi and Mammoth Museum
Barcelona – The Food

Bread with tomato at Tapeo

Bread with tomato at Tapeo

I adored so many aspects of Barcelona – the beautiful architecture, friendly culture, amazing shopping, and more. My favorite aspect of Barcelona however, was of course, the food! It was so amazing and I would fly directly back to Spain tomorrow if I had the chance. We tried to eat at as many places as possible and I wanted to share some of my favorite spots and dishes here today.

Gelonch:

The very first restaurants we went to in Barcelona was Gelonch, which was recommended by a friend. Since we were facing several weeks of holiday gluttony right before, I really wanted our Barcelona stay to be more about casual dining – aka no formal dress code, 2-3 star Michelin places. Gelonch was probably the most formal place we went to, but it wasn’t even truly so – jeans and trainers (albeit nicer ones) were fine here.

Gelonch

Gelonch is the restaurant of Robert Gelonch, who was formerly at El Bulli. The food was very impressive – very modern but not overly complicated, and with great flavors. Here were two favorites from the tasting we ordered.

The first was a little duo of onion (I think one was an amuse bouche and one was the first course of our tasting). The right was a fried onion “paper” with onion cream, while the left was a flaky croquette that was also topped with an onion cream. Delicious!

Gelonch Amuse Bouche

Another highlight was my personal favorite at Gelonch and one of my favorite dishes we had in Barcelona – a shiitake mushroom and Jamón ibérico ham soup. Oh wow was this amazing. As a soup fan I always try and order it at restaurants, and this is one of the best that I’ve had (my favorite remains Gary Danko). It was like a Spanish version of a fabulous miso soup, if that makes any sense.

Gelonch Soup

The next few days, we decided to explore many tapas bars and tried countless ones. Here are a few of my favorite spots, starting with Tapas 24. If you’re staying at the Mandarin Oriental, I highly recommend going here, since it’s right around the corner from the hotel!

Tapas 24: 

Tapas 24

Tapas 24 doesn’t take reservations, so be warned that there is sometimes a line. We ordered about 5-6 dishes and enjoyed them all. Here are a few of our favorites.

The first was an oxtail stew. I’m not normally a fan of oxtail but this was amazing. I even ordered an extra serving of bread just to lop up the remaining sauce. This is a dish that Tapas 24 is particularly known for, we were told.

Tapas 24 Oxtail

Another great dish was this egg/potatos/iberian ham scramble. It was like gourmet Denny’s and surprisingly perfect at 10 PM with some sangria!

Tapas 24 Egg

The last was my personal favorite dish – I loved it so much that I really wanted to order seconds, but decided to try something else on the menu instead. One of my favorite dishes in Barcelona – a “bikini” aka ham and cheese sandwich, with black truffles, grilled to perfection.

Tapas 24 Bikini

The next few tapas bars were both very close to the Picasso Museum (and my favorite Mammoth Museum) in Barcelona, and a great place to stop for a snack either before/after or both!

Bar del Pla: 

I actually only tried two dishes at Bar del Pla as a snack right before we went to the Mammoth Museum. This was a very popular spot and I’d like to come back one day and try more dishes.

Bar del PLA ham

I tried two types of croquettes – meat and mushroom. Both were fantastic.

Bar del PLA croquettes

On our third night in Barcelona, we went to what ended up being one of my favorite places we ate at –  Tapeo, which was very close to Bar del Pla. I’d recommend reservations – our concierge called the day of and was able to get us in at 8 PM, and there were lines outside. This restaurant was delicious, I would have gone back for seconds (and thirds) had there been time in our itinerary.

Tapeo: 

Tapeo Sign

Tapeo Outdoor

At most restauants we ordered the Iberian ham which I loved, and we did the same at Tapeo. It was fun watching the chefs slice off the meat. I have to admit that I peeled off some of the fat bits shamefully like the native Californian I am.

Tapeo Ham

Tapeo Ham Sliced

Tapeo is known for their bravas dish (fried potatoes topped with tomato sauce and a garlic aioli) and rightfully so!

Tapeo Bravas

This was my favorite dish at Tapeo, a salad of salmon, potatoes, roe and a wasabi sauce that was so good. I guess they know the sauce is great because the dish came with a bottle of more sauce that we could use as needed. The flavor of the potato mixed with the salmon and roe bursting in your mouth was amazing.

Tapeo Salmon Salad

We sat at the bar, and our bartender/server was very charming and made delicious drinks. I was particularly fond of the cava sangria (this is him mixing the wine sangria below).

Tapeo Sangria Mixing

The seafood was so amazing everywhere we went in Barcelona, that I really wanted to try out a Spanish interpretation of one of my favorite fish dishes to order – black cod. While walking down the Passeig de Gràcia on one of our last days in Spain, we happened to pass by a restaurant called Fishop (get it?) which seemed to have quite a few patrons enjoying sushi and other dishes. I decided this place was worth a try!

Fishop:

Fishop

I heard from a fellow diner that Fishop was one of the best places to find sushi in Barcelona. But my personal favorite dish from the restaurant was their black cod croquette, something that I didn’t find anywhere else in Barcelona. And it was delicious!

Fishop Cod Croquettes

Now aside from restaurants, we also decided to check out quite a few little sweet shops for late night indulgences to have on hand, as well as gifts to bring home. Here are a few of my personal favorite spots.

Planelles Donat:

Ponelle Donat Interior

Planelles Donat was a very charming little turrone (nougat) shop, which we happened to stumble upon. I had to stop and check it out because a) I love nougat and always enjoy those parts of Toblerone the best, and b) I am generally attracted to any stores that sell sweets and feature large crowds. There were so many turrone varieties and I had the hardest time making up my mind!

Ponelle Donat

Panelle Donat

There were fruit, chocolate, caramel, almond, coconut, sesame, praline, marzipan, and much, much more. In the end my husband and I each chose one flavor each, and the shop worker carefully measured out our quantity and wrapped it up with their charming paper. And by the way – it was delicious, of course!

Panelles Donut wrapping

Planelles

Another sweet shop that we happened to just stumble upon was Fargas.

Fargas:

 Fargas Sign

Fargas was a chocolate shop with the most wonderful window displays of chocolate and other sweets.

Fargas Figures

Once inside, I was so overwhelmed with all the choices that I had to walk back out again, just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything in the window displays!

Fargas Geles

Fargas Chocolates

I decided to get some chocolates and asked the man behind the counter which ones were his favorites. He demurred for a bit and then pointed at a tray of rather plain looking ones. His English wasn’t the best, so he just said, “Cookie.”

Cookie? I was hoping for something more exotic, but in the end decided to heed his advice and added quite a few pieces to my little bag. And of course in the end…the chocolates that he recommended, turned out to be AMAZING! They were a cookie crumble consistency but with a flaky texture of nougat mixed with caramel…I can’t even describe it. WOW.

Fargas Interior

And with the cookie chocolates…I’ve come to the end of my Barcelona food report. I know this is probably the gushing of a Spain amateur, but I was so, so impressed with the food in Barcelona. I cannot wait to go back to this amazing city, and hope that there will be many more Spanish food experiences to come in my future!

PS: A quick note that since we decided to visit Barcelona over the Christmas/New Year’s holiday, a few of the restaurants I wanted to try (Tickets, etc) ended up being closed. If you do want to travel to Barcelona for a “food adventure” I’d recommend staying away from major holiday periods as well as August.

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  17 Responses to “Barcelona – The Food”

  1. It all looks so yummy! I adore proper Spanish Tapas.
    Happy Monday Hun xoxo
    http://www.intotheblonde.com/

  2. Virtual.Drooling…
    I love jamon iberico and also peel off the strips of fat (come on, the fat is right there staring at you!) I would have so many bikinis if I was there as well. I’ll definitely go to Tapeo and Tickets some time. I am happy to be going to Boracay tomorrow, but wish I was going to a place with really great food options.

    I have to snack on something now…

    xoxo,
    Chic ‘n Cheap Living

  3. your post has really made me miss the place, and my biggest regret about barcelona was not trying enough restaurants.

  4. I’m bookmarking this so that I know exactly where to go on my next trip to Barcelona. I remember having the best tapas ever 16 years ago. I was able to take a break from the tour group (never again!) and a few other ladies decided to follow me. I was brave enough to wave down a local to get his recommendation of his favorite tapas place. Armed with a rough map of the restaurant, we set off and had the best meal ever. Too bad I didn’t keep a record of the place.

  5. Yum! Great photos, can’t wait to see more :D

  6. This all looks so delicious! I’ve been craving another trip to Barcelona and we might just have to make it happen this summer! Will have to bookmark this for food recommendations!

  7. Looks amazing! Saw Tickets on Lisa’s blog the other day. Looked super delish. I love your food blog posts:)!

  8. Love the food post! Sangria is one of my fav drink and I cannot imagine how good the Cavasangria might have been!

  9. My boyfriend and I are planning on going to Spain in August/ September and I am extra excited after seeing this post! Thanks for all the recommendations!
    xo
    LJ
    jonesyloves.blogspot.com

  10. Barcelona is amazing – thanks for the delicious photos!!! I can’t recall if you have done a post about clothing choices for travel. You travel quite a bit and packing is tricky. In sophisticated cities you don’t want to scream “tourist”, however walking requires a whole different level of shoe comfort. When you are tiny (esp. short) comfortable shoes tend to look terrible. I don’t understand girls who can traipse around cobblestone streets in ballet flats or converse. Maybe for an hour or so, but when you are wanting to see a city on foot, they just won’t do. What is your travel wardrobe philosophy? I would love to hear your thoughts at some point – or point me to an older post? Thanks!

    • Hi Stacey,

      I’m a shorty as well and also think that flat comfy shoes tend to look horrible on me. I once spent a day in Paris in pain because I decided to walk in heels around the city. I don’t have the greatest travel wardrobe but I will try to write up a post on it later with some of my favorite go to items :)

  11. Love the food pictures! We’ll be travelling to Barcelona later this spring and I’m hoping to try Gelonch, thanks to your post.

    Do you have any tips on how to dress in Europe? Travel guides have me thinking I can’t be fashionable and touristy at the same time.

    • Hi Jan, I usually try to dress in comfortable pants or a casual dress in the summer, and comfortable walking shoes. Are you going to be doing lots of walking? I find that the shoe portion is the most problematic for stylish traveling – I have been thinking about putting a post together on this, maybe thanks to you I will finally get off my butt and do it! :) Enjoy Gelonch, it is delicious!

  12. [...] Barcelona – Lufthansa First Class and First Class Terminal Barcelona – Mandarin Oriental, Gaudi and Mammoth Museum Barcelona – The Food [...]

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