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Eat Like a Local BARCELONA

Eat Like a Local BARCELONA

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Eat Like a Local BARCELONA

282 pagine
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Jun 27, 2019


Food-focused travel guides for the world's most exciting cities

This book is a food tour in your pocket, featuring more than 100 of the best restaurants, cafes, bars and markets recommended by a team of in-the-know Barcelonians. You'll also find insights into the city's idiosyncratic food culture, and a handful of iconic recipes to cook in the holiday kitchen or once you've returned home. It's the inside knowledge that allows you to Drink, Shop, Cook and Eat Like a Local.
Jun 27, 2019

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Eat Like a Local BARCELONA - Bloomsbury





Welcome to Barcelona

In Barcelona, the good life is accessible to all. Everyone can buy a paper cone of piping-hot churros ready to dip into thick, warm chocolate, or enjoy a great-value three-course lunch with drinks included.

Food and socialising are inextricably linked in this city. Tapas, often taken at a bar before a late meal, are designed to be shared. Vermouth is drunk with snacks and friends. Shopping at one of the 40 municipal markets is done at leisure, as much to catch up with neighbourhood chatter as to pick up pre-cooked judías (beans). At the many festas, long tables for communal lunches are formed out of smaller ones brought down from the various apartments. After the food comes the sobremesa, a time to do nothing but discuss, moving from subject to subject without haste… a ritual that often takes longer than the meal itself.

Much food in Barcelona is firmly rooted in the classics, relying on rice, pasta and potatoes as staples: tortilla de patata, patatas bravas, paella and fideuà (a noodle dish), with a generous and varied selection of seafood and plenty of meat (particularly pork) and poultry. Classic Catalan fare is popular in the city and typically substantial, from canelones (meat-stuffed pasta topped with béchamel) to many a hearty stew. Juxtaposed with all this is molecular gastronomy, influenced by Catalonia’s most famous chef, Ferran Adrià. He and his brother now run a small group of restaurants in the city, while chef-alumni of his famous (sadly now no more) elBulli have opened several more venues.

Barcelona struggles somewhat when it comes to some ethnic food; good Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern restaurants are hard to find. However, if it’s Mexican, Peruvian or Japanese food you’re after, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from and they are very good.

The city’s food landscape is constantly growing. Brunch spots pop up weekly, while there are so many craft beer places that it’s hard to know where to begin. So come to Barcelona, and come hungry… and prepared to eat your dinner later than you ever have before, as the Catalans do.

Explore the City

Poble Sec Historically, Barcelona’s main working-class district. The neighbourhood had no water until the 19th century, hence its name (‘dry town’). Head for Carrer Blai, a pedestrianised street filled with treasures for the hungry traveller and ideal for tapas-hopping.

Sant Antoni Across from Poble Sec, this has always been a down-to-earth, traditional area filled with affordable bodegas, bars and tapas spots. The scene has changed in recent years, with the opening of a spate of brunch venues and craft beer halls. This is also the neighbourhood where the father of molecular gastronomy, Ferran Adrià, and his brother Albert have chosen to launch their elBarri restaurant group of six restaurants, which they describe as ‘a gastronomic amusement park’.

El Born Romantically, the name of this neighbourhood comes from the verb ‘to joust’, as medieval knights once did in Passeig del Born square, which leads up to the Santa Maria del Mar cathedral. The district is now home to a whole host of funky boutiques, cafés and restaurants. These days, the only jousting you’ll find in El Born is metaphorical, taking place between restaurateurs keen to attract you to their competing venues.

Barri Gòtic The oldest district of Barcelona, encompassing the famous La Rambla thoroughfare. Made up of little medieval streets and squares, it is beautiful, atmospheric and popular with tourists; beware, as you will find plenty of tat in between the gems. Lively at night, the restaurants in this district keep serving well into the small hours.

El Raval A multi-cultural area, home to plenty of Asian and Indian groceries and halal butchers. Its location, nestled between two of the city’s biggest food markets – La Boquería and Mercat de Sant Antoni – as well as attractive rents in recent years, have brought the area some great new cafés and bars, as well as art galleries and boutiques. El Raval has a rakish reputation, but the savvy traveller has little to fear.

Barceloneta A former fishermen’s district, Barceloneta was laid out in the 18th century on land reclaimed from the sea. This was a huge project that became necessary to rehouse residents of the Ribera neighbourhood of Barcelona, large parts of which were pulled down to make way for the fortress of the Ciutadella, built by Philip V during the War of Spanish Succession. Today, the fortress is no more and the grid-like streets give way to a wide beach that stretches for about four kilometres. Unsurprisingly, some of the best seafood in the city is to be found here.

Poblenou ‘New Town’ is an industrial area that includes the Olympic Village. Largely devoid of tourists, the long Rambla del Poblenou is lined with shops and cafés. In February, the district’s buildings are illuminated in an extraordinary light festival called Llum, which you should not miss if you’re in the city.

Eixample Pronounced eshample, Catalan for ‘expansion’, Eixample was built in the 1850s when the original medieval city was pulled down. The large grid layout was designed by Idefons Cerdà to allow light into houses and air to move freely. Many of Barcelona’s best Modernist buildings are here and each one has retail space at its base, so you’re spoilt for choice for restaurants, bars and shops.

Gràcia A charming neighbourhood with the feel of a small town, Gràcia has plenty of picturesque squares and outdoor café seating. The tree-lined Verdi street makes for a pleasant amble. The residents have a boho-chic vibe; expect to see more organic food shops and yoga studios than anywhere else in the city. It is much loved by families with young children, and there are a lot of child-friendly eating options. Gràcia has a famous Festa Major every summer with the typical correfoc (Catalan fire runs) and castellers (human towers), as well as street art made from papier mâché and recycled materials.

Meet the Locals

Suzy Taher

Jordanian-Romanian Suzy is a chef, writer and cookery teacher. She grew up in Athens and studied art history in Paris, then trained as a chef at Leiths in London. In 2013, she moved to Barcelona and began the Foodie in Barcelona blog. When she is not writing, Suzy is cooking. She provides healthy lunch meals for local offices and shops and teaches schoolchildren in Barcelona how to bake everything from brownies to meringue baskets. As long as it has to do with food, Suzy is in her element.

Anjalina Chugani

Private chef, teacher and author Anjalina was raised in an Indian family in London and now lives in Barcelona with her own children. She studied at the Hofmann Culinary School in Barcelona and then moved into teaching Indian cuisine and organising private events. Her first cookbook, Soul Spices, mixes Indian and Western recipes.

Madeleine Feeny


Madeleine is a freelance writer and editor. In 2017 she moved to

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