You’ve got three nights in Barcelona, where are you going to eat? There’s so many choices in the city, and too little time. Even though we’ve been to the city countless times working on the city guide, we’re always overwhelmed when trying to figure out which places to head to. This time, we chatted to some of the best chefs in the city. The places they took us to were A-MAZ-ING.
So here’s the three places you’re going to be eating at during your trip (plus one extra, just for fun). You can thank us later.
NOCHE UNO: TICKETS
Put together by superstar chef and molecular gastronomy pioneer Ferran Adria, Tickets isn’t your average corner tapas place. Its food is playful and a little insane, offering oddball choices such as Manchego airbags, oysters with yuzu kimchi and rabbit with sea cucumber. The space is a cool hybrid of a 1960s snack bar and a cinema foyer, separated into mood zones (including one called the “Marx Brothers Cabin”).
NOCHE DOS: Quimet i Quimet
This is exactly the kind of place you hope you’ll find in Barcelona: a centuries-old, family-run bodega, lined with bottles, filled with locals and serving what is possibly the best selection of cheeses in the city. Unlike most tapas joints, little is actually cooked here, so take a break from the deep fried fish and have a slice or three of aged manchego dotted with membrillo on toast, or any of the dozens of ‘montaditos’, or canapés, on offer. If you’re undecided, ask the person behind the bar – who may well be part of the Quimet family – to make you four of the best.
NOCHE TRES: Llamber
We just loved this place. While the décor of bare brick and high stools may look bar-like, there’s some seriously excellent (and substantial) tapas on offer here that are worth arriving with an empty stomach for. Showcasing seasonal Spanish ingredients, the menu ranges from good versions of happy hour classics – cold meats, croquetas – to unusual options like black sausage with squid or salmon carpaccio with citrus, yoghurt and ginger ice cream. The comprehensive, adventurous wine list, meanwhile, is a dream.
TODA LA NOCHE: Can Paixano
OK, so it’s really all about cava, cava and more cava at this bustling bar. If decision making is not your forte, this is the bar for you: cava is the only drink on offer and you don’t even have to go to the bother of picking a seat because it’s standing-room-only. This perennially packed drinking hole in Barceloneta is a family-run joint serving up their own brand of cava and wines. You’ll have to (politely) use your elbows to get through the dense throng to the counter, where you will have to shout your order over the din of the eager crowd. and there is a tidy selection of food to pad your belly.