Let me start off by saying we got bamboozled by our Airbnb host – he took deceitful photos of the place. Luckily, our stay was only 2 days and we only needed a place to sleep. We arrived in the afternoon and took two naps prior heading out and exploring what Barcelona has to offer.
After a well-deserved rest, we head out to La Boqueria market exploring the various food and fruit stalls. Nothing enticed me much other then watermelon as I was having a major craving for fruit. I would recommend looking around but to be completely honest, I didn’t see anything that could fill me up for a meal.
Akeel, my fiancé, found a spot called Tabarlot. The restaurant had such a cozy youthful atmosphere. We ordered some delicious tapas. We started with angry peppers which are guilt free chip-like and charred peppers that I could continue eating for however long. Then we obviously had to get some croquettes, which were mediocre and the goat cheese croquette was disappointing. Side note, I’d say to stay away from any goat cheese dishes in Spain (until someone proves me wrong) because they tend to put something overly sweet alongside. Our final savory dish was the Polbo á feira, a traditional Galician dish that boils the octopus tentacles three times. If you’re going to look for a specific dish, I’d say go for anything like the octopus, squid or cuttlefish. I’m serious when I tell you the octopus’ texture was nothing I’ve had in Canada, it had a juicy tender chicken texture with the seafood flavourings.
For dessert we decided to try crème catalana, one of our most anticipated desserts. If you’re a custard lover like my fiancé, be sure to try this dish before leaving Spain. Think of it as a Spanish creme brulee. A lot of people actually prefer it instead of the French traditional dessert but I’m not going to participate in that argument.
We wanted to beat the tourist rush, so we woke up early and headed to the Picasso museum. I purchased some memorable post cards and looked through his various works of art. This is a must-see destination because you’ll start to see influences all over the city. The feeling of understanding the culture and seeing inspiration that he gathered in Barcelona is truly inspiring.
We finally hit lunch time and got to try pinchos (or pintxo)! This was a very anticipated meal for both Akeel and I after hearing so many bloggers and vloggers talk about it. Essentially, its tapas but they charge you based on the colour of toothpick that is attached to the food item you pick up. This is an easy way for you to try a variety of things. We went to La Tasqueta De Blai. We went to at least two of these pinchos places and we didn’t notice that big of a difference between them. I’d recommend going here if you’re travelling with a big group – you’re less likely to run into food restrictions as they have something for everyone. Personally, we preferred going out for regular tapas.
We spent the evening exploring the beautiful Gothic quarter. We stopped by Petritxol Xocoa for some churros, liquid chocolate, crème catalana and orange juice. I guess we had a sweet tooth that day because I remember chugging that chocolate like there was nobody watching. When you walk in, you’d think it’s a typical pastry chocolate delicacy shop where you pick up something and go, but there’s also a café seating in the back! Be sure to stop here when you need to take a break from walking all day.
Out of order, we had dessert first and dinner last. I was recommended to try Bodega La Palma. Akeel and I’s arrived at the restaurant, we see people sitting and enjoying their food but there was no entrance. We walked around the restaurant for 20 minutes. It was so embarrassing to the point where people inside were watching us circle this like a headless chicken. I finally bit the bullet and walked into the front doors realizing that was the entrance all along. I forget that in Europe, people sit wherever they want too. There was a big group of people sitting at the entrance making us believe that wasn’t the way in.
After that long-winded explanation, we sat down and had one of the best meals in Barcelona. It was delicious and memorable. We are not heavy drinkers or even drinkers at all, but from what we gathered, everyone around us spoke so highly of their wine selection. We ordered patata bravas, sliced anchovies in vinegar, a Spanish tortilla and torrija, the Spanish French toast. Nothing but good things to say about the food we had.
It was such a beautiful night to end our last day in Barcelona. The tapas culture here is strong. The architecture and city was lively, loud and busy.
High Recommended dishes:
- Angry peppers
- Polbo á feira
- Torrija – Spanish French toast
- Crème catalana
Highly Recommended restaurants/cafes: