Catalunya is a region located in northeastern Spain that is home to the city of Barcelona. Catalunya sits on the Mediterranean coast, offering plenty of beaches and a mild climate. The region’s gastronomy is distinguished by seafood, rice dishes, and traditional desserts such as Catalonian Cream. In addition to Barcelona, Catalunya is home to the cities of Girona and Tarragona.
The view from Parc Güell in Barcelona.
Taller de Tapas
Ideal Cocktail Bar
Suquet de l'Almirall
Bar Central | boqueria.info | 91 La Rambla |Mercat de la Boqueria, No. 494-498 | Barcelona 08002
Tel: 34 93 301 10 98
One of several great tapas bars in the Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona. A great place for traditional, super fresh tapas and vegetables a la plancha. Ask them to prepare eggs with fries and shaved foie gras, not on the menu but almost always available. Mario, who owns Bar Central, is the uncle of Antonio, who owns and runs Kioso Universal on the other side of the market.
Blog Post: Day 1 in Spain: Barcelona
Bar Pinotxo | boqueria.info | 91 La Rambla | Mercat de la Boqueria, No. 466-470 | Barcelona 08002
Tel: 34 93 317 17 31
Another tapas bar in Mercat de la Boqueria. Known for great croquetas and "country food" like tripe and chickpea stew.
Blog Post: Day 1 in Spain: Barcelona
Cheese Me | cheeseme.org | Pl. Jacint Reventos (in front of Argenteria, 53) | Barcelona 08003
Tel: 34 93 268 11 27
Very casual cafe with a great cheese selection, and many vegetarian options. A nice break from typical Spanish food served at every single restaurant, and located in a cozy plaza in the gothic quarter. A great place to stop for a cappuccino while shopping in the neighborhood.
Comerc 24 | comerc24.com | Carrer Comerc 24 | Barcelona 08003
Tel: 34 93 319 21 02
This is the first restaurant in the group, and is a local favorite for fine dining, creative food, in a very hip environment. The wine list is one of the best Catalan selections of wine in Barcelona.
Tapas 24 | projectes24.com | Carrer de la Diputació, 269 | Barcelona 08007
Tel: 34 934 88 09 77
This new-ish younger cousin of Comerc24 is where we took multiple trips to during our visit to Alimentaria, the giant Barcelona gastro-fest. The line is long, so go early or be prepared to wait. But, anywhere we go back to multiple times in the same trip is worth some time in line.
El Quim | elquimdelaboqueria.cat | 91 La Rambla | Mercat de la Boqueria, No. 584-585, 606-609 | Barcelona 08001
Tel: 34 93 301 98 10
Another favorite in the Mercat de la Boqueria. One of the busiest bars in the market, so go early, 11am for lunch is advised if you want a seat. This is a great place for gambas al ajillo and vegetables a la plancha.
Kiosko Universal | boqueria.info | 91 La Rambla |Mercat de la Boqueria, No. 691 | Barcelona 08002
Tel: 34 93 317 8286
Blog Post: When in Spain…
We ate at Kiosko Universal where items off the plancha are the specialty. Scrambled eggs with fries and shaved foie gras torchon…says it all. Also had wild mushrooms a la plancha, simply prepared with olive oil and green onions, white beans a la plancha with lamb sausage, grilled langoustines, and fresh mussels with salsa verde. Everything we ordered was incredibly fresh – the restaurant gets all its products for the day from the market its sitting in, so everything is beyond the best ingredient you’ve ever tried, prepared very simply. And this was just breakfast!
Kiosko Eggs with fries and shaved foie gras:
Paco Meralgo | pacomeralgo.com | C/ Muntaner 171 | Barcelona 08036
Tel: 34 93 430 90 27
This is the restaurant in Barcelona that we take EVERYONE to. It's name is a play on "Para Comer Algo..." or "To Eat Something..." and we tend to gorge ourselves here on an array of deceptively simple tapas. The service comes on like a circus troupe trying to contain their antics by putting on nice clothes. Everything from the croquettes to the langostines shines.
Santa Maria | santarestaurant.wordpress.com | Carrer Comerc 17 | Barcelona 08003
Tel: 34 93 125 38 79
This is right across the street from Comerc 24, and is a local favorite for creative tapas. It has a tiny dining room so come early as it is always busy. There is a great value tasting menu here, so it is always my top recommendation for travelers looking for something special on a budget.
Taller de Tapas | tallerdetapas.com | L’Argenteria 51 (Born) | Barcelona
Tel: 34 92 268 85 59
This is a super popular pintxos bar in the Gothic quarter. Also stop here for a beer and a variety of snacks while seeing the sites.
Vila Viniteca | vilaviniteca.es/es/inicio | Agullers, 7-9 | Barcelona 08003
Tel: 34 902 327 777
Blog Post: When in Spain…
Antonio knows a thing or 2 or 2000 about jamon iberico, and let me tell you, he told us every single bit of it. It was fascinating! And you really haven’t lived until you’ve tasted Presa – it’s the cured meat that comes from the base of the pig’s neck (considered the best part of the animal).
Ideal Cocktail Bar| idealcocktailbar.com | Calle Aribau, 89 | Barcelona 08036
Tel: 34 934 53 10 28
Love Scotch? Imagine your favorite single-malt ... or that elusive single-barrel, vintage sip that is reportedly "impossible to find". You'll find it here.
Suquet de l'Almirall | suquetdelalmirall.com | Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 65 | La Barceloneta 08003
Tel: 34 932 21 62 33
Chef Quim introduced us to Antonio - the Maestro de Jamon at Vila Viniteca. Parked near the beach in Barceloneta, this place is so small that most of the tourists miss it, but if you've got a hankering for Black Rice or the eponymous Fisherman's Stew, head in to this little cave of a restaurant.
Quimet Quimet | suquetdelalmirall.com |C/Poeta Cabanas 25 | Barcelona 08004
Tel: 93 442 31 42
Quimet Quimet is a small tapas bar where all foods are prepared on the fly in front of you. The wine list here is extensive, and service is on point. One quirk of this tapas bar is that you can drop dirty napkins on the floor, instead of on the table.
41 Grados |41grados.es | Avinguda Paral-lel 164 | Barcelona 08015
This cocktail bar is one that resembles Superman’s lair on Krypton, with hanging Plexiglas stalagtites and movie projectors everywhere. Professionals here are mixologists who take their art very seriously. One of the local favorites in this bar is the gin and tonic.
Cavas Masachs | cavasmasachs.com | Ctra. Sant Marti Sarroca Km 7 , Torrelles de Foix, | Barcelona, 08737
Tel: 34 938 99 00 17
For seeing the unique production method of Cava, this is one of our favorite visits. The bottling line is so impressive.
Bodegas Sumarroca | sumarroca.es | Crta. de Sant Sadurni a Gelida, km. 15 | Barrio El Rebato | 08739 Barcelona
Tel: 34 93 891 10 92
A highly regarded cava producer, Bodegas Sumarroca specializes in Brut Nature wines and is owned by Mr. Sumarroca, one of Spain’s most important and awarded agriculturists. The quality of wine on the vineyard is amazing due to the fact the family cares so much about the quality of their grapes. The Brut Nature Gran Reserva is one we have on our own Barcelona menu, and happens to be one of the best cavas produced in Penedès.
Mercado de la Boqueria | boqueria.info | La Rambla, 91 | Barcelona 08001
Tel: 34 933 02 72 60
This is Gretchen's favorite site in Barcelona, and one of the best markets in Europe. Come hungry; besides the fresh produce, there are several eateries inside the market.
Gaudi | (Spanish modernist architect born in XIXth century) has a few buildings in town:
Sagrada Familia | sagradafamilia.cat | C/Mallorca, 401 | Barcelona 08013
Tel: 34 932 07 30 31
Though Gaudi never finished this church, it's still remarkable. You'll feel like you stepped into a Tim Burton movie! After you take the tour inside, make sure to walk around the entire outside of the building--each side has a different theme.
Güell Park | Take the Metro to "Lesseps" on the Green Line. Follow street signposts to the park.
Make sure you don't have to be anywhere, because you'll spend the entire day wandering this park. Everywhere you look, there are carved scultures, magnificent mosaic work, and plenty of photo opportunities. Take a break for lunch with a bocadillo and a cold can of beer on the sunny terrace, which gives amazing views of the town below.
The local beach, you should go if it gets sunny, and you can taste a wonderful rice or fideuá (paella made with noodles) or suquet by the sea. You will tell how different the authentic is…(just the right raw materials). The grilled vegetables (all simple) are another classic from the Catalan cuisine.
U232 Hotel | u232.com | Comte d’Urgell, 232 | Barcelona 08036
Tel: 34 93 322 41 53
One of our favorite hotels in Barcelona, located in the Eixample district. Modern and affordable rooms for Barcelona. Train station is 2 hops away, and walking distance from a favorite club of ours, Luz de Gas.
Silken Diagonal | hoteles-silken.com | Avenida Diagonal 205 | Barcelona 08018
Tel: 34 934 89 5300
Very modern hotel close to great shopping. Not great for business travelers, but perfect for couples.
Zenit Borrell | zenithoteles.com | Comte Borrell, 208 | Barcelona 08029
Tel: 34 91 218 20 28
This is a close second to U232 for favorite hotel in Barcelona. Nice location for walking to great tapas bars, and pretty affordable for the high quality.
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El Celler de l’Aspic| cellerdelaspic.com | Miquel Barcelo 31 | 43730 Falset (Tarragona)
Tel: 34 977 831 246
Located in the tiny town of Falset. If you are planning on visiting Priorat and Montsant, this is a must visit restaurant during your stay. High end food, but still traditional. One of our favorite places for great rice dishes in Catalunya, and we always pick up a few bottles of local vermouth to take with us on the rest of the trip.
Blog Post: When in Spain…
Restaurante Lo Goleró| logolero.com | Platja de l’Arenal, s/n | L’Ampolla 43895
Tel: 34 977 46 08 39
You likely won't find this place, hidden on a lost beach outside a tiny port town near the eel and crab farms off the coast. Look it up on the web and contact them for a tour of the surrounding rice-growing region and you'll land here to find not only eel five-ways, but remarkable clams steamed with almonds and paprika - and the best rice dishes we've experienced in Spain.
Clos Mogador | clos-mogador.ch/en | Cami Manyetes s/n | 4737 Gratallops, Tarragona
Tel: 34 977 83 91 71
The benchmark producer in Priorat, owned by Rene Barbier. Produces some of the most outstanding and sought after wines in Spain, all in a tiny, unadorned winery.
Blog Post: Day 2 in Spain: Touring Monstant
Fermenting wine at Clos Mogador:
Celler Laurona | cellerlaurona.com | Ctra. De Bellmunt, S/n Sort Dels Capellans Pol. 21 | Falset 43730
Tel: 34 977 83 17 12
This is a Gretchen Selection Winery.
Also owned by Rene Barbier, this is his Montsant property that influenced the DO status of the region. Small and quaint, but easy to get to if you are staying in Falset.
Blog Post: Espana Spring 2011-Day 4
Clos Martinet | masmartinet.com | Ctra de Falset a Gratallops KM 6 | Falset 43730
Tel: 34 629 23 8236
Operated by Rene Barier's daughter-in-law, Sara Perez. Like Rene, she makes outstanding and artisanal wines out of a small winery.
Celler de l'Encastell | roquers.com | Carrer de Castell, 13 | Porrera 43739
Tel: 34 977 82 81 46
It isn't easy to locate this underground cellar, but its great once you arrive! The tiny tasting room with the barrels (offering up the chance to taste right out of the barrels) is great, but the drive into the vineyards is amazing.
Celler Capcanes | cellercapcanes.com | Carrer Llaberia, 4 | Capcanes, Tarragona 43776
Tel: 34 977 178 319
A very proud co-op located in Capcanes, that every grape farmer in the area constributes to as "owners." Produced what is considered one of the best Kosher wines in the world, a very fun wine to learn about.
Josep Foraster | josepforaster.com | Celler Mas Foraster | Carrer de Forès | Montblanc 43400
Tel: 34 977 86 02 29
Not many wineries to visit in Conca de Barbera, but this is a gem. Produces one of the only 100% Trepat still wines in Spain, a rare Catalan red varietal used mostly for sparkling wine.
Hotels Priorat S.L. (Hostal Sport) | hotelpriorat-hostalsport.com | C/ Miquel Barcelo 4-6 |Falset 43730
Tel: 34 977 830 078
The only hotel to stay in really, located in Falset. Cozy accommodations, a great restaurant for breakfast is adjacent.
Hotel La Heredad Mas Collet | tripadvisor.com | Finca Mas Collet Capcanes, Spain 43776
Tel: 34 97 726 2455
Although the location is remote, the stay is beautiful, with a nice wine cellar and restaurant on premise. Great for romantic travel, good for business as well, although plan extra travel time for finding the location.
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Castell Del Remei S.L.| castelldelremei.com | Finca Castell del Remei | Castell del Remei 25333
Tel: 34 973 580 200
A really cool estate in Costers del Segre, that has 400 acres of property, with less than 25% being planted to vineyards, with the idea of keeping the land sustainable. A really cool place to visit with a great restaurant on site. Snails with aioli are a specialty.
Tomas Cusine| tomascusine.com | Plaça de Sant Sebastià, 13 | El Vilosell 25457
Tel: 34 973 17 60 29
Not much to see since the winery is just a garage in Vilosell, but produces some of the most impressive (and beautifully labeled) wines in the region.
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Celler Acustic| acusticceller.com | C/ Sant Lluís, 12| Els Guiamets 43777
Tel: 34 629 472 988
Albert, the owner and winemaker, is a dear friend and outstanding host. His winery is modest but the wines are amazing, as well as the visit to see his vineyards.
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