Here our are picks for three of Barcelona’s delectable restaurants that are a foodies dream. Grab some authentic Spanish cuisine at La Boqueria; get some theatrically themed delights at El Barri Adrià; or get a mix of Asian and Latin flavor at Blavis.
This is true “home cooking,” and there’s no better way to prime your Barcelona culinary adventure than exploring some of the city’s 39 food markets. With its undulating, brightly patterned roof, Santa Caterina (www.mercatsantacaterina.com), from 1845, is a must-see. The other is the ultimate resource and reference point for Catalonian gourmands, chefs, and restaurateurs, the Mercado de la Boqueria (La Rambla, 91. Tel: +34-933-182-584. www.boqueria.info).
World-renowned Catalonian Chef Ferran Adrià describes La Boqueria as “a gastronomic temple, a place that congregates all the phases in the food chain, from the producers, harvesters, butchers, and fishmongers who provide the food, to the individual and professional clients who wander through this magnificent, characteristic maze of traders in charge of the market stalls.” – By Jeff Hailman
El Barri Adrià
El Barri Adrià (Tel: +34-606-225-545. www.elbarriadria.com/en), their six-restaurant hub in Barcelona’s historic, culturally diverse Poble Sec (Dry Town) district could happily consume your entire visit.
Served by three Metro stations, Poble Sec’s theatrical legacy (such as El Molino, from 1898, originally Le Petit Moulin Rouge and a must for saucy cabaret and burlesque) influenced the Adriàs’ Michelin-starred Tickets and its La Vida Tapa menu. Leaving “no room for boredom, sadness or loneliness,” elBulli-inspired follies include the “miniairbag stuffed with manchego cheese foam” and “Around the World with 12 Oysters, such as the “Trip to Hokaido,” featuring oysters with grilled watermelon consommé. – By Jeff Hailman
Without fuss or hoopla, welcoming owners Pablo (front of house) and Marc (the chef) share their obvious heartfelt passion for food and cooking at rave-reviewed Blavis (Carrer Saragossa, 85. Tel: +34-935-18-20-05. www.facebook.com/restaurantblavis). The model of “authentic local flavor,” it’s the very restaurant I hesitate to write about for fear of giving away a hid- den secret, but since the word is already out (Blavis was recommended to me by a trusted British ex-pat friend), here we go.
Advantageously removed from the tourist fray on a narrow street in the Gracia district, the restaurant declares its lack of pretension with straightforward décor and subdued lighting. That’s a fitting canvas for the artful tapas-driven menu, which uniquely fuses Catalan and Basque fundamentals with Asian and Latin accents. Every affordably priced bite, from the signature eggplant carpaccio with goat cheese and tomato bread to the prawn ceviche to the pulled pork with nachos and guacamole, was excellent. Don’t miss the Blavis salad, either, deliciously mixing arugula with pears, blue cheese, and hazelnuts. There’s an extensive wine list, and well-prepared desserts including sweet pancakes and chocolate fondat. –By Jeff Hailman.
For more foodie ideas check out our World Eats section on Passport.