Barcelona’s vibrant international culture leads to some excellent mash-ups of traditional local elements with new finds from around the world. That’s what you’ll discover at Federal Café, a chic restaurant in the Sant Antoni neighborhood run by two Australians who are giving the Barceloneses a charming introduction to brunch, served up with a Spanish twist.
With two floors plus a pretty terrace upstairs, Federal’s laid-back atmosphere is like relaxing in a friend’s kitchen (admittedly a very elegant one) while you listen to gentle music. The café is decorated in soft, neutral tones and scattered vases of fresh flowers. Large windows give the whole place a sense of openness and a gentle breeze.
Federal serves food all day, but the real star here is their brunch. Start off your meal with a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice or, if you’re feeling adventurous, a mimosa. Alternately, you can go the Spanish route and get a café con leche – milky coffee served strong.
They offer classic brunch dishes, like eggs Benedict or bacon and eggs, but plenty are more unusual (try the fruit toast with ricotta and honey, or the potato latkes served with smoked salmon and dill creme fraiche). Lots incorporate Spanish staples, like the buttery croissants topped with crispy jamÃ³n or spicy chistorra sausage. If you’re more in the mood for something dulce, stop by the luscious cake display and try to settle on just one. Whatever you choose, it’s sure to be a delicious treat to linger over in a lovely place.
Brunch is quickly becoming a trendy Barcelona activity, but Federal Café has perfected a mix of Australian brunch and Spanish specialties that makes it stand out. And the inexpensive prices are just the icing on the freshly-baked cake.
About the Writer
Jessica Bowler is a translator and freelance journalist based in Barcelona. You can read her personal writings about Spain, travel, and expat life at HolaYessica.com (named after the Spanish mis-pronunciation of her name).
Photos via Cafe Federal Facebook