Barcelona’s Coolest Food Haunts: Confessions from a Local ‘EatWith’ Host

seafood paella

Seafood Paella photo via Shutterstock 

We caught up with EatWith host and Barcelona local, Alberto to get the scoop on the city’s best food haunts.

I was born in a small town in northeast Italy where you have two options in life: to become a rich and ambitious businessman or to run away facing a doubtful future abroad….I chose the funniest one. I have been roaming Europe from east to west for a couple of years until I  found in Barcelona the right place to create a new life. In Barcelona, I have all I need: good friends, good beers, good books and good food. You would say that you can find the same in Paris and I would answer, Yes, but Barcelona has amazing beaches! Did I forget to say that? Oops! 

Where can you get the best sampling of Barcelona’s local food?

La Bombeta”, as they proudly say: “ we don’t speak English, but we make amazing meatballs”. Here you can have the best sampling of Catalan and Spanish food for a reasonable price. The staff looks odd, but it’s just an impression, they are really funny and they can teach you much more Spanish than you will ever learn in one of those expensive summer courses.

Mar y Muntanya

Mar y Muntanya photo via Shutterstock

What is your favorite local dish? Do you have a recipe?

Mar y Muntanya. I do have a recipe: cook the chicken in the same manner you would as a roasted chicken and prepare prawns as if you were preparing a “frutti di mare” risotto. When it’s done, mix both, add red wine, a bit of cognac, cook a few more minutes and enjoy.

Where to go for some great international food:

Red ant, a Vietnamese restaurant with a great selection of draft beers. The staff is really nice and efficient. They have a list of four or five dishes that they change every day. Lovely atmosphere and good value for money.

Are there any spots where you can enjoy the fresh catch of the day?

Cava Fundada in Barceloneta, near the Market. Trust them, nobody else.

You must have breakfast here:

Mandarosso Pastis, a small Italian pastry shop with amazing coffee, croissants, cakes and great music. The pastry chef is really funny, I love that dude.

You must have dessert here:

Alsur Cafè, they probably make the best cakes and dessert in the inner city.

You might die if you eat here:

In Barcelona you might die eating in any restaurant or bar, just don’t care so much. Eat and enjoy, life is too short in any case.

fruit in market barcelona

Fruit in market photo Shutterstock

Best farms/markets in your area:

Santa Caterina Market. Indeed, the freshest and most delicious products of Barcelona are here. I enjoy visiting every day because it’s not as crowded as La Boqueria market and you can find a wide range of food. Be careful with the old ladies and their shopping carts, they are pitiless.

Everything you eat here is organic:

I’m not aware of any place that is 100 percent organic. I’d  prefer to buy organic products and cook them at home.

However, if you’d like to try a great restaurant check out Las Tres a la Cuina. They offer an amazing brunch every Sunday, a menu that changes daily (incredible price) and maybe the freshest and most healthy dishes I have ever eaten.

This place is only for stiff cocktails:

Barroc Café. Decorated in baroque style, this cocktail bar is the perfect place to enjoy some of the city’s best libations.

I go here because I love the owners:

Cal Brut, “probably the dirtiest bar in Barcelona” (as the owner fondly refers to it). Situated in the heart of the town, this bar claims to be everything but cool, fashionable and trendy. Don’t ask for glamour cocktails or fusion “tapas”, just enjoy one of the best beers in town a dirty “tapa” and have a chat with the hilarious owner.



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The Culture-ist