If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I recently took a trip to Barcelona. This was my first proper visit to mainland Spain (I’m not counting the 4 days I spent at Portaventura World in April as we didn’t leave the theme park!) and my first Spanish holiday since 2001, so I was really excited to experience the culture and more importantly – the food.
Rachel had done a lot of research before we went and had picked out a number of places that she wanted to visit. Although I am a fussy eater, I can usually find something that I will enjoy on any menu, so I was happy to go anywhere and I know that I can trust her to make good decisions.
Where to eat in Barcelona
We didn’t exactly plan where we were going to eat each day, we just went by which areas we were in at the time and tended to stumble upon these places that we wanted to visit. We were lucky that everything in Barcelona is really easy to get to and was within walking distance from the metro and main attractions. I have to admit that we did start two of the mornings off in McDonalds but at €2 for a bacon and cheese toasted sandwich thing and a coffee, you can’t really go wrong!
NAP – Neopolitan Authentic Pizza
This was one of the places that Rachel really wanted to visit. She’s got a book about the best places to eat pizza around the world, Where to Eat Pizza by Daniel Young and this was one of the recommended restaurants in Barcelona. Luckily, NAP happened to be in the area we were in on our first day, just a short walk from the Arc du Triomph and the zoo.
It was only a small restaurant although there were plenty of seats outside and it got very busy very quickly at lunchtime. I chose to have a simple margherita pizza but also added some parma ham and chorizo. All of the pizzas are handmade and we could see the kitchen from where we were sat, so you could watch the chef making them. Our pizzas came out quickly and were absolutely delicious. I wouldn’t say it’s the best pizza I’ve ever had, it could have done with a bit more cheese but it was really enjoyable and very affordable at just over €10 including a drink.
Hard Rock Cafe
I’m not a big fan of the Hard Rock Cafe chain and have only been to two of them before (Edinburgh and Cologne twice) but have enjoyed a couple of the meals I’ve had before. I went into the restaurant hoping to have the delicious pulled chicken sandwich that I’d had previously but they’d changed the menu since my last visit. After studying the menu for a while, I opted for the chicken tenders which is actually a starter and some of their special seasoned fries.
The chicken tenders were huge and there was more than enough for me, I struggled to finish them and there were also a lot of fries. I really enjoyed the dips that came with them but I found that the chicken tenders were a bit too greasy. However, if you’re a fan of the Hard Rock Cafe then it’s worth a visit as you get to see all of the musical memorabilia. I was very pleased we were sat next to Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora’s guitar!
We stopped at a Farggi twice, the first time was on our very first day to get some ice cream after we’d been to the zoo; I went for a scoop of lemon and lime sorbet and a scoop of coconut gelato which were both delicious. My two scoops cost around €3 which was very reasonable.
The second one we visited was down by the sea front. We’d been on our feet all day and needed a bit of a break, so we stopped off at the first cafe we saw which happened to be Farggi. Rachel went for a chocolate waffle and I was going to have a crepe until I saw this delicious Oreo cake. I’m not usually a cake fan, but this was amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The cake and a can of coke cost me just over €6.
One thing that I was really excited for was ice cream/gelato – I had seen so many different places on Instagram that I wanted to try but Rocambolesc looked especially amazing. We managed to find it on our last day in the city – it’s just a tiny ice cream parlour on La Rambla but they offer so many different flavours of gelato and and abundance of toppings. I chose to go for a coconut and violet gelato topped with honey rocks, a violet marshmallow and cotton candy and it was just as delicious as it sounds. The gelato was honestly the best one I have ever tasted and I so wish we’d not left it to our final day to try it.
On our final night, we came across a little square called Plaça Reial (Royal Plaza) in the Gothic Quarter which was just off La Rambla and had a great selection of bars and restaurants to choose from. I wanted to go for something typically Spanish and fancied some Tapas, so Rachel suggested a place she had been to on her last visit to Barcelona, called Rossini.
We sat outside and I ordered the ‘Sausage “chistorra” with cider’ and ‘Spanish cold cuts: Iberian ham, loin of pork and Iberian chorizo and bread’ from the tapas menu and also went for a side of potato wedges while Rachel went for a margherita pizza. This was the priciest meal of the trip coming in at around €25 with a glass of coke, but I really enjoyed it and it was definitely worth the money. There was a lot of meat for just one person, so the Spanish cold cuts would have been better between two, but I gave it a good go and managed to devour most of it.