It’s time for part two of my Barcelona travel guide and it’s all about our hotel and the most important factor in any trip, the FOOD. I stupidly forgot to take any food photos or any of our hotel, so you’ll have to take my word for it.
Our hotel was located – you guessed it – by Barcelona’s most famous landmark. The hotel was actually very nice for the price with friendly, helpful staff. Our room was spacious for a city hotel and really clean and comfortable. There was a teeny-tiny swimming pool and a handful of sun loungers but they tended to fill up quickly. The walk into the centre of the city took around 45 minutes (unless you get completely lost and lead your boyfriend the wrong way which may or may not have happened) so we took the metro usually at the start and end of the day.
Obviously, food recommendations are the crux of any good city guide and I feel like we won this holiday. We’d done a little bit of research ahead of time so we had a rough idea of where we’d like to go, both to get our fix of tapas and sample the local delacacies, but also fulfill our holiday traditions to find a great Mexican restaurant (my absolute favourite) and the best burger around (Tom’s favourite). During our time, we usually snacked during the day, saving our money to have a proper dinner in the evenings.
When we arrived on Thursday afternoon, we headed straight down to La Rambla. It’s super touristy – almost Covent Garden-esque but it’s fairly nice to have a stroll down. We were starving by this time too so we stopped at a restaurant called Ultramarinos. Because it was situated in a tourist trap, the food was nice but nothing special and we later discovered there was a heap of great restaurants near by.
Our Mexican pick was called Tlaxcal (do not ask me how to pronounce this). This place was BUSY and had we been 2 minutes later, we would have had to wait for an hour before there was a table free, so if Mexican food is your thing then it’s worthwhile booking in advance. The food was delicious. The starter was essentially a pot of melted cheese with some diced chorizo mixed up in it and some tortillas. It sounds simple but tasted insane and again made me thankful that I don’t react to dairy. For mains, I had chicken enchiladas and Tom opted for steak tacos. Both were delicious.
Tom chose Bacoa, a chain of burger restaurants in the city. It’s easy to order, just fill in a little form with which burger you’d like, toppings, sides etc., pay and then take a seat and the burger is brought over to you. It was a nice balance between fast-food and table service. The burgers were so good and the décor was awesome so if you’re travelling with a burger connoisseur like my boyfriend, it’s one to try for sure.
We couldn’t go to Barcelona without sampling the tapas, and we tried two restaurants – Bar Lobo and Luzia. I’ve lumped these together as they are right next door to each other and are also part of the same chain of restaurants. The tapas was fantastic and while still obviously catering to tourists, the quality was excellent. Bar Lobo had the slight advantage of being able to sit outside and as it was a busy Saturday night, there was also a Spanish busker playing his guitar in the street so it was really atmospheric. If you go to either restaurant, get the fried eggplant/aubergine with honey, you will not regret it. These were probably my favourite restaurants from the trip.
Food is such a massive part of Spanish culture and some of the best can be found at La Boqueria market. We didn’t buy a huge amount other than ice lollies and fresh juice but there were endless stalls of meat, the freshest seafood and sweets galore. It’s worth a visit to take it all in. There were also lots of restaurants and bars within the market itself so this is definitely somewhere I’d look to eat if I go again.
Do you have any restaurant picks in Barcelona?