everything i ate in barcelona

may 2019

Barcelona was the first destination of a three week Eurotrip in May 2019. It was the first time I’d been to Spain and the first time back in Europe in three years (plus, the last time I was here, I existed only in the Balkans). From the start I was enraptured by this city.

There was no shortage of options when it came to food. Few meals were planned ahead with reservations, most were more spur of the moment, things we spotted throughout the day. Which in some ways made the itinerary a lot more fluid and the food options feel fresher and more spontaneous. But with so many places that looked so alluring, I already have plenty more places saved on my map for future visits.

day one


Onna Coffee

Carrer de Santa Teresa, 1, 08012 Barcelona, Spain


The first thing I always do as soon as I get some place is look for the nearest, prettiest coffee shop. After dropping off things at the hotel, I wandered over to Onna Cafe for an afternoon pick me up to hold me through to dinner. How cute is their latte art 🥺



Ok I’ll admit it, I don’t even remember what we ate for dinner because it was unremarkable. It was an Italian place (lol) and also we picked it because it was the only thing open within a few blocks at that hour. 

day two


Baluard Bakery

Carrer de Provença, 279, 08037 Barcelona, Spain


The next morning we had early reservations for Park Güell, which meant breakfast was for takeaway. Perks of staying at a bakery hotel is that our elevator doors opened to a full spread of some of Barcelona’s best freshly baked pastries and breads at the ready. The downside? Having to choose just one. As much as we wanted to load up on everything, there was so much more to eat in this city, so it was a single pastry and coffee and we were off. 



Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 700, 08010 Barcelona, B, Spain



After a full dose of Gaudi, we figured we had digested enough of the breakfast pastries to get a light lunch. And Instagram told me to go to Casa Bonay (another hotel) and take a break from the sun by ducking into Libertine. But it ended up being more of a snack, a cheese plate and wifi and air conditioning break. 

Before heading out, we stopped by Casa Bonay’s adjacent cafe, Satan’s Coffee Co. After all, gotta recaffeinate every few hours in order to hit all the coffee shops!


Cervecería Catalana

Carrer de Mallorca, 236, 08008 Barcelona, Spain


After a little more wandering, we decided we didn’t really have a meal, so it was time for some afternoon tapas. A quick Google search pointed us to Cervecería Catalana, one of the most popular spots (read: touristy but we don’t really care) that was a short walk away. There was a lot of people there, with the wait spilling out onto the street. But the restaurant is deceivingly big so it wasn’t too long a wait.

Here was when we made some questionable decisions. As in, we ordered way too much food. Everything was delicious. But no one (no one!!!) needs a side order of tomato bread. They say tapas are small dishes, but their portions were generous enough for us to regret our decisions. I guess my ordering appetite is always significantly bigger than my eating appetite.

I think we sat there for a good two hours. But would happily go back again and order too much in a heartbeat.



Carrer de Pau Claris, 183, 08037 Barcelona, Spain


We spent the rest of the day walking, trying to digest. And eventually, miraculously, the fullness subsided. And so before we called it a night, we stopped by a cafe bar near the hotel for a night cap. Which in this case meant tea and pavlova because the desserts in the window were what drew me in. Mixto Café is technically an espresso bar, but it has similar vibes to a hotel lobby bar. Except it’s not in a hotel, it’s connected to an interior design studio. Either way, it was still pretty full at night, with people dining and drinking at low tables probably thinking the night was still young at 10pm while my American — my Californian — spirit was already tired. 

day three

breakfast, part 1

Mercado de La Boqueria

La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain


There are certain things you’re supposed to do when you’re in Barcelona. Among the top 5 of any list is Mercado de La Boqueria. And so we dutifully went the morning of day three. But we forgot about Europe time, and kind of showed up before the market really woke up. Most of the vendors that were open were the produce, meats, sweets and spices. Most of the food vendors were still getting set up. So we grabbed empanadas and macedonias (aka fruit cups bc your girl misses produce whenever she travels) and went on our merry way. 

breakfast, part 2

Federal Cafe

Passatge de la Pau, 11, 08002 Barcelona, B, Spain


Bringing us to the next part of what became a multi-course breakfast. We walked around the Gothic Quarter for a bit (it’s nice when few people are out in the morning), and made our way to Federal Café in the absurdly photogenic Passatge de la Pau.

The cafe is spacious, with ample seating and high ceilings and large windows into the courtyard (with outdoor seating!) for natural light. They serve real food for more of a brunch, as well as a variety of pastries for more of a casual coffee and work session. I imagine if I had studied abroad here I’d barely stop short of moving in.


La Pallaresa Xocolateria Xurreria

Carrer de Petritxol, 11, 08002 Barcelona, Spain


Next on the itinerary was going up the mountains. Which ended up being a hilarious failure because by then the fog set in so heavy it masked the entire city. But nevertheless we made the rounds, went through the motions, but all the time I was thinking about… churros. And La Pallaresa in the Gothic Quarter was the perfect stop for a pre-dinner snack. No frills, golden fried churros and thick bitter chocolate for dipping. (Ok fine, we tried to immerse ourselves in the culture and book a 9pm dinner reservation but our bodies were not aligned with that scheduling).


Casa Lolea

Carrer de Sant Pere Més Alt, 49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain


Several friends recommended Casa Lolea as a must-go meal. So much so that it was the only place we made a reservation for. Between the signature sangrias and the creative presentations of Spanish classics, it’s easy to see why they are so popular.

This place can do no wrong, everything was delicious. But the question remains, why call it risotto when it’s orzo?

day four


Elsa y Fred

Carrer del Rec Comtal, 11, 08003 Barcelona, Spain


The next day started off with an easy breakfast at Elsa y Fred.



08005, Carrer de Pujades, 95, 08005 Barcelona, Spain


Then it was off to El Poble Nou, where we were supposed to go to get horchata at Orxateria El Tío Che, but it was closed so after a very windy walk on the beach we went to the roaster outpost of Nomad coffee before heading back to the city center. 


El Nacional

Passeig de Gràcia, 24 Bis, 08007 Barcelona, Spain


The last stop was a late lunch at El Nacional before heading back to the hotel. The food hall had many choices but we opted for the tapas restaurant, which seemed to be the most popular choice at the lunch hour. 


Baluard Bakery (again)

Carrer de Provença, 279, 08037 Barcelona, Spain


And finally, since the bakery is so conveniently located adjacent to the check out counter, we picked up sandwiches to-go for dinner that ended up being eaten at like 10pm in our Porto bed and breakfast and was delicious despite being crammed in backpacks for the flight. 10/10 would recommend, would do it again. 

one last day


Bar But

Carrer de Bonavista, 8, 08012 Barcelona, Spain


After a stint in Portugal and Granada, we had one last night in Barcelona and the only itinerary items were (1) to go to the Sagrada Familia and (2) to shop for all the things we didn’t want to cart around on the other stops. We had an early flight from Granada to Barcelona and got to the city just in time for lunch. Bar But was something I had bookmarked from Instagram and happened to be near where we were staying so we went for a casual lunch. It’s super cute, though pretty small, and wasn’t busy in the early afternoon (aka well before tapas hours). 


Sabio Infante

Carrer del Torrent de l’Olla, 39, 08012 Barcelona, Spain



pie & co

Carrer del Torrent de l’Olla, 29, 08012 Barcelona, Spain


&& one more stop by Nomad Coffee to pick up some coffee gifts

Then it was off to shopping around Gracia and Eixample. We grabbed coffee at Sabio Infante for the walk and then were lured into pie & co for some “american style” (lol) cookies. It’s a dangerous strip of Carrer del Torrent de l’Olla, so many cute shops and cafés and bakeries and bars.

We stopped by Nomad (the El Raval location) to buy some coffee beans as a take home gift and I couldn’t resist an affogato. Because hey. It was a lot of walking on a hot day and we had a very early start in Granada that morning. The least I could do is treat myself to coffee and ice cream.


Extra Bar

Carrer del Torrent de l’Olla, 79, 08012 Barcelona, Spain

For the last dinner we went to Extra Bar, which was a random spot we happened upon earlier in the day that looked cute. The small bar and kitchen pretty much only had one communal table and standing room. They have a wide selection of wine, beer and cocktails and an impressive food menu of creative tapas given the compact size.  


La Nena

Carrer de Ramón y Cajal, 36, 08012 Barcelona, Spain


And finally, because we couldn’t resist one last hurrah before calling it a night (again, early flights in the morning), we grabbed dessert nearby at La Nena, a cafe that specializes in chocolate but actually also serves savory food in addition to desserts. Our night cap consisted of an apple tart and churros with chocolate. A sweet finish.

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