Barcelona in two days: Our recommended restaurants

So, we only had two and a bit days in Barcelona, so for once in our lives we only ate at places that were recommended, rather than walk around aimlessly looking for somewhere to go and then ending up arguing. This way was less fun (apart from the arguing bit) but resulted in several fantastic, almost faultless meals. Here is a little round-up of where we went and what we recommend…

Ávalon by Ramón Freixa

We were staying at the fantastic Grand Hotel Central (highly recommended, read our review here) and had heard great things about Ávalon from Ade’s family who stayed there last year. We wrote a full review of Ávalon, read it here.

It gets busier after 9.30pm…

Tapas with a twist!

Grand Hotel Central, Via Laietana, 30  08003 Barcelona, 011 34 932 95 79 00. Click here for reservations.
Telephone: 932 95 79 05
. Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 13:30-16and from 20:30-23, (Friday and Saturday until 23:30.
Nearest Metro:
Jaume I

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Boqueria food market

This was undoubtably the best food market we’ve ever visited. An abundance of colours, smells and every kind of food you could want from a Spanish market. We marvelled at the range of meats, fish and fruit which was available sliced and with a spoon for eating on the go, great idea. You can wander around and not get hassled into buying anything, it’s great, we could’ve spent all afternoon there but unfortunately our itinerary wouldn’t allow it.

La Boqueria… A must do, whether you like food or not

Nice to meat you!

Fresh fruit… Amazing colours and smells, Rambla, 91 Mercat de la Boqueria, (Edifici Direcció, 2a planta) 08001 Barcelona
Telephone: 93 412 13 15, Email:
Opening hours : Everyday from 8am to 8:30pm. Closed on Sundays. Nearest Metro: Liceu

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Amorino Gelato e Cioccolato

Amorino Gelato was a random find on our last day wandering down La Rambla, we were taken in by the way they shape the ice-cream into petals. It’s a worldwide chain and I’ve just discovered there are two branches in London, I can’t recall the price, not too expensive. We shared a mix of coffee and toffee, and yes, it tasted as good as it looked. They also sell a huge range of drinks, chocolate, desserts, milkshakes etc.

You alright petal? La Rambla, 125  08002 Barcelona. Nearest Metro: Catalunya
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Tapas 24

Tapas 24 was highly recommended by several people on Twitter, insisting we go there. We made a beeline for it for lunch, we got there about two and had to queue for about half an hour. Luckily it was worth it. Chef Carlos Abellan who trained in El Bulli puts a fun twist on traditional tapas, he is also owner of the more formal Comerç 24.

Small, cramped with lots of hustle and bustle, it reminded us of our favourite places in London. I loved the waiter’s colonial uniforms even if they did look a bit out of place. Their take on Patatas Bravas was delicious, crunchy golden chops covered in that marvelous sauce €4 (£3.20). Pa Amb Tomaquet Bread €3 (£2.40) is our new favourite snack to make at home, so easy, like bruschetta but more delicate and salty. Bombs de la Barcelonata Potato meatballs €4 (£3.20) were kinda like croquettes but balls. Croquetes de Pernil Iberic Iberian ham croquettes €2 (£1.60) were good but Ade didn’t rate them as highly as Ávalon. Llenties Estofades Amb Xorico Stewed brown lentils with chorizo €7 (£5.60) (€12 for a large portion) was hearty and full of smokiness. Dessert was pretty special too, Xocolata amb Oli i Chocolate with bread, salt and olive oil €4 (£3.20) was incredible despite sounding wrong, a genius combination once my taste buds adjusted to it. Ade had the indulgent Xuios de la Lis A custard-filled donut €3 (£2.40) which everybody seemed to be ordering and finished with a knock-your-head-off coffee with rum Carajillo €1.30 (£1). Brilliant place, possibly not the best service, a tad arrogant. Oh, and don’t be afraid to ask for the plastic English menu.

Mum, Carlos has been all typographic on the window again!

I had to order the chips! You can take the boy out of England…

Our new favourite snack

More deep-fried deliciousness

Black lentil and chorizo stew

Chocolate + salt + olive oil = amazing

The best custard donut… Ever! C/Diputació 269, Eixample, Barcelona
93 488 09 77
. Opening hours: 9am-midnight Mon-Sat. Nearest Metro: Passeig de Gràcia

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Can Culleretes

This place has been going since 1786, we knew we had to find out why. If you want a taste of proper traditional Spain this is it. Hidden down an unassuming alleyway, the small door opens up into maze of dining rooms, an incredible secret world where gigantic oil paintings and photos of guests line the walls. The waitresses are what make it, older hard-working Spanish women. Come here for simple hearty cooking and cheap (but good) wine. Our starter of Gambas ajillo Shrimps with garlic and chilli €8.50 (£6.80) was absolutely amazing, we had never had such a good prawn dish in our lives. We also had Civet de jabalí Wild boar game stew €10.00 (£8), Civet con judías Catalan pork sausage with white beans €9.00 (£7.20), proper home-cooked Catalan food. This was followed by a very odd Flan de coco y plátano con salsa de piña Coconut & banana creme caramel with pineapple sauce €4.50 (£3.60) a weird flavour combination, neither of us really liked it but it got eaten nevertheless. The Mandarin sorbet €3.50 (£2.80) was excellent, it tasted homemade, my first choice of green apple had sold out. This restaurant is a lovely hidden gem, highly recommend for a no-frills taste of the real thing.

This picture was in focus when we took it (as were the 2 bottles of wine we drank!)

The way in to the tardis of a restaurant…

…see what we mean. (and at the back it goes on to the left and right too)

One word… Yum!

Sausage stew – so filling

Wild boar, the dish – not the company C/Quintana 5, Barrí Gòtic
Telephone: 93 317 30 22
Opening hours: 1.30-4pm, 9-11pm Tue-Sat; 1.30-4pm Sun. Closed mid July-mid Aug
Set lunch: €12.50-€15.50 Mon-Fri. Set dinner: €23-€29 daily.
Nearest Metro: Liceu
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Bar Lobo

Bar Lobo was recommended by a website and Twitter also, it involved a trip into an ‘up and coming’ and slightly scary part of town – Rambla. The restaurant is very cool and modern, a huge open kitchen area greats you when you walk in with several Jamón proudly adorning the worktops. We wanted everything on the menu and kept looking over every time a waiter delivered food to a nearby table. We eventually opted for good old tortilla Pincho de tortilla de patata €5.00 (£4), Tosta de 3 quesos three cheese on toast €6.50 (£5.20), Alcachofas a la plancha con virutas de jamon iberico Grilled artichokes with Iberian ham shavings €8.00 (£6.40). Wow, who knew artichokes could taste this good, and look so pretty. We also had some incredibly good Chicken wings in a sticky soy-type sauce. I think anything we ordered would have been good, I saw some stunning looking salads on nearby tables. We didn’t have dessert as we were planning on popping into a Scandinavian cake shop nearby (which wasn’t to be found).

Too cool for school… So the classroom chairs came to Bar Lobo

Ade was a little disappointed that a beer that he ordered turned out to be a Heineken

Didn’t think that we’d see a UB40 poster in such a trendy place

Wow, who knew artichokes could taste this good

Cheese on toast heaven (For Ade anyway) Pintor Fortuny, Raval, 3, 08001 Barcelona
Telephone: 93 481 53 46. Opening hours: Every day from 9am to 12pmThursday, Friday and Saturday open until 2.30am

Nearest Metro:
Liceu. Like them on Facebook

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Cafe Schilling

Located between Las Ramblas and Placa San Jaime we spotted this and just had to go in, I loved the frontage and it looked cosy inside. A laid-back bar-come-cafe with elegant high-ceilings, it was here we bid a sad farewell to Barcelona and had our last drink. It struck us as very ‘Russell Norman‘, (the restaurateur behind Polpo and such) and such with the lighting, exposed brickwork and tattooed staff. Why we feel the need to visit places like London when in Spain I don’t know, perhaps it’s just comforting. We didn’t eat but the menu looked extensive and good value. Apparently they do good burgers…

Putting the ‘S’ into chilling

Very Russell Norman

23… Didn’t David Beckham wear that number for Real Madrid? Best keep quiet about that… Calle Ferran, 23, Barcelona,
Opening hours: 10am-2.30am Mon-Wed; 10am-3am Thur-Sat; noon-midnight Sun. Telephone: 93 317 6787. Nearest Metro: Liceu
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DON’T MISS: Wind down at the stunning Sky bar at Grand Hotel Central. Via Laietana, 30  08003

DON’T BOTHER: The bar at Hotel Arts. Two soft drinks set us back €14 with very rude service!

TOP TIPS: Pick-pocketing is rife in Barcelona, we were lucky and came home with all our belongings. Ladies use an across the body bag and guys be careful with your wallets (Ade bought some combats with zip pockets).

Nowhere will match The Sky Bar for a view over the old city