Being right by the entrance of Europe’s largest covered food market, la Boqueria, already makes this a busy place. When Ferran Adrià (formerly of El Bulli) endorsed it as the place he likes to start his day in Phaidon’s popular food guide, Where Chefs Eat, the crowds got even bigger. So, what we are saying is go early (it opens at 6:30am) to secure your stool at the small bar/eating area, when you can more leisurely select your tapas which vary from the more humble (tortilla) to the intriguing (squid with beans) to the adventurous (cap i pota, translating to “head and leg”). Their chickpea dish (sorry vegetarians, it is served with sausage) is widely praised and deservingly so. If you get there late and the best you can do is point through the crowd at one of their delicious pastries to take away, you’ve still done well.
In stark contrast to the perfectly planned grid of Eixample, El Raval is a maze of characterful and often cobblestoned streets lined with some of Barcelona’s coolest restaurants, bars and boutiques. A number of neighbourhood revitalisation projects, including the opening of the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) in 1995, have upgraded its status from “no-go” to “rough” to its current “edgy/cool” appeal for visitors and locals alike.
Pinotxo | Mercat de la Boqueria 466-470 | +34 933 171 731