One of your first priorities when you arrive in Barcelona will surely be a leisurely stroll through the world famous “Las Ramblas” fair. However, if you go through that fabulous mile of sights and sounds in search of a place to eat, you will probably be disappointed. That does not mean that there are no restaurants, of course. There are hundreds, all clamoring for your business. But, as with any major city center, the quality of food in these places often leaves much to be desired, and prices invariably go up with that dreaded “tourist tax.” So instead of taking your chances there, why not be a little more adventurous and look for a place “off the beaten path”?
First of all, you can try “La Champañería”, which is an authentic Catalan original. You can have a drink there, but it is not exactly a bar or a pub. You can eat there, but it’s like no restaurant you’ve been to before. There is never music in the place, but it has an atmosphere that you won’t quickly forget. Located in the port area near the “La Barceloneta” metro station, it is almost always full of people. When it’s full, you will have to yell at the waiter to order your food and wait for hundreds of hands to pass you the plate.
The name “La Champañería” comes from the favorite drink – Cava. The golden rule is that you can get a free glass, but only if you eat! Choose from a selection of delicious cold cuts, cheeses and sandwiches to accompany your drink and soak up the atmosphere. If you arrive early (before seven) you can avoid some of the later crowds, but for some it is the raucous atmosphere that makes “La Champañería” so much fun. Either way, it’s a great place to start the night, especially if you’re looking to get into the party mood before hitting the bars and clubs.
If that all sounds a bit energetic for your taste, don’t worry. Another great option if you want to taste the authentic Barcelona is a restaurant called “la Cove” which is located on C / Baluard near the “La Barceloneta” market. It has been a favorite of local residents for over twenty years and while it is not the most luxurious or comfortable restaurant in the world, it is infused with genuine Mediterranean flavor. The food is terrific, but with only six tables and a maximum capacity of thirty people, be prepared to wait if you arrive too late at night.
Visit either of these two places and we guarantee that you will have a wonderful evening. Just remember to leave your tour guide at home!