Out to Eat in Barcelona

We really hopped on the brunch train in Barcelona and loved every minute of it.  Late morning meals to fuel our long days of walking (or beach sitting) were a great start to our day.  We also had a few good dinners out and tasty treats to appease our (mostly my) sweet tooth. Here are some of the places and things that we ate!

Federal Cafe

We went to Federal Cafe on our first morning in Barcelona after Josiah did some extensive brunch research.  The place was super cute (I wish I had more pictures of it!) with big windows, lots of light, and a cozy modern vibe. We sat at the community table and ordered cappuccinos to start. I made the better decision between the two of us because I ordered the bacon breakfast burger (egg, bacon, caramelized onions, and tomato jam… woot!) and Josiah ordered avocado toast with a poached egg on top.  The toast was okay – hey you can’t go wrong with fat and carbs, right? – but my sandwich clearly superior and one of the better breakfast sandwiches I’ve partaken in over my 28 years of life.

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Creamy egg yolk, meaty savory flavors from the bacon, sweetness from the caramelized onion, and a touch of tartness from the tomato jam all brought together by a soft easy-to-bite-through bun — perfection.

Brunch and Cake

The wait outside of Brunch and Cake was reminiscent of our Portland brunch experiences so we hunkered down and expected to be staring longingly at other peoples food for an hour or so before we got our names called.  Thankfully the wait time was pretty short and we were seated at another community table within 20 minutes.  We sat with a younger couple from the east coast and a trio from Canada.  All of the plates were beautifully laid out, portion sizes were huge, and most options were relatively healthy.

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We had cappuccinos to start again as well as a fruit/veggie smoothie.

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Josiah’s pick was scrambled eggs with mushrooms and a bagel with spinach and cream cheese.

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Mine was a sweet/savory combo – Salad with poached eggs, avocado, and strawberries plus a bagel with house-made hazelnut butter, mango and maple syrup.

OMA Bistro

Our favorite brunch spot in Barcelona was OMA Bistro.  We went back a second time (and got the same thing) because we enjoyed it so much.  It was all simple but really delicious, and having straightforward fried eggs and bacon was just what we wanted.  The big windows let in so much beautiful sunshine and I could’ve sat there for hours drinking espresso and watching Barcelona go by.

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Taranna Bar and Cafe

We went to Taranna for dinner one night and shared a few plates.  Most notably was the burrata with arugula, tomato, and pine nuts.  After our burrata experience in London we were kind of on a burrata kick so we were so happy to see it as a special on their menu that night.

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Tropico

I wish I had better photos from Tropico, but the table we were sitting at didn’t have the best lighting and most of my photos turned out worse than the arepas you’ll see down below.  As with the other places we went, the decor and ambiance was great — tropical (duh), lots of deep green colors, and a huge world map mural in the back section.  We ordered hummus with pita and veggies, an acai bowl, and arepas stuffed with scrambled eggs.  The arepas came with avocado and grilled plantains, which ended up being our favorite part of the meal.  The plantains were kind of caramelized with a nice crunch on the outside and topped with a bit salt – so delicious!

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Chok

I can’t walk by a window filled with beautifully enticing chocolates and decorated doughnuts without taking notice and making a mental note to come back.  Which is exactly what I did the first time we passed by Chok.  At Chok, they love chocolate (who doesn’t?) and their two locations are filled with their unique creations.  Their signature dessert, the chok, is a lighter doughnut glazed and topped with various flavors.  It was hard to pick but when the woman helping me said gianduja (chocolate hazelnut) I knew I’d met my match.

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Churreria San Roman

Now, I went to Disneyland quite often as a kid so I’ve had my fair share of Churros, but Disneyland ain’t got nothing on these (surprise, surprise right?) We walked by this place several time without giving it much thought, but on our last night in Barcelona there was a line out the door so we stopped.  I peeked in the window at all the filled churros, deliberated for .02 seconds and got in line.  The guy that owns the shop was super friendly and joking around with Josiah.  After a few mandatory photos we each took one and had our first bite.  A few chuckles and a lot of “omg these are so good,” occurred as we passed bites back and forth. Chocolate was the uncontested winner (duh).

Once we get back to Portland I’ll be hitting up 180 Xurros to get my fried dough fix. IMG_1170IMG_1168

Barcelona

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Oh Barcelona, so vibrant, high energy, and eclectic.  From hilltop views to lazy beach afternoons, crazy architecture to the ancient old city, beautiful parks and the best street lamps.  Barcelona has a lot to explore. I could easily get lost and overwhelmed in the busyness of Barcelona. One stroll down La Rambla and I wanted to hole up in a quiet corner for an hour to recover.  Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic but it did take a while to adjust to a bigger city and find the bits of Barcelona that really “jived” with us.

When I think back on Barcelona now the things that keep sticking out most were the kindness of some of the people we interacted with.  Most notably was our host Doris.  She is the sweetest lady and she and her family warmly welcomed us into their home for the week.  I ended up getting sick while we were in Barcelona and Doris was kind enough to give me some medicine, offer to get me water, and just check in with me when she saw me each day.  She even invited Josiah and I to have dinner with her and her son Alejandro our last night in Barcelona.  While the language barrier made conversation a little more tricky, we (mostly) understood what each other were saying after hand gestures and trying a few different ways to describe things.  I felt so cared for and loved by their generosity.

Barcelona is home to the famous Antoni Gaudi and his quirky architecture.  We really didn’t know much about Gaudi before coming to Barcelona so we took a Gaudi walking tour to get the low down on him and some of his most famous works.  We also spent a day relaxing on the beach and watching a myriad of interesting people.  We explored Parc Güell and Montjuïc, finding beautiful views at both.  Josiah got his first man bag, and we ate brunch like nobody’s business.  I’m sure there are a ton of things we didn’t see but here are some of the things we did.

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Cathedral of Barcelona.

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Small, quiet courtyard outside of the Barcelona History Museum, which features Roman street and building remains.  We toured through the museum one day and really enjoyed it.

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Views from Montjuïc.  The parks up there are beautiful – we could’ve wandered for hours!

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When we walked up on these slides Josiah almost immediately started climbing up to the top so he could slide down.

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National Art Museum of Catalan.  The views up here are great too and the plaza and fountains leading up to it are rather impressive.

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Placa de Catalunya.

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Casa Batlló, the second of Gaudi’s work that we saw on the tour we took. Fun fact: people still live in the apartments on the third and fourth floors and only pay around 300-400 euro because of the rent control laws that were put in place when the house was built.

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Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera.

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Sagrada Familia!

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The next few photos are all in Parc Güell and are more work from Gaudi.

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Barceloneta Beach – so much good people watching here!  It was really crowded and there were lots of people trying to sell stuff from hair braids to cocktails to bags.  The guy selling fresh coconut was the best/worst because he just yelled jibberish as he aimlessly weaved through all the sunbathers.

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I loved the streets lamps in Barcelona!

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There it is, the man bag in all its glory.  Look for a photo montage of the bag at the end of our trip.

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Old city streets.

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I liked that pop of pink poking in between these two buildings.

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The dome on this building was magical – the colors in person were vibrant blue, green, and yellow.

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The fountain at Ciutadella Park.

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More lamps because I was obsessed…

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Arc de Triomf.

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Walkway leading up to the Arc de Triomf.