I’ve been to Barcelona three times now – It’s the type of city that I think gets better each time you go, as you do less and less touristy things, and more and more wandering and exploring. At first glance the city might be a bit hectic and loud, but it’s one whose charm and quaintness shine through slowly, and most certainly are there for the taking.
Pulperia A’Gudina – extremely local and old school feeling, very very basic interior, very
very good food while still being simple. a no frills sort of place that a local took us to (always the best way!). best dishes were the fried calamari, prawns, chorizo, both cheeses (hard and soft), potatoes with scrambled eggs, and the pimientos. be sure to order the jugs of white wine that you pour into soup cups to drink too (dangerous!).
Federal – if you want a local feeling brunch/lunch spot, go here. it’s three floors, so make sure you walk up the stairs (staff won’t tell you this!). breakfast food till 2pm on saturdays, all day on sundays.
El Jardi – must go to – hidden in a little garden behind beautiful old buildings – everything we ate was delicious, and the atmosphere was great (they have a dj playing while you eat). ordered the cheese plate, the tomato bread, the salmon salad, and the prawns. for wine we had the fuentenarro (red) – excellent. dessert we got the truffles – also, excellent.
Bar Lobo – In El Raval area, looks slightly commercial but the food was extremely good (little pricey though) – You can choose from tons and tons of small dishes, the tuna tartare with guacamole was great. If you found yourself wandering the area and are suddenly starving, this would be a good stop in spot.
La Nena in Gracia district – French, great lunch spot, place filled with old school toys, boardgames, etc, but for adults! Had a delicious gigantic crepe filled with veggies, cheese and eggs
Turkish restaurants – tons in Gracia area, just pick one, walk in, load your plate and eat up!
Sagardi – in El Born district, Argenteria, 62. Pick your own off the bar, felt like San Seb, v good and v fresh. Best was crab w mayo and shredded egg whites and another with light brie cheese w jelly and almonds on top (my sister ate at the cheese place next to it too for lunch one day, loved it).
Fat Tire Bike Tour! (excellent way to see the whole of the city, have done it twice in Barca!)
Park Guell – Guadi work makes the park, v cool to see
Mercat de la Boqueria – daily food market! right off the main strip “las rambles” so start here, and then just walk and walk and walk … Le Peu de la Creu is a good one to stumble onto – there was a great little travel store here called Grey Street, full of things such as antique maps, globes, and quirky postcards.
El Born – lots of tapas spots, bars, and crowded/young area at night. nothing too crazy (and the music is pretty sh*t in lots of them) but really beautiful and definitely a good area to check out and get a local feel from.
Gracia – chilled out grungier area of the city (like Chueca in Madrid), restaurants, boutiques, etc
Beaches – If you go to the beach one day, try to lay down to the left (towards the golden fish) – It’ll get you out of the craziness, cause it’s extremely busy there!! You get out at the Barcelonita (or something close to that) stop on the Metro and then head all the way down Calle Joan de Barbo, then turn left. A huge beach awaits!