It’s finally fall in Barcelona. I shiver without a thick sweater, and the light fades come 7 pm. With the new chilly weather I find myself craving comfort foods. Nothing is better than sitting in the many cozy cafés Barca has to offer. So I have generously broken down a few of my favorites for fellow foodies who savor the dining experience as much as the food itself:
For Those Lazy Mornings: Trópico
Before arriving in Barcelona I followed various Instagram accounts, in search of the secret places that are not only photographable, but delicious. One of them being, Devour Barcelona, a food tour service whose purpose is to show undiscovered as well as those restaurants which stand out, all over the city. That is how I found Trópico and the closest thing to a breakfast taco I have had since I’ve been here.
Arepas: These warm corn pockets are filled with egg, cheese, onion, tomatoes, and every other delicious thing you could imagine, accompanied with avocado and plantains. I’ve craved breakfasts, that don't include toast and coffee, since I’ve been here, and especially a good scrambled egg. Because the delicious mounds are served 2 on a plate, I shared with my companion, but they were eaten with a gumption and satisfaction that made me excited to return. Trópico serves brunch all day which is another great thing if you’re like me and unable to get out of bed past 12 on Saturdays. You can also reserve a table online which allows you an exclusive 2 seater table in front of those who did not reserve a table, so they can look on longingly at said arepas. And for those of you who prefer a sweeter breakfast, don’t worry, there’s something for you too. Four Sweet and soft pancakes topped with a cream cheese whip and berries, these definitely are “Special Pancakes”. This may have killed me, but again, splitting everything is the way to go. I look forward to trying other things at Trópico because I will inevitably be back.
Time to Kill at Tapas 24 & a Bikini Worthy of a Whistle
I have been to Tapas 24 more than I would like to admit, but the convenience to my homestay is dangerous. Perhaps the most popular tapa is their own take on the Bikini, a slender ham and mozzarella sandwich with black truffle oozing between two perfectly crunchy pieces of bread. I can’t resist, my mouth waters, and I get two plates every time. Of course they have all the things you would want in a tapas bar, bravas, croquetas, and jamón ibérico, but with a new trendy take on it all. Although they are served in small portions, the waiters always seem to bring the food out in an organized and timely manner. Just as the last spec heads towards my mouth, I am greeted with the next plate, having almost forgotten about it, it is a nice surprise. Open until midnight, Tapas 24 is consistently cheery while its proximity to everything makes it impossible not to drop in at any hour of the day.
La Pepita: Una Cena on the corner
Nestled on a street behind Diagonal is one of the best dinner Tapas restaurants. Not only do the Croquetas con Gambas dissolve in your mouth, but the La Pepita staff make you truly feel welcome in the narrow place. As I sat perched up on one of the bar stools I was able to see the effort that goes into each plate, which made it a true dining experience. Housing a grand list of their modern spin on traditional tapas, I found myself ordering 4 plates or so. I was satisfied by everything. Whether you order something light, or a beef plate, you can’t go wrong here and the cozy and unique atmosphere makes you want to stay for hours.
While my host mother’s cooking is better than anything I have tried in Barcelona, there are always those nights when I find myself wanting to explore the hidden streets and tucked away delicacies. I have one month left, and I know my list of eateries will only grow more, but I look forward to trying them all.
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Mary Katherine Prehn
<p>I grew up in San Antonio, Texas and by the 3rd grade I knew I loved speaking Spanish. While my skills have come from learning the colors of the rainbow to reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Spanish culture and language has always been a part of my education. Both English and Spanish have been clear interests of mine throughout my adolescence, and both allow me to communicate in different ways while stretching to understand what is around me.</p>