Our Barcelona

Brothers Ferran and Albert Adrià illustrate their favourite places to Identità Golose (part one)

Albert and Ferran Adrià. Until 2011 the two broth

Albert and Ferran Adrià. Until 2011 the two brothers were at the helm of El Bulli in Cala Montjoi in Roses, in Cataluña, the most influential restaurant over the past 30 years. Today they think of Tickets and 41°, with an ocean of projects coming up: the elBulli foundation, Bullipedia and the imminent opening of Pakta and of a second restaurant serving Mexican cuisine. This story also appears in the 2013 edition of Guida ai Ristoranti di Identità Golose

It’s natural. The fact that we were born and raised in Hospitalet, a neighbourhood in Barcelona, leads us to have a special love and devotion for our town. But even without taking this sentimental element into consideration, we can state with no doubt that this is a magic town, from a gastronomic and leisure-time point of view. In particular, gastronomy has always been experienced with a special intensity, which explains why Barcelona has today become one of the world’s culinary capitals.

Over the past few years there’s been a very harmonic convergence between historic and traditional establishments and the new ones, based on modernity, so that the offer is overall varied and intriguing. We’re deeply convinced that this richness derives from the location of the town. Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, but close to mountains ranges like Montseny, this city has always had some excellent products available, both from the sea and the inland.

Mediterranean cuisine marks the guidelines of the specialties for which the city is renowned. One could say that Mediterranean cuisine is the indigenous one of Barcelona. Due to today’s cultural melting pot, however, thanks to which populations from all over the world arrive here, since the mid-90s one has seen a great development of international cuisine restaurants. The diversification of the offer in Barcelona is such that we can declare, with no doubt, that here you can find among the best Japanese and Asian, South-American and Arabic restaurants of the entire continent.

Vinçon, a design paradise

Vinçon, a design paradise

Therefore, even markets and shops have continued to evolve and improve, so much so that today, in Barcelona, over a dozen traditional markets, completely reorganised, are held and offer, to locals and tourists, exuberant displays of excellent products, both local or coming from all around the world. On top of the classic stalls, inside the markets a tradition of “market bar” has also spread, making it possible to have magnificent breakfasts or lunches without in fact getting out of the market.

To this, one needs to add a series of specialised shops, small stores and colmados which have transformed the city into a fantastic culinary hypermarket. It’s not easy to mention all the places that we prefer without running the risk of forgetting some along the way, but we could say that the unmissable places in Barcellona, classified on the basis of their characteristics, are the following:

Fashion, accessories and design

Colmado Murria, cheese heaven

Colmado Murria, cheese heaven

The shopping nerve centre in Barcellona is located in the area of Paseo de la Gracia, Rambla Catalunya and Portal de l’Àngel. Here you can find the great designer labels for clothes, fashion and accessories. It’s hard not to find the desired product or accessory, since in the past few years it has become one of the most important destinations for luxury shopping in Spain and Europe.
Always on Paseo de la Gracia you can find Vinçon, a very fun shop selling design products for the home, packed with fabulous items. Besides, it’s a pleasure to look at the shop windows: they’re constantly changing and never leave anyone indifferent.

As for the magic place of unconventional shopping, we suggest the Poble Espanyol. It is located behind Montjuïc and includes over 40 artisans who create different kinds of unique items. Among them, for instance, there’s Luesma Vega, an expert glass maker who creates some truly incredible pieces. With him we’ve created our last dishes for the Bulli. It’s an interesting and unusual place to visit.

Food and drinks

Quim Vila, Vila Viniteca (photo by Mi Vino)

Quim Vila, Vila Viniteca (photo by Mi Vino)

Wine lovers can count on specialised shops with a long tradition and a vast experience. At Vila Viniteca, the team of Quim Vila, a great friend of ours, will recommend the best choice following your personal inclination. And in a place near the wine-shop, you will find excellent cured meat, cheeses and oil: Celler de Gelida is a wine-shop specialised in wines and spirits, in which it is possible to organise wine tasting courses.

In Barcelona you will also find the colmados, establishments with a long history, offering a great variety of foods and drinks. Our favourites are Colmado Murria, highlighted because of their cheese selection - let Joan Murria, a great cheese expert, advise you - and Colmado Quilez, a centennial establishment located on the Rambla de Catalunya. In this shop’s window there’s an exuberant display of what’s to be found inside.

1. To be continued


Dal Mondo

Reviews, recommendations and trends from the four corners of the planet, signed by all the authors of Identità Golose