From the Boqueria and onwards

Unique markets, magnificent tapas, gourmet places. The second part of Adrià’s report

05-04-2013
A detail of the Boqueria, the name of the popular

A detail of the Boqueria, the name of the popular market in San Josep in Barcelona, the biggest in Cataluña, with a surface of 2.500 square metres and over 300 stalls. Opened in 1836 it’s one of the Adrià brothers’ favourite spots in town. In our story, they also include the Camp Nou stadium (photo life.co.il)

continued from part one

Barcelona swarms with magnificent pastry and chocolate shops. We recommend having breakfast at Escribà: his croissants or the cremadets are the best possible start to the day.
Turris, instead, is for bread lovers: you can find traditional or modern, incredible breads. And then you can’t go to Barcelona without visiting one of its fantastic markets. Due to its proximity, we have grown particularly fond of the Mercat de Sant Josep, traditionally known as Mercat de la Boqueria. It is located just in front of Taller and it’s where we do our personal shopping.

It’s a constant show of people, products, cultures and temperaments, all intertwined. It offers a huge variety of stalls selling vegetables, fruits, fish. There’s also a good selection of bars in which you can have a fantastic breakfast or lunch. In particular, we recommend a stop at Bar Pinocho and at Quim de la Boqueria. But aside from the Boqueria, there are other magnificent markets in Barcelona, such as that of Sant Antoni or that in Santa Caterina.

Unique places

Nou Camp, a temple (photo by commons.wikimedia.org)

Nou Camp, a temple (photo by commons.wikimedia.org)

It’s unnecessary to remember that Barcelona houses some monuments the tourist has to visit. We have seen them thousands of times, but both the Sagrada Familia and the Pedrera palace are a must. When looking at them we think: how is it possible that over a century ago Gaudì was capable of imagining, conceiving and creating such totally magnificent works? For art lovers, there’s also Fundació Miro, where you can admire Joan Miró. In our opinion, he’s an artist capable of reproducing the very spirit of Mediterranean art in a magic way. Aside from the artworks inside, the building (designed by architect Josep Lluís Sert) offers an example of perfect balance with the landscape.

Among our favourite places, we also have to include the Camp Nou, Fútbol Club Barcelona’s stadium, of which we are faithful and enthusiastic supporters. It’s difficult to think of another building in which it would be possible to experience an emotion with such intensity. Watching Barça play is a unique experience, it means sharing the exultance for the victory of your favourite team (or the delusion, in case of loss) with 90 thousand people who in that moment are feeling the very same thing. Come to think about it, it’s the most beautiful show in the world.

Tapas bars and restaurants

Tapas 24 (foto gastronomyblog.com)

Tapas 24 (foto gastronomyblog.com)

In Barcelona, there are very many establishments offering tapas. Here we want to mention 3, all of which have charm and personality, but we could easily lengthen the list. In our Tickets, tapa represents a lifestyle we love. Of course we are very proud of having created it together with the Iglesias brothers. With all my support, Albert wanted to communicate to you his vision of tapa in a direct and transparent way. It is truly a place in which we intend to pay tribute to tapa in elaborating the transformation of El Bulli.

Quimet & Quimet (calle Poeta Cabanyes 25, +34.93.423142), instead, is a small place with a nice counter with impeccable products, mostly preserves. Let Quimet advise you and take something from his jars, which he looks at as though they were treasures... Finally, Tapas 24 is Carles Abellán’s tapas place. It has a wide range on offer and it’s excellent if you want to nibble in total relax, a few metres from the Paseo de Gracia.

Gastronomic restaurants
Just like with tapas, in Barcelona there are many fantastic restaurants. Our passionate inclination goes for Dos Palillos, which is predictable as it’s Albert Raurich’s place – for many years chef at El Bulli. Here you will find his personal vision of oriental cuisine, with the utmost respect for traditional processes, but from an original point of view. It is a magic restaurant. Koy Shunka is, in our opinion, one of the best Japanese restaurants in Europe. Especially for its nigiri. Alkimia is one of the best examples of creative cuisine in town: Jordi Vila’s cuisine is techno-emotional, round, solid and personal. At Coure (passatge de Marimon 20, +34.932.007532), instead, we suggest staying at the bancon: it’s a memorable culinary experience.

Product-based restaurants

Ferran and Albert Adrià (Foto Elle)

Ferran and Albert Adrià (Foto Elle)

Even in this case, we have the great fortune of having some fabulous restaurants, in which products are processed with the utmost transparency and they’re always impeccable. We recommend Rias de Galicia because for the past 25 years the Iglesias family has brought the best fish products from Galicia and the Mediterranean Sea to Barcelona. For sea-food lovers, it’s a blast.


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