Barcelona Journals

Real Life in Barcelona

A travel journal to Barcelona by Chad

Quote: Insights into Barcelona from a native Californian who has lived here for almost five years.

Real Life in Barcelona

Overview

Quote:
Spanish cuisine at Los Caracoles; great small restaurants; fast food in Barcelona, and the real fun: repelling down the castle walls!

Quick Tips:

Best Way To Get Around:

Leave your car at home.

Los Caracoles

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
'Los Caracoles' is recommended in most major travel guidebooks. That's probably why I avoided it for years. On a friend's recommendation, I put my prejudices aside and found one of Barcelona's best. I almost had to duck to get into the hallway at the back of the cramped bar that doubles as entrance to the dining area. We walked past the open grill area and the aging kegs of wine to our table. We ordered roast suckling pig and (just in case) roast chicken. The suckling pig was amazing, although it's not the type of dish you can eat very often -- it's quite greasy. But don't miss it! And for the timid, the roast chicken was the best I've ever had. As a curios...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 21, 2000

Los Caracoles
Escudellers 14
Barcelona, Spain
(93) 302-3185

Carrer Amargos Restaurants

Restaurant | "Carrer Amargos"

Quote:
Just around the corner from the Urquinaona/Via Laietana metro entrance lies Carrer Amargos. This street is anything but flashy, but it has a lot to offer! Three restaurants offer great samples of Catalan cuisine.

Mid-day meal trade-offs: great price (about $6 per person gets two entrees, bread, beverage & dessert), but packed to the gills. Try showing up a little early (1-1:30 pm).

Frequented by locals, these restaurants offer a wonderful alternative to the standard tourist fare.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 21, 2000

Carrer Amargos Restaurants
Carrer Amargos
Barcelona, Spain

Subway

Restaurant

Quote:
I'll probably get flamed for this one. But after years living in Barcelona, I couldn't help trying the latest franchise to invade the city: Subway. The first time, I showed up at 3PM (towards the end of the mid-day rush), to find they were out of bread, lettuce, and everything but donuts. The second time, I showed up at 3PM, to find they were again out of half of the ingredients. Unfortunately, I was persistent. The sandwich was bathed in oil inside and out. The Pepsi had no flavor (I was given a bottled Pepsi to replace it). It was fine for a trip down nostalgia lane, but why put yourself through all this torture if you're just passing thr...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on August 21, 2000

Subway
C/Ferran, off the Ramblas
Barcelona, Spain

Pans & Company

Restaurant | "Pans & Companys"

Quote:
If you're looking for something fast & cheap, don't succumb to the burger temptation!!! Look for the tell-tale yellow signs with black-checker trim, and try Pans & Company!

This chain specializes in local, Catalan-style 'entrepans', or sandwiches, made with fresh, crunchy Spanish bread. Cold entrepans feature traditional Catalan sausages, such as fuet (Vic), and Iberian ham. Other excellent options include the Mediterraneo (tuna, red peppers & green olives) and one whose name I don't recall, with Iberian ham and Brie cheese.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 21, 2000

Pans & Company
Maremagnum Shopping Center
Barcelona, Spain

Casa Escriba

Restaurant

Quote:
I've always been disappointed by pastries in Barcelona, most of which are not worth a passing mention. But there is one exception: 'cremadets' from Casa Escriba!

Housed in a modernist former pharmacy, on the Ramblas, just below the Boqueria market, their specialty is chocolate. They have all kinds, including a chocolate kama sutra for those special occasions.

Cremadets are an exceptional sort of turnover, filled with a unique light, tasty custard. Worth 250 ptas.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 21, 2000

Casa Escriba
Rambla de les Flors, 83
Barcelona, Spain

Montjuic Hill

Attraction | "Rappelling from the Castle Walls"

Quote:
For the daring: haul your ropes, carabeeners & harnesses up to the seventeenth century castle that sits atop Montjuic, the hill that was home to many of the 1992 Olympics venues.

We arrived early and anchored our ropes to one of the deactivated cannons that were probably used to cover the coast under Franco. The ropes hung over the wall that faces the port, with a spectacular view. The drop was about 60 feet.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 21, 2000

Montjuic Hill
Southwest of City Center Overlooking the Harbor
Barcelona, Catalonia

Festa Major de Gràcia

Attraction | "Festes de Gracia"

Quote:
After hearing about them for years, I made my way to Gracia for the annual festival. It was disappointing. Even compared to such minor festivals as the Feria de Malaga or Cruces de Mayo in Granada, the Festes de Gracia have little to offer. Drinking & dancing are plentiful, but nothing original.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 21, 2000

Festa Major de Gràcia
Gràcia
Barcelona, Spain 08012
+34 93 4593080

Plaça del Rei

Attraction | "Second-hand books"

Quote:
The area surrounding the Plaça del Rei, next to the cathedral and the City History Musuem (not to be confused with the Plaça Reial, near the Ramblas), is home to several second-hand book dealers. Prices range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars for rare museum pieces.

Some shops also offer antique lithographs, paintings, drawings, sketches, etc.

The atmosphere is dark and damp, and smells of old books. As well it should.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 21, 2000

Plaça del Rei
Plaça del Rei
Barcelona, Spain 08002