Having delicious local dishes and delightful desserts while also enjoying beautiful architecture – that’s the kind of route to highlight just how many facets Barcelona can offer, at the same time.
When it comes to Barcelona architecture, words like distinctive, varied, bold or unique are among the many that come to mind. Having blended the old and the new in a way that makes this city simply breathtakingly beautiful, the city has got a unique atmosphere that radiates out from its architecture. The Catalan cuisine is equally as original. Taking proud in the Sea & Mountain (Mar i Muntanya) dishes that boldly combine fish and meat, as well as in the rich mixes of local vegetables, rice and fresh seafood, the Catalan cuisine is a delightful mix of contrasting, yet balanced textures.
And the route below focuses right on this amazing diversity of tastes in both aesthetics and culinary traditions.
Breakfast at Amatller
Modernist Architecture Icons, the History of Chocolate and a Secret Inner Garden for Savoring Them All
One of the best things to start with, when in Barcelona, is a morning walk down the elegant Passeig de Gràcia, the famous avenue displaying a blend of unique architectural heritage, cafes, bistros, restaurants and high-end shopping – the Catalan equivalent of New York’s Fifth Avenue and Paris’s Champs-Élysées. Passing by elegant urban residences that rival each other in the richness and originality, we stop right in the middle of the Apple of Discord, at Faborit Casa Amatller, for a savory breakfast that includes one of the most famous hot chocolates: Amatller’s xocolata desfeta or chocolate a la taza. We enjoy original interior designs by renowned Modernist Catalan architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, a nice interior patio, as well as the facades of the other buildings, belonging to architects Antoni Gaudí and Lluis Domènech i Montaner) that form the unique Apple of Discord of Barcelona.
Heading to the next stop, we cross the area of Eixample and Plaça Catalunya, entering the charming district of San Antoni.
Brunch at Fàbrica Moritz
Contemporary Industrial Design Blended with History, Topped Up with a Catalan Specialty and Local Beer
Moritz is the oldest and still active beer producer of Spain. It started on Catalan ground, brought here by an Alsacian, and became a part of the history of the entire country. Refurbished by French architect Jean Nouvel, Fàbrica Moritz is today a microbrewery and gastronomic space, as well as the Moritz flagship. The food menu is signed by Chef Jordi Vilà and includes many Catalan delicacies, among which the local patatas bravas or (my favorite) esqueixada salad, as well as lots of fish and seafood dishes to share.
Then, heading to the next stop, we cross the areas of Raval and Gothic, entering the vibrant district of el Born.
Lunch at Mercat de Santa Caterina
Contemporary Conceptual Design, Market Experience and Kitchen with a Generous Selection of Local Dishes
Mercat de Santa Caterina opened in 1848, being the first covered market in Barcelona, and was completely refurbished in 2005 by EMBT Architects. The old food market revealed a new gleaming and undulating roof, designed to be seen from the air and covered in a vast mosaic of brightly colored ceramic pieces. Next to the stalls there is a series of bistros and restaurants, among which Cuines de Santa Caterina has a menu that carefully reflects the variety of market products into their breakfast, lunch and dinner. The interior design belongs to Tarruella Trenchs Studios.