Barcelona is a city so electric, so magical, you can just feel it when you walk around. And believe it when I say, it’s a city that smells—in a good way. If I close my eyes it’s like I can still smell the floral air of the city, like in those Disney cartoons where the wind whips flowers around the princess’ face. It’s so sweet, so alluring, it just gives me butterflies when I think of it. And to think a number of travelers I’ve known have warned against it. You’ll get robbed, they say. There’s nothing to do, they say. Have they been to the same Barcelona as me? This is the Barcelona that we witnessed, fell in love with…and ate. True to form, we ate a lot.
Tapas, 24 was a fantastic find not far from our hotel in Barcelona’s Eixample neighborhood. The basement locale boasted some seriously tasty tapas, and we enjoyed them all with—what else?—a bottle of Spanish wine. The ambiance was warm with a bit of edge, but it never felt like it was trying too hard. The place was totally buzzing, and we loved every minute of our leisurely, late dinner.
No visit to Barcelona is complete without two very important things. The first, by a long shot, is a trip to the Sagrada Familia. The towering church that remains a work in progress gave me the feels, from a haunting sensation to a mouth-gaping, awe-struck trance.
In a word, it’s powerful.
The second most important thing you must do in Barcelona is to taste its jamón ibérico, or more specifically, the flautas de jamón ibérico. It doesn’t look like much, but this little beauty, with its cured ham, is delicious. You can find them almost everywhere—even the airport—so it’s difficult to leave the city without noshing on one of these (or two, or three). Okay, guilty.
A final favorite that made for a memorable meal in Barcelona was Bubo Bar, the savory sister of Bubo’s pastisseria that lives next door. We ate in the towering shadow of the stunning Santa Maria Del Mar cathedral, and took in the outdoor scene while also taking in a number of well-appreciated calories.
And of course we couldn’t leave Bubo without checking out its offering of sweets next door; they were world class, indeed.
Is it possible to get a bad meal here? If it is, we wouldn’t know. We’ve had our ups and downs in other European cities, but I can say with 100% certainty that we loved everything we tasted in Barcelona, down to the last piece of pan con tomate, er, tomato bread. If you’re going to spend your life’s savings on food somewhere, this city has my vote.