Picnic Fifty shades of delicious

Smack bang in the center of the ever-progressive El Born neighborhood, Picnic is an all-star foodie experience that people just can’t stop talking about. Where Brooklyn chic meets mom-and-pop cafe, it’s a charismatic little joint that’s always jam-packed and ready to deliver kick-ass grub. The owners, Tara, from San Diego and her husband, Jamie, the head chef from Santiago, combine forces to create an out-of-this-world dining experience. Tara charms la sala with warmth and grace while Jamie produces a season-tuned brunch and dinner menu that has both savory and sweet flavors, always leaving your stomach begging for more.

Some of the most treasured brunch dishes are the pancakes served with fresh figs, strawberries, maple syrup and a peanut butter glaze; their classic eggs benedict; or even the crab BLT with a chilled chipotle Bloody Mary, to start the morning off right. For dinner, you can savor a slow-roasted lamb or the braised oxtail with a spiked strawberry lemonade. The highlight of Picnic is undeniably the food but the restaurant’s style, delivery and attentiveness is the icing on their prized homemade dessert cakes.

Barraca A xiringuito like you've never seen featured

Barraca has more than a few things in its favor. Sitting pretty on the sandy edge of Barceloneta, it is a mere croqueta’s throw away from the Mediterranean. Quite literally. You’ll therefore be perhaps unsurprised that the seafood here is wriggling fresh. Not literally this time, though nevertheless exceptionally fresh.

But the reason that this restaurant’s opening was the worst kept secret of summer 2013 had nothing to do with the location nor the fresh fish. The buzz in the air was all to do with the hype-worthy, Michelin-studded record of head chef Xavier Pellicer – a gastronomic wizard who has decided to put down his haute cuisine conjuring spoon for a while and instead go back to doing real people’s food, for real people’s prices.

The all-time peasant favorite paella has taken pride of place here—a deep sticky concoction that is crisped briefly in the oven before serving. Beneath the rich rice crust lurks a near anthology of the ocean, as can be seen in the arroz bomba—complete with squid, rock fish, mussels and clams. Barraca is also organically-minded and kitted out in a modern, nautical manner. But need we really say more…

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