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Mama's Cafe From morning till night

Not only do they serve breakfast all day, but their focus on organic and local ingredients means it comes with a feel-good buzz too. Nestled in the Gracia neighborhood, Mama’s Cafe isn’t only about nice wholesome food though—just try the burger dripping in Gruyère cheese and you’ll understand. Mama’s makes for an ideal place to grab a bite while watching artists sketch up their new ideas, catch up on some reading over a coffee, or to brunch with friends and cure that hangover hair-of-the-dog style with a Bloody Mary on their popular back patio.

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…

Gresca Stimulating Spanish cuisine

When it comes to food in Barcelona, creativity is pervasive. Over the years, chefs have transformed their craft into somewhat of an art merging the strength of both their rich culinary and art tradition. Here, the cuisine is innovative and intellectually stimulating attracting worldwide recognition. However, rather than intimidate culinary newcomers, the scene has only emboldened them further.

Gresca’s chef and owner Rafael Pena is one such newcomer. His restaurant is another installment of the ascendancy of “bistronomicas”, where haute gastronomic and traditional cuisine collide. The result: intelligent and inventive cooking that is as enlightening as it is satisfying. Pena makes a concerted effort to source locally opting for robust produce rather than mediocre mainstays. His minimalist, ingeniously crafted dishes reflect both his sharp talent as well as the local terroir and rich food culture.

Offerings, such as John Dory with artichoke or the Egg Souffle with Creamed Ham, are evidence of this inclination. If you’re overwhelmed by the menu, opt for their tasting menu and sample a range of delicacies such as octopus, sardines and ginger squab.

Forn Mistral Traditional eco-bread

The Mistral bakery enjoys a long tradition in Barcelona. The Bertran family has been running the business under the same name since 1977 and it is now in its fifth generation. This bakery is famous for their ecological bread as well as their versatile range of products.

At certain hours you will have to wait along with a huge line of hungry punters, but it’s worth waiting for a taste of the true promise of Forn Mistral. Top tips are the bread rolls or “panets de viena” that come in three different sizes and you shouldn’t miss a sample of their fiberous variety of wholewheat breads.

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