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Tickets El mejor de los mejores featured

There’s a simple reason why the minimum wait for reservations at Tickets is two months: They serve some of the best tapas in the world (no hyperbole, promise). The fact that Ferran Adrià—the former head chef of El Bulli, widely regarded as the best eatery in the world before it closed in 2011—is at the helm probably helps a bit too.

The menu oozes insane levels of quality and invention, with dishes such as avocado cannelloni stuffed with crab, razor clams with refried sauce and lemon air, and a Catalonian reboot of surf ‘n’ turf—sauteed bean, iberian sausages and baby squid—zipping out of the open kitchen from open ‘til close. Liquid refreshment comes in the form of Catalan wines, Champagne from across the border and beer served straight from barrels set atop the bar.

In a nutshell? It’s a hell of a wait for a table, but the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow would put Midas to shame.

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…

Monvínic Vive viticulture

Monvínic is at once an upscale wine bar and bastion of viticulture—the study of grape cultivation. The shop tours native Spanish wines and then detours on an adventurous globe trot, providing customers with an extensive, meticulously selected array of varietals from around the world. And they do more than just fill the connoisseur’s cup, providing as well an impressive wine library for browsing Monvínic’s collection and, more importantly, buffing up on one’s own knowledge of the craft and trade.

The food is equally fine, with proper wine pairings to please every palate. Not sure what to drink with your tasty tapas? The devilishly knowledgeable sommeliers can accommodate even the most unlearned winos. With food that makes use of seasonal ingredients and meals that pay homage to the region’s rich culinary heritage, Monvínic’s small plates of eggs with Rioja-style potatoes or kid with Gauxet beans are consistently delicious. Order widely and with abandon.

La Alcoba Azul Spanish authenticity

You can find a bounty of very hip and charming bars in Barcelona. And, of course, there are also more than enough spots to enjoy authentic Spanish food. But it’s only seldom you can find somewhere that both come together- La Alcoba Azul is one of those places.

They have created an inspiring and stylish ambience without sacrificing their Spanish soul. The salads and toasts, as well as the tapas are pretty delicious and the house wines are carefully selected. Sometimes if you’re lucky, you’ll be served with a free tapa with your glass of wine, as was common here years ago. With its traditional charm and the cosmopolitan Jazz selection to audibly season the atmosphere, this place is a quintessential example of modern Spain.

Museu Marítim Cafe Quiet seas

Dating back the 14th century, this medieval royal shipyard building is worth a visit even if nautical adventures aren’t on top of your “To Do” lists. The building itself is a marvel while the stunning former construction rooms will enchant as sun rays seep in through the seven meter high windows.

Perhaps the hidden draw card of this place is the café and outdoor terrace with its tranquil views across the adjacent garden. Located just a street away from the famous Las Ramblas (which teems with tourists 365 days a year), this museum is surprisingly very quiet i.e. a sublime spot to relax and enjoy a coffee away from the hordes.

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