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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…

Shunka Intense aroma

In much of the West, Asian food is ubiquitous; but in Spain, especially Barcelona where haute Catalan cuisine reigns supreme, it is downright adventurous. Shunka, a regionally-rare Japanese eatery whose name means “intense aroma of the season,” harnesses the best of the East-West dichotomy by fusing local ingredients with Japanese-style cooking methods.

Thanks to his father, chef and owner Hideki Matsusia gained exposure to the Asian archipelago’s cuisine at a young age—indeed, he began working in Tokyo restaurants at 15-years-old. In 1997, Matsusia moved to Barcelona to put his culinary sensibilities and skills to the test, and his restaurant is a testament to his chops: Shunka is widely regarded as Barcelona’s top Japanese eatery, noted for the freshness of its ingredients and hip ambiance. Reservations recommended, as Shunka overpours with people during the dinner hours. Know that if you’re hankering for top-quality fresh fish and sticky rice, your search is over before it has even begun.

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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