Abroad Bites: Barcelona, Spain
This past weekend, I was lucky enough to go to Barcelona to celebrate my friend Mariah’s 21st birthday!! I’d been to Barcelona before, about a year and a half ago when my sister was studying abroad there. I had such an amazing time the first time I was there, so naturally I was beyond excited to go back! The city didn’t disappoint – it’s a magical place, truly.
We left last Thursday and arrived around 8 PM, and then promptly went to go find our hostel. It was my first time staying in a hostel, but thankfully, I couldn’t have had a better first experience. The place we stayed, called Fabrizzio Petit Palace, was in an incredible location that was within walking distance from pretty much everywhere we wanted to go, it was clean, safe, 24h-hour breakfast (score!) and most importantly, had such an incredible staff that truly made the weekend one that was never to be forgotten!
After arriving that first night, we had SUCH an amazing dinner at a place called Tapas 24. We were in Spain, so obviously we needed to stuff ourselves with tapas and drink lots of sangria.
This was (most) of our tapas spread, so good!
Of course, we could not have our first meal in Barcelona without sangria! This was one of the best that we had, it was light, smooth, fruity, and absolutely delicious. Perfect complement to the meal.
Ok, this sandwich. One of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. EVER. We sort of just saw black truffle on the menu and pointed at it, hoping it was something good. SUCH A GOOD IDEA. We were talking about this for the rest of the trip (along with one other favorite from here that you’ll see in a sec!). Perfectly toasted bread, delicious melted cheese, a generous amount of shaved black truffles, and Iberian ham. It was the perfect combination, and is literally a sandwich I will dream about. If you go to Barcelona you must eat this.
Croquettes are a favorite of mine, and these were some delicious ones! They were chicken, and sort of tasted like a super gourmet chicken nugget. I’m saying that in the best way possible. So yummy!
Pan con tomate…AKA bread with tomato. This is a staple on most tapas menus, and is delicious in it’s simplicity. Great quality bread, toasted to crispy perfection, rubbed with fresh tomato and olive oil. My favorite snack growing up was bread with tomato and olive oil, so this totally reminds me of home. Major comfort food!
This was a daily special and came highly recommended from our waiter. It was SUPER fresh, barely seared tuna, with a delicious tomato compote-sorta thing (technical, eh?), topped with seaweed. I’m typically not a huge raw fish person, but this was scrumptious.
Dessert #1: creme Catalan. We had no idea what we were going to get with this, our waiter simply told us it was good. It was similar to creme brûlée, but the filling was a lot runnier. It was heavenly, and I could devour this again and again.
And finally…dessert #2. This is what every chocolate dessert dreams of being. When I said earlier when talking about the sandwich there were two things from this dinner we couldn’t stop dreaming about, this was the other one. I don’t even know what that chocolate stuff was. When they put it down, I thought it was ice cream. When I spooned into it, I thought it was mousse. But when I ate it…it was some combination of mousse and ganache, perfectly accented by a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Those little breads were perfect for scooping the chocolate goodness into your mouth. This was dessert at it’s finest. Soooo dreamy.
The next day, we went to Sagrada Familia. I had already been, but even the second time, the place is beyond breathtaking. However, on the way, we stopped for lunch!
True to Spanish form, we had sangria and tapas…but for some reason, I didn’t take any pictures of the tapas. We also ordered a pizza, because why not? It was really good. The tapas we got were manchego cheese, Iberian ham, and patatas bravas. All super traditional, all super delicious!
We spend most of that afternoon exploring Sagrada Familia. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a massive church, designed by Antoni Gaudi, the famous Spanish architect. This church is a monster, and it isn’t even close to being done. It’s been under construction for ages, but they’re aiming to finish it in the 2026. The inside is complete, and we rode the elevators to the top of the towers for some gorgeous views of Barcelona. This is one truly incredible building!
After Sagrada Familia, we wandered around for a little while, and stumbled upon this little bakery…
Everything looked super tempting, but I just ended up grabbing this tiny little cream-filled croissant. Unfortunately, it was sort of disappointing. Not bad, but I expected better. Mariah got a chocolate one and felt the same way. Bummer :(
The next day, we went an awesome brunch place called Milk, and then to the beach! It was a little windy/cloudy when we first got there, but the sky cleared up a bit and it was so nice to see the water. Being landlocked in London is hard for me, since I’ve always lived within a few miles of the ocean!
That was my brunch time meal at Milk…omg. So good! It was a burger with brie, bacon, and caramelized onions. Heaven! And served with breakfast potatoes…oh so good. We went back there for breakfast the next day and I got pancakes, but took no pictures of that meal. Awesome place though, highly recommended.
After our beach trip, we shopped around Las Ramblas, and stopped at a cafe for some coffee. I saw they had chocolate and churros on the menu and couldn’t resist, especially after my mom and I had wanted to get them last time we were in Barcelona, but just never got around to it! The churros were fresh and delicious, and the chocolate dipping sauce was like a ganache/pudding hybrid that was absolutely delicious. Such a perfect snack to hold us over until dinner :)
Saturday was our last night in Spain, and we went to an Italian restaurant called Toscana Ristorante for dinner to celebrate Mariah’s birthday! Forgive the terrible photos…the iPhone can’t do magical things when the lighting is crappy, and I was photographing at rapid speed before the food got devoured!
Mariah and I opted to share two things, and upon reading the menu and not understanding a vast majority of it, we stuck with what we knew: pesto! It was simple, but it was a pesto pasta done so right. It was creamy and delicious, and the pasta was perfectly cooked! So yummy.
For our pizza, we took advantage of our last opportunity for Iberian ham! We got the Iberian ham and mushroom pizza, and it was so delicious. The crust was thin and crispy and just how a pizza should be. So weird though – they don’t cut any of the pizza’s for you! Thankfully, I learned I’m great at cutting pizza with a butter knife.
And there you have it! My whirlwind trip to Barcelona. I’m actually going back again in April with a different group of friends, and I’m beyond excited because there is so much more that I want to do! On that list: eat that sandwich again, and that chocolate dessert. YUM! If you have any other Barcelona faves I should know about, do let me know! Until next time…