Another city, another terrace to sit upon and drink our morning coffee.
Barcelona is gorgeous. Buildings dripping in balconies and tinted in warm taupe and rich terracotta hues. Although the days here were hot during our stay, the nights were mild, allowing us to open our balcony door and let the breeze blow in. I regret not taking photos of the flat we stayed in.
BRUNCH TIME. Barcelona is a brunching city, and while it wasn’t a weekend, we were determined to find some eggs and mimosas to get the day started off right. So, we headed down to Federal Café right in the heart of Sant Antoni, the city’s brunch capital.
The restaurant was bright and airy with seats that allowed you to straddle the short wall, or sit side-saddle on the sidewalk. Barcelona in the height of summer is hot, so it was really lovely to enjoy the fresh air with a healthy dose of shade.
The mimosa here was fabulous. Fresh-to-death orange juice with a more than healthy portion of sparkling wine. Very pulpy, very juicy, very delicious.
Our meals were excellent as well. Do you see the color of that egg yolk? I did minimal color-correction on this photo, it was seriously that orange. This skillet was the eggs with serrano ham and manchego, because Spain.
Pastured eggs are so pretty.
We didn’t have a real plan for the day, so we started wandering closer to Barceloneta beach and the touristy stuff. Eventually, we wandered into El Bosc de les Fades for an espresso, a beer, and an air conditioning break. You’ll begin to see a theme emerge soon.
El Bose de les Fades is a dimly lit, ethereal, and somewhat difficult to find cafe attached to the Barcelona Wax Museum. While we didn’t have a chance to visit the museum itself, the café was a bit of an adventure in and of itself.
Wax fairies hid in knotted trees with cracking faces, their branches sprawling along the ceiling, covering it in green and orange leaves. A stream bubbled in the back where tiny children’s tables were arranged near the small footbridge over the water.
The area is the café is in a bit touristy, but it seemed to be tucked away enough to be nice and quiet. They have free WiFi, intense air conditioning, good coffee, and a respectable beer and cocktail list.
After feeling sufficiently caffeinated, we continued to approach the beach. Barcelona is totally walkable, but when it’s hot you’re going to want to plan a few breaks. The Barcelona Aquarium is there for you.
Confession: I LOVE aquariums. When I was young, all I wanted was to live in the sea with the fish and snuggle with seals. Frankly, I still feel that way.
The Barcelona Aquarium is very nice. I won’t over-sell it, because by the end of it we were definitely expecting more, but it was still a positive experience. For example, I made friends with this fish. He seriously floated in place for almost five minutes just hanging out with me. I named him Parrot.
At this point we needed calories, but struggled a bit to find anything near the beach that looked interesting. If you go to Barceloneta, you will be surrounded by bars and restaurants. None of them are considered to be particularly good, plus they can be quite expensive. If you are seeking anything other than the pleasure of drinking a beer outdoors on the beach, I implore you to skip them and instead head to Can Paixano.
Chilled bottles of their house rosat and brut cava cost just €3. And it is excellent. There is one catch–you must stand, and you’ll likely be shoulder to shoulder with people because this place is always packed. But take this from someone who cannot stand crowds–it’s worth it. This is the one place that we came back to every single day.
Their food menu is equally impressive and inexpensive. Tapas include meats, cheeses, and olives. But you can skip all of that, because you’re going to want to get the €3 foie gras and sobrassada sandwich.
This was my snack every day, and it was blissful.
After our day-long trek to the water, we finally made it.
And had another beer of course. I don’t remember where we stopped for this particular drink, but it seems like most of the beach bars are pretty much the same. Tourist friendly, a little pricey, but nice to relax at.
At this point we were exhausted from walking and caught a bus back to our flat. We relaxed for a bit, had some wine on the terrace, and then set our for dinner.
I’ll save you the details of how difficult it was to find a place that was open on a Tuesday, but trust me. It was near impossible. Luckily, we stumbled upon Aćces.
This photo gives you a very vague idea of the interior of this Aćces. It’s luxe, but it’s luxe from the early 2000’s. The decor reminds me of Steven Starr, which is neither a compliment nor a criticism. Let’s just call it “elaborate.”
We were pleasantly surprised by the meal we had at Aćces. We hadn’t planned for a pricier night out, but in the end we were happy that we got to have an impromptu date night with some pretty excellent food. Click to enlarge the deliciousness.
Seriously, look at those capers. LOOK AT THEM.
A photo posted by Michelle 🍕🐱 (@michellemakeswords) on
Stay tuned for more from Barcelona, including a seafood feast and vermouth for days. ♥