Breakfast in Barcelona

The concept of breakfast in Barcelona is different. Traditionally it’s subdivided into two meals. Desdejuni, a very small early-morning meal is sometimes nothing more than juice or a café amb llet. L’esmorzar is a larger late morning affair similar to what a lot of cultures would call lunch, wherein some workers wash down large sandwiches with small beers. That said, American and English breakfasts are widely available and brunch has become very popular, especially on weekends.

Carrer d'Avinyó, 9, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
One of the best things about Barcelona is its many delicious cafes, offering strong Spanish coffee and rich, flaky pastries. I’ve found the best cafes to be concentrated in the city’s enchanting Gothic Quarter, or “Barri Gotic.” As in a lot of other European cities, you can linger over a cup of coffee, chocolate croissant, and the morning paper for as long as you’d like without risk of being bothered to give up your table. When you’re in Barcelona make sure to enjoy a leisurely breakfast followed by a stroll through the charming Gothic Quarter, where you’ll find everything from entertaining street performers to fun little shops to the obvious highlight, beautiful Gothic architecture.
Carrer de Petritxol, 11, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
The churros are made at a nearby churrería and delivered hot, and the chocolate is divine, but at Granja La Pallaresa, the house speciality is freshly whipped nata (thick cream). Order un suizo here. Carrer de Petritxol 11, Barcelona, 34/93-302-2036 This appeared in the June/July 2014 issue. Learn more about Spain‘s chocolate and churro culture.
91 Rambla de Sant Josep
Pinotxo, which stands for Pinocchio in Catalan, is a longtime family-owned restaurant in the Mercat de la Boqueria, Barcelona‘s most important central market. Reasonable prices and fresh produce entice tourists and locals for breakfast, lunch, or a quick coffee and fried donut (called a xuxo). Look for Juanito in the bowtie.
La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
As you enter Barcelona‘s famous Mercat de Sant Josep de La Boqueria from La Rambla, one of the first stalls you encounter is Tocineria Marcos, purveyors of Iberico ham and a stunning array of other cured, cooked, and fresh meats. It’s just one of the dazzling displays of delicacies in this, the most famous of Barcelona‘s 40 or so food markets. (Another favorite, and slightly less touristed, is the beautifully remodeled Mercat de Santa Caterina, short walk away.) La Boqueria dates back to 1217; a pig market was conducted here starting in 1470; and the current metal roof was built in 1914. There’s no better place to shop for a taste of Catalan culture.
Carrer del Parlament, 39, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
While the Federal Café may or may not be Barcelona‘s best brunch spot--it’s certainly got two of the most important ingredients for an ideal brunch---food and atmosphere. The Federal Café is light and airy with an open coffee prep area, funky eco light fixtures made of textured cardboard and a roof-top terrace where diners can soak up Barcelona’s nearly ever-present sun. Then there’s the food--Tuesday-Friday brunch until 1pm, Saturdays until 4pm, and Sundays all day long. Federal’s Australian owners ensure a good mixture of British, Aussie, American and international classics are on the menu-- beyond your typical eggs with pork products and bread (see breakfast burger pictured above) with a nice selection of gluten-free, vegetarian and fair-trade options. The café gets bonus points for fresh cut flowers, excellent coffee, and chocolate chip cookies the size of donuts.
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