Contributed with sass and love by Marcela Velez – Born in Colombia, bread in Costa Rica. Left the nest at 18 for New York’s Groove and to study in Parsons but she’s called Barcelona her home since 2012 when she co-founded and launched the sensational M2MALLETIER handbag house. Secret of adulthood: nothing cures a hangover like pasta and arepas.
Rise & Shine –
For breakfast head to Auto Rosellón – it’s in Calle Enrique Granado – one of my favorite streets filled with mosaics and colors. The restaurant looks super simple but inside it has amazing design details such as their lamps. The menu is fixed but it has seasonal dishes. The kitchen is tiny, the majority of it is exposed, and you’ve never seen more savory-looking veggies in your life.
Take a walk on the wild side –
My favorite area is The Raval which is the immigrants’ neighborhood, it’s full of street art and I walk through there every day to go to SoHo house. This area is fascinating because this is a neighborhood where immigrant cultures clash, converge and co-exist: you see muslim supermarkets, all kinds of churches, mosques, convenience stores, amongst other things. Every corner has so much personality: there are prostitutes walking side by side with the old Spanish man and his wife that are on their way to do their food shopping. Don’t miss Calle de la Riera Alta or La Rambla del Raval.
Can’t miss art hubs/ateliers –
Foundation Miro is incredible not only because of the collection but because the architecture of the museum and where it’s located – there’s no better view of the city! Fundacion Antoni Tàpies is also fantastic – they always have interesting exhibitions but I particularly love their rooftop. Lastly, a gem that not many people know about is Casa de Xavier Corberó. He passed away recently, he was an amazing sculptor, and he had a very beautiful house which NOWNESS captured. Even to see it from the outside is an experience.
Feed me! Lunch & Dinner spots –
Terraza Martinez – If you’re in Barcelona on a weekend, this is where you want to have lunch. It’s a palm tree heaven outdoors with a great view of the city. There’s always good music, beautiful people and the food is amazing. You have to try their papatas bravas and fideua.
For dinner head to Bar Bacaro in Raval. It’s basically a hole in the wall but they serve the most delicious Italian Venetian food. It is very cozy and the food is truly spectacular. I also love Il Giardinetto, you’ll never find a single tourist here except yourself so blend in! The place feels like a restaurant lost in the 60s, it’s bizarre, Italian, very delicious, filled with chic Catalanes and there’s always an old man playing classical piano.
When in Barcelona… paella on the beach is a must! gG to Can Majo – the restaurant itself is not amazing, it’s actually very old school, but you’ll leave with smiling and in a food coma.
For an afternoon fix –
Barcelona is all about rooftops and it’s impossible to choose just one but here are a few of my favorites. Terraza del Cotton House Hotel – you’ll feel like you’re time traveling to Cuba in the 1950’s, it’s full of plants and dissected animals everywhere! There’s also the rooftop at Hotel Pullitzer – I love the ambiance here. Libertine inside of Casa Bonay is the best especially if you’re in town during winter. It has a more hipster atmosphere, it’s very design oriented, and I’d say “cool” pretty much nails down its essence. Their aesthetic is the perfect balance between eclectic and clean.
Hidden book stores –
I love Bordeline between el Raval and Gotico and La Central del Raval next to the MACBA. All you want to do is take pictures of how the books are displayed even before you pick them up! This neighborhood is full of amazing art galleries and it’s far away from the touristy crowds.
Treasure hunting in Barcelona –
On Sundays, next to my house in Mercado Sant Anton there’s a book and antique fair right on the street. You can find the most incredible vintage magazines, toys, furniture and books.
To drink like a fish & boogie all night long –
Start off with some drinks at Caribbean, it’s an old school bar that always makes me feel like I’m on a boat. Head to Bombon for some latin music – it’s always a great party guaranteed. Alternatively, head to El Negroni in el Raval. They have the best gin and tonics and I never drink gin and tonics. That sums up good it is!
My favorite thing about Barcelona is that…
I feel like I’m always treasure hunting, always discovering a new street, a new door I had never noticed before, a different ceiling. It’s impossible to get bored!
Travel changes lives & art prolongs it.
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Cotton house courtesy of them.