I fell in love in Barcelona. From the generosity of the people to the saliva-inducing food, the heart palpitations didn’t seem to stop — and I say this in the best way possible.

Barcelona is fast-paced, and I seemed to be searching food blogs for hours prior to leaving my hotel in Las Ramblas, Le Meridien, just to keep up. Though I found that sometimes, stumbling upon food markets or walking down cobblestone paths led you to places not even food blogs could let you know about. Therefore, my days started off the same: wandering through La Boqueria.

I was lucky enough to have the famous market only a few blocks from my hotel. Originally, I was nervous to venture into a place with the stigma of being a tourist trap. But man, if anywhere is meant to be a wonderful trap to walk into, it was this one.

La Boqueria 

It became customary over our week-long stay to get our first cup of coffee of the day here, along with the classic bocadillo sandwiches Barcelona is notorious for. With the bread made fresh daily and salami sliced by hand, I’d speed walk to the market every morning.

As I traipsed through the vendors, taking in the 7 a.m. set-up, I'd be fascinated by the family-owned shops — some of which date back a 100 years.


I gave into the Instagram craze and took a taxi to Brunch & Cake by the Sea after seeing my friends — traveling abroad at the time — raving about the organic goodness that awaited them near Barceloneta.

The premise of the restaurant is to provide a twist on classic brunch favorites and do it in an even healthier, sustainable way. Therefore, my meal included a guacamole injection needle. Must I say more?


If you do one thing while in Barcelona, it must be this: hunt down the paella. Don’t waste your money on paellas sold in the tents on Las Ramblas though — oftentimes, they’re frozen and heated in microwaves for tourists who don’t know the difference. I made it my mission to bask in the sangria perfectly paired with the simple yet complex with spice rice dish.

Xiringuito Escriba

My gaw. The sea view had already prepped me for an enjoyable experience, but with the introduction of their famed paella negra, which adds squid ink to the rice for its color, and the look of the unveiling of each dish, I was drooling so much I'd ordered two separate paellas for good measure.


Paella de marisco

Jorge Franganillo on Flickr

If it wasn't for a nightly stroll in search of churros con chocolate, I might have passed this little hole in the wall located in Carrer del Carme. With a projected 30-minute to an hour wait, I was originally hesitant due to near-starvation. Though as I stepped out, paella was being brought out from the kitchen and the sweet aroma of its vegetable base and Spanish red peppers brought me back in. As I waited at the bar, local musicians walked through the restaurant playing Venezuelan music. I was won over before I was seated.

El Nacional

One of my absolute favorites of the trip. Now, this one is slightly difficult to find due to its hidden location. The GPS will take you to a ZARA and then tell you you’ve arrived while next to a white wall. It’s buried in a little nook between buildings, where most likely, a chef will greet you with a nice puff of smoke from their Marlboro. But that just adds to the experience.

This place is a boujee food court of sorts, where you can go from appetizers to tapas to an expensive steak meal. But I came for the tapas and then proceeded to order everything off the menu of La Taperia. And of course, I indulged in one of Spain’s classic beers: Estrella Damm. Here I learned the Spanish tradition of “Pan con Tomate,” or tomato toast, where ripe cherry tomatoes are squeezed onto bread and topped with a little oil and garlic. Word of advice, don't forget the patatas bravas.


When in Barcelona, trust the signs that's tell you to just walk and eat. While venturing through the windy roads that lead away from the main roads and are taken over by cyclists and random bursts of music, La Fabrica came into view, offering much needed empanadas. The options of criollo picante and the jamon y queso were the greatest segue one could have toward their vast menu.


In Rocambolesc, customers are taken back to a Willy Wonka ice cream factory of sorts. As the ice cream of shop of Jordi Roca, world famous pastry chef, it thrives on being unconventional, with popsicles made in custom molds, from Darth Vader to the nose of Roca himself.

I opted for vanilla with brownies, chocolate sauce, chocolate scrapings and a little bit of cookie dough to see if even the classic straightforward was good. Reader, it was.

From a combination of food blogs to asking locals on the street and the taxi drivers their favorite places to go out, I felt complete. In this city, it was established the sights accompany great food. The only disappointment experienced is I wasn't there during a Barcelona-Madrid game. Though no worries Barcelona, I'll be back soon.