Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Poble Sec - Restaurants

As I've written a few times, in my humble opinion, I'd rank Poble Sec as one of the better neighborhoods of Barcelona.  It has a great night life with a unique collection of bars and clubs, yet without the drunken tourists that go to the Barrio Gotico, or the teenage botellons famous in Gracia.  It also has some great restaurants that cover a variety of cuisine.

Cal Penina is a traditional Catalan restaurant whose dark and wooden decor hearkens back to what I imagine Barcelona was like forty years ago.  Serving traditional dishes and tapas, it also has a raw fish bar, which means its not cheap with an average price of €24.  Meanwhile, on the flip side and a bit cheaper is Bar Seco which again offers traditional Catalan food, plus refreshing microbrews and an assortment of juices and bocadillos, which hopefully won't tear the roof of your mouth.

If you're looking to try other Spanish cuisine.  Bar Ramon on Calle Blai serves food from the Canary Islands with the potatos and ham being my favorite.  La Soleá offers a fusion of traditional recipes from Andalucia with Asian and African influences and is located in one of the great hidden squares of Barcelona: Plaza Sortido.  Finally, if you're in the mood for snails La Tomaquera is a local institution that quickly fills up on the weekends.

For those lovers of Italian you have two choices.  La Bella Napoli and El Golfo di Napoli.  The former is located further down Paral.lel towards the port and, if you ask most locals, they'll say it's the best Italian around.  Personally, I find it a bit overrated and prefer the latter, which is located at the top of Poble Sec behind Plaza Espanya and does a mean pesto risotto.  But either way, you're in for an authentic Italian meal; although not a cheap one.

Got a craving for meat?   There's a Brazilian place called Bahía Porto Mar near the Poble Sec metro, where slices of meat are carved off a slab that'd fill Henry VIII.  Restaurante Casa Colombia on the other hand offers a choice of cuts and one of the best hot sauces around.  

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