Coffee with a local in Barcelona

Wednesday, 23 May 2012 11:01 AM

Barcelona - some would say one of the best cities in the world, so we decided to go back there and chat with local Roger Planes to get the insider tips on the places to find the best tapas and where to find the most atmospheric bars. 

So, you’ve brought me to your favourite cafe/bar – tell me about it.
This is La Fianna a kind of underground den located in the el Born area of the city - the best place to go out at night. It has bare brick walls, wrought iron chandeliers and large red velvet sofas. It’s a great place to eat some nibbles and to relax enjoying some great cocktails too.

Mmm... this is good, what are we drinking?
We are drinking mojitos of course! Barcelona does some of the best mojitos in the world. Try doing a bar crawl around the area to find the best. There are also special offers on daily cocktails too. Each place in el Born has a different atmosphere which makes it unique. Remember to order some tapas with each round too so that your night will last longer.

What are your favourite local dishes?
It’s all about tapas in Barcelona, order the patatas bravas (spicy potatoes) they’re really good. You’ll also find that in every bar you go you’ll taste differences in the sauce and texture. You should also try the octopus with paprika and boiled potatoes or mussels in a tomato sauce. Of course the fish is really good here too. Also you can’t go to Barcelona and not have paella, just grab one of the tables next the sea and you’re sure to be served a good one.

And where would you suggest I go to find these?
You should go to La Caleta de Gracia for some excellent tapas at a good price. It’s an authentic little place with a seaside theme. You should also eat montaditos, small slices of toasted baguette with a variety of toppings, there are so many places you can eat these, but Txapela is my favourite!

The sky is blue and the sun is shining, what’s the best thing to do on a day like today?
Wake up early, put on your swimming clothes and run to the beach. Once you are done toasting yourself in the sun, grab a table with a sea view and enjoy seafood paella with a really cold white wine. Then, walk through the Port area getting lost in its beauty area and then up the famous Las Ramblas. Once you reach to Plaça Catalunya sit down on a sunny terrace and drink a cold beer, it will make you feel good.

And if it rains?
Barcelona has an amazing array of cultural venues on offer for rainy days, you shouldn’t miss an opportunity to visit the MACBA if you like modern art or the Picasso Museum to learn more about this amazing artist. If you are not into art, just you could go on a shopping spree at any of the big shopping malls here, try La Illa or Diagonal Mar.

If there’s one thing I should do while I’m here, what is it?
You can’t leave Barcelona without having a drink on a sunny day or clear night admiring the city’s amazing architecture. I don’t want to say anything else other than that the views here are breathtaking.

Give me a local tip that other tourists wouldn’t usually know... The worst the bar looks, the more amazing the tapas you’ll find.

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