In the heart of El Raval, one of Barcelona’s most multicultural neighborhoods, lies a portal to the Catalan countryside. At La Biblioteca, which opened in 2012, the origins of the ingredients sing out clearly from each dish and plunge you into a pure culinary experience inspired by the land: the traditional farmhouses called masias, the rustic recipes of the Pyrenees, the perfume of the valleys and gardens, the modern farmers near the city and the influence on plants and herbs of the Mediterranean Sea. Continue »
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Mercè Vins is exactly between two worlds, located on the quiet, narrow and dark Carrer d’Amargós, close to the shopping area of Portal de l’Àngel, near the Cathedral and Plaça de Sant Jaume, and on the border between the Barrio Gótico and Born neighborhoods, where there are numerous offices and public institutions, filled with employees looking for a breakfast that goes beyond a sad, ersatz “croissant” or for a lunch that approximates the kind of meal they would get if they were able to sneak back home. Continue »
Spain has not traditionally been known as a country of great bread, although there are some exceptional old tahonas (bakeries) scattered around here and there. But after long decades of eating poor-quality breads, typically white or light bread with excessive additives, Spaniards are finally developing their taste for the staple. In fact, the culture of bread in Spain is in full fermentation right now. Continue »
Exarchia is one of Athens’ liveliest neighborhoods. Home to students and intellectuals alike, it’s filled with bookshops, music stores and “free-thinking spaces,” an interesting bookstore/café hybrid where political debates and local residents’ council meetings are sometimes held. The area looks slightly worn-down: the neoclassical and post-war buildings are littered with graffiti tags and music posters, which means – as visitors to other European capitals might know – that there are great places for eating and drinking here. Continue »