At last good weather has returned to our city, and in celebration Barcelona’s bars and cafes are once again hitting the streets and setting up their ever-popular “terrazas” (terraces).
Here you can relax in the open air after an enjoyable walk around town. Just around el Hotel Principal you will find a large selection of “bares con terraza”. Just in case you are having trouble deciding we offer our “top 3”:
BAR MENDIZABAL: Right on the corner of Junta de Comerç and Hospital street, just a few steps from the hotel, you find this true Barcelona classic. You sometimes find film crews shooting local-color scenes for movies and often find our hotel staff having a coffee at beak time.
This friendly corner cafe offers up a refreshing array of fruit juices as well as sandwiches you will find nowhere else. Why not try serrano ham, goat cheese, mango, and arugula? Or maybe something a little stronger like serrano ham, anchovies and avocado? And you will be surrounded by the most typical of Barcelona street life.
Antoni Escriba, the founder, is known locally as “the Mozart of chocolate” and his concept goes way beyond mere gastronomy. His webpage (which seems right out of Pepperland) sends out a clear invitation:
”Do you want to bathe in chocolate and howl at the moon?” “Have you ever felt the urge to go into astral space on a spongecake rocket and explore the galaxy on a piece of candy?”
But perhaps the real down-to-earth question should be: Do you feel like enjoying an exotic desert while observing the street life of a hallucinatory city?
PATI DE LA SANTA CREU: This agreeable and surprising oasis of quiet and green in the very center of the Raval is a three-minute walk from the Hotel Principal. A stone arch transports you right into medieval Barcelona, a quiet garden surrounded by historic buildings which give shelter to two libraries.
You can of course just sit under the orange trees, but once there it’s almost impossible not to succumb to the temptation of stepping up to the open-air bar which at first seems a little out-of-place in this historic setting. But it seems just fine once you have enjoyed a cold drink, a sandwich or a “tapa”.