While the healthy living associated with the Mediterranean diet may be admirable, once in a while it's nice to just sink your teeth into a big juicy brunch. In comparison with a coffee-and-sandwich breakfast and the famously lengthy, languid lunches, brunch isn't a meal you'd immediately associate with the local culture. In fact, as a predominantly Anglo-Saxon tradition, it suffers from a less refined, more DIY – okay, let's just say it: greasy – image. However, in recent years this foreign weekend favourite has proved surprisingly popular in the Catalan capital too, albeit with less of an emphasis on the grease. At weekends you'll find many of Barcelona's restaurants and bars open for business well before midday, and enjoying a brisk brunchtime trade. So, from hangover restoratives to fancy breakfast feasts, dig in to Time Out's guide to the best brunches in town.
Attention all you vampires who only get up before lunchtime if you can do it with a Bloody Mary in your hand: Toto, a fabulous Italian restaurant that puts special emphasis on organic products (they're part of the Slow Food movement), also does up weekend brunch. Every Saturday and Sunday, from 11.30am to 3.30pm, they've got a menú of combination plates, small dishes, cheeses and charcuterie that are loyal to their Italian roots, yet made with local products and a touch of imagination. Eggs figure in in a big way, and you'll find them in their Benedict form, cooked with tomatoes and chili, or scrambled – all organic. The burgers are spectacular (the free-range chicken with guacamole!), and if you're looking for a hangover cure, you'll find it in a Bloody Mary or multifruit juices packed with vitamins. A tip: For just €6.50 you can get a basket full of toast, jams, pastries, muffins and bread rolls that will fill your stomach with glee.
DosTrece has become a modern classic on the Ciutat Vella dining circuit. The restaurant is on a corner and has huge windows, ideal for people-watching as you have something to eat or drink: There are teas, beers, cocktails and international dishes, either as snacks or meals. For a while they have also been offering brunch classics such as eggs Benedict, American crepes and French toast. It’s like being in a cafe in a trendy district in New York or Berlin.
This restaurant would not look out of place in the trendiest, most cosmopolitan of cities. Natural light, tasteful decor, good music, fast, friendly service and a menu specialising in breakfasts that can resuscitate you after a night of overdoing it: juices and shakes, eggs and sausage, fruit and sandwiches...
This quirky, original restaurant that bears a resemblance to a New York eatery combines American dishes like barbecue pork rib burgers with a touch of the Mediterranean, like the tuna with wasabi mayonnaise variety. Have a slice of cheesecake for breakfast á la 'Sex and the City', or drop in for lunch or dinner.
Brazilian Patricia Leona from São Paulo is the heart and soul of this small and charming bar/restaurant that serves up a superlative brunch. Leona, a professional chef with loads of experience, has opted to create her own place with simple food and everyday products with a twist. Specialists in brunch, they boast four different versions of eggs Benedict, sweet or savoury pancakes, and deli items for lunch that are simple yet exquisitely made, like pulled pork sandwiches with pork that's marinated for hours and grilled, and you'll also find a few Brazilian dishes.
A seafood eatery outside Barceloneta. It’s great to have fishmongers in the family. The customer service is excellent here and this is reflected in sheer value for money, whether you want prawns, grilled squid, hake in breadcrumbs or a rice dish. Anyone not eating fresh fish, it’s because they don’t want to.
Three friends who graduated in philosophy, journalism and art history have turned a corner bar into delicious miniature restaurant, where they rework and update classic dishes from Basque and Galician cuisine, served on small plates. On Saturday mornings they offer brunch with toast and a home-made jam that has become an object of pilgrimage.
Previously the Bodega Fortuny, this minimalist spot, run by an Australian and an Englishwoman is described as a gastropub. You can find delicious, original recipes, with British, Italian or Catalan influences, but always extremely original results. Good breakfasts, sweet and savoury items and imaginative dishes like the American-style rabbit fried in breadcrumbs. The home-made desserts are excellent.