White marble tables, wooden chairs, photos from the early 20th century... As much as you'll feel at home in the surroudings, you'll love the excellent pastas and simple cuisine made by the Italian chef, and served in one of the district’s oldest, cosiest café-restaurants.
Who can forget the film this diner takes its name from, with Dustin Hoffman in drag? We have Hollywood to thank for that, as well as for showing us their big-screen version of an authentic American diner, something this Barcelona-based Tootsie aspires to. Here the lengthy menu of burgers and sandwiches conjure big American appetites and all-American film, but with a taste of the local fare as well, order a Burt Lancaster burger with tartar sauce and a tapa of pig snout or 'lacón' on the side.
Manel and Daniel have opened another bodega like the one their family used to run next to the Monumental bullring. The menu does not include the dishes of the day, but once you’re sat at the bar you can try trotters, capipota, pigs’ cheeks or tripe with chickpeas and chorizo. They also sell cask wine.
Sometimes you need desperately to find a place that is your lifeline at any time of day. Tarannà is one of those miracles that suddenly appear in your life. A secret lifeboat amid a wreck. A dream place where getting up off your chair is pure drama, sitting down again, a life-sustaining need.Decorated with simplicity and sophistication, this space is left wanting by a combination of wood, brick and white tile, enhanced by a Wimbledon green. The claustrophobic can get out onto the terrace, where hours can pass you by, but what do you care, reading your comic book and smoking your cigarettes.Inside all is calm, with soft music, community wooden tables, vintage Scandinavian-style chairs and a divine window that's open when the weather's fine, and where the most indecisive of patron can sit half inside and half outside (like Federal Café on C/Parlament).Tarannà is a special place. The light is magnificent in the afternoon, no joke. When night falls, there's nothing like ordering one of the many beers on the menu to go with an organic chicken and avocado sandwich, my favourite. Breakfast, vermouth, lunch, gorgeously sweet snacks, dinner, quality drinks... The combination of versatility, modernity, quality and simplicity, and surprisingly attentive and fast service make it impossible not to be seduced by this oasis. The ideal is served up once again in Sant Antoni. I think I'm in love.
Rafel works long hours preparing traditional home-made dishes, including meatgalls, potato omelette, beef stew, Russian salad.... The place is cosy and the food and drink are good, yes, but what's important here, what makes the difference is Rafel's incomparable friendliness. It radiates a contagious kindness throughout the place, which makes you feel quite comfortable indeed, right at home. Once you've settled in at the Bodega d'en Rafel, you become a regular and make it part of your life, just like so many in the neighbourhood.
Straight out of 'The Simpsons', á la Moe's Bar, this is a place for fans of old football matches and value for money in good company. Which pretty much includes the whole gang from Springfield. Take a break from your one-euro beers at the Formica table in the corner once in a while to play table football or try your luck with the slot machines.Suddenly the ramshackle bar and cracked walls are soaking wet from a Barça match. Suddenly the walls were wet with drinks and my ears were ringing from the thrill of the footbal fanatics. Every time Barça scored a goal, a patron got up onto a table and called out any old cheer through a bullhorn for everyone else to chant along in a frenzy. No doubt Homer would fit right in.
Despite attempts by the scientific community to find a wine that cures what ails you, no one in a white coat has been able to so far. The latest news comes out of the Sant Antoni market area, near Plaça Espanya.Italians Umberto and Francesco have managed to astound researchers with their neighbourhood wine bar. They assure us that even unbelievers, once they spend a bit of time sitting in the bodega, will see their problems fly like paper airplanes.The recipe at Vino y Otros Remedios ('Wine and Other Remedies') is clear, make the clientele happy with reliable recommendations and easy-to-swallow prices. 'Most wines coss less than 15 euros,' says Umberto, who's originally from the town of Salento, in southern Italy, where his father makes wine. 'Most of our customers are not experts, so we like to be able to give them good advice.' Umberto's eyes sparkle behind his specks when he talks about wine. You can buy bottles and take them home, but it's worth taking their counsel. A handful of tables flank the shelves bearing a mix of Catalan, Spanish and Italian wines.There is life beyond chianti and bad Lambrusco. Vino y Otros Remedios guarantees it, Umberto imports the wine from small wine cellars in the heel of Italy. It's one of the few spots in town where you can find varieties of Negroamaro and Amarone.Big brands asideOther than one or two prestigious names, Vino y Otros Remedios stays away from the most popular brands and goes their own way. When he can, Umberto packs a bag and
A small restaurant that offers a well-chosen selection of small, tasty dishes. You can’t go wrong with their Burger Queen – it’s a meal in itself.
El Cañota is a Galicia-inspired seafood tapas bar, and it comes with a pedigree. It's the younger brother of the renowned Rías de Galicia, one of the greatest Galician restaurants in the city and the country. El Cañota serves traditional dishes, fried fish and seafood, patatas bravas, Galician octopus, ensaladilla rusa, draught beer and wine. All of it is top-quality, and served in a laid-back venue that's perfect for a celebratory meal, or for dinner after taking in a show at the Teatre Lliure, Mercat de les Flors or BTM, which are all nearby.