Today the 'culés' have an important date: Barça will be making their way through the streets of Barcelona to celebrate their Champions League win, starting at 6.30pm at the World Trade Center. The celebratory route, which, as in previous years is a mobile party on a convertible bus, will get rolling in Plaça Drassanes and carry on through Passeig Colom, Via Laietana, Plaça Urquinaona, Ronda Sant Pere, Plaça Catalunya, Passeig de Gràcia , C/Aragon, C/Urgell and Av Sarrià to Plaça Doctor Ignasi Barraquer, just below Diagonal, where the journey ends. Accompanying the No. 1 team will be the women of 'Femenino A', who have also earned their spot as League champions, making Barça the first club to win both spots (male and female) in the same year. This time round the route doesn't end in Camp Nou, but the party in the stadium with the usual suspects will take place on Sunday the 19th, after the Barça-Valladolid match.
The best spots to wait for the champs
This small chain seeks to replicate the concept of the typical American diner, to the point that the furniture and fixtures were imported from the States. What makes Bernie's different from the others like it is the size of their menu. Sure, they make excellent burgers from premium-quality beef, and tailored to each customer, but they do more than burgers. They also offer other typically American dishes, and they have a great grill for steaks, ribs and fillets, as well as house specialities. Burgers (with fries, of course), homemade sauces, and shakes and desserts that would have driven Elvis wild. Plus, the kitchen stays open late so you can eat before or after the celebration.
This is not just another new Italian restaurant. Sure, there are Italian influences in the spectacular cuisine, and the Californian chefs with Italian background are led by Silvia Caliero (formerly of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, USA, a leader in the world of eco-gastronomy and local produce), assisted by her partner (Jason) and the Tuscan Giacoppo. It could pass for a Mediterranean-style restaurant you might find in New York or California, where local products and extremely high quality dominate the industry. Grab a bite while you wait for the team near C/Aragó.
The view of the route will be incredible from the bar at El Corte Inglés. Condemned for being the crown of one of the ugliest buildings – inside and out – in all of Barcelona: El Corte Inglés in Plaça Catalunya, the temple of compulsive consumerism. Being in this solid block of grey is like playing the slots in a Vegas casino in that there are no windows, and you don't notice the passage of time as you throw your money around.The bar in question, however, is quite the opposite. Its enormous window, elongated like Robocop's helmet visor, gives you a privileged viewpoint of the city centre that goes from the sea to Tibidabo and back to Montjuïc. At sunset the view is spectacular.
This local sandwich and frankfurt classic draws long queues that can extend into Plaça Sant Jaume. And deservedly so. Try the warm roquefort sandwich, the one with 'salsa de Marta' and the frankfurts. A great option if you want to wait for the boys in scarlet and blue with something simple, quick, and delish.
Now in Barcelona, Fabián Martín, the king of auteur pizzas, has devised a range of classic, affordable recipes and 10 auteur pizzas from Taller de Llívia. The result: you can either choose a good pizza for €12 or one that is out of this world for €40. A great place to have dinner after the bus passes by Plaça Urquinaona.
To keep the party going
A FAD ('Foment de les Arts i del Disseny', or 'Fostering Art and Design') prize for interior design is always a great calling card, even if Snooker won back in 1985, the year it opened. A cocktail bar where you can also play pool, Snooker is reminiscent of a British pub, with custom designed furniture by Carles Riart. A great place for a last round and to celebrate Barça's success.
The bar 131 Fahrenheit, at the same street number in C/Aribau, was intended to be a full-throttle sports bar. But forget about the Irish-pub style bars round town with scarves and flags on the walls and uncomfortable wooden tables and benches. The Fahrenheit is the complete opposite. Their 16 televisions (one is 103 inches!) betray their love of sport, but the leather sofas, designer chairs and décor in dark tones let you know that it's also a restaurant and lounge club. Even the appetizers are stylish. And don't forget to try one of their house specialities: gin and tonics.
Bikini lost some muscle in recent years, with the big-name stars it once booked replaced by little-knowns and ageing rockers. Gigs are staged with the professional vigour of gold-ticket shows, and the club nights that follow are legendary. Divide your time between the rooms playing hip hop, pop, lounge or Latin sounds.
This lovingly renovated old music hall, garnished with chandeliers and classical friezes, is a mainstay on the live music scene and is one classy joint. In between visits from international artists and benefit concerts for local causes, you'll find nightly residencies: blues on Mondays, Dixieland jazz on Tuesdays, disco on Wednesdays, pop-rock on Thursdays, soul on Fridays and vintage and Spanish rock on weekends.