El Born, Barcelona is that perfect foodie destination. The small quaint streets are lined with boutiques of all kinds and filled with fashionable people sharing a coffee and conversation. While there are many off-the-beaten path food stops in this town, three of my favorites were within a few blocks in El Born.
Your exploration should begin with Vila Viniteca (Carrer dels Agullers 7) for Jamon Iberico, cheese and just about any other Spanish speciality food you can imagine. This shop makes you wish you were renting an apartment instead of a hotel. (I do have a great hotel that feels more like a home and has a great place to store wine and cheese during your stay.)
The staff is incredibly nice and quite happy to share what makes the Jamon Iberico and each of their cheeses particularly special. They also have a wine shop and a very small wine bar. We had reservations next door for a wine tasting but otherwise I would have loved to grab one of the wines-by-the-glass and sip as I wandered around the store.
Your next stop should be Vivinos (Carrer dels Canvis Nous 10). It is just around the corner from Vila Viniteca. They are a small little wine store that has a great space for a variety of classes that you can pre-book in advance. Their easy-to-navigate website has all the options. Simply reserve ahead online. We did a wine and cheese pairing that offered a great overview of Spanish Wine plus we got to try wines we would never find in the United States.
Either before or after the wine tasting, you need to wander around El Born. The shopping is fantastic. So many original one-of-a-kind stores for jewelry, clothing or my favorite is always buying shoes in Spain. You an also just wander the narrow quaint streets and people watch. There is also a beautiful cathedral - Santa Maria Del Mar - that is open to explore but you could walk right by it from the unassuming facade. The stained glass windows are remarkable.
For dinner, one of my all-time favorite tapas bars - CapPep is located close by. Like so many of the tapas bars in Barcelona, the place is very small with only a handful of bar seats available. You will likely see a line extend around the corner around opening time to land one of the coveted spots. It is worth the wait. Just head inside, elbow your way to the bar to get a glass of wine to enjoy while you wait. Also, they do have a very small back dining room. You can ask your concierge to call ahead for you. Often it is fully committed but it is worth a shot. The food is incredible.
Barcelona is such a wonderful city but too often people head to La Rambla or other famous tourist spots. In summer these streets can be just overwhelmed with people. Finding nooks like El Born offers a wonderful respite. It is also a way to make a trip remarkably affordable. I have a wonderful unique home base in Barcelona as well. Send me a request and I'd be happy to help you plan a fantastic trip to this great city.