The Cullen and their friends are all food lovers. Passionate about eating and drinking and shopping for food products… They didn’t want to miss the food scene during their trip to Barcelona, that’s why they hired me to show them around.
Since they were staying in the Forum area, which is the eastern far end of the city, we decided to meet directly at the Boqueria Market so we didn’t waste precious tour time traveling from there to the city center.
Saturday is a busy day at the market as many locals will come today shopping (as they are working the rest of the week and on Sunday it’s closed). I showed them around pointing out the seasonal fresh produce (wild asparagus now! and we saw the first zucchini flowers of the season, too), then I took them to the fish market area where they loved the freshness of the seafood (lobsters and crabs still moving!), and the variety of fish: we were lucky enough to see sword fish and sting ray!
I also showed them other cool shops such as the fresh mushrooms, local food to go, eggs (ever seen austrich and emu eggs?), the offal (bull testicles!)… and if it had been winter, I’d have shown them the game display – I didn’t, because now the hunting season is already over.
We spent almost one hour at the market, and after we were done we were ready to start exploring the gourmet shops of the Old Town. They were dying to try some hot chocolate with churros, so I took them to the best café in town for that. My recommendation of ordering the small cup was a good choice: it’s so thick they wouldn’t have been able to finish the regular size!
Then we continued visiting my favorite stores for olive oil, cheese (of course they didn’t miss the opportunity to get a 3-cheese tasting), bakeries, candy, cakes, gelatto…
I love showing them a variety of venues: from 100yo shops that keep all the charm of the old times, to modern venues with top quality products.
Plus the shop owners and workers are usually very proud of their business and are happy to welcome people into their shops even if you aren’t going to buy anything! (And if there is one that is specially picky about taking pictures or touching, I’ll let you know so you don’t get told off!)
And it was finally time for… tapas! I took them to a couple of tapas bars to try different specialties (meat & sausages, cheese & ham, fish and seafood, veggies and eggs. . . ) cooked in different ways (fried, steamed, grilled. . . ), as well as to drink local beers, wine, cider, sangria, cava…
I shared with them what were the specialties of each place, but I let them choose what to order: after all, it’s their experience and I want them to feel comfortable as well as excited!But they were adventurous enough to try squid ink croquettes along with some other traditional recipes.When our time was over, I showed them how to get back to the hotel and marked in a map where we had been today, as they were already planning to revisit some of the shops. And I walk back to the subway smiling: my stomach was full, but I was so happy!Do you want to take this food tour of Barcelona?