Food and drink
To make you lick your fingers
A really typical Barcelona tradition is to have a hot chocolate with melindros, crunchy xurros, a soft ensaïmada or a delicious croissant. Barcelona's xocolateries form part of its culinary and cultural heritage, a feature of the good living its inhabitants enjoy.
Stepping into one of these chocolate cafes often means discovering a place with over 50 years of history behind it and witness to the daily lives of Barcelona people. In fact, the link between Barcelona and chocolate is significant. Its port was the first in Spain to receive the cocoa that came from the conquest of the Americas and, over the centuries, chocolate has become popular among all the social classes.
In the heart of the city, tucked between Carrer de la Portaferrissa and the Pi church, you will find the centre of "chocolate Barcelona", Carrer de Petritxol. Here between the art galleries that line this small street, you can find Barcelona's most famous xocolateries. One of the most typical is Granja La Pallaresa. It is very easy to find because of the queues of people waiting to taste their delicious cups of chocolate, especially Swiss chocolate with cream and some xurros. This cafe has been offering hot drinks and typical Catalan desserts since 1947.
Another authentic xocolateria, very close to the Rambla, is Viader is the place to go. This cafe opened in 1904 and has made several generations of Barcelona residents happy since then. They say this is where Cacaolat was invented, a popular cocoa milkshake.
A bit further away, on Ronda de Sant Pere, you have the Granja La Catalana, which was founded in 1948 and also offers a typical snack.
It you want to try the best croissants around, you should try Pastisseria Escribà. They sell 50,000 a year in just two shops. The normal kind plus black and white chocolate varieties. You can also get excellent croissants and other things at the Farga cake shops, which are spread around the city, and at Foix de Sarrià, in the Sarrià - Sant Gervasi district.
More than drinking chocolate...
Chocolate is so firmly rooted among the city's pastry chefs that it is really easy to find chocolate sweets made in most cake shops. And there are lots of chocolate shops too, where you can even find some in the form of Barcelona souvenirs.
Chocolate also has a place among the craft ice creams you can buy in the city. Lately, though, it has had to compete with new, very typical Catalan flavours that have just started to be used for ice cream, such as crema catalana cremada.
Mones de Pasqua
One of the oldest traditions in Catalonia is to eat a mona on Easter Monday. In Barcelona, this traditional cake was turned into a chocolate figure by Escribà and, since then, all the other pastry chefs have been making sweet sculptures, loads of them.