I hear you, I hear you. A post about Barcelona on a Madrid blog. But bear with me. And I’ll keep this short. Having spent the last two years leading hungry visitors to Madrid through our favourite tapas bars, markets, bakeries, sweet shops with Madrid Food Tour, we felt it was time to take everything we’d learned and strike out into uncharted territory. So my partners Lauren Aloise, Alejandro Cabrera and myself hopped on the AVE to Barcelona. We picked our favourite neighbourhood in the Catalan capital, and we ate and ate and ate until we’d narrowed down what we thought was the best food made by the most passionate people.
What’s involved? Over the course of 4 hours, guests taste over 12 different Catalan foods from some of our favorite family-run businesses in the traditional neighbourhood of Gracia. We enjoy everything from a crisp cava and butifarra breakfast to a century-old pastry made only in Gracia, and en route we’ll explore the local market, specialty food shops, an age-old bodega and more. At each stop, guests meet the chefs and families who proudly create the food they’re tasting and between stops, we discover the culture and history of the neighbourhood.
And the neighbourhood? Gracia was once a village on the outskirts of Barcelona. But in the 19th and early 20th century, it was swallowed up as the city grew. But it still feels like a separate village: quiet and picturesque with a close-knit community. In recent years a young eclectic crowd has joined the older residents, creating a place that’s a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity; an invigorating environment place where classic multigenerational family-run businesses co-exist with side cutting edge art galleries. And, of course, it also means the food is a fabulous blend of old-style Catalan cooking, alongside new thinking and fresh ideas.
Barcelona is such tourist-soaked city and although it seems anachronistic to say that and yet launch a food tour for tourists there, it’s a shame that many visitors to the city are blindsided by the overwhelming offer of shonky experiences (whether culinary or not) on offer. Like any other city, separate the wheat from the chaff, and Barcelona is full of fabulously enriching authentic experiences. That’s what we hope our tour provides, along with – of course – lashings of yummy food.
If you want to read more about the tour or book, click this link. Tours start 9 September 2014 but you can book now.
And here are a few more pics from our testing tours…