Where to Eat (What to do): Barcelona

There are tons more tasty places to explore in Barcelona, and not just for eating!

Visit the Museu de la Xocolata
That's right, an entire museum devoted to chocolate. This small museum covers the history of chocolate and exhibits many mouthwatering displays. It's pretty much guaranteed that you'll be needing a bit to munch on afterward, so there is a well stocked "gift shop" in the main lobby. Oh, and the entry ticket itself is a nice surprise too...

Visit a market:

Mercat de Santa Caterina

One of the focuses of this market is the colorful undulating roof, which was built during the market's renovation in 2005. The market is not as famous as the Boqueria, but gives a slightly more local flavour to the market experience. Eat at La Torna for great, fresh tapas.

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria

A site humming with tourists, this is the most famous market in Barcelona. Officially opened in 1840, it boasts everything from fruits to fish to nuts and candies. The displays close to the main entrance are gorgeous and beg to have their photos taken by the thousands of tourists that pass through daily. The prices are more reasonable the further into the market you go. I was able to get a container of tiny wild strawberries for only a euro. They were the most strawberry-tasting strawberries I'd ever had! The market may look like chaos at first glace, but the market is actually well laid out into fish, meat, and produce sections.

Take a Cooking Class: Cook and Taste Barcelona
If you've got the time, I cannot recommend this more. The classes are 60 euros per person and offered in Spanish, French, and English. They last about 3.5 hours and the class size is roughly 10 people. They're appropriate for any level of experience in the kitchen; everyone has the chance to pitch in.
Cook and Taste also offers a guided trip to the Boqueria market to get ingredients (for a 12 euro supplement). I though that it really worth it. When else would I have the chance to actually buy and cook cuttlefish or farm fresh eggs from the market? I also learned things that I wouldn't have known otherwise. (Apparently, there is a stall selling cuts of meat from the, um, losers in local bullfights...) Seeing all the fresh produce makes you really want to cook, and that is exactly what you will get to do afterward.
The lady who taught the class, Theresa, was very friendly and knowledgeable. The class was well organized and the menu consisted of traditional Catalan dishes: gazpacho (modernized version), potato tortilla with tomato bread, paella, and crema catalana (and all the wine you can drink). It may sound biased for me to say that these were the most delicious versions of each dish I had on my trip (especially the paella), but it's true! I highly recommend this experience.

This wraps up the Barcelona portion of this "Where to Eat" special edition. Stay tuned as we return to our regular programming...

Museu de la Xocolata
Comerç, 36

Mercat de Santa Caterina

Francesc Cambó, 16

Mercat de la Boqueria

Plaza de la Boqueria, Ramblas

Cook and Taste Barcelona

La Rambla 58, 3rd floor
Reservations at: www.cookandtaste.net

Images property of beets and bites

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