Carrer dels Rebolledo 27, Tarragona
Fried fish, squid, wings, construction workers, and natural wine = a great 7am hour or 10pm hour depending on if you've been up for six hours, haven't gone to sleep yet... What I'm trying to say is this place is legit, delicious and at times, dealt with a good ol' dose of tomfoolery. Santos & Luis Massegosa are at the helm of a sleeper.
Passeig Maritim, 1-3 - Sitges
Shocked! On the main sea walkway in the glorious town of Sitges (30 minutes from Barcelona), tourist traps are usually the last place to find amazing culinary treasures let alone, natural wine!!! A recommendation from a dear friend lead me to La Zorra, a rice-driven restaurant that also puts much love into dishes like humus w/lime zest-infused yogurt and piparras and fresh, light, in-season salads. NOTE: ASK ALVARO OR DAVID TO GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE NATURAL WINE LIST. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!
C/ La Jonquera 30 - Figueres
Vegan never tasted SO good. Also a restaurant specializing in a) natural wine and b) KM 0 = locally sourced everything? YES!
The city of Figueres feels wildly Catalán yet somewhat touristy being the home of the Dalí museum. This restaurant sheds any inkling of a tourist trap taking the flavor possibilities of local Catalán riches like mushrooms, wine, flour, herbs, potatoes, and too much more to list here, and coercing them into humble and unexpected combinations. A blast! Great service!
Pujada del Castell 28 - Figueres
Surprise after surprise awaits you once you enter this museum. Plan for at least 1.5 hours with no itinerary other than to amble around the twists and turns that could only come from the mind of Dalí. The breadth of genius is almost unintelligible as you experience his surrealist works in addition to paintings and drawings doused with impressionist, cubist, and other influences.
Vía Laietana 46 - Barcelona
Humble opinion: best churros I've eaten in the entirety of the Mother Land. Many may argue with me on this but I'm hoping my roll proves my dedication to this fried dough delicacy.
ARCHITECTURE: ANTONI GAUDÍ
Barcelona (& throughout Cataluña)
Gaudí is a master in epic proportions. He begged as a means of finishing his last love, the Sagrada Familia, which is scheduled for completion from 2025-2035. The living structures he's designed are just as marvelous and an ode to forward thinking & modernity while being distinctly Catalán.
Other points of interest: Parc Güell (touristy), Casa Botlló, Casa Vicens, La Pedrera, Casa Calvet, and many more!
Carrer de Santa Mònica 4 - Barcelona
Right off Las Ramblas & as of now, not a tourist trap like the rest of the famous Avenue. Absinthe is what is consumed here - if that gives you any indication of what to expect. Opens later. Great for a drink after the opera.
ELS CUATRE GATS
Carrer de Montsió 3 - Barcelona
This used to be a meeting place for many hungry & established artists during the early 1900s. It has become quite popular among tourists, however a book and a glass of vermouth are easily savored in this environment.
Carrer de la Princesa 14 - Barcelona
Top five natural wine bars in Spain, hands down. Spanish + international selections are available including the Republic of Georgia, a personal favorite. Food available as well as take away bottles. Look out.
Plaça de Santa Maria 5 - Barcelona
Across the plaza from La Basilica de Santa María del Mar is this two-level, cozy, well endowed wine bar offering a plethora of mostly Spanish but some international bottlings. Last time I was there, they were still schlepping plates/food via a dumbwaiter. The food was fairly delicate & well thought out and the "scene" really can't get any better.
LA BASILICA DE SANTA MARÍA DEL MAR
Plaça de Santa Maria 1 - Barcelona
This is a mid-12th century, Catalán gothic gem sitting in the heart of city. The exterior belies the imposing and yet stoic interior. The basilica also provides the setting for the novel, Catedral del Mar - start or finish the 1,000 pager while sipping wine across the plaza.
C/ Aristides Maillol 12 - Barcelona
Whether you love fútbol or not, seeing one of the world's best teams on an epic playing field is worth the 60 Euro + seat. You can purchase tickets at the gate, online, or throughout the city at various outlets (there's a tourist stand on Las Ramblas that often has good deals on seats). Take the Metro on game day.