1. For tapas, wrangle a barstool at Cerveceria Catalana. Dine on oysters and beer and take in the infectious party atmosphere. Sample the bacon, Roquefort, jam sandwich and the fried padrón peppers which look like small poblanos. The huevos cabreaos, a fried egg on top of thin French fries, are a local favourite.
2. Cobalt blue water bottles cast a watery tinge onto crisp white tablecloths in the contemporary setting of Matamala. Asking the waiter for a recommendation yields what can only be described as fish donuts. Sounds weird, but the bite-sized fried cod balls are drizzled in honey and taste like heaven with the accompanying cold beer. A small, wellstocked grocery selection includes fun gift ideas such as the pa amb tomàquet (Catalan bread with tomato spread) kit.
3. The sign at Caelum on Carrer de la Palla 8 translates to: every delicious treat or product for your skin has been produced in monasteries and nunneries throughout Spain. Point to one of the tempting pastries in the window or ask for the holy honey cake which is divine.
4. The juicer is humming at Bar Lobo on Pinto Fortuny, a few steps from La Rambla. Teak tables and mismatched chairs surround a central kitchen in the paper lantern lit space. Order the Don Quixote and enjoy toast, cured sausage and manchego cheese.
Dabble Savvy: Tapas and cocktails often come with potato chips. Restaurants often bill for bread or olives, so ask before you eat if your budget is tight.