The concept of brunch is a relatively new thing for the Spanish, but Barcelona has embraced it whole heartedly over the last few years and there is now a staggering selection of trendy spots where brunching bon vivants and coffee guzzling gourmands can laze away a sunny morning whilst subduing the effects of la fiesta.
“A Sunday meal for Saturday-night carousers.” Guy Beringer, 1895
They’ve even turned it into a Spanglish verb: brunchear, a word that I feel perfectly encapsulates the sense of novelty and excitement that surrounds this newly found foodie ritual. In fact, it’s such “a thing” now that I consider having brunch in Barcelona an essential experience for all visitors.
In no particular order, these are my personal favourites, the places I consider to be the best brunch spots in Barcelona.
Caravelle (Raval) ~ Homemade Everything
I know I said this was in no particular order, but Caravelle is probably my favourite brunch spot in Barcelona. British/Australian couple Zim and Poppy bring with them a passion for creative fusion dishes, making almost every ingredient in-house: condiments, jams, lemonades & colas, breads, ice creams and, best of all, their Galactic Pale Ale and Mixtape craft beers, which are perfect for advocates of the hair of the dog approach. The vibe is hip and laid back with lots of pretty young things lounging around, but the service is prompt and efficient.
What to brunch on: Keep it fresh and healthy with toasted muesli, passion fruit, berries and toasted almonds, or start the day with hearty Moroccan-style baked eggs with avocado and homemade rocket pesto. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, try the coconut French Toast with strawberries and homemade ice cream. The comes from the local roasting legends at Nomad Coffee and is perfectly ground by knowledgable baristas. Caravelle is the real deal.
Address: Caravelle, Carrer Pintor Fortuny, 31, 08001
Nearest Metro: Liceu (Green Line)
Milk Bar (Gotico) ~ Barcelona’s Original Brunch Spot
This green and gold toned masterpiece is the creation of Rebecca and Paul McNally, an Irish couple who reached legendary status back in 2005 when their bar became the first place to serve brunch in Barcelona. Yep, this is Barcelona’s original brunch spot, this is the place that galvanised the scene and led it onto becoming what it is today. Milk Bar’s “Recovery Brunch” menu continues to raise the bar and the excellent service, upbeat Motown soundtrack and international vibes make it an unbeatable place to while away a morning in style.
What to brunch on: The complete “Recovery Brunch” menu offers all the classics, such as eggs Benedict/Florentine, huevos rancheros and Penny Farthing pancakes with banana, walnuts, greek yoghurt and an unrestrained drizzle of maple syrup. The freshly whizzed fruit smoothies will restore balance to your body… but then, so will the peppery, vodka-laced Bloody Marys! There’s also the vegetarian tortilla (omelette) with feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, scallions with rucula and creme fraiche for vegetarian brunch goers.
Address: Milk Bar & Bistro, Carrer Gignàs, 21, 08002
Nearest Metro: Jaume I (Yellow Line)
Flax & Kale (Raval) ~ Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten-Free Superfood Brunch
Floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed brick walls and stylish furnishings come together to create a chic urban space. And, more often than not, you’ll find a line out the door, with a cosmopolitan crowd of well-heeled jetsetters and neon-clad gym bunnies who can’t get enough of the 80% plant-based vegan brunch menu – most certainly the only one of its kind in Barcelona. And as part of the health food group that owns Teresa’s Juicery, among others, there’s no better place to sip on freshly whizzed juices.
What to brunch on: Indulge in creative and guilt-free dishes such as wholewheat bagels with flax and chia, plant-based cheddar cheese, grilled tempeh and tomatoes, or go all out with the “healthy eggs Benedict”, which is homemade English muffins, marinated salmon, free-range poached eggs and plant-based curry hollandaise with roasted fennel. Wash it down with revitalising juices like the Green Medicine blend, which is a life-enhancing concoction of pears, grapes, cucumber, kale, parsley, lemon and dandelion.
Address: Flax & Kale, Carrer dels Tallers, 74, 08001
Nearest Metro: Universitat (Purple or Red Line)
Brunch & Cake (Eixample) ~ Classic American Decadence
A bright and airy space with huge windows that lead out on to a sunny terrace where debonaire dandies and cute quaintrelles pose for photos with edible works of art – this is as trendy as it gets. The menu boasts that “Here, everything is possible”, with healthy options such as the quinoa salad or granola/porridge with fruit and yoghurt, but it’s the waffle-tastic, bacon-laden dishes that I find most seductive on a self-indulgent Sunday morning.
What to brunch on: Keep it classy with bagels with scrambled eggs, mushrooms, mashed potato, bacon (guacamole available to vegetarians) and greens, or go all out with waffles topped with caramelised onions, cheddar cheese, bacon and truffle syrup. The French toast is also a personal favourite!
Address: Brunch & Cake, Carrer Enric Granados, 19, 08007
Nearest Metro: Universitat (Purple or Red Line)
Bicioci Café (Gracia) ~ Bikes, Beer and Brunch
Run by Italians Andrea and Fabrizzio, Bicioci is a shrine to their beloved world of cycling, with classic bikes, colourful racing jerseys and various items of pedal-powered paraphernalia adorning every available space. Bright and informal, there’s something incredibly warm and inviting about this snug little cafe, making it the perfect place to lounge a lazy morning away – although the proper Italian pizzas and considered selection of craft beers are well worth hanging around until dinner time too.
What to brunch on: Wake up in style with toast slathered in cream cheese, avocado and smoked sardines, stodge it up with hearty eggs Benedict/Florentine or keep it dulce with French toast covered in decadent dollops of Nutella. The Bloody Marys are particularly punchy and the reinvigorating juices, made with carrot, ginger, orange, apple, celery and beetroot, will have you feeling human again in no time.
Address: Bicioci Bike Cafe, Carrer de Venus, 1, 08012
Nearest Metro: Diagonal (Blue or Green Line)