Calling All Chocoholics!
Established in 1930, Granja Dulcinea, Petritxol 2 (tel. 93-302-68-24), is the most famous chocolate shop in Barcelona. The specialties are melindros (sugar-topped soft-sided biscuits), and regulars dunk them into the very thick hot chocolate -- so thick that it feels like eating a melted chocolate bar. A cup of hot chocolate with cream costs 3.50€ and a ración of churros (a deep-fried pastry), which also can be dipped in the hot chocolate, goes for 1.80€. No credit cards are accepted. Dulcinea is open daily from 9am to 1pm and 5:30 to 9pm (closed in Aug). In the same street you'll find the simple, brightly lit Granja Pallaresa, Petritxol 11 (tel. 93-302-20-36), equally famous for its thick and rich chocolate drinks. There's a good choice of pastries, including calorie-laden ensaimadas (Mallorcan pastries filled with lard!) too. It opens daily from 9am to 1pm and 4 to 9pm. Take the Metro to Liceu for both cafes.
Make It Snappy
Fast-food establishments are ever on the increase, from prime-positioned McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts to local takeouts. Pans & Company and Bocata both dispense freshly made bocatas (crusty rolls) filled with tasty hot and cold combinations. You'll also see branches of La Baguetina Catalana everywhere; this is a fantastic, franchised fueling-stop with mountains of carb-ridden cakes and pastries to go. A favorite with health-conscious backpackers, Maoz churns out freshly made falafels, which you top up yourself with as much salad as you can fit into the pita. Along La Rambla and the streets to either side, there are dozens of places to buy enormous shwarmas: Giant sandwiches filled with spit-roasted chicken or lamb and salad. Another great pitstop, Milk is at Gignas 21 (tel. 93-268-09-22; www.milk-barcelona.com) and has great-value Thursday to Sunday brunches, serving pancakes, smoothies, and basic fried dishes to suit the leaner wallet. If you want to splash out, try one of its inventive cocktails (4€ upwards).
A Wine Taster's Haven
There are few better ways of enjoying a hedonistic afternoon of food and wine than on the street terrace of La Vinya del Senyor, Plaça Santa María 5 (tel. 93-310-33-79), where the view is dominated by the glorious Gothic facade of Santa María del Mar. The outstanding wine list includes Priorats, Riojas, and more than a dozen vintages of the legendary Vega Sicilia. In all, there are more than 300 wines and selected cavas, sherries, and moscatells, and the list is constantly rotated so you can always expect some new surprise on the carte. If you don't want a bottle, you'll find some two dozen wines offered by the glass, including a sublime 1994 Jané Ventura Cabernet Sauvignon. To go with your wine, tantalizing tapas are served. Tapas cost from 5€ to 10€ and credit cards are accepted. Opening hours are Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 1:30am and Sunday from noon to midnight. Metro: Jaume I or Barceloneta.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.