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It’s May in Barcelona and the weather is a warm 75 degrees Fahrenheit most days. Spanish boots have been replaced by stylish sandals and the first sunburns are visible around town. Spring is here, romance is in the air, and summer is on its way in.
Though it’s possible to eat outdoors most of the year in Barcelona, come spring the selection and pleasure-factor is much bigger. For terrace and patio eating, consider these inexpensive options:
Plaza de la Gardunya
Ra is one of my favorite dining places in the city center. It’s hidden, but has such a good reputation that there is always a line come lunchtime on sunny days. If you go to Ra, keep in mind that in Spain lunch revs up after 2pm. So, if you get to Ra between 12 and 1:30pm, you’ll get a table and won’t have to wait. Come later than this and you can bet on an hour wait.
People wait at Ra because it’s so darn good and cheap! The selection is simple: choose from three starters, three main courses, and three desserts followed up by coffee and a drink for around €12. It’s quite a deal.
c/ Sant Carles, 29 – Barceloneta
Another hidden cheapo gem, El Filferro is hip inside and out. It’s a bit bohemian, but its terrace is a winner set on a little fountain-clad plaza near the seaside. There is also seating indoors in a small bar area and in an upstairs nook area. Everything in this restaurant/bar is made of metal which is where it takes its name from (“Filferro” is “metal worker” in Catalan).
Try the tapas at Filferro, such as the cheese platter, the tomato and garlic bread and the ham sampler. Their main courses are hit and miss.
C/ Montalegre 5
Attached to the CCCB Museum, the C3 Bar is a fantastic summer/spring bar for people-watching and lounging. Here you’ll find tables and low-lying cushions which look onto a large concrete plaza where skateboarders show off their skills.
Music plays as waiters with attitude avoid taking your order at C3 Bar. No matter though, once you manage to get your coffee/wine/beer and snacks you’ll be sitting pretty under white sun umbrellas with plenty of entertainment.
About the author: Regina W. Bryan is a Barcelona-based freelance writer and photographer. When not eating tapas and exploring Europe, she is tending her balcony veggie garden and practicing Catalan. For more of her thoughts on Spain, check: www.regwb.com and www.thespainscoop.com.