Uncovering Europe's best budget hotels since 2001.
By Regina W Bryan in Barcelona—
One of the top five reasons I live in Barcelona is the weather. I’m from the Pacific NW in the United States, which is lovely when the clouds lift. Sick of the rain, I wanted to be in the sunshine which motivated me to move to Costa Rica, Guatemala and now Spain. But I digress…
As much as I love the sunny Mediterranean summer we’re having this July, I have to say: It’s HOT. Really hot the past couple of weeks. So hot that walking around outside makes me feel faint and in need of a siesta... and an ice cream.
Luckily, both of these essential needs are easily met in Barcelona. A siesta can be taken anywhere (in the grass, on the beach, on a bench; in this city anything goes), and ice cream shops are almost as plentiful as bars!
Passeig de Joan De Borbó #55
Some ice creameries are better than others. The number one, best of the best, top-dog ice cream shop is Vioko, in La Barceloneta by the beach. There are always people getting cones and cups here, even in the winter. In the summer there’s a line, but go ahead and grab a number because it’s worth the wait.
Vioko has weird ice cream flavors such as “Violet and Jasmine with Grapefruit,” which sound strangely delicious though I haven’t tried them. I have licked their Chocolate Tentacion which has dulcede leche and brownie in it, as well as their Strawberry with fresh fruit, their Mint and Chocolate, and their Cheese Cake with Berries. As you can see, I’ve been a regular at Vioko “researching” this post.
Their cones are slightly more expensive than other ice cream shops in the area, but only by twenty or thirty cents. Their portions are bigger than other shops, so it all works out in the end.
Calle Espaseria 14
Bellamia in El Born neighborhood is another appetizing choice if you’re after a traditional Italian gelato. On Carrer de L’Espaseria, this is the place to go after a tasty meal at one of the barri’s many cutting-edge restaurants. Order a couple cups at Bellamia and then take them over to Passeig del Born and sit on one of the benches there, people-watching and taking in the balmy Barcelona night.
While I prefer ice cream, lots of locals would rather have an horchata than a gelato. Horchata is a super sweet and very typical Spanish drink that’s popular during the summer. Grab one at Planelles Donat in the center of the city or at La Valenciana, which is a happening ice cream and horchata joint in the Eixample. Both of these shops are historic dating back to 1850 and 1910, respectively.