5 Restaurants to Try in Barcelona

I have become pretty good at planning vacations. I scour the internet for the best neighborhoods, museums, shopping and the like. But one thing I tend to struggle with is food. I am the type that can go from having a blast to being hangry in the matter of an hour so being around good food options while traveling is a must. But at the same time I HATE eating at tourist traps. It is the saddest things for me to spend on of my few meals on vacation at a place that over charges you for the poor imitation or watered down version of a local cuisine. That is why I have to share some of the best place I at at on this trip to Barcelona.

For a full foodie day start off with a coffee here. Satan's coffee corner is small, quasi-hidden spot in the gothic quarter serving up rich brunch dishes, pastries, and excellent coffee. Hipster vibes are abound, and they're only compounded by the super slow and apathetic service. But despite this you can't help but feel a little cooler leisurely drinking your coffee here, and the food certainly makes up for it. 

For a proper breakfast head to Bubó Bar, right next door to world renown Bubó patisserie. If you are an eggs and bacon kind of person (like I often am!) you might be hard pressed to find it at other places in Barcelona. Especially if you are looking to avoid the very touristy places. Luckily there is Bubó Bar, situated right in from to Santa Maria del Mar Cathedral. Tables are limited, but their farm fresh eggs and incredible breads and pastries are worth the wait.

If you love a good donut then definitely pop into Chök, located in the heart of Las Ramblas. If you don't love donuts, who are you? No but in all seriousness, there are goodies for everyone here including truffles, churros, and other beautiful and artisanal pastries. Beware though, choosing just one is nearly impossible.

For cocktail hour and tapas you must go to El National. It is located in Eixample neighborhood (read more about Barcelona's various neighborhoods in this post) on the main stretch of Passeig de Gràcia. This parking garage turned high end "gastronomic experience" is beautifully designed and won't break the bank. There are several areas and bars to choose from including a tapas bar, oyster bars, cured meats bar and more.

For dinner you'll need to head to the beach for authentic paella that is rumored to be the best in Barcelona. Xiringuito Escribà is a spot on the boardwalk serving up seafood and sangria like none other I've had before. You can even watch your paella get cooked up in their open kitchen, but likely you'll be more focused on the seaside views or whatever delicious appetizer is in front of you.

Special shout out to Sal for being our foodie guru throughout this trip and leading us to many delicious meals!


Amazing Beaches You'll Want To Add To Your Bucket List

If you Google 'world's most beautiful beaches' you are sure to find listicles naming pristine places in Greece, the Carribean Islands, the Phillipines and definitely Hawaii. But in addition to those dreamy destinations I want to share 5 beaches I absolutely adore. And once you see these photos I am sure you'll be adding them to your bucket list too!

In no particular order here they are...

Coastal Catalonia 


Coastal Catalonia is the southeastern most area of Spain on the Mediterranean Sea. Well known for being home to the beautiful city of Barcelona, this area is all home to many stunning beach towns with even more impressive beaches than those of Barceloneta Beach (pictured above).

Costa Rica


Costa Rica has some of the most diverse beaches, especially considering it is a small country. It is located on the Central American isthmus that connects North and South America. This geography gives it warm Caribbean waters (and vibes) to the east and cooler Pacific waters to the west.

Cote d'Azur 


The French Rivera, or Cote d'Azur, is known for is pebbly beaches and oh so relaxed French-ness. The Riviera spans the southern coast of France so there are many beach towns from Marseille to Nice (pictures above) from which to choose.

Italian Riviera


A bit further south of the French Riviera you will find the Italian Riviera. Rocky like it's French counterpart, it is home to Cinque Terre and many cliffside villages. At the base of the mountains are exquisite waters perfect for sunning beside and dipping in after an incredible Italian seafood pasta.

Riviera Maya


And the so called Mexican Riviera (aka Riviera Maya)... *swoon*. Last year I fell in love with the beaches (and everything else) in Tulum and nearby Coba. These beaches are unspoiled, and if you are traveling from the US like myself, easy to get to. I mean just look at these waters! Who doesn't want to be there right this moment!?!

So there you have it, 5 bucket list worthy beach destinations! Which beaches would you add to this list? Share them in the comments below!

Crash Course: Gaudí's Barcelona

Barcelona is by far the most eclectic city I have ever been to. It is magical city where beach chill meets urban metropolis, Catalan and Spanish culture mingle, and entertainment is abundant day and night. I attribute part of the city's whimsy to Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and his imaginative and almost surreal buildings. There are more than ten organically shaped and mosaic-laden Gaudí creations in the city and these are just beauties five I visited.

Casa Batlló + La Pedrera


Casa Batlló and La Pedrera (also known as Casa Milà) are located on Passeig de Gràcia and have very distinct facades. Casa Batlló was a 1904 remodel of a private home with skeletal terraces and a dragon-esque rooftop. Shortly after Casa Batlló Gaudí took on his last private commission, La Pedrera. This home was constructed on a large corner lot and its design was based on the idea of an uninterrupted curve inside and out. Gaudí looked closely at nature for inspiration in his design and steered away from lines and angles since he felt they were not often observed in nature. The curvature of many of his buildings is what makes them stand out and surprise you when you encounter them.

Parc Güell


Parc Güell is situated atop Carmel Hill and was a failed endeavor of entrepreneur Eusebio Güell. Güell envisioned a high-end, gated community inspired by English garden city movement. Gaudí designed the community master plan which included gardens, a covered marketplace and footpaths, and a communal square with outlook point. What was meant to be an exclusive community far away from the industrializing city (in the year 1900) is now a public park open for anyone (who is willing to pay a modest entrance fee) to enjoy. Only two of the intended sixty homes were ever built on the estate (one of which Gaudí lived in until his death) but there are various examples of innovative infrastructure that mimics the nature that surrounds it.

La Sagrada Familia


Sagrada Família is undoubtedly Gaudí's greatest work. It is an incredibly detailed and massive in size basilica that has been under construction since 1882. 134 years! Inspired after a trip to the vatican bookseller and founder of the Spiritual Association of Devotees of St. Joseph, Josep Maria Rocabella commissioned the church.Gaudí was not the original intended designer but in a serendipitous series of events took on the design a year into construction. After the original architect, Francisco del Villar dropped the project due to creative disagreements with the client's advising architect Joan Martorell the project was offered to Martorell. Martorell declined the offer but recommended Anotoni Gaudí for the job who accepted in 1883 and completely redesigned what was going to be a gothic style church into his masterpiece. 

When Gaudí died in 1926 the basilica was less that a quarter complete and later experienced further construction delays during the Spanish Civil War. The project was resumed in the 1950s but without many of the original models, which were destroyed and damaged during the war. 

On the grounds is the Sagrada Família Schools, and personally my favorite Gaudí structure. The wavy brick building is simple yet completely unique. And as the most "conventional" of all the Gaudí buildings I saw it was the only one I felt I could full take in, but that may just be due to the smaller scale! I also love this building because it was created for the children of construction workers to study while their fathers worked on the church.

Antoni Gaudí immediately conjures the image of Barcelona, and Barcelona wouldn't be the same without the ornate and quirky works of Gaudí. Every single one of his works are worth a long look to get to know the city that houses them.