Barcelona’s always been ahead of the game in Europe when it comes to food and hipsterville so the brunch scene here is not surprisingly melbournesque serving up speciality lattes (with the fancy latte art), cold brews and alternative milk substitutes. I did realise that milk substitutes tend to be cheaper than Melbourne cafes averaging at 20c though the coffees were often comparable in pricing (lattes usually 2.5 to 3 euros). Another difference was the availability of oat milk as a more available substitute compared to only a few coffee shops like Little Rogue that only use oat milk as a milk substitute. Definitely this made my meals a lot easier without having to order espressos all the time as an only milk free coffee. Here’s just a snippet of my favourites from the cafes and coffee shops we stopped by.
Passeig de Sant Joan 23, 08010
Serving brunch all day and literally until midnight or whenever they close, this retro feel two storey bar and cafe was where we started our food journey in Barcelona after a super early morning flight from Naples. We ordered a tomato bruschetta and a chorizo hash. Both exemplary for Spanish flavours as well as a brunch execution. Oh my goodness I had missed those small Spanish tomatos. This bruschetta was like tomato heaven with the tomato juices, sweet and flavourful unlike our Woolworths bought ones, oozing through the bread. Topped with two poached eggs, and some pistachio dukkah mix, the lightly spiced dish brought me back to my senses from hunger. We also ordered a blueberry oat smoothie as well as their signature hot chocolate. A mention must all go to the decor of the bar counter as it’s completely covered in vintage suitcase fronts and old books – a very intriguing design.
Plaça d’Urquinaona 4, 08010
I would personally rate this my favourite place out of the cafes we stopped by for food/brunch, just because it wasn’t trying “too hard” to be hipster and also lost all the cheesy jokes and puns on food or travel. Rustic and chic, the inside had a bit of a revamped warehouse feel with polished concrete floors, raw wood tables and rope decor. Even the ceramics were a standout for me, having an earthy tone and actually really good quality too – the artisan ceramic stuff, which everything was served on. Also I have to mention my obsession with the steak knives that came as the cutlery, they’re such craftsman made items from a local Barcelona brand I forgot the name of, the handle was a natural brown-red wood finely finished with a blade that will cut through the sourdough crusts! What a revolution. I ordered the banana pancakes with a oat milk latte. Risen pancakes with a good fluff and bite with real maple syrup, bananas and fresh berries (that hasn’t been the case for some places just because of the winter season). Generous with table space, we had room to keep our big luggage cases just behind us too before travelling off to the airport from Plaça de Catalunya.
Nømad Coffee Lab and Shop
Passatge Sert 12, 08003
I first got introduced to Nomad two years ago when I stayed in the Born neighbourhood. My coffee enthusiast friend from Melbourne has recommended it saying that they were supreme, and after some months in Germany with terrible coffee I prepared myself for being underwhelmed. Totally the opposite happened as soon as we walked in where there was a huge coffee spin wheel on the wall describing all the tasting notes and coffees they had. I was very impressed by their creativity of experimental new drinks and ordered my first ever nitro brew (it’s a colour changing cold coffee – the coolest experience both visually and olfactory). This time we popped round just for some lattes and batch brew, although a cool new banana coffee was on the menu that I’ve yet to see available in Melbourne. I can see that they’ve taken off really well, as well as having multiple stores now in Barcelona, they also supply beans to cafes across Spain, where I came across nomad again in Hanse in Madrid. My favourite is the Born roastery, tucked away in a super concealed alleyway that’s basically invisible to the nonbelievers. Highly suggest visiting them if you’re craving a good coffee in Barcelona and the baristas are always down to earth with local recommendations and always up for a chat.
Satan’s Coffee Co.
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 700, 08010
A new find close to the Tetuan metro stop, this place really sung out Melbourne, with its chic clean tile decor, minimalist colour palette and mirror panel on the walls. Slightly more expensive than Nomad and less casual but rather business/productive moods make it a great place to do some work and get brain juices flowing. The counter has a selection of pastries and the coolest design feature would be the sandwich fridge, where the door opens out frontwards as a self serve cabinet for juices and savoury snacks. They also seem to have a secondary shop somewhere in Barcelona.