Eating in Barcelona

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Estava bonissim!!


The above phrase is Catalan that translates to “that was delicious”.

This would have been an oft repeated phrase while we were in Barcelona, if I would have known it then.

My family and I recently visited Barcelona in January, six adults and four children under four.  Now some people would admire our courage and fortitude to attempt this traveling high wire act without a net, others would call it lunacy. When you have grandchildren that live in a foreign country, you do what you can to see them.  We were able to meet them for a week in Barcelona and it was wonderful.

Now I don’t have to tell those of you with small children and grandchildren that eating with a large group with four small children is a challenge at home, much less in a large restaurant, and even more in a small European cafe.  Just trying to find places to store the strollers is hard enough.  We had a double stroller, about the size of some European cars, that was like parallel parking a car between two cramped tables. The Barcelonans, to their credit, were very nice about it in the restaurants and went out of their way to accommodate us.

But, be that as it may, this blog is about the food we ate in Barcelona.  We were not able to eat a lot of meals together as you can imagine. Most meals we carried into our rental house in El Masnou, a beach town outside of Barcelona (that will be another blog). However, the food we ate in Barcelona was so good.

Our first meal was in the morning after we all met in the Eixample neighborhood of Barcelona.  We found chocolate croissants and coffee at Forn de Sant Jaume.

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Forn de Sant Jaume in Eixample.

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We loved the chocolate croissants and coffee at Forn de Sant Jaume.


Our only meal in the evening was at Set de Born. We rode the train into Barcelona and walked through the El Born neighborhood and found Set de Born.  This was a very good choice. We ate too early in the evening for the Barcelonans so we had the restaurant to ourselves and the staff was very accepting of our group. This was the one meal the little ones weren’t on top of their table manners, just on top of the table. Nonetheless, the staff was very kind and patient and we appreciated that.

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I loved the intimate setting of Set de Born, tucked into a narrow street in El Born.

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We started with some marinated olives…very, very good.

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I loved the anchovies on tomato at Set de Born.

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The meat plate with homemade sausages and Iberian ham was the hit of the meal, with very good reason.

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This is how our typical table looked in Barcelona, lots of food to choose from. The cheese plate was delicious, so was the tomato bread, and the goat cheese salad.


We visited the Santa Caterina Market two times. I got some more marinated olives that were a treat while walking the streets of Barcelona.

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I highly advise a foray into the many booths and stalls of this market.  It can be overwhelming, but keep in mind, there are no bad choices in here.

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The shaved ham cone was a big hit in our group, one of our purchases in the Santa Caterina Market. Why are there not any of these in the U.S.?


A highlight of our eating experience in Barcelona was churros!!!  I can’t express how good this treat is.  Our churro consumption was in Churreria Laietana in El Born. I don’t have any way to compare churros, but I do know this, these would be hard to beat.

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This lady that served up churros at Churreria Laietana was very impressive.  She could handle English and Spanish with ease, in a very busy and chaotic setting, while handing out little plates of love, all the while with a smile on her face.  I think she was also doing air traffic control in the back.

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CHURROS! CHURROS! CHURROS!  at Churreria Laietana


Our last meal together in Barcelona was a real treat. We had an afternoon meal at

El Quatre Gats (the Four Cats), one of the more famous restaurants in Barcelona.  It has a lot of history and is noted for being one of the hangouts of Picasso in his younger days.  It is located in the Barri Gotic  (Gothic quarter of Barcelona). I enjoyed this meal most of all.  The children were well-behaved and the staff was so nice and agreeable to our wishes.  Again, we ate at an earlier time than most of the Barcelonans, so it wasn’t very crowded.  This was a good plan on our part so as not to be too disruptive.  I think this is my best advice with those traveling with small children in Barcelona, eat early so as not to find the restaurants and cafes too crowded.  Keep in mind that a lot of restaurants in Barcelona do not even start serving food in the evening till about 8:00 PM.

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The 4 Cats entrance is inviting.

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The classic look of the historic 4 Cats.

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Just chunks of parmesan cheese to nibble on before the meal at 4Cats. Why don’t we ever think of these things?

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Tomato bread is a favorite tapas dish in Barcelona.  We ordered it everywhere we ate. I think the best I had was at 4Cats.

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The prettiest dish we ate all week was the roasted eggplant at 4Cats. It was as delicious as it was beautiful.

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These pork cannellonis were really good at 4Cats.

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One of my favorite dishes of the week…seafood rice at 4Cats.


If you are in these areas of Barcelona, I would highly recommend these eating establishments.

Barcelona, estava bonissim!





Austria, Day 2…Salzburg’s Old Town

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I can’t seem to stop singing, wherever I am.—Fraulein Maria

This was the way I felt in Salzburg.

Day two in Austria started with coffee on our deck looking at the awe-inspiring Alps outside Golling an der Salzach where we rented a house for our family.

Some of us slept in late because of the time change and jet lag. So I took this opportunity to take a walk with my almost-two year old granddaughter, that lives far away from me, and get to know her better.  We found a bridge over a little stream so she could throw some leaves in the water.  We had three children under two years of age, so we knew this would be a challenge to go into Salzburg.

When traveling with children this young, your mindset HAS TO BE..patience, flexibility and adaptability.

Since we were getting a late start, we made a decision not to go to Hallstatt.  We decided to spend a day and half in Salzburg to give it enough time, knowing we would not be able to see all we wanted…well you know children travelers and all.

We started with a late breakfast or early lunch at Tomaselli Cafe.  This is one of the oldest  and continuous cafes in Salzburg. It is in the heart of the Old Town on the Alter Markt.  We had a meal of sausages with mustard and fresh horseradish and various breads and jams.  We sat under the wall with old paintings of former Salzburgers.  We had a nice start to our day here.

We began our day touring in the Old Town. We started in Mozartplatz, we knew we were there when we saw the statue of Mozart.  After dodging through the bicycle tours, or I should say after the bicycle tours dodged us since we were just as formidable with three strollers, we wandered through the Old Town.

As a side note, my wife and I would have never considered taking our children to Europe when they were two.  We always went to the beach, since you can’t tear up a beach. But our adult children don’t think like we do.

We came to this conclusion…if the Nazis or the Allied forces couldn’t destroy Austria, what could a couple of two-year old girls and a 4-month old boy do?  They were too busy picking up rocks and cigarette butts and anything else they could get their hands on and put into their mouth.  This is the way to build an immune system.

Salzburg is a beautiful, old European city.  The Salzach River bisects the city.  There are numerous bridges crossing the river and we crossed these bridges a lot.  My favorite is the Makartsteg Footbridge that is plastered with lovers locks.

We hung out outside the Salzburg Cathedral and Domplatz and ate some good ice cream on the steps of the 247-yr old Maria Immaculata statue. The granddaughters were quite impressed with the small rocks in the Domplatz. The cathedral was completed in its present form in 1628. It still has the baptismal font that was in use to baptize Mozart.

We saw St. Peter’s Abbey and the cemetery and catacombs.  From the catacombs, there is some incredible views of the cathedral towers. We crossed the bridge and walked through the beautiful Mirabell Gardens

When it was time to eat our evening meal, we drove out to WieherWirt.  This was a most enjoyable meal.  We sat at a table outside where we could view the lake.  Across the lake sat the Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron. This was used as the Von Trapp Mansion in The Sound of Music.

We started our meal with sheep cheese with herb nuts and cranberry sauce.  This was so good.  I also had Austrian meatballs with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables.  My wife had weinerschnitzel, potatoes, and cranberry sauce.  All the plates were very good. Our day ended with this delicious meal and we headed back to our rental house and Golling an der Salzach.

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Cafe Tomaselli on the Alter Markt in Old Town Salzburg.

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The sausage was good but the fresh horseradish and mustard was very good at Cafe Tomaselli.

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Mozart statue in Mozartplatz, a good place to begin your tour of Old Town Salzburg.


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Residents Fountain in Residenzplatz.

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Old Town Hall.

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Pfarrkirche St. Andra.

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Locks on the Makartsteg Footbridge.

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Big chessboard in Kapitelplatz.

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The Golden Sphere in Kapitelplatz.

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Salzburg Cathedral with Maria Immaculata.

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St. Peter’s Catacombs.

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View of church steeples from the catacombs.

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St. Peter’s statue and fountain in the St. Peter’s Abbey courtyard.

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St. Peter’s fountain was a good place to hang out and rest for a while.

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Inside St. Peter’s Abbey.

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Fountain at Mirabell Gardens.

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Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron used in The Sound of Music.

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Very tasty appetizer of sheep cheese, herb nuts, and cranberry sauce at WieherWirt.

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Austrian meatballs on mashed potatoes with grilled vegetables with a good Riesling at WieherWirt  was a good end to a good day in Salzburg.