My friend Giulia and her family were in town a couple of weeks back. I whizzed them through some of the best streets in Barcelona, with a snack in mind for practically every street. Regardless, when it was lunch time, we were all famished. I quickly decided on our spot – a quick tour beneath the stunning undulating roof of Santa Caterina Market and then we would grab a table at Cuines Santa Caterina (From the Tragaluz group).
Regular readers will know I am not fond of eclectic menus. Mostly because it is hard to get everything right but also because it dilutes the whole experience. They also know I tend to avoid restaurant groups, preferring to pay a little extra and go out of my way for something independent. Then, when you want the tomato salad but without the goats cheese say – it can be arranged whereas in a place like this: it can’t. Because the waiter needs to type the dish number into their palm pilot, there is no box for “extra comments”.
Then again, what is great about a place like this is you don’t have to plan it in advance. You don’t even have to show up at an awkward time to save yourself an uncomfortably long wait wedged up against a wall somewhere like at Tapas 24. You can just show up hungry and you will be seated swiftly. They won’t even make a big deal when you show up with 3 kids and two buggies during the rush. And if you excel at ordering (which I kind of do – sorry eating humble pie later) you can eat really really well. Like the Santa Pau beans with baby squid and asparagus (€13.60) – which was enough to inspire me to recreate it at home (high praise indeed) – from the Mediterranean section of the menu. I would generally avoid the Japanese stuff and the desserts (there are so many ice cream shops around like Gelateria Gocce di Latte. I’ve eaten well here over a course of 10 years and I love that is easy on the eye with a bonus of good service (even if they can’t tweak the dishes for the ordering of the menu challenged).
See this and find more addresses on my Foodie in Barcelona Map
Cuines Santa Caterina
Francesc Cambó 16 (next to Santa Caterina Market)
08003, Barri Gòtic