A few meters away from the crowds in front of Barcelona’s Grand Cathedral there is a square by the name of Manuel Ribé. There you will find Satan’s Coffee, an odd tea shop with a lot of outdoor seating and most recently: Levante Bistrot. With wrap around ceiling height windows, soft lighting, large potted plants in corners, Thonet chairs facing a moss green banquette. The tables are the small round pavement kind one finds in the Paris of postcards.
I’m not one to point you in the direction of a cafe because of the way it looks but with Levante I just can’t help it. It’s gorgeous.
Enter through the electric sliding door and you will likely be greeted by Vita. One of the owners of Levante who fits perfectly in the space. Ella Fitzerald is playing. Vita glides over to our table, hands us the menu and then moves to the coffee machine to make my coffee (2.4€).
We order the poached eggs (9€) and the mackerel on toast (10€) to share. My toast is dense dark chewy bread (joy!) topped with a sour cream and celeriac remoulade (fond memories of this from my years in London), mackerel, ribbons of cucumber, radish quarters and dill (DILL! How I’ve missed you!). It is very pretty and vastly different from the typical breakfast menus around here – notably absent? Avocado on toast.
Meanwhile, the poached eggs arrive on a smudge of hummus, topped with a generous sprinkling of sumac, with a salad of chickpeas, feta cheese and those ribbons of cucumber nestling up to it. A plate of toasted pita bread with Za’atar and olive oil arrives alongside it.
Two hours sneak past us, it’s easy in a space like this.
We go to pay at the counter and I notice the trays of roasted beets on the counter cooling. Candy-striped beets!
“You don’t see these often,” I exclaim when I see the young chef.
The door swoops open to let us out of the beautiful oasis that is the aptly named Levante. A welcome and different brunch option for the city.
Sant Domènc del Call, 11
08002 Gothic Quarter