Lately, the topmost right part of El Born known as La Ribera / Sant Pere is playing host to a flurry of new openings. From big projects like the somewhat controversial Hotel Rec (also home to Fismuler) to smaller projects like La Masala Cafe. While the former is likely to drastically change the character of the neighborhood, La Masala Cafe nestles itself quietly into a corner that is arrived at by navigating the maze of tiny streets.
La Masala Café is named after the homemade Masala Chai Tea they serve. It’s dimly lit, with a topographical map of Catalunya on one side, mis-matched frayed sofas coupled with newer sharper pieces. There are fairy lights clumped in one window while the other sets out the offering with window stickers stating: specialty coffee, cakes, sandwiches. A format that persists throughout the day without moving into hot meals.
Despite a steady influx of young foreign types, the owners Alejandra and Kunchok have opted not to provide wifi and consequently, there is a steady din of chatter.
Coffee comes from El Magnifico, the neighborhood roaster and is made on a fine La Marzocco coffee machine. On the day I visit, the Jamaican tourist board has organised for me to sample some Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee along with a breakfast spread. I appreciate the breakfast, a fat slice of brioche topped with avocado, baby spinach, and a fried egg. But even more, I appreciate being led to this charming spot.
A place I would have been unlikely to stumble onto during my strolls as there are parts of La Ribera / Sant Pere that seemingly reside in black holes. The WIFI embargo appeals, making me set down my phone to chat with Sara, my breakfast date.
La Masala Cafe
Carrer d’En Mònec, 6
Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera-Born 08003