Cakes, pastries and ice cream tempt you wherever you go in Barcelona. The mesmerising pastry selection in little coffee shops makes your head spin, and after a while you’re convinced that the sweet treats that seem to stalk you everywhere are whispering their siren song into your ear: ‘diets are for wimps’.
Now, it would be quite mean of me to say that I couldn’t care less about cakes and pastry, but that happens to be true. You see, I seem to lack the sweet tooth completely. Well, almost completely… let’s just say that unless it’s chocolate, I’m not interested. And that’s just it: while I can’t be tempted by a creamy cake, I’ve yet to encounter a chocolate treat I wouldn’t manage to gobble up in about, oh, 5 seconds or so.
But, lucky for me, Barcelona is full of chocolate shops, too…
Every time I go to Barcelona, I make a little pilgrimage to Xocoa at number 10 Carrer de la Princesa to stock up on their fantastic orange chocolate. My reasoning goes like this: I love this chocolate, so I should get a few more bars, maybe give some to my friends… well, I’ve been going to Barcelona every year for the past 10 years and my friends have never seen a piece of chocolate that I brought back…
Now you must be thinking that surely there must be something else to do in a place like Barcelona than just stuffing your face. What about culture? Isn’t there one museum I’ve visited in those ten years of going to this wonderful city???
Indeed there is, and it’s the one museum that deserves a second look: the Chocolate Museum. As you would expect, there’s all sort of information about the history of chocolate etc, but more importantly, they have sculptures made out of… yeah, you guessed it, chocolate! Of course, they are encased in glass display cabinets, so don’t get any ideas.
And after this mandatory cultural portion of your visit, you can relax in the museum shop-café enjoying some of their famous hot chocolate. And it is not just any regular cup of hot chocolate: it’s thick and dark and delicious. Very conveniently, the Barcelona Pastry school is adjacent to the museum, so there is always fresh pastry to dip into your hot chocolate, too.
So, this concludes our Sweet Barcelona tour, and I would like to leave you with the top tips straight out of the Bad Tourist secret address book:
Tradional pastry and confectionery (opposite Jaume I underground station), note: the staff do not speak English
2. Museu de Xocolata, Carrer Comerç, 36 , 08003 Barcelona
3. Xocoa (several locations)
4. Caelum, Carrer de la Palla 8, 08002 Barcelona
a fantastic coffee shop / tea room / pastry shop in Barri Gótic.