Think Twice About El Raval
Long overlooked and often avoided, El Raval has had a bad reputation thus far! Veering left from Las Ramblas should be an exciting option for tourists and expats alike given its authentic Barcelona identity. While the more reserved and unexciting folk might prefer to steer clear and miss out on it’s many hidden gems, El Raval is the place to go for the fun-lovers who are young at heart (oldies permitted!)
With two of our very own Casamona bad apples now living in El Raval, we feel that the time is right to share our knowledge of this particular part of Barcelona. To begin we will appreciate the excellent location of El Raval, in close proximity to the harbour and beach, El Gotico, Las Ramblas and Plaza Catalunya along with Eixample that spreads northward. Undoubtedly this is an enormous bonus that comes with living in this barrio. Nevertheless this blog doesn’t have the time to write about the over publicised tourist attractions that everyone knows how to find outside of El Raval; instead it will be dedicated to the underestimated treasures that lie within.
Are you a food fiend? So are we and let us tell you why Raval satisfies our crippling needs. When it comes to a revitalising but most importantly dangerously tasty weekend brunch, drop everything you are doing and head to Flax & Kale (Carrer dels Tallers, 74). NB meat lovers you may want to skip a few lines, veggie-heads pay attention! This restaurant is located in northern Raval and has an amazing rooftop where you can enjoy the fresh air and fresh food. On the weekends and bank holidays they offer brunch from 10am-5pm with friendly prices for plates and drinks to cure your stinking hangover and invigorate you for a day of fun.
Next up – meat lovers continue here – we have Can Lluis located in the heart of El Raval (Carrer de la Cera, 49). Here you will find yourself sat in what almost feels like someone’s home surrounded by the locals. On offer is a variety of authentic, catalan style tapas with recipes that have been passed down three generations to please all who enter this charming little restaurant.
For all the G&T aficionados out there, stop by Pesca Salada (Carrer de la Cera, 32) to enjoy a couple of the undisputed best gin and tonics in Barcelona. Once a fishmonger, they decided to keep the name but strip away the fishy smell and produce and in their place offer up a selection of drinks and cocktails. It can get busy here so get in early to secure your place for some reasonably priced yet delicious beverages.
If you are cool, or you want to become even cooler, we present you with Cassette Bar (Carrer de l’Est, 11). It’s located off the beaten tourist path and it’s likely you will be surrounded by groups of friendly locals. The drinks are fantastic and made even better by the free tapas that comes with each one. The bar staff are always welcoming and their selection of alternative music matched with the unique decor makes Cassette Bar the ultimate hipster’s paradise.
But what club are we going to?
We’re going to Sala Apolo (Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 113), case closed! Arguably Barcelona’s best club – maybe a close 2nd place behind Razzmatazz – Sala Apolo is located on the edge of El Raval but only a short walk away for anyone living in the barrio. It boasts an excellent roster of DJ’s and bands, electro and rock, old and new. For those who need to be seen in a fashionable club, Sala Apolo is not for you. This is a place for music lovers who need to unwind and enjoy themselves after a hard day/week. Do not miss out!
Written by: Simon King