La Comida De Barcelona (Barcelona Food)

Being the international city that it is, Barcelona is not confined to any one set of cultural practices. Like I mentioned in my travel diaries about language and culture, despite being a Spanish city, there are several languages common spoken here daily. Heavily influenced by multiple cultures, countries, languages, and people, Barcelona offers amazing diversity in multiple factors of life. I´m sure you can surmise from the title of this post, which of those ¨factors¨ I'll be writing about today; food. Aside from delicious traditional Spanish foods, this city offers many different types of cuisine. Italian, French, ¨Americana¨(as they say), Mediterranean, and so on and so forth. And much like the states, even food from different cultures, being prepared by people from those cultures, still varies from how it may be prepared in its country of origin in the interest of fitting seamlessly into Spanish culture.

Needless to say I´ve been indulging myself, and taking full advantage of all edible possibilities, and snapping a few pictures along the way.

Warning: Do not read this post if you are hungry

 

Pizza

We'll start here because this is probably the food I´ve  had the most of since I´ve been in the city. Actually..this is probably the food group I´ve had the most of since I´ve been alive. Unlike America, pizza in Spain can actually be classified as Italian food. The crust is always relatively thin, but is always prepared fresh daily. Marinara sauce here, I´ve noticed, is a little bit on the sweet side (which I don´t mind because I´m a

sugar-in-spaghetti type of girl), and a little more textured. I love pepperoni pizza, however here pepperoni is sliced very thick and is spicier than in the states. In fact, I´ve seen it written in several menus as ¨chorizo caliente¨ or ¨Spicy Sausage¨. It´s still good, but not as good in my humble opinion. But aside from that american pizza cannot touch the pizza here. Dominos? Don´t know her.

 

(left) San Marino Pizzeria - Bacon (right) Resturante Bivio - Chorizo Caliente

(left) San Marino Pizzeria - Bacon (right) Resturante Bivio - Chorizo Caliente

 

My favorite pizzaria´s thus far:

  1. Pizza Napoli Barcelona

  2. San Marino Pizzeria

  3. Les Dues Siciles

  4. Resturante Bivio

 

Japanese & Chinese Food

I wish I had more variety for this section but once I found MY sushi place, I forgot other sushi restaurants existed. My sushi place, Youme, has a delicious, affordable, and vast menu, AND they deliver. I´ve become a huge fan of Uber eats since being in the city. Not only because it's actually available here but because delivery charges are extremely cheap ranging from 1,30€ to 1,80€. Maybe that's typical of big cities but in my college town delivery is usually upward of $3. That being said, I've ordered youme through uber eats no less than five times and feel absolutely no shame about it. A few days ago I decided to branch out a little bit and get sushi from a place that also served traditional Ramen. The menu was completely in spanish so I just clicked on something that sounded good through my abysmal translation skills and hoped for the best. It was incredible.

(left) Youme Sushi - Tempura California Roll, Rollitos Japoneses (spring rolls), Udon Noodles con Gamba y Verdura (Prawns & Vegetables).   (Right) Koikoi Sushi - Hot Tartar (spicy tuna sushi) & Ramen

(left) Youme Sushi - Tempura California Roll, Rollitos Japoneses (spring rolls), Udon Noodles con Gamba y Verdura (Prawns & Vegetables). 

(Right) Koikoi Sushi - Hot Tartar (spicy tuna sushi) & Ramen

 

I've also tried a few chinese places, that looked incredibly sketchy, which of course means that the food was superb. I don't have pictures of those because by the time I remembered I was planning to write this post the food was gone. But I will list them below.

 

Sushi Places

  1. Youme

  2. Koikoi Sushi

Chinese

  1. Chen Ji

  2. Palacio De China

You can also sign up for ubereats and get $10 off your order using my code ¨eats-mercedesb57ue¨

This is not sponsored but I get $10 off too and I really want that. So, sign up. Thanks.

 

TACOS

^ That's in all caps because I am extremely excited about this topic. Being the Spanish vs Hispanic confused youth that I was prior to this trip, I was very excited to try some ¨authentic Spanish tacos¨ and that's 100% not a thing. Tacos are classified as Mexican food exactly as they are in the U.S. However, that doesn´t make them any less delicious.Much like with the sushi, I found a taqueria that I loved and got settled in. Taqueria Tamarindo has to have some of the best street style tacos I've had. Plus the staff knows me by name and has offered me free shots of tequila twice now. They´re basically family.  

House made Guacamole & Chips and Trompo Tacos (pork)

House made Guacamole & Chips and Trompo Tacos (pork)

 

I branched out and tried another taco place, Taco Alto Born, and after eating there twice I've decided that I really don't like it. They seem to cater a lot to American taste in food i.e flour tortillas and fake cheese. So after being blessed by the existence of Taqueria Tamarindo my taste buds shifted and I lost my taste for those things. At least when it comes to tacos. 

I also had tacos from a beach restaurant called Jefferson. Again, by then I was less of fan of flour tortillas, but their guacamole was fantastic and I have to give them props for presentation. 

(left) Taco Alto Born - Two chicken Tinga tacos, one Taco Gringa (carne asada) and one Taco Pirata ( pork). (Right) Jefferson Beach Club - three chicken tinga tacos 

(left) Taco Alto Born - Two chicken Tinga tacos, one Taco Gringa (carne asada) and one Taco Pirata ( pork). (Right) Jefferson Beach Club - three chicken tinga tacos 

 

Fine Dining

I've had two nicer dining experiences since I´ve been here. The first was actually my first night here at a beach restaurant called Carpe Diem. Before I even get into the food I have to talk about the seating for a moment. On the outside deck, facing the beach, there were several tables and chairs as is to be expected. But there were also couch-like seats built into the wall and lining the outside patio. They were like couches in that they were soft and had a back, but they were much deeper than couches so that someone could sit against the back and stretch their legs out completely in front of them. A group of six of us were able to sit in a corner section and eat there instead of a table. (they had silver trays so there was a flat surface for putting drinks on. Fancy.)  

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I ordered Curry Prawns with rice, which sounds exactly as good as it was. But this where I will note that it was quite a deal less seasoned than I would have liked. And I also noticed this at the other nice restaurant we went to in Girona. I don´t know if there's any direct correlation between nicer restaurants and less flavorful food but I do know that some salt and chili powder would have gone a long way.

(left) Carpe Diem - Curry prawns with white rice. (right) Casa Marieta in Girona - Roast chicken & potato

(left) Carpe Diem - Curry prawns with white rice. (right) Casa Marieta in Girona - Roast chicken & potato


 

Before I end this post, I have to admit it that  I did succumb to my American roots and stop into a KFC, once or twice. And it was so much better than the states, which I attribute to spain having higher standards for food. The chicken just seemed like it was higher quality. You can judge me, but realistically how long can a southerner go without fried chicken? Exactly.

 

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What to Pack for a Summer Abroad

Going abroad is all fun and games until you have to pack. You can actually feel the excitement draining out of you when you realize the only thing standing between you and another country is your empty suitcase, and messy closet. Beyond the physical labor of actually packing clothes into your suitcase is the mental battle of trying to anticipate your every wardrobe need and pack accordingly. And don´t forget those amazing weight limits imposed by the airline.  

That leads to my first step pro packing tip; find out how much your luggage can weigh. Most U.S based airlines have a standard weight limit, but if you´re flying with an international airline the weight requirements may be different and they will most likely be in kilograms.  With the knowledge in mind of you much your checked luggage can weigh, you can proceed to figuring out what you need to take.

I packed for a summer internship so my packing needs were a little different from someone studying abroad, but I used widely applicable rules and methods to make sure I was taking the right items. And after being here a full month and having to live with my packing decisions I'm pretty confident in them.  

This post may contain affiliate links, so that should you choose to click on them and purchase the product, I will earn a small commision at no additional cost to you.  

Click here to read about where to get luggage to take abroad

 

Shoes  

Because they can take up so much space, shoes can be very difficult to pack. It´s a good idea to limit yourself to one or at the very most two pairs of really bulky shoes, like tennis shoes. I chose to only bring my Adidas, and to wear them while I traveled to avoid having to put them in my suitcase at all. For work and going out I brought a few pairs of LOW heels, and for every day I brought a pair of slip on canvas shoes, and a pair of sandals. Sandals and slips ons are great because they do not take up a lot of space and can go with a variety of outfits. 

Bottoms

I ended up bringing more pairs of jeans than anyone should really be wearing during the summer, because I knew I´d need them for work. Outside of that, jeans during the summer should be a sin. I also brought two pairs of denim shorts, two skirts, and two pairs of leggings. 

Dresses

Sundresses are the best thing to take for travel. Dresses in general make for very quick outfits. Sundresses are generally made of light material and thus take up almost no space in a suitcase, on top of being breathable and great for hot weather. These can be worn for work, class, or just going out and exploring. I actually own quite a few sundresses so this is where pro packing tip #2 comes in:  

When you have a lot of anything to choose from, pick out all the ones you want to bring..and then cut that in half. It´s a hard process but it is so necessary.

Tops

I´m using the word ¨tops¨loosely since I live predominately in bodysuits. Either way, these should be chosen very strategically. I brought several tops that could be easily switched between occasions and outfits. You´ll notice that my assortment of shirts is pretty monochromatic. But is there anything you cant pair a black or white top with? And the same top I can pair with a jacket and pants to wear to work, I can pair with shorts to wear shopping, and a skirt to wear to dinner.  

Jackets are still very necessary in the summer. The hotter it gets outside, the colder it gets inside. A light sweater is a good packing choice. I also have a heavy cardigan I used for travel as airports are pretty cold too, and a blazer for dressier work days. 

For me, T-shirts didn´t require any strategic thinking, I just grabbed five that I liked and called it a day. 

Lounge/Athletic/Sleepwear

I can´t think of the last time I owned an actual set of matching pajamas. In my wardrobe, sleepwear, lounge wear and athletic wear are all interchangeable. For this reason I packed three pairs of running shorts, a couple of tank tops, the aforementioned T-shirts and leggings, and two pairs of sleep shorts [read: men´s boxers]. 

Accessories 

In my opinion, accessories require no strategy to be packed. They are usually small enough that they don´t take up enough space to be a bother. I threw all my rings and earrings into a small pouch and tossed it into the fray. I only wear one necklace and it´s usually on my person. But if you have a lot of necklaces to travel with, lay them flat on a T-shirt and roll them up. Just don´t forget which t-shirt they´re in. 

Underwear 

I´ve seen a lot of rules of thumb when it comes to packing underwear. The one that makes the most sense to me is to pack enough for two weeks. That´s the perfect time frame in case you can´t get around to doing laundry every week. And anything over two weeks worth would be excessive.

Products

This is possibly the most difficult thing to pack. Mostly because it´s hard to think of, at once, every product you need to use over the next 2-3 months. My advice is to leave anything you can repurchase at a reasonable price. Body washes, scrubs, lotions, and face washes will most likely be readily available wherever you´re going. 

(I have a more detailed post coming on the best makeup products to travel with. Stay Tuned) 

I was advised to leave my hot tools at home and repurchase those over seas as well. Which is ridiculous. WHO wants to spend $100+ on items they already own. And what would I do with two flat irons when I get back to the states, one of which I wouldn´t even be able to plug in? My advice? Buy an outlet adapter and go on your merry way. 

 
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Things you´ll need that you are likely to forget you need

1. Nail maintenance (nail clippers, nail file, ONE nail polish)  

2. Outlet Adapter - Oh yeah, other countries have different outlets

3. Extension cord - This way you won´t have to buy multiple adapters 

4. Any product that you need, and cannot be replaced overseas. Buy enough for the duration of your stay

 

 

So after four weeks I can safely say that I did a pretty good job anticipating what I would need and not over packing. Even after a month, I´m still going ¨Oh, I forgot I packed this¨, so I definitely haven´t run out of unique outfits yet. Also..let´s be honest I´ve been shopping. (insert emoji of the girl with her hands up like¨oh well¨)  And that leads me to my third and final pro packing tip: Try to get all of your items into your checked baggage and try to keep your carry on relatively empty. This will be great for when you accumulate new stuff on the road, and for when you undoubtedly remember something you forgot to pack and your suitcase is already at capacity. 

 

 

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