Chocolate restaurants in Barcelona are usually tucked away down the back streets and can be a little difficult to find. On this page we will help you find some of the most popular ones and give you an overview to what delights are in store once you find them.
The typical Spanish delicacy of 'churros y chocolate' is a heart warming treat during the cold winter months. Churros are a sort of cake, similar to a doughnut, but long and thin and dusted in sugar- usually created in a loop shape. They are often seen sold at fairgrounds and markets from vans, serving them fresh in cones of paper. However, they are also served in typical Spanish cafés known as 'granjas'. These cafés (often referred to as Chocolate Restaurants) are generally alcohol free and specialise in soft drinks and cakes. They serve their churros with a hot chocolate that is so thick and creamy that it is generally enjoyed with a spoon, or, of course, for churros-dipping.
In search of cosy activities in a city famed for terraces and sunshine, I have found trips for churros and chocolate to be an antidote to when its cold outside. Although Barcelona is not as well known for this delicacy as cities such as Seville and Madrid, it definitely offers its fair share of gems.
Be warned, granjas generally open for specific hours, with an extra long break for lunchtime (see times detailed below).
This is a relaxed granja, located on a historic quiet street for chocolate lovers in the Gothic Quarter. It is nestled between chocolate shops such as Xocoa and Demasié (two of Barcelona's most renowned chain chocolate shops) on a street that is narrow and picturesque, due to its pretty shop fronts and old buildings.
There is a bustling atmosphere as you enter the café. The space is two rooms deep and tables are generally full. The large amount of locals is testament to the high quality of what's on offer. Groups of old Spanish ladies while away the hours, slowly eating their way through plates of churros and generous helpings of hot chocolate. The setting is not particularly glamorous- with plastic tables and bright lights it has the feel of a canteen. However, this serves to add to its charm as the quality of service and food is high, so there is a sense that you have found a local gem.
The waiters are busy, but they arrive to take your order promptly and are polite. There are other treats on offer, such as Crema Catalana and muffins. However, on taking a look around the room it is hard to find anybody who has opted for anything other than the famous churros and chocolate.
|Churros and Chocolate at La Pallaresa Cafe|
With soggy feet and cold hands from the grim weather outside, it was a pleasure to receive a large cup of warm hot chocolate. This is available with or without whipped cream. The chocolate is thick and relatively dark in colour. It comes with a sachet of sugar, which, at first, seemed redundant. However, the chocolate is relatively rich and bitter in flavour and some, especially children, may prefer the flavour with the added sugar.
The churros are served warm and are impressively un-greasy. I would have been grateful for a few extra on the plate, to mop up the large quantities of hot chocolate, however, my decidedly sweet tooth may be more demanding than others.
Calle Petritxol, 11
08002 Barcelona, España
Monday - Saturday: 09:00 - 13:00 and 16:00 - 21:00
Sunday: 09:00 - 13:00 and 17:00 - 21:00
Hot Chocolate - €2.60
|La Granja chocolate restaurant|
Close to La Pallaresa is the quaint and laid-back La Granja. In a typically Spanish old building, with a beautiful glass front and a cosy interior, this is an aesthetically more attractive option. It does not have the same hustle bustle as La Pallaresa, with few customers on my afternoon visit. This makes for a different, but not less enjoyable experience. With a pile of papers to read and jazz playing in the background La Granja is a place to enjoy some quiet time. There are marble tables, dark wooden chairs and tiled walls.
On arrival, do not be thrown by the lack of churros on show. On chatting with the friendly waitress I was offered two options. Firstly, the granja specialises in an alternative to churros. These are known as Melindros and are said to be a more typically Barcelona cake than churros. They are like a fatter version of a 'lady finger' that you might find in a trifle or a tiramisu.
Secondly, there is an option to go to the Xurreria, five doors down from the granja and buy churros that you are free to eat with your hot chocolate ordered from La Granja. I, of course, opted for both options! The Melindros were enjoyable and possibly less sickly than the churros, however, they could be said to be slightly dry.
For my tastes, the churros were the winning option. Although seemingly inconvenient, the trip down the street to pick up your own snacks adds a novelty element to the experience. In the Xurreria the man behind the counter is helpful and it is busy, ensuring that the churros that you receive are fresh and warm. Sugar is added to the churros as an optional extra. They are ordered by weight - €1.00 provided me with approximately seven churros, which is probably a standard amount per hungry person. These churros were a delight- slightly lighter and fluffier than those at La Pallaresa and deliciously fresh.
|Chocolate and Churros from the Xurreria|
The hot chocolate at La Granja is definitely for grown ups. It is served in a smaller cup and is almost black in colour. The chocolate flavour is good but would be an acquired taste for those who like darker chocolate. If you are unsure as to whether it will be too dark or rich it may be advised to order one to share, as getting to the bottom of the cup is quite a mission, albeit an enjoyable one.
La Granja Chocolate Restaurant / Cafe
Carrer Banys Nous, 4
08002 Barcelona, España
Monday - Saturday: 09:30 - 21:30
Sundays and holidays 17:00 - 21:30
Monday - Saturday: 17:00 - 14:00 and 09:30 - 21:30
Hot Chocolate - €2.50
Melindros - €1.90
Churros (served from the Xurreria) - Approximately €1.00 per person