Where To Eat in Europe in 2017

Where To Eat in Europe in 2017

It’s mid January, and we have virtually none of our 2017 travel plans in place. That is a little unusual for us. We know we are flying to Berlin in March, and will be eating our way through Costa Brava again in April. But, other than that, things are pretty up in the air. I do know we need a little break from Bangkok. I’ve been dreaming about European food and wine, and part of our planning seems to be focused on where to eat in Europe in 2017. I found this infographic about where to travel in Europe in 2017. Although this list is for overall travel, HomeToGo also had a specific list on where to travel to eat in Europe in 2017 as well. I was surprised at how similar their list was to the cities I would like to travel to this year.  Our Top 5 Cities to Eat in Europe in 2017 Barcelona and Catalunya We love Barcelona! It’s one of our favorites cities to visit, and has been for years. We love exploring the tapas bars, and drinking cava at adorable little champagne bars. But, there are loads of fabulous places to eat in Catalunya as well. Just one of the areas of Catalunya worth exploring is Costa Brava, which runs north from Girona to the French border. Luckily, we will be returning to Costa Brava this April, for an entire month of drinking Emporda wine and eating Catalan seafood. We can’t wait! Bologna and Emilia Romagna It’s no secret that we love traveling and eating in Emilia Romagna, the Italian region that includes Bologna, Modena, Parma,...
La Champagneria Barcelona

La Champagneria Barcelona

As soon as we arrived in Barcelona, all we kept hearing about was La Champagneria.  From the owner of our apartment rental, from people online, from strangers we met.  We had never heard of the place before, during our prior two visits, but as soon as I heard the word La Champagneria, there was a ring to it, and I knew we had to seek it out. La Champagneria, or in Catalan La Xampanyeria, or by their other name Can Paixano, is an institution of sorts.   When you research La Champagneria online, there seems to be a split personality of sorts.  Is it a wine shop?  Is it a cava bar?  Is it old school and traditional, or a tourist stop?  The answer is yes. What is Cava? Cava is a Catalan version of champagne, made in the traditional method, meaning the second fermentation takes place inside the bottle. That’s the technical stuff. I’ve been told that cava was once called champagne, and was happy to continue down that path.  Unfortunately, the Champagne region in France filed suit against them to prevent the cava makers from using the designation champagne, which is now reserved only for sparkling wines that are made in the Champagne region.  So, sparkling wine that is produced outside of that region can in no way be called champagne. That’s the history stuff. I, personally, don’t care what they call it.  I love cava, and it is like champagne, but a lot less pretentious. In Barcelona, it is possible to find a glass of cava pretty much any time of day for as little as...
Churros in Barcelona

Churros in Barcelona

It takes a lot to figure out the right time to eat the right food in Spain.  Learning when to eat in Spain is almost like a science.  Good thing I can eat churros in Barcelona at any time.  There are so many great foods to eat in Spain, but this is one of my favorites! The internet at our apartment rental in Barcelona was not great.  As a result, on a weekend morning, we exiled ourselves from the apartment, in search of a decent cafe with good wifi.  I did my research ahead of time, and found a place in the nearby neighborhood of El Born.  According to the cafe’s website, it opened at 10 am.  It was just about 10, so we packed up the computers and made our way over for a productive Sunday morning.  At least until we arrived. They were not even close to being open.  Doors just opened, staff setting up the chairs.  They estimated at least 45 minutes.  We wandered El Born looking for an alternative, but it was as if the entire neighborhood was hungover from the night before.   No other cafes with wifi were open, Santa Catarina market was closed.  We wandered almost all the way to Las Ramblas, just trying to kill time, waiting for the cafe to open. Then, we found the most perfect little place for churros in Barcelona, tucked into a corner of El Born. Churrería Layetana in El Born seemed just barely open.  A tiny little joint with a counter and about 4 chairs, we walked in kind of slow, expecting them to inform us...
10 Best Tapas in Barcelona

10 Best Tapas in Barcelona

I love food, it’s no secret.  Spain, and in particular Barcelona, is one of my favorite places to eat.  This is due in large part to the availability of tapas.  I just love the concept of these small plates of Spanish food, which allow me not only to snack throughout the day, but also to try many different dishes in one sitting. The concept of tapas has evolved over the years.  It once was the case that a tapa came free with a drink.  It was small morsel of food placed on a drink coaster, which was then placed on top of the drink, to keep the flies out.  Oh how times have changed.  Although there are still areas of Spain where tapas are complimentary with the purchase of a drink this is much harder to find when it comes to tapas in Barcelona.  The same is true for tapas in Madrid too.  And, from simple morsels of food to complex tapas, it is now possible to find elaborate tapas bars, with truffles and other luxury ingredients to fancy up the concept of tapas. For me, though, the simple tapas in Barcelona remain my favorite.  Costing as little as two or three Euros, and served alongside a two Euro glass of cava, the Spanish sparkling wine, you can see why I enjoy eating in Spain so much. My List of The 10 Best Tapas in Barcelona Patatas Bravas One of the most universal and widely known of the tapas in Barcelona, and throughout Spain.  Fried chunks of potatoes with bravas sauce, which generally includes a tangy tomato style sauce,...
Getting the Meat Sweats at La Rueda in Barcelona

Getting the Meat Sweats at La Rueda in Barcelona

Kilos of meat finished in what seemed like 10 minutes flat. Click To Tweet Eric is his father’s son in one very important way – 3 square meals a day and dinner is meat, potatoes, and a veg.  It is something I had to get used to when we started dating in college.  At that point, my typical dinner was chips, salsa, and diet a coke.  Or, sometimes I would make myself a rice-a-roni.  That was as complicated a meal as I would cook. Eric, though, needs his three meals a day, and still needs a full lunch.  So, after a few days eating in Barcelona, where we ate very well, but ate only tapas, Eric was in need of a big meal, a full meal.  On Sunday, we wandered around looking for a decent menu del dia, normally an appetizer, entree, vegetables, dessert, wine, and coffee for about 10 Euros.  Eric was practically begging me to find him a large plate of meat.  He needed a full sized meal. Until you have traveled in Europe, you have no idea how hard it is to eat or do anything on a Sunday.  While wondering around the Gracia neighborhood of Barcelona, looking for a menu del dia, on a Sunday, when most places are closed, we came across what seemed like an oasis – a collection of three restaurants at an intersection, and all were OPEN!!! La Rueda Barcelona – an Oasis In this little Nirvana of Sunday food, one place stood out from the crowd: an Uruguayan restaurant called La Rueda.  All Eric saw were piles of meat on...
When to Eat in Spain

When to Eat in Spain

This was our fourth trip to Spain, and still, after all of these visits, we can’t seem to figure out what to eat when.  There are these rules about when to eat in Spain that I just can’t wrap my head around. I know the Spaniards eat dinner late, like 10pm or later.  It is part of the reason why tapas are so popular, they are almost like an appetizer.  Or, you can have tapas for lunch.  There is still a tradition of siesta, although I am not sure how many people actually go home to sleep.  It is more likely that restaurants and shops will just close during the afternoon for a few hours.  We tended to sleep the first few days after we arrived in Barcelona due to jet lag, but Eric was struggling with sleeping from 5-7 pm, and then heading out for tapas at 8pm.  He just could not wake up and was groggy at night.  How do they do it, eating that late? I also know that on a Sunday cities and towns across Europe come to a stand still.  There are often a few places open, but it is quiet! The rules on when to eat in Spain are complex, but I thought I understood them. I seemed, though, to have forgot these important rules during this last trip to Barcelona, and here was what ended up happening. When to Eat in Barcelona First off, when we finished our walking Barcelona food tour with Devour Barcelona, we were in need of a little more food, a glass of wine, and more important, a...
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