In the land of churros and chocolates – best finds in Spain

Bilbao, Spain

My first introduction to Spanish food were the croquettes I found at Nostrum – just across from Guggenheim, Bilbao and yes, there were vegetarian options – spinach and ricotta cheese or mushrooms (croquetas de champinones). And they had quite a few variants of foccacia bread as well – more of an Italian influence perhaps. Of course, it was a gelato shop Amorino that led me to Nostrum.

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– passion fruit and chocolate sorbet at Amorino

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– Nostrum, Bilbao

Barcelona,Spain:

First stop was at Cacao Sampaka (walkable from Gaudi’s Casa Batllo)- the chocolate shop listed in the ‘must visit’ places for the chocoholics.

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– Stacks of single origin bars, cocoa powder, chocolate chips and much more…

I walked straight to the cafe for the churros and chocolate. They had two options for the chocolate – bitter and milk and, needless to say, I went in for the bitter. It was like 85-90% dark chocolate melted in a cup. Honestly, the churros were a bit of a disappointment – maybe I should have tried it at a street vendor. The chocolate was rich but a tad too dark/bitter to consume a whole cup in one go.sampaka1

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– The cafe

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-churros and bitter chocolate

With time only for a quick bite, I found this tiny bakery – La Boulangerie near Sagrada Familia.

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-Zucchini and aubergine quiche with Peach juice (not in the picture) at La Boulangerie

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Doggie waiting outside hoping he gets his treat for resisting his temptation to step in.

Walking towards the Gothic Quarters from Place Reial, I was surprised to find an exclusive vegetarian restaurant – Vegetalia where I could try the vegetarian versions of traditional Spanish dishes like empanada and paella along with peach juice – something I found quite common across the city.

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-the restaurant

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-Empanada @ Vegetalia

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-Paella @ Vegetalia

Walking further down into the Gothic Quarters towards Basilica Santa Maria Del Mar you run into this tiny ice cream shop –Swiit, which was a former print shop. A quaint little place with friendly owners and amazing music. They have a playlist on Spotify – swiitbarcelona

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-Interesting seating at Swiit

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-The door

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-The gelato

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-Chocolate Sorbet – Yes, that’s chocolate with no milk and cream – as pure as you can get.

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-The view from the store

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-The owners

Random storefronts:

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Mercado de la Boqueria:

Finally, the market in La Rambla – Mercado de la Boqueria. It is a vibrant market and a great place to get something to eat or drink – the freshest juices and fruits and sea food.

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-Mercado de La Boqueria entrance from La Rambla

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– Juice stalls everywhere

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– Interesting combinations of flavors like this Berries and Coconut milk juice – actually I kind of liked it.

And a lot of food…

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And fresh from the sea…

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And chocolates, spices, and much more…

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-Nougat stores: I gave it a try, but definitely not my kind of sweet.

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And that was the flavor of Spain I managed to savour in 3 days.

 

 

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