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Word of Mouth



Starting April 24, American Airlines will offer direct service to Barcelona from New York’s JFK Aiport. We think there’s no better way to introduce you to this Spanish city than to ditch the guidebook and let a few famous locals show you around.

Global traveler that you are, you surely have favorite places in all the cities you visit. Why not share them with others? Send us an e-mail with your picks at favorites@americanwaymag.com,
or go to www.americanwaymag.com/favorites.



Ty Thorpe

Barcelona is a place where artistic natures are drawn out of us. For my photographic art, being near Barcelona’s graffiti walls of honor — viewing the most incredible graffiti artwork the world has ever seen and watching the artists at work — drives my artistic compulsion. Graffiti experts from around the world gather at certain times of the day. Artists seek this spot as the ultimate trophy ... and enjoy onlookers while they work.”

Matthew Tree
Award-winning writer
and novelist

“Get to Quimet & Quimet, in the Poble Sec district, just before [noon]. Every conceivable type of drink is served here, from 50-odd brands of whiskey to exclusively obscure imported beers and a limitless range of wines tucked away in the many glass cabinets that line the walls. Quality mollusks are a specialty, as is the unique house vermouth that’s served on draught — once a common practice and now done only by the Quimet family. [It’s] to mass-market brands as silk is to sackcloth.”

Ferran Adrià
Chef, El Bulli

“A great place to nosh is Bar Pinotxo. [You’ll find] the owner behind the bar — and he’s the soul of the place. Inopia offers classic tapas that are of fine quality. It’s run by my brother Alberto, so I feel at home there. Drink traditional cocktails on the boulevards of Barcelona at Boadas, or, for the most modern in mixology but a very comfortable ambience, try Dry Martini.”

Georgia Taglietti
Publicist for the Sónar Festival, Barcelona’s international festival of advanced music and multimedia art

“I love to stroll in El Born and have a coffee in the many cafés of the area. [This is also where you’ll find] the best clothing shops in town for new designers in Spanish and non-Spanish trendy looks. [The stores] are exclusive but not necessarily too expensive. Creations with a twist. My favorites are: Coquette, Dou16, Zsu Zsa, Como Agua de Mayo, and La Manual Alpargatera — the oldest manufacturers of alpargatas [espadrilles], a must-have if you visit the city.”

Borja Martínez
Graphic designer, LoSiento

“Pop into the olive-oil-experts’ shop L’Olivé. Everything is made with extra-virgin olive oil, and it smells great. At Helena Rohner, [you can] find all kinds of funny gadgets for the home. ... Buy authentic sweets at Papabubble, a unique sweets workshop near Paseo de Colón. And Ras [has] new books on design and architecture, as well as fashion magazines.”

Richard Schweid
Editor, Barcelona

“I think the recently discovered and restored ninth-century synagogue [Sinagoga Mayor] in the heart of the city’s medieval ghetto is worth a visit. Miguel Iaffa, an Argentine immigrant, realized that a rubble-fi lled building deep in the Old City had been the center of worship for medieval Jews. He bought it and restored it. In January 2006, a fi ve-year-old Torah — the holy scrolls — was installed on the premises, reconsecrating the site.”

Eva Bertran
Executive vice president,
Freixenet USA

“If I had an afternoon in Barcelona, I would concentrate on El Born and La Ribera — the heart of medieval Barcelona. Centered around the Església de Santa Maria del Mar, it has great walking streets, shops, restaurants, and bars. Next to [the cathedral] is the Fossar de les Moreres, an old burial ground that has an inscription commemorating the heroes who died defending Barcelona from the French invasion in 1714. There is also a large concentration of cocktelerias in the area; one of my favorites is Miramelindo. For places to eat, try El Xampanyet, Comerç 24, and Cal Pep.”

Miqui Puig
Rock singer and DJ

“I should keep the secrets for myself — to preserve my paradises. ... But in the most popular barrio is, for 15 years now, Wah Wah Records, the best vinyl store in the city and, you can say, the world. Imagine an artist, an album, a song, and a color, and everything can be there. Ask Jordi, Shaki, or Zero for help while the store cat passes between your legs. Then take a visit to the best jazz club, three streets over, and enjoy the Jamboree, and you will understand why we love to live here.”


Artistic director,
Sant Cugat

“[Take a] walk down the Ramblas from Plaça Catalunya to the Hotel Rivoli’s Blue Moon for a mouthwateringly delicious cocktail that’s prepared and served by Eddy Collins. ... Across the Plaça Sant Jaume (St. James’ Square) and down Sant Honorat street is the Hostal el Pintor, with a wide range of great dishes such as cod with honey, pine-seeds, and raisins, or the black rice. And a great wine list! For a theater visit, check out the Poliorama or the Calixto Bieito–programmed Romea, with their always-interesting shows, or, alternatively, Poble Sec’s Avinguda Paral.lel, described in the early twentieth century as Barcelona’s Montmartre.”

Here's a list of contact information for all the places mentioned in this article:

Bar Pinotxo (Pinocchio)
Mercat de la Boquería
La Rambla 91, Paradas 66-67

Carrer dels Tallers 1

Cal Pep
Plaça de les Olles 8

Comerç 24
Carrer del Comerç 24

Como Agua de Mayo
Carrer de l¹Argenteria 43

Carrer del Rec 65

Carrer del Doctor Dou 16

Dry Martini
Carrer d¹Aribau 162-166

El Xampanyet
Carrer de Montcada 22

Església de Santa Maria del Mar (and Fossar de les Moreres)
Carrer dels Sombrerers 6

Helena Rohner jewelry and home decor
Carrer de l¹Espaseria 13

Hostal El Pintor
Carrer de Sant Honorat 7

Hotel Rivoli Ramblas/Blue Moon Cocktail Bar
La Rambla 128
011-34-93-481-7 676

Carrer de Tamarit 104

Jamboree jazz club
Plaça Reial 17

La Manual Alpargatera
Carrer Avinyó 7

Carrer de Balmes 47

Passeig del Born 15

Carrer Ample 28

Quimet & Quimet
Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes 25

Ras gallery & bookstore
Carrer del Doctor Dou 10

Teatre Romea
Carrer de l¹Hospital 51

Teatro Poliorama
Rambla dels Estudis 115

Sinagoga Mayor de Barcelona
Carrer de Marlet 5
011-34-93-317-07 90

Wah Wah Records
Carrer de Riera Baixa 14


Walls of honor
Located next to Placa de la Carbonera on Passeig de Josep, near the side street Jardins de Walter Benjamin (a few blocks from the bottom of Las Ramblas). 

Zsu Zsa
Carrer de l¹Esparteria 16