Barcelona. It never was my favourite Spanish city but it still makes me smile wherever I come here. I don’t breathe here, I ingest. I don’t walk, I hover a few metres over ground enjoying the scent of the air, Spanish meals, the language which surrounds me, the walks by Barceloneta. Spain will always be close to my heart and I can’t imagine what can possible change that. But this time we have a mission on our trip to Barcelona.. We’re looking for best confectioneries in Europe! We already visited Paris to find out about that (the list of confectioneries is available here!) and learn about the best éclairs in the world. In Barcelona we’re checking who’s got better cakes – France or Spain?
Our absolute favourite which must have ended on the top of our list of confectioneries in Barcelona. Even though I’m aware of the fact that there are others which are more popular, have longer traditions and more valued chefs, this is the place that literally blew us away – La Patisserie Barcelona. It’s modern, fresh, heavenly tasting with cakes that are amazingly designed – one looks like a giant cherry while the other seems like colourful ice cream in a cone. They look amazing and you want them all. And when you realise that the cone is made from chocolate… you know you suddenly found yourself in heaven. What to eat in La Patisserie Barcelona.? Pretty much everything!
Great soury mojito, fruity, chocolate and vanilla. Something for everybody. La cereza is absolutely mind-blowing – with its looks, flavour and a play on textures. Velvet La Rosa de Sant Jordi looks incredible too. Mojito and Pasion are refreshing. Vanilla is sweet.
Josep Maria Rodríguez Guerola is the ruler of this paradise. He’s about 30 and that may be the reason of the freshness in his cakes. He used to learn his skills at Hoffman’s and Oriol Balaguer and work in Michelin star restaurants as well as in famous Fauchon in Paris. In 2011 he and his team won a championship in Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie and a year later he opened his own place. And he’s best at what he does!
Where is La Patisserie Barcelona?. Well it’s not the kind of a confectionery you accidentally pop into while walking La Rambla or visiting one of Gaudi’s monuments. In order to get to La Patisserie Barcelona you have to walk for a while or ride a bike but IT’S SO WORTH IT!
1) Carrer Aragó 228
2) Via Augusta 166
Ask anybody who knows a thing about confectioner’s trade about popular spots in Spain or Barcelona and he’ll surely tell you to go to BUBÒ. They opened their first location in 2005 and has continued to expand ever since with a franchise opened in Kuwait in 2012!
It’s best to try the place on Carrer de les Caputxes right next to the impressive Santa Maria del Mar church. The place is large and apart from cakes it offers various types of croissants, sweet buns, pralines, truffles and other sweet wonders they produce. As for cakes, chocolate Xabina (pictured above) turned out to be the most interesting along with Charlotte de mango and pressec (4.40 euro) which combined my favourite flavours: coconut with mango and passion fruit mousse. For a quick moment, even though I was sitting in the street of Barcelona, I drifted to Bangkok – it reminded me of mango sticky rice so much. Xabina (4.60 euro) was awarded “The best chocolate cake in the world” in 2005 and after 10 years it’s still amazing. A classic that always works (chocolate!) here combined with an intriguing bottom: a biscuit infused with olive oil and spices.
Bubo is currently one of Barcelona’s and Born district’s landmarks. A visit to the confectionery can easily be included in your sightseeing plan, especially if you’re planning a visit to famous Santa Maria del Mar cathedral. If you ever read “Cathedral by the Sea” by Ildefons Falcones you’ll surely pay a visit!
Carles Mampel is the boss at bubò. He’s a Catalonian confectioner who has been awarded many times in Spain and worldwide too. A place you simply cannot miss.
1) Carrer de les Caputxes 10 – there you will find both the confectionery and a small tapas bar
2) Bubo Boulevard na Passeig de Gracia 55 – much less appealing in our opinion. Located in a shopping mall.
Escriba means tradition and it must be the oldest confectionery of Barcelona which has been in top ten for years. Located on Rambla 83, it’s been there since 1906 while the brand was conceived back in 1820. You’ll surely pass the place on your way from Plaza Catalunya through Barcelona’s main footpath to Columbus monument and further down to Barceloneta.
In Escriba we go for a cheesecake (4.90 euro) since it looks gorgeous hidden in white chocolate along with shiny Postre L’illa (4.90 euro) – a magnificent nut cream with milk chocolate and crispy bottom made from caramelised nuts. The cake was nice and light in texture while the bottom was pleasantly crispy. Best shot! The cheesecake is not worth it – I know better ones in Warsaw, will be happy to provide you directions 🙂
part from cakes Escriba offers pralines, colourful macarons (as you can see, they’re everywhere!), ice cream and plenty of other baked goods which we see is something typical for Spanish confectioneries.
1) Rambla 83
2) Gran Via de Cortes Catalanes 546 – a combination of a bakery, an ice cream shop and a confectionery
Oriol Balaguer is another great name in European confectioner’s trade. He won numerous awards with first ones (such as an award for best dessert in Spain) coming as soon as 1997. Last year Balaguer’s croissant was named the best croissant in Spain. Josep Maria Rodriguez Guerola, the owner of La Patisserie Barcelona learned from him. Balaguer is a whole company: he publishes books, teaches, conducts workshops and gives lectures.
We visit his little shop on Sant Gregori Taumaturg square, not so far from La Patisserie Barcelona – you can check out both spots in one go. It’s right before siesta but we still manage to get a really tasty raspberry cake. We give up on croissants, even though they are probably worth trying too! Chocolate bombones shaped into cocoa seeds look beautiful – some of them also decorate cakes (see above).
If you have more time, go for the shop on Travessera de les Corts, that’s where the production plant is, the confectionery is larger and has more in stock.
1) Pl. Sant Gregori Taumaturg 2
2) Travessera de les Corts 340
Słodkości Balaguera można znaleźć również w Madrycie lub w Reus oraz w innych krajach jak choćby w Niemczech, Australii, USA, Hong Kongu czy ZEA. Pełną listę znajdziecie TU.
You will also find Balaguer’s sweets in Madrid or Reus as well as in other countries such as Germany, Australia, USA, Hong Kong or UAE. The full list is available HERE.
Hofmann is yet another cult spot when it comes to confectioner’s trade in Barcelona. In contrast to other places it’s not modern at all. While others are black and colourful, here it’s light and a bit unspoilt. The counter with various types of croissants is absolutely spectacular but when we pay a visit on Wednesday before noon, there’s not that many cakes to try. I also don’t like the fact that there are no descriptions but I love the one that imitates a coconut shell. Nice idea and cool flavour combination!
Hofmann is not only a confectionery but also several restaurants, a culinary school and courses.
WHERE: Carrer dels Flassaders 44
In the end we pop into Takashi Ochiai on Comte d’Urgell 110. Ochiai’s confectionery has been located here since 1983.The master confectioner here, Takashi came to Catalonia from Japan in 1980. Even though he already practised confectioner’s trade in Japan, he decided to study the art for 5 years in Belgium and Great Britain in order to learn how it’s done in Europe. However, Ochiai turned out to be quite disappointing. We expected a large selection and cakes reminiscent of Asian flavours / products like in Paris at Sadaharu Aoki’s. Maybe it was a wrong day? Ochiai seems quite popular so I guess we have to come back another day!
Like in w Paris, in Barcelona we stayed in a flat booked via HomeToGo. This time we did not eat breakfasts at home though even though that’s one of the biggest advantages (I already wrote about other pros of renting apartments HERE). You know how it is if there’s a tapas bar with CALAMARI sandwiches nearby (!!!) 🙂 I’l; write about the food in Barcelona soon!
*the entry was written in cooperation with HomeToGo