Carrer de Parlament In some neighbourhoods there are streets you never want to end, streets filled with beautiful buildings or interesting shops, or indeed, streets filled with some of the best bars and restaurants in town. Carrer de Parlament in Sant Antoni is in the latter category. Over the past five to ten years, bars and restaurants have sprung up along it and it has now become a mecca for those who brunch, vermut, lunch, snack, dine or drink. Here is El Palauet’s guide to this very tasty street….
Els Sortidors del Parlament
C/ Parlament, 53
I must admit, I have spent quite a lot of time in Els Sortidors del Parlament, not only because it is my sister’s Friday night regular hangout (so much so they bring the rosé cava to the table as she walks in) but also because of the atmosphere, the variety of wines and beers, the quality of the food and the simplicity of it all. For me there is nothing better than cheese, bread and wine (as long as it isn’t babybell, bimbo bread and Don Simon wine…) for me the simpler the better and this is what Els Sortidors does best. A tapas menu of various Catalan cured meats, French and Spanish cheeses, salads and their own take on the ubiquitous patatas bravas is complemented by an extensive choice of international wine, with a focus on wines from Catalonia. Or, if wine isn’t really your thing why not try a beer? They have six beers on draught and many more bottled, again, international beers and also a growing selection of Catalan real ale which is becoming more and more popular amongst the beer connoisseurs. A rustic but modern interior complements the simplicity of the menu perfectly and the waiters are extremely friendly and always ready to offer advice if you simply can’t decide. An absolute pleasure, I’ll see you there on Friday night.
On the corner of Carrer del Parlament and Passatge Pere Calders (a Catalan short story writer) there is the terrace and the red shutters of Bar Calders. If you can find a space (it’s almost always full )the terrace is the perfect place to while away a warm night, with cold drinks and choosing from the menu of Mexican dishes, mini pizzas (try the one with gorgonzola, pear and caramelized onion) or bocadillos that will make your mouth water just reading the description. The relaxed atmosphere also carries on inside where small tables are joined together for groups of friends meeting up and putting the world to rights surrounded by walls covered in pages from books as an homage to the bar’s namesake. The friendly service fits perfectly with the relaxed atmosphere and, open from nine in the morning until midnight or later, it’s the perfect place to drop in at any time for a snack, a drink or something more substantial. A great place any time of the year, even more perfect in summer on the terrace.
C/ Parlament, 39
Federal Café is a little slice of Australia in the heart of Barcelona. Bringing sleek modern design and that relaxed Aussie vibe to Sant Antoni the two Australian owners have created a three story haven where large windows open out on the street to let the air circulate in the summer and a roof terrace which is an oasis of calm with tropical plants and wooden tables. The menu uses local ingredients to create international dishes, ranging from pistachio tapenade to a good old English Ploughman’s Lunch. Federal Café also serves coffee and cake throughout the day and has become famous for its weekend brunches. So grab a seat at the window and watch the world go by.
If you’ve never heard of turrón before let me give you a brief overview. Turrón is a Christmas sweet which could be compared to nougat and there are two main varieties named after their respective birthplaces; Xixona and Alicant in the province of Valencia. The Turronería Sirvent started life in the 1920s in El Raval in the 1920s having been set up by a Xixona native to sell turrón and that classic Valencian drink; horchata. In the 1940s the shop was moved to its current premises on Carrer Parlament and gone from strength to strength. Today they have a small factory in Xixona where the turrones are made and continue to serve horchata alongside ice cream and crushed ice drinks. The handmade method and exceptional quality have made the Turonería Sirvent one of the most well-known and successful places to by your Christmas sweets in the city. If you visit in December be prepared to wait a while in the queue!
Bodega Vinito stands just the other side of the terrace of Bar Calders and makes quite a first impression. The entire front of the bar is open and people spill out into the street, chatting and sampling the delights of the bodega. A few years ago it was just a traditional bodega selling a wide variety of wines and spirits by the bottle and also where you could fill up your own bottles from the barrels. Now, with the buzzing bar and restaurant scene in Sant Antoni and especially on Carrer del Parlament, the bodega has added some tables and chairs and offers a variety of mostly Spanish and Catalan wines, not to mention the ‘vermut de la casa’ and some small dishes for if you’re feeling peckish. Don’t forget to ask the barmen what they recommend as they can sometimes offer something a little different from the wines on the specials board. Enjoy!
Though the address might read Carrer de Viladomat, Tarannà is most certainly at home amongst the bars and restaurants on Carrer del Parlament. Located on the corner of those two streets Tarannà, in bottle green on the outside and simple sophistication on the inside, is a café-bar which covers all angles. Coffee and pastries or cake to wake you up in the morning or to snack on mid-afternoon are joined by dishes with an international flavour at lunch time or in the evening. These can all be washed down with a wide variety of juices, teas, beers and wines and are joined at the weekends by Tarannà’s brunch menu, offering twists on the usual mid-morning favourites. Sometimes you can find more unusual offering to accompany the wonderful food. Tarannà often hosts photography or art exhibitions, homemade markets or even one-off workshops. Choose from the relaxing atmosphere of the interior or soak in the sun on their terrace. With their menu changing seasonally Tarannà is the perfect place to enjoy any time of the year.