Curious Pear brunch Barcelona

Believe it or not, Barcelona is fast becoming the brunch capital of Europe, with places to graze the weekend away cropping up in every corner of the city. While the Catalan tradition of a large Sunday afternoon meal remains as alive as ever, it seems that the younger generations have caught on to the pleasures of weekend brunching. So if you’re planning a trip there soon, you may want to eliminate your traditional breakfast-lunch routine and opt instead for a mid-morning feast at one of these delectable dining spots. Armed with our iPhones and conspiring to make all of our friends drool with jealousy, we hunted down the most Instagram-friendly brunch destinations Barcelona had to offer.

BRUNCH AND CAKE Airy, white and whimsical, Brunch and Cake has managed to stay within the boundaries of the sweet and innocent without edging into the trite. This bright café, with its bunches of flowers and communal tables, serves the city’s best baked goods, stacks of pancakes and freshly squeezed orange juice.

MILK Decked out in the threadbare, muted fashion of a 1970s London bar, Milk is open from 9AM until 2AM, serving comfort food like chicken wings and steak sandwiches alongside cocktails well into the night. But it’s their ‘recovery brunches’ that lure pallid punters through the doors to forage on their giant fry-ups, tortillas and eggs florentine with wholesome fruit smoothies. Given that Milk is as popular today as it was when it opened almost a decade ago, the Irish couple that run it are clearly well versed in the art of nursing a hangover.

CARAVELLE Once inside Caravelle, it is easy to forget that you are in the centre of one of Europe’s busiest cities and not in some breezy waterside café in Sydney. This Australian-run spot lies in the heart of the newly renewed El Raval district, and beholds all of the laidback charm of the area itself. Grab a bench seat at the open front of the restaurant and order from the charming list of freshly baked muffins, french toast with camembert, giant burrata and homemade granola. They also take their coffee seriously, and every cup is brewed to perfection.

FEDERAL This place is always heaving, and for good reason. Run by Australians, Federal steals its name from a tiny town in New South Wales, and has become the city’s choice meeting place for clusters of hungry weekenders. On sunny days the window seats, balconies and roof terraces fill up, and plates of smashed avocado on sourdough, quinoa with almond milk and poached fruit, and baked eggs are piled high on every table. The food is delicious and the colourful variety of shakes and smoothies, as well as their perfect coffee, dreamily accompany it. Every local will tell you that this is by far the coolest spot in town, yet the character of the place remains pleasantly unpretentious.

PICNIC I have this café to thank for pulling me firmly out of the depths of Sunday-morning fatigue with their plain but punchy coffee concoctions and a plate of smoked salmon on rye with finely sliced radish, rocket and lemon. The menu is full of dressed-up brunch classics like fried green tomatoes with feta and corn salsa, french toast with peanut butter sauce, quinoa hash browns and even an Israeli clementine couscous. The bar is embellished with curiosities such as, skulls, framed butterflies, seashells and oriental vases, while the calm blues and greys of the interior lend the place a casual elegance.

TARANNA It is impossible to walk past Taranna without going in. Inside and out it is washed in a deep emerald green, all of the tables have pots of wild flowers and candles on them, one wall is even covered entirely in tiles from the Paris metro. Although it matches its contemporaries in style and homeliness, Taranna doesn’t offer quite as extensive a brunch menu as the others on this list. But if you’re looking for a good slice of cake and a big, strong coffee in beautiful surroundings, this is your place.

GRANJA PETITBO The sight of a couple lying in each other’s arms on the window-sofa sipping tea from glasses was enough to coax us through Granja Petitbo’s giant warehouse doors. High, cracked walls, scrolls of world map, old leather sofas, crates of bright fruits and hanging bare light bulbs (not quite as overdone in Barca as they are in London) lend it the essence of a Brooklyn warehouse conversion. The weekend brunch menu is full of delights such as oatmeal with almonds and peaches, eggs with bacon and parmesan, and custom made smoothies. This is a place to pick your seat and stay put, possibly until closing time…

MAKAMAKA Admittedly, not everyone would consider a cheeseburger as a brunch delicacy. But if you’re unwilling to allow last night’s festivities to end, then a trip to Makamaka is essential. Drag yourself in here on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and let the outright jauntiness of the bar staff nurse your woes with strong Bloody Mary’s, loud music and the best burgers in the city.

Photos by Issy Croker, Words by Meg Abbott, follow them both on @thecuriouspear

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