Some of the most famous “Barris” or neighborhoods in Barcelona are El Borne, El Gotico, Gracia, Barceloneta, or Eixample. One that has a questionable negative reputation is El Raval, a personal favorite of mine. Not only is it an absolutely perfect location to witness an ethnic melting pot in Barcelona, it is a very grungy, bohemian and even hip place to live, especially if you are a poor student in your 20’s trying to survive on a budget. Although my list could be endless, today in this article by ShBarcelona, I share a few special spots in El Raval that have completely captivated me.
Related article: Cheapest Accommodation in Raval
Plaça del Pedro/ Carrer de Sant Anotoni Abat
One morning I woke up to meet a friend ar Plaça del Pedro, around 7:45 a.m. The plaza was empty, except for the pigeons and early risers commuting to work. I could hear the sounds of people waking up and starting their daily routine, the sound of coffee machines working overtime, and the overwhelming smell of bread baking in preparation for the impending baguette and croissant orders. Seeing the daylight break on this normally bustling plaza changed my view of Raval forever.
There are cheap little cafes in the square where you can get either breakfast or wonderful lunch menus, fruit and vegetable markets, and a central fountain where I usually practice one of my favorite pastimes: people watching.
The street connected to this plaza, Carrer de Sant Antoni Abat, is where I love to do all my produce and special bargain grocery shopping. For starters, I live in Pedralbes, which is one of the most expensive areas in Barcelona. Therefore, I am qualified to say that groceries are notably more expensive there. While in Raval, I bought about 500g of fresh cherries, 3 perfect tomatoes, 1 large avocado and 1 large cucumber, and the total cost was 2.49€. I decided to do the same in Pedralbes for comparative purposes, and the total was 5.95€.
The Super Awami is one of my favorite places to get dried fruits, nuts, spices, and because I am American, peanut butter. I have yet to find better quality products for such a cheap price. Whenever I buy nuts and fruits from there, I always buy them in bulk because I can’t find anything that cheap in my area.
Related article: Cool Shops in Raval
Plaça de Joaquin Costa/ Carrer dels Angels
Joaquin Costa is, in my personal opinion, one of the loveliest plazas in all of Barcelona. There are always scattered people of different ethnicities enjoying the local feel and ambiance of the plaza. There you will find people outside enjoying the vegetarian
There you will find people outside enjoying the vegetarian cuisine and afternoon vermouths on the terrace at Vegetalia, locals enjoying coffee and empanadas in the windowsill-seats at Komo en Kasa, or tranquil smokers puffing away their lunch breaks on the benches by the plaza fountain. On Carrer dels Angels you will find the best, and cheapest, mojitos and margaritas at
On Carrer dels Angels you will find the best, and cheapest, mojitos and margaritas at Rosa Raval, the best Vietnamese food at Bun Bo (1€ cheaper in Raval than in El Gotico), and some of the best vegan and vegetarian food in the city at Veggie Garden.
The best time of day to enjoy these plazas is either in the early morning before the streets turn into a chaos, or in the early evening where you can witness possibly every ethnic group living their daily lives in Barcelona.
Have you discovered El Raval yet?