Right in the oldest part of town in El Gotico you will find El Federal. Run by two Australians who wanted to bring the relaxed atmosphere of ‘Down Under’ to Barcelona, this café is already the third establishment they opened after the first one in the district of Sant Antoni and later one in Madrid. Set back in a quiet part of El Gotico, Federal is the typical kind of hipster café where you can enjoy your freshly made cappuccino with heart-shaped milk foam whilst studying or working on your MacBook. And it must be said that with its big all-glass window walls that open up as soon as the sun is out, Federal does make a good working spot. Especially if you are used to the ordinary Spanish offices illuminated by fluorescent lamps and one tiny window at the end of a dark hallway.
Fresh Flowers & Poached Eggs
The interior decoration has been thought through with precision. Fresh flowers, classroom chairs, vintage tables, loads of daylight, no central bar and one big community table that allows big groups and stimulates the interaction between strangers that sit next to each other. And of course, there is loads of food, mostly fitting within the healthy type of lifestyle Federal’s clients seem to care about so much. Think of poached eggs on German brown artisanal bread, freshly pressed juices, a vast variety of teas, a tapas combination on a thick wooden board and coffees that are poured as if it were a religion. With this comfort food, Federal responds to a hype that is relatively new to Barcelona: breakfast and brunch. So expect that whenever you visit Federal on a Saturday or a Sunday, you will find loads of hung-over young people with perfectly trimmed beards, tattoos and retro jackets trying to wash away their headaches with smoothies and a serious amount of eggs. Though it does seem that a lot of foreign students and expats find their way to the café as well.
Breakfast & Brunch
Federal is evidently filling a gap in the Barcelona market by offering a proper place to have breakfast or brunch. Making it just a matter of time before the copy-and-paste entrepreneurs will join them. Since the town, or better-said Spanish and Catalan culture, lack a real going-out-for-breakfast culture; Federal without a doubt covers these needs. With already two establishments in Barcelona and two in Madrid, new cafés will open soon in both Valencia and Gerona. Though it gets packed both throughout the week with people working or studying and during the weekend with people having either breakfast or brunch, it does offer a perfectly fine alternative for the average bocadillo con chorizo y queso, making it worth the wait.