Running through the heart of the Sant Andreu district is Rambla Fabra i Puig, a two-kilomoter stretch of shops, restaurants, bars, and cultural centers. The rambla passes through several neighborhoods including Sant Andreu and Nou Barris and several Metro stops, making it easily accessible from lines 1 and 5 from the city center. This street is lively and full of energy without the chaotic feel that the downtown area might sometimes have. Hop on the Metro and discover Rambla Fabra i Puig, a street with a little bit of everything.
Tapas and restaurants
This street stretches for over a mile and about half of the businesses along the street are restaurants or tapas bars. Needless to say, there is a huge variety of places in which you can find something to munch on. almost every restaurant has a terraza on the rambla so you can choose to eat inside or enjoy the Spanish sun outside. La Esquinica, one of the most popular tapas bars in Barcelona, is located at the upper end of the street near the Virrei Amat metro stop. Known for it’s fun atmosphere and delicious food, this restaurant is always a sure bet. Another popular locale is Txapeldun Egarri, a Basque bar that is always packed with people enjoying their wide array of traditional tapas and pintxos. The best thing to note about the restaurants found on Fabra i Puig is the diversity in cuisine. Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Turkish, it’s all there. Whatever your cravings are you will find something to keep your belly full and satisfied.
As the Fabra i Puig stretches for 2 kilometers you can imagine that you can shop until your heart’s content. There are both independent shops and commercial businesses that line the street so you are guaranteed to find whatever it is that you’re looking for. Big name stores like Pull & Bear, Springfield, and Calzedonia can be found in addition to one-of-a-kind boutiques if you’re looking to update your wardrobe for spring or summer. A cool place to check out if you are a tea-drinker is Planeta Té, a shop that sells unique teapots and almost every kind of tea that you can imagine. Similarly you can find a variety of health food stores if you’re looking to an alternative to Mercadona or Carrefour. Mom and pop bookstores, jewelry shops, and papelerías are just a few more examples of some of the places you can visit for when you’ve got the shopping bug.
Grab a drink
Take a quick shopping break and head to The New Orleans Coffee & Tea Company for a beverage and a snack. As the name suggests they offer an impressive tea and coffee menu but you can also order cocktails or drinks from the bar. Styled as an old-fashioned New Orleans bar, this is a great spot to enjoy the scenery and get yourself caffeinated. If you’re looking to take part in a true Catalan experience you can enjoy the vermut, a drink but also an experience, best on the weekend. In the hours of early afternoon before lunch you head to a bar with friends for a round of vermut, an aromatized wine, and maybe a tapa or two to snack on to hold you over until lunch. One of the best places on Fabra i Puig is La Vermuteria de Sant Andreu, on the loser end near the Fabra i Puig Metro stop. This bar offers vermouth, Catalan meats and cheeses, olives, and much more. Find a table in the sun, pour yourself a glass, and then kick back and relax. ¡Salud!