You may have noticed during your time in Barcelona that bakeries and pastry shops (just like hair salons, corner coffee shops and pharmacies) are a very central element of daily life here. This means that Barcelona has a huge selection of baked products for a variety of situations, and within the shops you can find different types of bakeries – luxury ones included.
Bread and sweeter bakery products play an integral role in Catalan culture – as the cliché goes, bread is extremely important in all Mediterranean countries in general. Whether you want to make simply toasted bread with tomato and olive oil, or buy a delicious piece of actual pastry art, where you buy your products and how the process is repeated daily is a big thing for many people.
In Spain the attitude to bakeries may not be as refined as for example in France, but there are still some very special places in this city. Festive pastries are a story of their own, and you will see the most elaborate windows being created for certain holidays such as Catalan festivities. With touristic life and ethics-conscious tastes getting more visible, the offer of ecological products is also huge in areas such as Gràcia.
Take the following hints for your next grocery shopping trip, or give a present that is not only edible but a piece of art!
Let’s start with the good everyday choices. A very popular and large chain of everyday bakeries is called Boldù – you will spot these shops all over town, and their cafeteria spaces serve very decent and affordable salty and sweet baked products. Boldù actually specializes in donuts, and they come in many joyful shapes according to different festivities! Santa Gloria is a good alternative and a similar everyday bakery chain. Turris is a slightly posh-feeling same type of chain, and it has a quality-based concept worth experiencing. Another everyday choice (which is communicated by the name already) is 365, a large chain of affordable baked goods. The cafeterias are a pleasant and modern setting for informal eating.
On the luxury and specialty side, there is an impressive offer as well, and some shops have reached a level comparable to food art. Mauri on Rambla de Catalunya is a more traditional one with a large selection of elaborate and festive goods, and Escribà offers a highly creative and refined modern pastry experience. This latter chain is a real heaven for those after the sweeter stuff. Farga is focused on the sweet creations, but this chain is worth checking out for its fantastic products and pleasant cafeterias.