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Tapas bar and design store Moritz. Photo: Moritz Barcelona
Tapas bar and design store Moritz. Photo: Moritz Barcelona

Sant Antoni – the place to eat and drink in Barcelona

When you hear of a trendy new bar or eatery opening in Barcelona, you can bet it’s in Sant Antoni. The neighborhood, something of a cultural wasteland just a few years ago, is now home to an unparalleled number of brunch spots and tapas joints – as well as three Michelin-starred restaurants.

Sant Antoni, right on the border of the rough-around-the-edges Raval district, is a small triangular neighborhood situated in a tiny corner of Barcelona’s sprawling Eixample district.

The barrio of Sant Antoni owes its current popularity to two main factors: First, the rise of Barcelona’s No. 1 foodie strip along an Calle Parlament and second, the fact that celebrity chef brothers Ferran and Albert Adrià chose the then unfashionable district for their new string of restaurants. They now run six restaurants in the barrio, three of which (Tickets, Pakta, and, most recently, Hoja Santa) have been awarded a Michelin star.

Another culinary revolution started with a brunch spot called Federal Café, set up by two Australians who wanted to bring that cool, healthy Australian hipster vibe to Barcelona. Soon Federal Café had become so popular that there were lines outside. And so Calle Parlament – now Barcelona’s busiest foodie strip – was born.

With trendy restaurants come cool stores, such as the uber-hip menswear store Trait Store that is also on Calle Parlament.

Fàbrica Moritz

Set in a restored brewery showcasing more than 150 years of beer-making history, Fàbrica Moritz is a combined tapas bar, event venue, and design store all in one. Pop in for some tapas, enjoy an evening of beer or wine tasting, or pick up some fun souvenirs from the own-brand M-Store.

Fàbrica Moritz

Ronda Sant Antoni 39-41, Barcelona

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Tickets

The first new restaurant opened by the world-renowned Adrià brothers after they closed El Bulli, which was considered the best restaurant in the world at the time. Tickets is an exclusive tapas bar that mixes traditional Spanish and Catalan recipes with all the culinary flair for which the Adrià name has become famous. Now one of six restaurants owned by the brothers in this part of town, Tickets remains as popular as ever. Reservations become available two months in advance, at midnight on the first day of the month, and are usually gone within about 10 minutes.

Tickets

Avenida del Parallel 164, Barcelona

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Hoja Santa

Awarded its first Michelin star in 2015, only a year after opening, Hoja Santa has taken Mexican cuisine in Barcelona to an entirely new level. And although the vibe may be laid back, there’s nothing casual about the food. Make sure you order the spectacular King Crab in pipián and cilantro, the oyster with prickly pear, and a selection of Hoja Santa’s innovative Mexican cocktails.

Hoja Santa

Avenida de Mistral, 54, Barcelona

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Federal Café

No guide to Sant Antoni would be complete without a mention of the place that blazed the trail on Calle Parlament. Back when Sant Antoni was just an unfashionable residential area, Barcelona’s hipsters started journeying to the Federal for brunch. It has remained extremely popular, especially on sunny Sundays when tables on the roof terrace are like gold dust.

Federal Café

Calle Parlament, 39, Barcelona

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Lando

There are too many trendy spots on Calle Parlament to list here, but if you’re in the market for some top-quality food and a lively atmosphere, look no further than Lando. You may have to look carefully, though, as the location just off the main strip in the tiny Passatge de Pere Calders means it’s easily missed. Stop in for some of the best ensaladilla rusa (Russian salad) and tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelet) in town.

Lando

Pass. Pere Calders, 6, Barcelona

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Text: Isabelle Kliger

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