Parents with young children often shy away from city vacations, thanks to the misconceived notion that a metropolis is nothing but swanky, high-priced eateries with a lack of child-appropriate options. We’re here to challenge this fallacy- at least for Barcelona anyway.
The Catalan capital, by nature, is a kid-friendly city. With its eclectic ensemble of Dr Seuss-like colourful houses (not to undermine the ingenious work of Gaudí), mythical creatures (thanks to Gaudí once again), it can even be compared to Disneyland! Even so, it can be tricky business finding a restaurant that pleases little taste buds, whilst fulfilling your desire to sample authentic Spanish cuisine.
That said, welcome to the newly re-opened El Jardí; a hidden oasis nestled away a stone’s throw from the Boqueria Market, in the Bohemian and quirky El Raval neighborhood. Secluded by the Medieval stone walls of the city's former hospital, this majestic spot provides pure escapism from the hustle and bustle of the nearby La Rambla. Its outside patio and seasonal tapas menu epitomizes al fresco Mediterranean dining, leaving no question as to why El Jardí is a favorite haunt amongst local families. Their varied selection of traditional dishes, from patatas bravas to tortilla de patatas, satisfy experienced tapas lovers and novices alike, thanks to their sublime assortment of fresh ingredients. What’s more, the Iberian concept of sharing multiple smaller dishes is a winner for parents struggling with fussy eaters. Feeding time complete, you can enjoy a well-deserved drink in peace (we hope), as the kids are kept entertained by the giant chess and checkers set in the garden.
Want something sweet?
Churros are Spain’s answer to donuts, and well, food heaven. Summer or winter, breakfast or late afternoon snack, there is never the right or wrong time for churros. This delightful sugary treat is the perfect way to kick start your day, or refuel in the late afternoon, and they simply don’t get any better than at Chocolatería La Nena in the neighborhood of Gracia. Pleasing sweet-toothed adults and children alike, their piping hot, freshly made churros will leave your tastebuds singing with joy, making the chocolate-smeared faces and mucky paws all the more worth it! Aside from the sweet aroma of glorious chocolate luring you in (just try and resist it), their stack of toys, books and board games will keep the kids occupied for hours, as you enjoy some of their more ‘adult’ savory options.
Carrer de l'Hospital, 56
10:30am to 12:30am Monday to Friday
12noon to 12:30am Saturdays & Sundays
**Can easily be combined with a visit to the Boqueria Market,
MACBA, the Gothic Quarter or CCCB.
Chocolatería La Nena
Carrer Ramon y Cajal, 36
8:30am to 10:30pm Monday to Friday
9:30am to 10:30pm Saturdays & Sundays
**Fits easily after a visit to the Sagrada Familia or
the Gracia neighborhood.
Sara Siddeeq: Born and raised in Buckinghamshire (England), Sara is a recent graduate from the University of Leeds. She primarily works in digital marketing and PR, however she is also a journalist in Barcelona, contributing to over half a dozen websites in the city alone.