The best brunch in Barcelona

The best brunch in Barcelona

Jessica Benavides Canepa

Until recently, brunch wasn’t an activity generally associated with the Catalan capital. But in a culture that reveres long, lingering meals, one has to wonder why it has taken this long to catch on. Whatever the reason, this foreign export has grown quasi-exponentially from a few cafés offering eggs at the weekend to a wide vary of eateries – ranging in style from buffet to DIY to edible hangover cures – serving savoury brunches for all appetites, several times a week. Hungry yet? Here is a tempting sampling of the best places for brunch in Barcelona.

The Juice House

From design to dining, ‘clean is cool’ seems to be the mantra for The Juice House, a chic urban eatery on Barcelona’s foodie Parlament street. The décor exudes artistic harmony; from its one part brick and one part distressed wall adorned with mural artwork, to its natural woods and plants, this hipster hangout for brunch in Barcelona oozes a chillax vibe. For veggie brunches, Venezuelan-born owners Daniela and Luz offer only the freshest ingredients, lovingly served with energy-boosting juices. The oven-cooked eggs made from “happy hens” are a must or if sweet is your swing, create your own oats and chia pancakes with delish add-ons including indulgent vegan nutella. Go on, you only live once.

Juice House | Photo: Bea Schulze

Juice House | Photo: Bea Schulze

La Esquina

British expats chef Alan Stewart and coffee connoisseur Louis Gill make a formidable team at La Esquina (The Corner); a comfy space boasting high ceilings, natural wood furnishing and soft lighting, just minutes from the city’s hectic heart, Plaça Catalunya. If at first glance you aren’t convinced this place for brunch in Barcelona is as serious about its coffee as its cooking, then perhaps the baby blue La Marzocco resting atop the counter space will surely seal the deal. For a tasty treat, try the poached eggs with goat cheese, avocado, dill and a piping cup of quality coffee (do I smell Nomad Coffee?) conveniently served any time of day.

Brunch & Cake

In a warm and naturally lit space reminiscent of grandma’s charming country breakfast nook, Brunch & Cake serves generous artisanal portions of brunch’s usual suspects including pancakes and waffles albeit with an organic touch. Grab a seat surrounded by the season’s most vibrant flowers and tuck into savoury bites such as a green bagel with ricotta, wild mushrooms, Iberian ham and scrambled eggs or banana matcha pancakes adorned with pears, pistachios and vegan strawberry sauce. For those in the mood for unconventional flavour pairings, try the quinoa burger on a raisin bun with a side of yams, guacamole, cheese and hummus.

Ugot | Photo: Bea Schulze

Ugot | Photo: Bea Schulze

Ugot

Considered one of the best places for brunch in Barcelona, this retro venue’s name means ‘cake’ in Hebrew, paying tribute to both the owner’s heritage and the scrumptious pastries made daily on the premises. Resembling a British teahouse with a kooky twist – the flamingo wallpaper, vintage frames and mismatched teapots are divine – Adi Nachshon conceptualized Ugot as an inviting space for brunching at leisure. Try a traditional Israeli shakshuka, consisting of a pair of organic eggs sizzled with tomato, onions and red peppers or the Balkan version, which adds eggplant and goat cheese. Wash it down with freshly squeezed juice, a selection of teas and of course, a heavenly slice of the day’s cake special.

Federal Café

One of the buzziest cafés in the Sant Antoni district (a second location has since opened in Gothic area), Aussie-owned Federal Café boasts three cosy floors of brunch in Barcelona goodness. The first level offers visitors communal-style dining in an airy, homey setting, the second, minimalist walled-in benches some of which overlook the street and the third is a zen terrace complete with eye-pleasing flora. Order up freshly baked pastries, healthy cereals and free-range eggs prepared every which way (benedict is a popular choice) with a host of inventive toast spreads including vegemite and macadamia pesto for more adventurous taste buds.

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