Articles in ‘Shops’

Where to buy English books in Bareclona

March 16th, 2010

These days, Barcelona has a good selection of bookshops selling books in English.

Hibernian Bookshop – C. Montseny 17, Tel.  932 174 796. The city’s only second-hand English book shop

La Central Raval– C. Elisabets 6, Tel. 902 884 990. One of my favourite shops in Barcelona. In an old convent. Good selection of English and history books. See also La Central C. Mallorca 237, Tel. 902 884 990, 

Come in C. Balmes 129, bis, Tel. 93 453 12 04/93 453 18 06 Specialised English bookshop number 1

BCN books Roger de Llúria 118, Tel. 93 457 7692,  Specialised English bookshop number 2. Both good

Laie C. Pau Claris 85, Tel. 933 027 310, Lovely shop with English selection in modernist building

And special mention to Oryx. The best natural history bookshop anywhere in Europe with huge selection in English, Spanish and Catalan. Good selection of scopes, binoculars, feeders and other wildlife gear too. Great for browsing away on a rainy day. A personal favourite.

And another special mention to Altair, possibly the best travel bookshop in the world. Hundreds of titles in English. Another fave of mine.

See also FNAC shops ( and Casa del Libro www.casadellibro

Bulls’ penises and testicles

May 14th, 2009

Photos of a stall selling the delicacies of bull’s penises and testicles (criadillas in Spanish, turmes in Catalan) at La Boqueria market. I’ve had the latter on several occasions. They are not unpleasant.




Secondhand books in Barcelona

April 24th, 2009

Hibernian Books is the biggest -and as far as I know with the demise of Elephant Books- the only secondhand English Bookshop in Barcelona. They claim to stock 30,000 titles. They have a very small section of new books.

  • Address C/Monseny 17, Gràcia. Metro Fontana.
  • Opening times: Monday: 16:00 to 20:30, Tuesday to Saturday: 10:30 to 20:30

Website here

The last dairy of Barcelona

April 23rd, 2009

I love the idiosyncrasy of many of the small shops in Barcelona. One of my recent favourites is a lovely little shop selling dairy products in the centre of Gràcia, in Carrer Torrijos, just up from the market. The establishment was last functioning dairy (vaquería) in Barcelona. Changes in public health laws took away the cows some 25 years ago, but the old livestock stalls can still be seen today amongst the clutter of the shopkeeper’s storeroom. Many Barcelonans over thirty odd can still remember going  with their mothers to buy milk fresh from the udder right in the centre of the city. In my mind, the place should be protected as part of the city’s heritage, but is under threat from the owners of the building.

The best bakeries in Barcelona

April 5th, 2009

Good bread used to be hard to across in Barcelona but in recent years things have improved significantly with a plethora of artesan, eco and tradional bakeries opening up.

The Catalan version of Time Out in Barcelona this week published this list of its favourite bakeries in Barcelona with a write-up on each one. Here are the top ten:

10. Forn de l’avinguda
Av. Mistral, 60. Telf.: 93 325 52 44

09. Forn d’en Pere
Sants, 326. Telf.: 93 440 14 36

08. Escribà
Gran Via, 546. Telf.: 93 454 75 35

07. Crustó
València, 246. Telf.: 93 487 05 51

06. La Trinitat
Pl. Trinitat, 13-14. Telf.: 93 345 36 78

05. Mistral
Ronda Sant Antoni, 96. Telf.: 93 301 80 37

04. Balmes
Balmes, 156. Telf.: 93 218 07 10

03. Barcelona-Reykjavic
Doctor Dou, 12 i Astúries, 20. Telf.: 93 302 09 21

02. Baluard
Baluard, 38-40. Telf.: 93 221 12 08

And the winner:

01 Turris
Aribau, 158. Telf.: 93 217 96 06

Per als amants del bon pa, entrar a Turris és la perdició absoluta. Només posar-hi els peus, la vista salta d’un producte a l’altre sense acabar-se de decidir entre la vintena de pans que s’hi poden trobar i les glàndules salivals del panarra comencen a actuar de manera automàtica. I és que la qualitat guia en Xavier Barriga, fi ll de forners badalonins que va voltar món abans d’instal·lar-se a l’Eixample barceloní ara fa poc més d’un any. L’èxit del seu negoci ha estat absolutament aclaparador gràcies a uns pans fets amb tot l’amor on tots els elements apareixen en perfecta harmonia. Un dels productes més venuts de la casa és el Turris, un pa de crosta gruixuda i molla humida, fresca i un punt àcida que remet directament als pans “d’abans”, fins i tot si el record és molt llunyà o ja inexistent. Si compreu un pa Turris, us costarà 5,20 euros/kg.

Pakistani baker

March 22nd, 2009


My favourite Pakistani baker’s in Barcelona. Excellent meat samosas, Tikeyas and spicy chicken rolls, along woth sickly sweet delicious Arab and Asian sweets.

Address: Calle Hosiptal.

Reggae record shop in Barcelona

March 19th, 2009

If reggae’s your thing, check out Rimshot Records (Gignas, 30) the only specialist reggae store as far as I know in Barcelona. Good selection of new releases and back catalogue and info from the guy who runs the store on what’s going on in town reggae-wise and how to get there.

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