Tara Steven's reviews some great new places in an old barrio
The new Ravalites
The Raval clearly is a barrio on the up. Despite all the austerity measures the last six months of so have seen, a myriad of new places have sprung up ranging from groovy bars and hipsters boutiques, to places to eat and drink. What they have in common is that they are all laid-back, accessibly-priced little places that ooze a sense of community.
Satan’s Coffee Corner (www.facebook.com/SatansCoffeeCorner) is run by local barrista Marcos (formerly at Federal Café) who sources his beans from El Magnifico and sells coffee off a tiny counter-top that occupies one small corner of a shop selling everything from groovy wrapping paper to vintage shirts. Instead of the ubiquitous menu of world coffees, he offers one different blend every month and made the way you like it. The only seating is on a couple of stools outside – this coffee is mainly made to go – and it’s a winner. So much so that I’ve taken to making the 15 minute stroll from my flat in the morning to get one. Café con leche €1.70.
A few blocks away Caravelle (www.facebook.com/CaravelleBCN) is a new venture by Australian chef Zim Sutton and his wife Poppy Da Costa who ran a gastro pub in London before moving here a few months ago. If the space doesn't quite capture the cosy, lived-in spirit of your classic British pub – the minimal décor is more Copenhagen than Camden - the food is bang-on: solid, unpretentious yet interesting platefuls of daily changing specials like succulent homemade pork and fennel sausages on beans, hearty beetroot and lentil salads with feta and a top-notch panko-Parmesan crusted rabbit with corn. Sunday brunch meanwhile has become a must for the cool kids in town. Main courses from €8.50.
And so to Suculent (www.suculent.com) in the increasingly hip Rambla del Raval where chefs Aramando Anta, Javier Cotoruelo and Carles Abellán have created this retro foodie hang-out. The old bodega has been left largely as it was, keeping the tatty Catalan tiles and adding a few chunky wooden tables to match a menu of carefully sourced Spanish products like Maldonado jamóns and Can Rovira charcuterie alongside tapas and rib-stickers like sausage and cuttlefish meatballs, and that Delta Ebro favourite all i pebre (eel stewed in garlic and pepper). It’s already gained a loyal following so booking is essential. Around €25 for a couple of shared dishes and a glass of wine.