Photo by Tara Stevens
Skate with black butter
Skate with black butter at La Pubilla
It’s a bit of a double-edged sword Christmas shopping, isn’t it? On the one hand there is something very festive about being out and about in the crowd, buying sprigs of holly and mistletoe (maybe a caganer or two if you’re going native), on the other the enormity of said crowd can be overwhelming and leave you, quite literally, running for the hills. These are a few places to rest your weary legs over an impromptu lunch or dinner.
Bun Bo (Sagristans 3, 93 301 1378, www.bunbovietnamese.com)
Tucked away on a quiet side street in the Barri Gòtic, Bun Bo serves non-stop from 1pm-midnight so you can stop by whenever you feel yourself fading. The brightly-coloured interior is cheering and their bowls of pho a perfect, light pick-me up served with ample platters of fresh herbs and chillies, wedges of lime and crunchy bean sprouts for pepping up. The goi cuon (fresh summer rolls) and Asian lettuce cups filled with spiced pork are pretty good too and portions are generous for the price. Lunch menu: €10.
La Delizia (Travessera de Gracia 28, 93 414 4951)
This is a handy pit-stop if you’ve been shopping along Diagonal. A stylish yet homey restaurant inspired by the cooking and décor of Tuscany and Provence, there’s lots to love about the place, not least a daily changing menu of tasty, unpretentious home-cooking and a cheery buzz. A recent visit produced a large Caesar salad, a pesto risotto and a dreamy berry cheesecake with a glass of wine for a not unreasonable €13.
La Pubilla (Plaça de la Llibertat 23, 93 218 2994, www.lapubilla.com)
Located directly opposite the excellent Mercat de la Llibertat, La Pubilla is a daytime only place, doesn’t take reservations and gets rammed. The only advice I can give you is to get there early for hope of a table. Décor-wise think modern canteen with food easily deserving of a slot in one of the city’s ‘bistronomias’ like leek soup with bacalao, skate with black butter on espinacas catalanas and herb ice-cream. Lunch menu: €12.50