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Photo by Sam Zucker
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With high ceilings and radiant sunlight spilling in through its large windows and wide doors, El Magraner Boig will make you forget that you are in the heart of the Raval, whilst tucking into delicious, authentic Greek cuisine. Opening just over a year ago, this pleasant restaurant is a much-needed addition to Barcelona’s Greek dining options, of which there are a paltry few.
Each table at El Magraner Boig is made from rustic wood with attractive tile inlays that add the perfect punch of colour and tradition to the overtly minimal and modern decor. Full at midday with couples and families enjoying a light, flavour-filled lunch, we were lucky to secure a sunny table in the back of the dining room, with a gentle breeze coming in through the open back doors.
The menu is broken up into ensaladilla (sauces, olives, dips and snacks), salads, tapas, mains and desserts. Some of the main dishes also come in tapa-sized portions, an offer I took advantage of when ordering a small portion of their tender kokinisto, a succulent stew of beef in red wine and tomato with a bright, minty garnish. Another favourite was the tirokafteri, a thick purée of feta cheese, Greek yoghurt, olive oil, green pepper and spicy chillies, served with hearty, toasted pitta bread. I wish I had been with a group of 10, as we could have ordered the lot and polished off more than a couple of bottles of the bright magenta, fruity-yet-dry Cretan rosé, for good measure.
Classics like moussaka and dolmadakia (grape leaves stuffed with lemon rice) share the stage with courgette fritters and tzatziki, chilled octopus in red wine vinegar and olive oil, and Arnaki Frikase, a stew of pork in an avgolemono sauce of lemon and egg. Make your meal a truly authentic affair by finishing with a little glass of ouzo anise liqueur and a frothy café frappé—a strong, but refreshing, iced coffee drink that is wildly popular on the Greek islands, made from shaken Nescafé powder with water and sugar. With Barcelona’s summer weather in full effect, the light, delectable dishes of El Magraner Boig will surely find their way into my regular rotation.
El Magraner Boig. Carrer d'En Robador 22. Tel. 93 011 8605
Opening times: Tues-Fri 7pm-12am, Sat-Sun 12pm-12am. Closed Mondays.