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¡HOLA CRISTO! Corders 13.
Picture this: Snow White dressed in all black, a red bandana over her nose and mouth, carrying a machine gun up an escalator with the hats of her seven dwarf accomplices lined up behind her and a bank sign in the background. That is one of Hola Cristo’s best-selling t-shirts. “The concept of the store is fun,” said co-owner Simon. “We collaborate with designers to print our own shirts, but also feature collections from France, Japan, etc.” Each shirt—the majority of which Simon admitted are geared towards men—is a comical diversion from society’s expectations. No one anticipates Cookie Monster in place of Jesus at The Last Cookie.
WAWAS. Carders 14.
Run by sisters Silvia and Anna, Wawas Barcelona is “a different souvenir shop from the ones you tend to see in the city,” as Kathleen, a visitor from Berlin, put it. Originally, the sisters were producing vintage photos of daily life as postcards and selling them in museums and other tourist outlets. Eight years ago, they decided to open their shop in Born to showcase their brand’s expanding product lines, while also giving local businesses and artists a place to display their unique souvenirs. For those of you who pride yourself on finding the most distinctive souvenirs, this is the spot to shop. Maybe you’ll take home a jamón leg pillow, hand-drawn recipes for sangría and paella, a book on Barcelona street art or a ‘be Cool, be Catalan’ t-shirt.
ALSUR CAFÉ. Plaça de Sant Cugat 1.
As their slogan insists, “Food you want, when you want it.” At Alsur Café there is something to please all palates. Choose from a delicious variety of eggs, woks, toasts, sweets and more, not to mention a plethora of beverages for any appetite. This Barcelona chain is not just about satisfying the munchies, however. It has a corner for every occasion. The endless array of patterned throw pillows along the sunlit window bench allow solo customers to comfortably read a book and sip their coffee, while a spacious terrace calls for friendly banter over burgers, and an extra dining area, lit with strands of bare light bulbs, is peaceful enough to get down to work with a colleague.
GALERÍA MAXÓ. Carders 29.
In May 2009, Argentinian artist Maxó Rennella decided that the Born was the best place to showcase his work and open his first gallery. This space on Carders is his second and follows Maxó’s original objective to promote the modern artistic expression of European artists. One of Maxó’s friends explained, “Maxó was trying to find himself, his place, in Barcelona for a long time. Now that he has settled in the Born, not only does his art reflect his state of contentment, but he has taken a genuine role in making the neighbourhood a better place—somewhere people love to live.” And he keeps his neighbours in mind with each piece he creates, making art for people who love art, but can’t afford a €4000 canvas.
THE LIME HOUSE. Carders 31.
Open every night from 7.30pm, The Lime House is a place where everyone fits in. With a young atmosphere and cool staff, you’ll find yourself making this place a regular starting point for a night of bar hopping. Frequent customer, Adrià, 28, from Catalunya, said he likes The Lime House for its “cheap, loaded mojitos that help you loosen up and have fun with the international crowd.” There’s always someone new to meet and another drink to be had.
ANTHONY LLOBET. Carders 34.
‘Don’t let your Spanish come between you and your hair’—that’s their slogan. After over 14 years in business and five branches, Anthony Llobet English Hair Salons have become somewhat of an institution in Barcelona. Their quirky, retro interiors, filled with hairdressing antiques, and a multi-lingual team attract a clientele of foreign residents and locals alike. Anthony himself grew up in London, later moving to Barcelona, and is now the ambassador for TRESemmé Spain. So if you haven’t yet found the perfect hairdresser to trust with your shiny locks, look no further.
RAMONAS BARCELONA. Carders 51.
For those who want to cycle with a bit more flair, this is the shop for you. “We offer products to outfit urban bikers and their bikes,” explained Llúcia Bernet, part owner of Ramonas Barcelona. Each product, from wicker baskets in varying shades of brown and eco-leather seats in matching colours to saddlebags and bells, combines functionality and aesthetics in equal parts. “We think you can still be stylish while riding your bike,” Llúcia said. The store even offers skirt clips to protect your modesty as you breeze by pedestrians on the streets.