The only place on Las Ramblas that has retained any real sense of the old Barcelona, Café de l’Opera has been serving churros to tourists and musicians from the nearby opera house for over 80 years now. According to the owners, not even the Spanish Civil War got in the way, with the restaurant having opened every day of every year since 1929. The interior has retained much of its original neoclassical style, including pillars, plaster mouldings and Grecian artwork.
Café de l’Opera is a good choice for breakfast, lingering with a good book or for tea and cakes later in the day, although the fabulous drinks list deserves some attention too – there is a nice selection of local brandies and Spanish summertime favourite granizado (fruit slush) is a winner with kids.
For thirsty grownups, the (surely impossible) collection of 4500 different whiskies should fortify you for the hurly-burly of the Ramblas (not to mention the pet stalls just outside, complete with fluffy bunnies. Under no circumstances let your children see the pet stalls. Unless you are prepared to explain to the man at the airport exactly why you have 15 rabbits, 5 hamsters and a tortoise in your suitcase. You have been warned).
Churros and chocolate for 2
Café de l’Opera
- Las Ramblas, 74, Metro: Liceu (L3)
- Barcelona 08002
- Tel: (0034) 933 177 585
- Web: www.cafeoperabcn.com
- Opening hours: Mon – Fri 0900-2130h, Sat & Sun 1000-2130h