Where to eat
This is one of the most popular places in Barcelona to eat traditional paella or fideuà – a local version of paella cooked with noodles instead of rice. Located right on the beach front, unlike the traditional xiringuitos which open only during the summer, Xiringuito Escribà is open all year round. While the fair weather of Barcelona means open-air seating is possible most months, in the winter the restaurant has cover, warm blankets and heaters to create a cozy feel. Be sure to leave room for dessert as they serve delicious patisserie made by the bakery owned by the same family, the Pasteleria Escribà.
Xiringuito Escribà, Av. del Litoral, 62, Barcelona, Spain, +34 932 210 729
Another popular beach-front eatery, L’Escamarlà specializes in fish and seafood dishes inspired by ingredients from the local market. You can find traditional dishes such as paella and arroz caldoso – a fish stew with rice – as well as fried squid Andalusian style, grilled vegetables with Romesco sauce, or fresh fish cooked over the grill. The décor is cozy and bright with a maritime feel which is only enhanced by the views of the nearby Mediterranean sea. If you’re there during the week, L’Escamarlà offer a lunchtime menu at €24 for three courses and a drink.
L’Escamarlà, Passeig Marítim del Bogatell, 40, Barcelona, Spain, +34 932 211 366
If you want to take a break from the beach and get some respite from the sun then it’s worth making the short walk to Can Dendê. This friendly restaurant has a Brazilian vibe which comes through in both the food and the atmosphere: colorful, lively and warm. The best time to come is at lunchtime to enjoy one of the famous brunch dishes, including classics such as Eggs Benedict, but also exotic morsels such as fried yuca and Brazilian “cheese bread.”
Can Dendê, Carrer de la Ciutat de Granada, 44, Barcelona, Spain, +34 646 325 551
What to do
The local council in Barcelona have equipped a number of beaches with beach volleyball nets which are free for the public to use. You’ll need to bring your own ball but should have no problem finding team-mates to play with as it’s a popular spot for locals to enjoy a game anytime of the year. Check out local websites such as Meetup for details of upcoming friendly games taking place on Bogatell beach.
Go for a swim
The Bogatell beach is one of the most popular beaches among locals and has relatively low rates of foreigners visiting it – 30 percent compared to other beaches such as those by the Barceloneta. This means that the beach tends to be safer and has a more relaxed, friendly atmosphere with less hustle and bustle. Make the most of this to go a for a swim and enjoy the views of Barcelona’s skyline from the sea: check out the W Hotel at the far end as well as landmarks such as Frank Gehry’s El Peix d’Or and the nearby Port Olympic.
One of the reasons Bogatell beach is so popular is that it is located just opposite the up-and-coming neighborhood of Poblenou. Once the industrial heart of Barcelona, today Poblenou is undergoing a veritable revival as former warehouses become art studios and craft beer breweries pop up in underground hide-outs. It pays to be patient with Poblenou, as at first glance it can seem much quieter than other parts of town. But take your time to explore and you’ll soon stumble upon the latest art opening or a pop-up vintage market.