Neither are they all that are, nor are they all that they are. Barcelona has a long tradition of pastry making, so this is just a first route through the sweetest establishments in the city. From the newest Brunells and L’Atelier to the classic La Colmena and Foix de Sarrià, without forgetting the fusion of the Ochiai proposal or the award-winning La Pastisseria.
Brunells, a cruasán with a prize
The trip begins with an anniversary, the one that will Brunells, which reopened in June 2020. A year since its rebirth because with the same name it has sweetened the Born district since 1852. Its new owners set out to give the place a shine again while maintaining the Catalan pastry tradition, such as butter croissants. But fame has been given to him by butter, thanks to winning the best award in October croissant artisan from Spain. Here, the passion for the trade is distinguished in the sara, this sponge cake, butter and almonds created by the pastry chefs of Barcelona in honor of the visit of actress Sarah Bernhardt. In Brunells, renovated with air vintage, await pastries such as the Biscuit Princesa, a classic gypsy arm from mousse cream and strawberries. However, they do not rule out foreign-made sweets such as sacher, the lemon pie and the cheesecake.
L’Atelier, the importance of aesthetics
With one more year to live, Workshop, which opened in April 2019 in the Eixample Esquerre, has become one of the most innovative. With a futuristic place near a laboratory, Eric Ortuño, along with Ximena Pastor, leads this pastry shop and school. In its sideboard, the cone-shaped croissants attract attention, an idea that is already a brand of the house. There are mascarpone, cocoa, lemon pie or the Reus (hazelnut sablé, salted caramel and chocolate). The latter is part of a collection started with Reus tea paste, awarded as the best artisan pasta in Spain in 2020. They are a vice, just like the tart, the ice cream version, the panettone or the nougat. “We are interested in the pastry making as good as possible, but we also work a lot on aesthetics,” says Ortuño. Proof of this are the individual cakes such as the cactus, the fruit box, the lemon or the bean to bar.
Takashi Ochiai, Japanese fusion
In the same neighborhood is Ochiai, the oldest Japanese pastry shop in Barcelona, opened by Takashi Ochiai in 1983. They surprise the sweetest palates with the fusion of typical sweets from here with ingredients such as green tea or ginger. Their croissants are highly appreciated, such as that of matcha or that of yuzu, and every month they dare with a new combination. You can’t get out of here without trying the mochis, that fill them with sweet beans, green tea, Catalan cream or mousse mango with wasabi. For cakes, roll fusion, like green tea cake with raspberry or green tea with mascarpone. His latest invention is the Kurimu ice cream parlor, in the same Comte Urgell street, where you can savor yogurt ice cream with wasabi or chocolate with ginger.
La Pastisseria, spring tastes like strawberry, lime and cocoa
The Pastry Shop it has earned a name endorsed by various awards. In its showcases on Aragó street there is a wide range of cakes. Among the classics, the chocolate ones stand out, such as Rosa dels Vents, the cake with which Josep Maria Rodríguez won the pastry world cup in 2011, and I Love Choco, a combination of chocolate textures. Each season the proposals are updated and this spring the Cirerer cakes add color, a combination of cream, vanilla and cherries; Mediterrani, with lemon and white almond, or Primavera, with strawberry, lime and cocoa sponge cake.
Low, chocolate as the protagonist
All the neighborhoods of Barcelona have a reference patisserie. In Sant Gervasi, the low can boast of having one of the best cakes saras. With the bakery under its premises on Calle Muntaner, one of its specialties is puff pastry. Also of this fine paste is one of its most characteristic cakes: the Diplomàtic, with puff pastry glazed with meringue. Núria Baixas says that her sacher It is very famous because they learned the recipe from the pastry chef who made it in the famous Sacher in Vienna. Chocolate, made by Joan Baixas, is another of its strengths. He just won a gold award at the Chocolate International Awards with a kikos tablet. He is one of the pastry chefs who have ventured into the new trend of making chocolate bean to bar, that is to say, handcrafted from the selection of the cocoa bean to the composition of the tablet.
Foix de Sarrià, a century-old place
In Sarrià is the Foix pastry, which was founded in 1886, when the neighborhood was still a town. Jordi Madern, who at 83 is here every day, inherited it from his cousin, the poet Josep Vicenç Foix. Its motto is to maintain tradition without forgetting innovation. For a sample, the Petxines de Sarrià, some tea pastries with almonds and dipped in chocolate created by the founder of the house, Josep Foix i Ribera, and a catalog from 1981 where you can see that they already made panettone. Their unconditional cakes are the Montserrat Caballé, the Euskal Pastiza, the Tonka and the Simfonia.
La Colmena, sweets like the usual ones
Located in the Gothic Quarter, it has all the ingredients of classic patisseries, from the interior display cabinets to the neo-Palaladin style sign, as well as classic products. At 153 years old, Beehive treasures some old recipes such as the one for candies – honey, herbs, coffee, anise – with the life-long wrapper that recalls its origin, Casa Abella, a candy store from 1849 that later occupied this pastry shop, which today has the fourth generation of the Roig. Other typical sweets are the egg yolk nougat that they make all year round, the enquesadas (stuffed with mató) or the hefty, some rock sugars that, in the absence of soft drinks, were used in the past to sweeten and flavor fresh water.
Hofmann, a coffee that is eaten
Round the world and back to the Born, The saying goes, and so does this route, which ends at the Hofmann, a reference. It is in charge of Miquel Guarro, who has opted for individual cakes. For them, flavor is as important as a striking image, he says. One of their oldest successes is the pistachio, all of it made from pistachio with a touch of orange, passion fruit and mango. His latest invention is a black sesame black moon and mousse of chocolate. Also very characteristic is its Cup Coffe, a coffee that is eaten with a chocolate flavor, and the Volcànic, a rock that explodes chocolate. Croissants are also a hit: mascarpone is a classic, like raspberry, almond or sacher. The place is small and they do not have tables, but if you want to enjoy them sitting down, you can do so in the beautiful Espai Brossa cafeteria, a few meters away.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.