Day 78 - Barceloneta Beach & Our First Catalan Restaurant Experience

Barceloneta Beach

The Barceloneta Beach, known as the most touristy beach in Barcelona, is a little more than a half hour away from us via walking and public transportation.  We had read mixed reviews about the beach, and decided to check it out for ourselves.  We knew it would be crowded, so we purposely delayed our visit to a Monday, hoping we would encounter less crowds now that some schools have started. 

The beach was crowded, and not the cleanest (it is really annoying to find cigarette butts in the sand that your kids are playing in), but on the bright side the weather was wonderful and the water was very calm. 

The sand and warm calm waters made this trip to the beach a hit with the kids.

Overall, we all had a great time at Barceloneta Beach.  That may be partially thanks to the tourist season starting to die down, which after all was one of the reasons why we held off on the Barcelona trip until September in the first place.  While we will probably check out some of the other beaches Barcelona has to offer next, we'll definitely return again to Barceloneta before the end of the month.

Can Maño Restaurant

After the beach, we headed towards a small, but very well reviewed Catalan Restaurant called Can Maño, which we had found on Yelp.  

The restaurant opens at 8PM, and thankfully we arrived a bit before 7:45, as there was already a line which we were probably the 6th or 7th group in.  The restaurant doors opened promptly at 8 and the crowds poured in.  Let me quickly set the stage for you... this is a small, slightly bigger than a hole in the wall restaurant, with I would take a guess and say probably no more than 12 small tables.  The furniture and decorations are far from fancy.  Simple wooden tables and chairs and a few paintings are the only furniture and decorations you will find.  The place, albeit small, packed up within minutes.  The waiters literally run from table to table, get the orders, run to the kitchen and deliver the food to your table.  Despite the rush, our waiter did not mind spending a few extra minutes with us to recommend his  favorites on the menu.  Our food came out within minutes, which was great since everyone was starved. 

I was so excited about our food that I totally forgot to take a picture of the kids meals.  They ordered hamburgers, which consisted of just the hamburger meat.  It is common in Spain for hamburgers to not come in a bun.  We had first noticed this near Girona, where hamburgers were listed twice, once under meats and once under sandwiches.

Because of the proximity of the tables to each other, everyone was very friendly with each other.  It almost felt like a small family reunion, where you end up sitting next your cousin's cousin's cousin twice removed :)  Hannah became fast friends with a girl from Italy who "loves America". 

We also enjoyed live music by a band that walked in and started playing.  What a fun experience. 

On our way out, we saw quite a few people waiting outside.  The picture shows you just the people that were waiting by the restaurant door.  There were also quite a few people on the other side of the street. 

If you are in Barcelona, and you are looking for an affordable Catalan dining experience, you must check out this restaurant.  The food was great and the service was good and very quick.  If you are traveling with kids, like us, quick service is always appreciated!

Travel Tip: If you don't want to wait like these people, you should arrive about 15-20 minutes prior to the opening of the restaurant (8 PM). You will be seated as part of the first group.

My only regret is not getting dessert.  We saw a few people digging into their flans as we were leaving.  Oh man!  I LOVE flan! 

Don't make my mistake. Stay for dessert :)

The line at Can Mano Restaurant