Sunday, January 22, 2012

La Cova Fumada

La Cova Fumada, in Barcelona, is one of my favorite restaurants in the world which I think is saying a lot seeing as I have lived in Italy for the past three years! We discovered the restaurant last year after reading about it on Food and Wine's website (FYI their website is a great place to find awesome restaurant recommendations). I have to say that if we had not read that recommendation we probably would not have gone in because the outside doesn't look like much...

Waiting out front of the Cova Fumada for a table. The wait isn't so bad when they have already served  you your first round of beer.

The inside doesn't look like much either, the whole restaurant including the kitchen is contained in one big, open room, but we knew it would be good by the crazy amount of people inside. Every seat in the place was occupied and there was a crowd of people standing around the small bar sipping Estrella Damm beer and eating and another crowd of people occupying any space they could while they waited for a coveted spot at one of the few tables.

This is the entire inside of the restaurant. The kitchen (pictured below) is just to the right and is completely open to the room.


The kitchen - I love the grandma looking lady in the apron.

The beer fridge - packed full with Estrella Damm.

When you order a beer here you don't say what kind you want you just say big or small.

Our meal was delicious. Like in many places in Barcelona, here they serve small plates of food so you can order and try a lot of different things. I think we must of ordered almost everything on the menu but some of our favorites included the small artichokes cooked alla plancia (the flat grill) and doused in butter (the butter dribbled down my hands and wrists while I ate), calamari also cooked alla plancia and mussels on the half shell served with a dollop of creamy, smooth garlic aioli atop each one. This place is also credited as being the creator of the Bomba - a mashed potato and ham mixture which is made into a ball and fried and served with the aforementioned garlic aioli and a fiery red sauce.

To finish off the meal and revive us from our food induced coma we always have a Pirata. It is a hot coffee drink created by the crew at the Cova Fumada which consists of a slice of lemon, an espresso shot and I think at least two different kinds of liquor (it was a little difficult to keep track at that point of exactly what was going into our drink).

The two gentlemen on the outside are both part of the family that runs the restaurant. The man who is second in on the right is named Peni. We met him last year during our first visit to La Cova Fumada and we were able to reconnect with him this year thanks to the man in the blue shirt and some great pantomiming from Andrea :)

Of course, we had to get a photo with the grandma.
We absolutely love this place. To us it feels like real Barcelona and a place we could easily imagine ourselves visiting with strict regularity if we lived in Barcelona. We love it so much that during the last year, after our first visit to La Cova Fumada, we often found ourselves saying that if we could find a cheap enough flight we would go to Barcelona just to have lunch at La Cova Fumada. In fact, it was at the top of our list of things to do when we returned to Barcelona and on our first full day of our vacation we found ourselves there enjoying a nice, leisurely and delicious four hour lunch.

If you find yourself in Barcelona, please pay these guys a visit and ENJOY!


Bailey@Lost&Found said...

This sounds amazing! Over the years i've learned that the places that you would least expect to be amazing- usually are the ones that become my favorite! I will definitely keep this little gem in mind should I ever find myself in Barcelona!


Kamila M. said...


I started a new blog. Its called "Same Same But Different". I would like to share with you my view on fashion, art and other amazing things. I hope you will enjoy the posts of my outfits, fashion and things which are a part of my life. I am happy about every comment or message. And please dont hasitate to criticize or to leave a helpful suggestion. (and i know i really need to learn how to use my camera)


Hope to read from you soon,

best wishes
ps. i will be visting barcelone this summer :D

Nicole Marie said...

totally going there!!!

Nicole Marie said...

and so glad i found your blog. makes me excited about moving to barcelona

Liz said...

writing this one down! we are heading to Barcelona in April with my mom :) Also - had no idea about Food & Wine being a good source for restaurants recommendations - THANK YOU!


Bailey - so true!

Nicole Marie - You will have to let me know what you think after you visit. I am glad you are getting excited about your move - you will have a fantastic time.

Liz - You are very welcome for the recommendation about the Food and Wine site. Definitely check it out. I have found they tend to recommend local spots, different than those usually reccomended by the travel guides, and they tend to recommend restaurants in all different price ranges.

If you head to La Cova Fumada for lunch or dinner (only Thursdays and Fridays) make sure to leave extra time to explore the surrounding area of Barceloneta. There is the Mercato di Barceloneta, lots of small restaurants and bars (a great spot for tapas, which will make you feel like you were transported back in time, is El Vaso de Oro) and the BEACH and a long pedestrian walkway along the edge of the sand where you can take a nice, long stroll after lunch.

Francis said...

I'm suddenly hungry for Italian food. :)