By Regina Winkle-Bryan
Nancy and I have pondered how Spanish and French women eat so much bread and stay so thin. It must be all the walking and smoking (joking…sort of)! Whatever their secret is, genetic, tobacco, exercise or otherwise, I hate them. While I walk or ride my bike everywhere in Barcelona I can’t eat bread all day long and not gain weight. It’s sad, but true.
Still, it’s hard to resist the supple loaves they sell at Baluard, the best bakery in all of Barcelona!! What’s that? You disagree? Your bakery is better? Not likely my fellow croissant-eater. Baluard is my favorite pastry shop to pick up a loaf of seedy artisan bread and a danish smothered in blackberries. Yum. Double yum.
Time Out Magazine agrees with me and named Baluard as Number 2 for the best bread in all of Barcelona. I’d say number 1, but we agree that Baluard is ‘da bomb’. A small shop open Monday through Saturday, it’s common to find a line down the block coming out of Baluard on most mornings, especially Saturdays. Read: stay clear on Saturday mornings.
I recommend the seeded croissants and double-fudge brownies….and well, pretty much anything else. You really can’t go wrong at Baluard. What’s more as you wait to be served you can see bakers in their white aprons at work, mixing flour and sprinkling dried figs into soft dough. Baluard serves Catalan breads too, and some to sample are:
Pa de Fruits Secs (one of my usual purchases….bread with dried fruit)
Pa de Segol (sounds like ‘seagull’, right?)
Pa de Mantega, Llet i Sucre (Butter, milk and sugar bread)
Pa de Cereals (seed bread, another one of my faves)
And the list goes on! In Barcelona there seems to be a bread shop every block, but few can hold a candle to Baluard. Your best bet? Head over to Baluard in the morning and grab a couple pastries or croissants and then head to a nearby cafe and get a coffee. Or, sit in the park in front of Baluard on a bench and watch the market life go by as you enjoy one of life’s great pleasures: good Spanish bread.
Another excellent bakery in uptown Barcelona that also has coffee and juice is Custo. Definitely recommend them as well, on the corner of Via Agusta and Balmes.
C/ Baluard, 38 – Barceloneta, Barcelona
* Know of a great bakery? Give us the scoop and we’ll add it on to the Spain Scoop! Thanks!