Nou Can Codina is one of my favourite bars for a beer and a bite.
It’s a favourite with the family too. We have a pet name for the place — No Can Do.
“Shall we do No Can Do?” someone might say. “Yes — let’s do No Can Do.”
And so it goes.
Not so very long ago Can Codina, one of the oldest surviving bars in Gràcia, was a humble, everyday sort of place, serving up run-of-the-mill cheap snacks and meals. It was ok for an occasional coffee or plato combinado when out doing errands. It was a dreary but honest neighbourhood bar which closed its doors roundabout 9pm every night except Sundays, when it wasn’t open at all.
After a scrub-up, a splash of paint, new lighting scheme, amazing menu, and an injection of energy and imagination the place is buzzing most evenings until 11 — and gone midnight on Saturdays.
Gentrified? No, not at all…the food and drink offered here is sensibly priced and well within the range of us ordinary folk.
Because it is now a popular joint plan to spend 10 or 15 minutes at the bar waiting for a table on a Friday or Saturday night.
Simple everyday treats are transformed into tasty, memorable delights. The patates braves (3,90€) here are very good indeed — among the very best braves in the city. And so too are the croquetas and morcilla (black pudding/blood sausage).
Whoever they have working the kitchen they need to tie down with a payrise and a golden handcuffs agreement — otherwise he or she is going to walk, and stamp their goodness on a rival establishment.
The croquetas here are fantastic — full of flavour — probably among the best in the city, and very reasonably priced at 1€. The standard options are: cocido (meat, potato and chickpea mash), merluza y gambes (hake and prawn/shrimp) and bolets (mushroom). However, check out the specials board as they often offer two or three special croquetas such as sípia (cuttlefish) and a wonderfully tasty apple with goat cheese (poma i formatge de cabra) for 1,40€.
The morcilla here is also well worth trying. Moist and packed with flavour — served with a smear of parsley and garlic oil and lightly toasted bread (2,60€).