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Vila de Gràcia

Snacks

A pizza and a pint of beer for less than £5.35 in Barcelona

6th May 2022
Pizza at Lucania II, Gràcia, barcelona, Bill Sinclair

Barcelona’s restaurants and bars offer a wide and wild variety of cuisines and creative dishes. 

Even the most ardent foodie will confess that grazing on tapas and dining in fine restaurants is both wearing on the wallet and bruising on the palate.

When out and about there will come a time when you want something more ordinary… a tasty, light bite.

Well… you could grab a pizza.

And, one of the best places to grab a pizza in Barcelona is LucaniaII in Vila de Gràcia.

For around the price of a Bikini (grilled ham and cheese sandwich) you can enjoy a delicious, freshly prepared pizza margarita.

Carn Bier,Espinac,Gorgonzola pizzes, Lucania ii Barcelona

Variety

25 variations — including one of my favourites: Carn Bier — minced beef cooked in beer with bacon, plus two or three daily specials. 

A printed menu, describing the toppings is available in English (and català, castella and German). Here’s the current (though incomplete) list in català:

Pizza slices, Lucania ii. Gràcia, Barcelona,

Quality

Flavour? We’re not talking over-aired, spongy, doughy, cakey bases here…we’re tasting crispy, thin, deceptively light, perfectlyseared imperfect squares of mediterranean deliciousness served with two types of olive oil — normal and extra-picante (olive oil spiced with chillies).

They’ve got a real handle on combinations that work. Pere and his team have been preparing and serving pizzas for more than 30 years, and they’re still dabbling with new recipes. Pere may even invite you to sample a new combination as you sit at the bar.

Pizza slices at Lucania II, Gràcia, Barcelona

Value

Obvious. The cheapest pizza is 3,10€ — the most expensive is 4,85€.

A pint of Estrella beer is only 3,25€.

Note: There is a 15 centimos price difference between eating at the bar or seated at a table. 

Ambience

It is what it is. No pretension whatsoever. No fake-o Italian frippery. No nonsense. No tablecloths. No cutlery — unless you ask. Very family friendly.

Only well-made pizzaspacked with flavour and a bar filled with appreciative and friendly customers.

Lucania II interior

Service

I don’t know how they do it — but as packed and as bustly as it often gets, it’s never too noisome, hassly or uncomfortable.  You’ll never have to wait long. They’ve got the preparation and service down to pat.

In Sum…

I’m really glad this place exists, it’s a really good, reliable standby. We visit regularly, often calling in on the way to Cines Verdi to watch a movie. Or, other times I’ll call by for lunch, or later during the day when out and about doing errands. Never been disappointed.

Most recent visit:

Thursday, May 5th, 2022: 4 pizzas and 3 pints of beer = 27,45€.

Location

Carrer de Terol, 29-33, Vila de Gràcia. A few steps from Plaça de la Revolució de Setembre de 1868 at the bottom of Carrer Verdi.

Opening Hours:

Tuesday – Saturday: 1pm until 4pm & 6pm until 1130pm.

Closed Sundays & Mondays

Bon profit!

Snacks

A pizza and a pint of beer in Barcelona for less than $7

6th May 2022
Carn Bier,Espinac,Gorgonzola pizzes, Lucania ii Barcelona

Barcelona's restaurants and bars offer a wide and wild variety of cuisines and creative dishes. 

Even the most ardent foodie will confess that grazing on tapas and dining in fine restaurants is both wearing on the wallet and bruising on the palate.

When out and about there will come a time when you want something more ordinary… a tasty, light bite.

Well… you could grab a pizza.

And, one of the best places to grab a pizza in Barcelona is Lucania II in Vila de Gràcia.

For less than the average price of a Bikini (grilled ham and cheese sandwich) you can enjoy a delicious, freshly prepared pizza margarita.

Variety

25 plus variations — including one of my favourites: minced beef cooked in beer with bacon, plus two or three daily specials. 

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Celebrations

FESTES DE GRÀCIA, 2019 IN BARCELONA

16th August 2019
Correfoc, agost 15, Gràcia,2019

Festes de Gràcia, 2019 — and we're off! 

Agost 15, Day One:

8.15am: We set off to Plaça de la Revolució de Septembre 1868 where we met up with Miquel and Silvia. 

En route we caught a passing look of Carrer de Puigmarti, where a team of locals were still hard at it. 

Carrer de Puigmarti, 2019

8:46am: and the Trabucaires fire the traca and prepare to fire their very loud guns to launch the parade…. and, a few seconds later I lost the sense of hearing in my right ear.

And then…we were joined by…the Lord of the Flies himself…Beelzebub.

The cardboard bin next to me caught fire. No biggie.

Beelzebub, Gràcia, 2019
Drac, Gràcia, 2019

And on to Plaça del Sol…and a decorated balcony…

Plaça del Sol, Gràcia, 2019

Then off to explore the streets…

Poppy field, Gràcia, 2019

… before the hordes arrive…

Library Monk on Mozart, Gràcia, 2019
Palette and brushes, Mozart, Gràcia, 2019

…before resting a while for breakfast in Plaça de la Vila

Plaça de la Vila, Gràcia, 2019

And then we wended a roundabout route home, via Carrer de Llibertat…

Dolphins on Llibertat, Gràcia, 2019
Eye-catching exotic crab on Carrer de Llibertat

Eye-catching exotic crab on Carrer de Llibertat

10.30pm: We wandered out again, via Passeig de Sant Joan, Plaça Joanic and over to Carrer Verdi…I have never seen an entry line so long… so we headed up to the exit…

Carrer Verdi, Gràcia, 2019

Carrer Verdi, Gràcia, 2019

Then we headed over to Plaça de Rovira i Trias via a packed, and lively Carrer de Providencia… 

Carrer de Providencia, Festes de Gràcia, 2019

Carrer de Providencia

Providencia Mine and miner2, Gràcia, 2019

We hung out a short while in Plaça Rovira i Trias, surrounded by eerie birds, before heading over to Plaça del Nord…and the most pleasant surprise of the evening.

Every year during the festes there's always a stand out band, a band which pumps out party pleasing music and gets the crowd singing along. 

The rumba band, Alma de Boquerón (Soul of Anchovy), a tight and polished 7-piece ensemble, knocked out a string of irresistible tunes before segueing into a rip-roaring version of Dick Dale's classic, Miserlou, and, then, without dropping a beat, segueing unexpectedly into a thunderous version of Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall. A rumba band playing Pink Floyd? You bet. Brilliant. And then they teased us all with the opening bars of Led Zeppelin's, Stairway to Heaven, before reverting to lively, witty, tongue in cheek contemporary rumba.

Ama de Boqueron, Plaça del Nord, Gràcia, 2019

Alma de Boquerón, Plaça del Nord, Gràcia, 2019

HERE's a LINK to their official website, where you'll find a sample compilation of tunes:HERE.

Enjoy! They are playing four more gigs during the festes. 

TONIGHT (agost 16)  Carrer Verdi at 11pm.

Sunday, agost 18, Passeig de Sant Joan at Midnight.

Monday, agost 20, Carrer Tordera at 11pm.

Tuesday, agost 21, Carrer Joan Blanques de Baix de Tot at 11pm.

If you get chance do try and catch them in action.

After the gig we trekked back down and along Carrer Verdi, where it was still rammed, before heading to Raïm for a mojito, and then down along Carrer Progrés, Carrer Perill and home for around 3am. Another great day in the barri.

got, 2019, gràcia

Bones Festes!

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Graffiti

Amy Winehouse in Barcelona IV

13th September 2017
Graffiti portrait of Amy Winehouse on Carrer Mozart during festes de Gràcia, 2017

One of the many wonderful things about exploring Barcelona is happening across curious portraits of well-known, and not so well-known, people in unexpected places.

Here's another portrait of the singer, Amy Winehouse which appeared on Carrer Mozart in Vila de Gràcia during the Festes de Gràcia, 2017.

Context

The graffiti is on a door in Carrer de Mozart, Vila de Gràcia.

For more graffiti featuring Amy Winehouse go HERE, HERE and HERE

Enjoy discovering graffiti in Barcelona.

Celebrations

Festes de Gràcia, 2017, Day 2, in Barcelona

17th August 2017

Day 2, 10:30pm: After yesterday's exertions we planned to spend most of our time on one street, Joan Blanques, split into two decorated sections and with two stages featuring two very different crowd pleasing bands: A Contrablues and Dani Nel·lo's Jazz Savages.

Carrer Joan Blanques de Baix

11pm: We found two chairs and a table and installed ourselves on Joan Blanques de Baix.

Carrer Joan Blanques de Baix de Tot

1am: Having decided we all needed a halfway decent mojito the four of us wended a way through the streets to Raïm. I ordered a mojito made with an oscuro (dark rum) the Nicaraguan, 7 year-old Flor de Caña.

Visca Cuba! Visca Catalunya! Visca Nicaragua!

Advertising poster for cigars in Raïm

2:30am ish: Having joshed and chatted with the Italian chef from a well-known and popular (or, should that be 'polpolar'?) Gallego restaurant, we left Raïm and headed down Carrer Progrés…

Collage of posters from USSR on Carrer Progrés

…and a huge statue of Lenin….

Mr. Vladimir Ilyich Ulaynov on Carrer Progrés

…where we encountered a handsome looking bloke wearing an Augusto Sandino t-shirt chatting with his poet girlfriend.

Visca Nicaragua! Visca Catalunya!

Carrer Progrés

And then to Carrer de Llibertat…

Skellies on Carrer Llibertat

5am: We finally called it a night and headed for bed.

Celebrations

Festes de Gràcia, 2017 in Barcelona

17th August 2017
Diablos Plaça Revolució, Gràcia 2017

Festes de Gràcia, 2017 — and we're off! 

Day One:

8am: A group of eight of us assemble for coffee and pastries at La Corrala before setting off to Plaça de la Revolució de Septembre 1868 to catch the start of the parade which announces the start of the festes.

En route we caught a passing look of Carrer de Puigmarti. 

Carrer de Puigmarti  2017

Carrer de Puigmarti

8:38am: and the Trabucaires prepare to fire their very loud guns to launch the parade….

Trabucaires

And then…we were joined by…the Lord of the Flies himself…

Beelzeebub

Beelzebub

And, so to Plaça de la Vila — now transforned as The Little Prince square…

Plaça de la Vila during festes de Gràcia, 2017

Plaça de la Vila during festes de Gràcia, 2017

While the morning correfoc reached a climax…

Then off to explore the streets…

Plaça Rovira i Trias Gràcia 2017

Plaça Rovira i Trias

… picking up a few stragglers along the way. Now we were 10.

VW camper van in Carrer Providencia

VW camper van in Carrer Providencia

But, before Carrer Verdi we lost two fainthearts. We were again 8.

Carrer de Puigmarti

Carrer de Puigmarti

After visiting every decorated street we wended a way home via Carrer Perill…

Carrer de Perill

…and a bar on Bailén before getting home for a shower, lunch and a nap.

6pm: And, four of us strolled out again to watch the cercavila.

Mean looking hombres from outta town looking to party

And here comes the T-shirt man…

…and the Castellers…

Castellers on Travessera de Gràcia and Torrent de l'Olla

Castellers on Travessera de Gràcia and Torrent de l'Olla

11pm: And, so, after mazing and grazing around, and after choripans and empanadas at Plaça Joanic, the four of us ended up on Passeig Sant Joan to see A Contrablues and meet a few friends.

From the very first vibrato chords the band had all assembled in the palms of their sticky hands. A brilliant band who never fail to deliver. 

A Contrablues on Passeig de Sant Joan

A Contrablues on Passeig de Sant Joan

All in all a great day out in the 'hood.

Bones Festes!

Vila de Gràcia

Lively, radical, arty warren of fun and solidarity: Vila de Gràcia in Barcelona

8th April 2017

Map of Vila de Gràcia, Barcelona

Map of Vila de Gràcia.

Vila de Gràcia, the heart of the district of Gràcia, is a warren of very strollable streets and inviting squares fringed with café-bars, craft, design and fashion stores, restaurants offering every kind of cuisine, cool bodegas, independent cinemas, music venues, theatres, art galleries, craft workshops, an excellent market, plus much, much more. 

The neighbourhood is famed for its Festa Major in August, when hundreds of thousands of visitors cram the narrow streets to inspect the residents’ wonderfully inventive decorations.

Vila de Gràcia is also well-known for its political activism, with frequent protsts, meetings and direct action which occasionally provoke a heavy-handed response from the Mossos d’Esquadra’s Mobile Group (anti-disturbance police).

You could easily spend a whole month strolling and grazing around, stopping off at squares, window shopping and dancing ’til you drop, and never get its measure.

Until 1897 Vila de Gràcia was a town in its own right and still has its own town hall (ajuntament). 

Deceptively quiet during the day​ the squares come alive after local kids get out of school. Then the shops, markets and bars fill with locals on the way home from work. Then it’s dinner and the restaurants get busy. And then the grown ups come out to play in the squares.

With streets called Danger, Friendship and Liberty, and squares named John Lennon, Revolution, and the Women of 1936, how can you not explore this intriguing neighbourhood?

If staying here you’ll have a great time. Even if you’re not a party animal, it’s a fascinating area to simply stroll around — you’re sure to find something interesting. Getting in and out of the city centre by bus, metro and FGC trains is a breeze.

If staying elsewhere in the city then it’s well worth a visit — perhaps for lunch or dinner, or a drink and a snack on your way to or from nearby, Park Güell in neighbouring La Salut.

People

FC Barcelona goalkeeper Ter Stengen, considered one of the top three goalkeepers in the world, lives here. If you keep your eyes open you may see him noodling through the streets on his electric scooter.

Opera diva, Montserrat Caballé was born here, at  Carrer de Igualada, 21.

Movie director, Isabel Coixet lives here, as does singer-songwriter, Jackson Browne.

Esteemed writer, Mercè Rodoreda, although she lived in El Putxet before her exile in France, immortalized the neighbourhood in her classic 1962 novel, La plaça del diamant — In Diamond Square, set immediately before and during the Civil War.

Rumba catalana Catalan rumba music, made popular in the mainstream by The Gypsy Kings, was nurtured here. 

Festivities & Traditions

Els Foguerons

Last weekend of January — in 2020: Jan. 23rd to Jan 25th. Bonfires,  a parade, correfoc, music and food.

For 2020 go HERE: Els Foguerons de Sant Antoni de Sa Pobla

Festa de Sant Medir

March 3rd — a colourful cavalcade of horses and carriages, freely distributing tons of sweets as it parades through the streets. All good fun.

La Diada

June 4th — the neighbourhood celebrates its Diada (founding day) —when they’ll be a correfoc.

Festa Major

August 15th — August 21st

The whole neighbourhood goes crazy for a week. Streets compete to construct the most elaborate and entertaining decorations from recycled materials, and every square is packed with colour and music — from traditional folk, through swing, country, jazz, rumba, havaneres, R’n’B, world music, to ska, thrash-punk and techno. And all the decorated streets have stages hosting more music, theatre and dance.

My tip: Dress appropriately and go to Plaça Revolució at8.30am on the first day (August 15th). You will most certainly see me there — I go every year. Follow the noisome parade to the town square, rest up a while with a drink and a snack, and then visit each of the decorated streets before the hordes arrive. You will never forget the experience.

Vlia de Gràcia Castellers in Plaça de la Vila, Gràcia, BarcelonaTown clock, Gràcia, Barcelona.Castellers Ajuntament de Gràcia

Food & Drink

Snacks

Café Diamant in Plaça del Diamant. Here’s my write-up.

Pizzeria Lucania II on Carer de Terol. Here’s my write-up.

Tapes

Nou Can Codina on the corner of Torrent de l’Olla and Carrer Perill. Write-up HERE.

Bar Bodega Quimet on Carrer Vic just below Travessera de Gràcia. Write-up HERE.

Roure on the corner of Carrer Luis Antúnez and ​Plaçeta de Sant Miquel. WRITE UP.

Restaurants

All these restaurants offer a good value menú del día. And all are good for dinner.

Cal Boter. My write-up​.

Goliard. Write-up HERE.

​La Singular. Write-up HERE.

Somodó. Write-up HERE.​

La Llesca​. Here’s my write-up.

Bars

Raïm 1886, Cuban rum specialist on the corner of Carrer Progrés and Carrer Siracusa. GUARDIAN write-up HERE. Spotted by Locals write-up HERE.

Bar Vinil, — indie music bar — on Carrer de Matlide, very near Plaça de la Vila. Here’s a write-up by my Spotted by Locals colleague, Cris Rosique: LINK.

Cervesera Artesana — real ale bar and microbrewery — on Carrer de Sant Agustí, just off Carrer Còrsega. Another write-up by Cris Rosique HERE

Markets

Mercat de l’Abaceria has moved to the top of Passeig de Sant Joan in neighbouring Camp d’en Grassot in Gràcia Nova.

Mercat de la Llibertat. WRITE-UP.

Bodegas

Bodega E. Marin. In between l’Abaceria Market and John Lennon Square. WRITE-UP.

Bar Bodega Quimet on Carrer Vic just below Travessera de Gràcia. Write-up HERE.

Arts & Entertainment

Cinema

Cinema Verdi on Carrer Verdi.

Cinema Verdi Park on Carrer Torrijos. WRITE UP HERE.​ LINK TO CURRENT PROGRAMME HERE.

Cinemes Texas. Great little cinema run by film drector, Ventura Pons. Recently voted the best little cinema in Europe, all seats only 3€ during the week and only 4€ at weekends. Here’s a link to a write-up by Carlos Domeque at Spotted by Locals: HEREAll movies are in original language with Catalan subtitles.Here’s the official website: LINK .

Live music

Heliogàbal on Carrer Ramón y Cajal. LINK. And here’s a write-up by Cris RosiqueHERE.

Centre Artesà Tradicionàrius at Plaça Anne Frank. Here’s a write-up by Spotted by Locals’ Cris Rosique HERE. And here’s a LINK to the venue’s website.

Pipa Club,  LINK. at Carrer de Santa Eulalia, 21.

Art, Design & Photography

Sculpture

Shopping

Apple Repairs

Galería H2O at the top end of Carrer Verdi. LINK.

Anne Frank — sited on the canopy of Centre Artesà Tradicionàrius in Plaça Anne Frank. Write-up HERE.

The Pigeon Girl in Plaça del Diamant. Write-up HERE.

Hibernian Books — Books in English — here’s a WRITE-UP.

Vinyls: Discos 100, on Carrer de l’Escorial. Here’s a write-up by Cris Rosique: LINK.

El Mac Barcelonés, in John Lennon Square. Here’s a write-up: LINK.

Kids’ Stuff

Model Railway Exhibit

Barcelona en Miniatura — a lovingly crafted animated diorama of Barcelona as it was in the 1930s. Only open on Sundays between 11am and 2pm. FREE ADMISSION for youngsters aged 12 and under. Grown-ups: 3€. Plaça del Nord. LINK.

Dracs, Gegants & Capgrossos. Dragons, Giants and Big Heads.

Gràcia Town Hall. Permanent exhibit of local processional imagery. Weekdays only. FREE ADMISSION. LINK.

Enjoy exploring Vila de Gràcia.

Graffiti

Breaking Bad’s Heisenberg in Barcelona

12th January 2017
 Bryan-Cranston-graffiti-Gràcia-Barcelona-by-Bill-Sinclair.jpg

One of the many wonderful things about exploring Barcelona is happening across curious portraits of well-known, and not so well-known, people in unexpected places.

Here's a portrait of the actor, Bryan Cranston as Walter White — AKA Heisenberg — from the TV series, Breaking Bad, on Carrer de Rabassa in ​Vila de Gràcia.

Context

The graffiti is on a private garage door.​

Walter White AKA Bryan Cranston, Gràcia, Barcelona by Bill sinclair

Enjoy discovering graffiti portraits in Barcelona