While it is true to say that Spain has created some of the best food in the world, during my time living there I still craved some good old fashioned English food. Pies. Chips. GRAVY. I know when you’re in a foreign country you should try to eat as much of the local cuisine as possible, but there’s only so much tapas you can eat in 7 months. It also got to the point where I got a little tired of the Spanish sharing tradition and I just wanted my own damn plate of food for once. Thankfully, Barcelona has a few place dotted around the city that will help feed your nostalgia.
The Michael Collins Irish Pub
Anyone who’s been to any European city will know it’s not exactly hard to find an Irish pub. Michael Collins, however, has the added bonus of having a bar menu to choose from, which includes Irish stews, full Irish breakfasts, bangers and mash, and much more. Not only that, but the prices aren’t too steep considering it’s located in the shadow of the Sagrada Familia. Team a good hearty meal with live music or live sport, and you’ll hardly realise you’re in Spain at all.
Fish and Chips Barcelona
I had to double-take when I first walked past this place. The smell wafting out the door literally stopped me in my tracks. Real batter, real chips, and thick and delicious gravy in huge portions all wrapped up in chip shop paper. Run by two British women who has a lot of experience in the business, Fish and Chips Barcelona is the only real chip shop in the entire city. If you’re an expat missing home this is a great place to go, not only for the food but to meet some English speakers. They also run language and book exchanges, so you can polish up on your Spanish and dump some of those novels you’ve been carrying around for months.
The Loch Inn
This is a very populay haunt for a lot of expats in Barcelona, and you’ll hear English speakers the second you walk in. The Loch Inn is a small and friendly Scottish pub that serves actual pints of beer. As well as wraps and nachos, there is also pie, mash and gravy on the menu the appease the English bellies. It’s a great place to catch pretty much any game of football that’s on…ever, and has a quiz in English on a Monday night hosted by freelance quizmaster, and my good friend, Dan.
For those living in the city a while longer and looking for somewhere to buy ingredients you just can’t seem to find anywhere else, you have a couple of options depending on which side of the Atlantic you live on. A Taste of Home is an English supermarket which stocks thousands of products you may not be able to see on the Spanish shelves. Speaking as someone who’s lived in Barcelona before, supermarket shopping can be taxing and isn’t as easy as just popping into your local Tesco. This place is great to go to if you’re looking for a good range of products instead of the odd one here and there like you find in most Spanish markets. If you’re a cider drinker this so also one of the few places you’ll find it in BCN.
Taste of America is for all those US expats out there, looking for anything resembling a PB&J sandwich. The store seems to mostly sell snack-type products, and those obscure condiments and sauces you’ve been missing. If you’re feeling seriously homesick, why not pop into this store to treat yourself to some plates, cups and napkins emblazoned with the US flag.