The Spanish are known for their enviably laid-back attitude to life, evidenced by the traditional mid-afternoon siesta and dinners that start late and go on long into the evening, and there are few better places to enjoy a lingering weekend brunch – a cross between breakfast and lunch – than Barcelona.
Local brunch staples include dishes such as eggs Benedict and spicy baked eggs, alongside sweet plates of French toast or churros – long thin doughnuts dusted with icing sugar and served with thick hot chocolate. However, there are also plenty of more unusual offerings, from fresh seafood and local Catalan delicacies to sweet creations such as brioche pizza with chocolate and fruit.
Cocktails – think spicy Bloody Marys, perhaps – or champagne make the perfect accompaniment, though those who’d rather not indulge are ably catered for with fresh fruit juices and, of course, expertly made coffee, often sourced from local roasteries.
Toto’s menu may change daily, but fresh, seasonal and often organic local produce is a permanent fixture of the restaurant’s Mediterranean-inspired dishes. With its marble-topped bar, tiled floors and low-hanging glass lamps, the interior provides a masterclass in old-world charm. Brunch is a lively and delicious affair, beginning with a classic Mimosa or Bloody Mary cocktail or a more wholesome Detox juice, a reviving blend of grapefruit, orange and lemon. Follow this with French toast with cinnamon oranges and yoghurt, say, or Toto’s version of eggs Benedict served with parsnip chips. The particularly ravenous will appreciate the Black Angus beefburger, which is piled high with gorgonzola, roasted apple and caramelised onion.
Toto, Carrer de València 246, 08007 Barcelona, +34 93 467 6729
El Restaurante del Majestic
The indulgent Sunday-only brunch at the historic Hotel Majestic includes a staggering array of hot and cold dishes. Guests sip on Moët & Chandon champagne as they sample classics such as eggs Benedict, alongside an extravagant seafood buffet complete with oysters, king prawns and seabass ceviche, and regional delicacies such as Catalan sausage and cured Iberian ham. A selection of sweet dishes, including brioche pizza with chocolate and fruit, yuzu and lemon tart, and tarte tatin, ensures that no one leaves hungry. For late risers, there is also the equally lavish Afterbrunch on the roof terrace, which runs from 3pm to 9pm.
El Restaurante del Majestic, Hotel Majestic, Passeig de Gràcia 68-70, 08007 Barcelona, +34 93 488 1717
The sweet-toothed hotfoot it to Chök for its irresistible chocolates, cakes and doughnuts. Housed within a 116-year-old Modernista building, it has a small seating area which serves as the perfect spot for an indulgent brunch. Try a plate of classic Spanish churros dipped in molten chocolate, an extravagant pistachio and passion fruit cronut (somewhere between a croissant and a doughnut), or a double doughnut with raspberry violet jam. The doughnut flavours are pleasingly imaginative – the crema catalana and white chocolate is a particular favourite. Don’t forget to stock up on Chök’s wonderful handmade chocolate truffles before leaving.
Chök, Carrer del Carme 3, 08001 Barcelona, +34 93 304 2460
At this relaxed all-day ‘café, kitchen, taqueria and craft beer bar’, every ingredient is strictly seasonal and market sourced, with everything pickled, cured, smoked and baked on site. Brunch like a king on muesli with passion fruit yoghurt, berries and toasted almonds or the incredible coconut French toast, served with strawberries and ice cream. Savoury plates include Moroccan-style baked eggs, and corn fritters with poached eggs, avocado and rocket pesto. The remarkably well made coffee is made with beans sourced from Barcelona-based Nomad roaster, and there’s also a selection of homemade sort drinks, including ginger beer and raspberry iced tea.
Caravelle, Carrer del Pintor Fortuny 31, 08001 Barcelona, +34 93 317 9892