On the right-hand corner of La Rambla that leads you to the favourite haunt of pickpocketers – Placa Real, is a tiny gastronomic café that started life in 2009.
Artisa as the name might suggest is an upmarket boutique sandwicherie, heladeria (ice cream shop) and café.
Small white distressed (they didn’t want to talk about it) tables and benches with white stools and an antique spiral staircase leads from the café to the heavens. Silver heating shafts hang from the ceiling, like so many buildings in this part of Barcelona and a mass of glass jars dangle at random heights between wooden ceiling beams to provide illumination.
The quality of the food here is exceptional. Sandwiches come filled to bursting on artisan breads and are prepared by lovely young girls.
They have a meal deal which means you can get a sandwich, water and a coffee for €4.95.
They have large muffins for €2.50, giant cookies for €1.95 and brownies for €2.50. Add ice cream to the brownie and it will cost you €4.20. There are also croissants.
Crepes are €3.20 upwards and are made from organic eggs and milk. You can select your own ingredients or choose one of the set options. You can choose from sugar; honey and almond; sweet apple, cinnamon and almonds.
Sandwiches come on traditional organic breads such as tomato, black beer, 5 cereals or nuts with raisins.
There is one vegetarian-friendly sandwich which is the Aiguestortes and consists of white bread with sesame seeds, artisan goat cheese, tomato, fried onions, olive pate and olive oil. Or there is the Montserrat, which is made on bread with nuts and dates, artisan sheep cheese, roasted red peppers and fried onions. Both cost €3.80.
The ice creams are 100% natural apparently and traditionally made. They do look delectable but not vegan.They cost €2.50 each and the portions are great. They do offer soya milk for coffees and hot chocolates. And there is a range of organic herbal and fruit teas.
Smoothies (batidos) contain fruit combinations and milk from the Pyrenees. They cost €3.50.
One side of the shop is lined with cases selling organic wines, oils, vinegars, sea salt, jams and marmalades.
This is a beautiful café in a fabulous location. The interior is a combination of quirky and traditional – which is always a winner. And the goods are of a very high standard. A really special little place on La Rambla to rest your feet without feeling like you are being totally ripped off.
Oh and there’s wi-fi!
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