Escriba café, cake shop and chocolatier – El Raval, Barcelona

Escriba patisserie, cafe, chocolateria - Raval, Barcelona

C/ la Rambla, 83

Did I say that Petrixol did the best hot chocolates in town? What was I thinking?! What I mean to say was Escriba – although it depends what you’re after in a hot chocolate. If you’re after excessively sweet and topped with real cream then shift your fat (if it’s not now, it will be) ass along to Petritxol for their awesomely rich and decadent hot chocolate. Bet you can’t drink two.

Otherwise, if you’re after something more delicate and rich then go to Escriba where the consistency is divine and you can even have it served with cayenne pepper or with violet or hazelnuts. €3.60 for a biggy and I can drink two. Probably more but I haven’t tried yet. You can taste the cocoa powder in this hot chocolate. It’s like a handsome stranger. Whereas the hot chocolate is like a friendly prostitute.

Escriba patisserie and cafe - Barcelona

Hot chocolate with chilli and croissant at Escriba - Barcelona

They also sell croissants such as regular chocolate croissants with a brush mark of chocolate glaze across the top or with fillings such as white chocolate and mint; banana and chocolate or vanilla and rose. Their croissants are buttery and decent enough although not the best I’ve ever tried.

Anyhoo, they also have some staggering looking cakes in the patisserie section that include a cheesecake positively enrobed in white chocolate, a citrus tart that makes your teeth tingle just looking at it and the best-selling Angie, amongst others. Cakes from the patisserie start from €4.90 to takeaway.

There’s a lovely outdoor Sweep-friendly terrace with a few big wooden tables and giant parasols to cower from the sun, the occasional rain or just the gods if you’ve recently pissed them off. There are indoor tables when it’s really cold (which it might be in January/Feb).

A favourite pastime of mine is to sit on the terrace, whatever the temperature, and to drink a hot chocolate piquant whist looking at the slightly crumbly facades of the looming buildings.

The staff can appear a bit petulant, although some of the girls that work there during the evenings smile and everything.

The interior of Escriba is stunning. Don’t forget to check out the stained-glass peacock and the positively gorgeous ceiling. It’s almost more beautiful than the cakes themselves.

Escriba was a famous pastry chef from the early last century who is known across Catalonia for his creative pastry making.

A good place to eat cake, drink coffee (or hot chocolate) and to buy gifts, despite the grumpy staff.

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