La Fianna Bar & Restaurant – Barcelona

C/ Banys Vells, 15

Sunday – Wednesday 18:00-01:30
Thursday – Saturday 18:00-02:30

Quirky and intimate little bars are what Barcelona does best. That and good weather. And whacky architecture. (Oh god, I said ‘whacky’)

La Fianna is housed in one of stunning and idiosyncratic buildings of El Borne in Ciutat Vella. It has walls that appear to have been there as long as the undulating hills at the back of the city. At times the ox-blood velvet drapes can feel like they are suffocating you (in a good non-Michael Hutchence way).

It’s 50% bar and 50% restaurant and a billion percent gorgeous.

The restaurant serves excellent quality food and the dishes are creative without being absurd. There is no table-leg and mint sauce ice cream here. But for vegetarians you can pick from the very likeable starters such as  layered vegetables with goat’s cheese or green salad with caramelized walnuts, tomato, mozzarella, fresh basil and pine nuts. Both dishes cost below €10, which for an establishment of this loveliness, is perfectly acceptable price. For €8.50 there is feta cheese, pumpkin and raisin spring rolls served with a tangy red wine type sauce. V tasty. What can I say.

Main courses are a lot less wayward with a vegetable curry, mushroom risotto and a triple cheesy pasta dish. These cost around €11 each. There are also lots of vivid meaty dishes that involve animal parts such as shoulders, knuckles and probably whiskers, but those are best left undiscussed. A vegetarian could easily eat here. I’d recommend one of the starters supplemented with a side dish of  sautéed vegetables.

Herbal tea infusions are rife here with a choice of chamomile, green tea, jasmine, red tea, mint, passion fruit, pu-erh, earl gray and then some.

The main reason to come to La Fianna is the décor and the atmosphere. Beds have been created on mezzanined areas where you can chill the fuck out with a herbal tea or a sparkling water or something. Or even a dirty alcohol – if you haven’t yet cast that devil out. It gets pretty crowded so it’s worth getting there early to bag yourself one of the mezzanined beds, beneath wrought iron light fixtures that seem to belong to a different era. This place oozes ambience and is Barcelona all over.

They also do a brunch on Sundays.
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