In the nineteenth century the city of Barcelona was surrounded by walls. People who could not afford to live within those walls set up home in the neighbouring areas, such as Poble Sec, which lies between the Raval and Montjuïc. It is named Poble Sec, (meaning“dry town” in Catalan), as it had no source of water until the late 19th century. It was at this point that Poble Sec was incorporated into the city, becoming part of its industrial infrastructure.
Although the factories are no longer operational, Poble Sec remains modest. The architecture is simple and the prices are reasonable. Compared to its neighbouring districts it is virtually untouched by tourists and for this reason it’s one of the best places to eat good food for low prices. Removed from the tourist traps of Barcelona, but still central, Poble Sec is a great place to enjoy a relaxed, yet lively atmosphere amongst a diverse mix of inhabitants.
Dining and Nightlife
Carrer Blai is a pedestrianised strip of bars and restaurants that runs through the heart of Poble Sec. It’s a charming, fun and inexpensive place to enjoy good quality tapas and drinks in the afternoon or evening. It’s a great street to hop from one bar to the next as the standard is of food is high – look out for Taberna Blai Tonight (Blai, 23) where pinxos and beers are both only a euro each! Tribal (Blai, 29) is another stand-out bar on the strip, an atmospheric place to enjoy gin and tonic or any other mixer you fancy. They serve excellent food too. Most of the places on Blai tend to shut between midnight and 1:00, but Tribal, which opens until 2:30 on Fridays and Saturdays, is the bar to go to if you fancy a couple more drinks.
Taverna Can Margarit (Concòrdia, 21) is a rustic, Catalan restaurant which offers atmosphere, quality food and good service at a very reasonable price (15€ a head). The rabbit is the house speciality and a must-have (1 portion can be shared between 2 people). The lamb chops are also very good. You can’t book a table but while you wait you are given a glass and invited to help yourself to their selection of barrelled wines….for free! It opens at 8pm.
Pizza Sortidor (Blasco de Garay, 46) serves amazing thin-crust pizza topped with fresh ingredients. The most expensive pizza is 12 euros, but if you go on Tuesday or Wednesday every pizza is only 7€. The ‘de la casa’ and the ‘diavola’ shouldn’t be missed.
How to get there
Situated on L3, Poble Sec is only 4 stops from Plaça Catalunya.