Ariana Díaz Celma

In just a few months, our ability to find hotspots around Paseo San Juan and the surrounding area is dangerously increasing. This time around, it’s a heavyweight—Hofmann chose a modest two-level place to renovate it and make it feel like a home, both as decoration and food goes. The result is an unpretentious yet comfortable and elegant restaurant, with plants decorating a beautiful upstairs patio and also the wallpaper. The menu is different on each level: informal on the first floor and more elaborated upstairs.

The Hofmann Bistrot comes across as a regular neighborhood bar, but there is Mey—a Michelin star-winning chef for her work on the restaurant located on 14 Granada del Penedès and founder of one of the world’s most respected cooking schools. The menu features dishes for any time of the day—breakfast, vermouth, afternoon snacks and informal dinners. Of course, the wonderful Hofmann croissants and financiers (Mey also runs one of Barcelona’s best patisseries), as well as their signature sandwiches open the menu.

There are also tapas—roasted veal croquettes, Andalusian-style calamari with bergamot mayonnaise, black pudding fitters with apple and celery or low-temperature eggs with potato and sobrasada.

But if you drop by Hofmann Bistrot before lunch, you can order Santoña anchovies, olive oils with Hofmman’s signature dressing or the legendary gildas (olives, anchovies and chili on a toothpick) as typical as they are tasty.

Upstairs guests will find one of the neighborhood’s best-kept secrets, a coquettish dining room that is the perfect scenario to enjoy the tapas made downstairs. The menu here also includes sea bass tartar with passion fruit and lime; ganchet beans and foie casserole; eggs with fungi and royale; roasted scallops with vegetable gyoza in fish juice and tamarind perfume; cod fish with sweet potato puree, a touch of vanilla and a smooth parmesan sauce; or piglet with truffled parmentier and sautéed vegetables. Here vegetarians won’t find many options. As for desserts, the menu is the same one as in Taverna Hoffman, with hits such as chocolate hamburger, coconut egg with maracuya, crunchy tiramisu or the amazing cheese cake, as eye-catching—it looks like a camembert with the wrapping included, as it is tasty.

A meal at Hofmman Bistrot, a highly recommendable experience, is about €30, depending on the wine. On the first floor prices are more affordable.