Hyperactive Hortense Giraud landed in Barcelona from A Coruña (where she had spent the last three years working for ZARA) to join the creative forces of the city with MYBARRIO, a virtual platform famous for its pop-up events that are not limited to the ‘who’s who’ and the ‘who does what’ in the city’s lofty creative world. Mybarrio goes a step further by creating a community and putting different projects in contact.
About to open the 4th MYBARRIO pop-up at Soho House, Hortense takes us around Gràcia, where she currently lives, to visit her favorite places. Her infallible smell when it comes to selecting designers will arouse passions among fans of the neighborhood, but also among its detractors, who will want to give it a second chance.
“I find it impossible to choose only ten places. My barrio is the Vila de Gràcia. When I came to Barcelona, I fell in love with it right away. It’s like living in a city without cars. You can go to buy bread through calm pedestrian streets and plazas; all my friends live nearby and I can walk everywhere. Gràcia has it all, in fact it is difficult to go somewhere else in the city. It’s great here.”
“Mybarrio is Vila de Gràcia. When I cam to Barcelona, I fell in love with it right away”
- Calle Torrijos+Plaza Virreina + Prieto Bar + Colmado + Bodega Marín
In this perimeter, there are many places that I love. I would start by the Plaza Virreina, the most beautiful of all to me. From there, I walk down Carrer Torrijos – which reminds me of Latin American towns – and then I visit one of my three favorite bars / wineries: the Prieto Bar. It is ideal when the sun rises and to have a caña outside standing. It’s full of groups of friends and it’s always packed. There is a very authentic neighborhood atmosphere there. My next stop is the charming, quiet Colmado, ideal for having vermouth. I like the place itself: high ceilings, every chair is unique, and it has an attractive bar. The third option is the Marín, a very traditional and narrow old cellar, narrow bar (only 10 people fit in there) with a lot of personality.
- Rabipelao + Quinoa Bar
Near that same area, there are two restaurants worth visiting: for a veggie meal, go to the tiny Quinoa Bar (so tiny that it only has four tables!). The quality of the products is incredible. To live up to its name, don’t forget to order the quinoa salad. Later at night, I always get craving for a good Venezuelan arepa with shredded meat. The best place for that is the Rabipelao de Gràcia. It has a special charm of its own. It’s better to go there at night. During the day you can go to the patio at the end.
- Il Giardinetto
Este restaurante is amazing to have dinner. It is located right on the border between Gràcia and Sant Gervasi. It has a unique retro air fascinates me. The interior design recreates a garden of warm lights.The space is full of magic and poetry. I always choose the trio of pastas from the menu.
- Mercado de la Libertad + La Pubilla + Can Luc
This area of the neighborhood is quite ‘protected’ from tourism. The Mercado de la Libertad is almost like a mini Boqueria, with older people doing their shopping. Inside, way at the end of thee market, there is a bar that is perfect to have a tallat and a sandwich. But if you want to eat well, I recommend La Pubilla, the restaurant opposite. When I miss France, I stop by Can Luc to taste some of the best cheeses in Gràcia.
- Calle Seneca: AOO + Plom Gallery + Fan Shoronpo + Bar El Roble + Slow Mov
Another very nice area is the Carrer de la Riera de Sant Miquel, where I usually have to decide between having a slow coffee at Slow Mov or going to El Roble (I love the mix of people that go there!) A little further down the street there are three of my favorite places in Gràcia: the Japanese restaurant Fan Shoronpo (ask the Shoronpo, they’re like Dim sum), the AOO design / furniture / decoration boutique, founded and run by Marc Morro, and the children’s art center Plom Gallery.
- Plaza del Sol + Tuuu Librería + Sol Soler + El Diluvio Universal
If you are looking for sun all day, go to the square that bears the name of the Astro King. My favorite terrace is the Sol Soler because its food is delicious. Right next to it there is the Tuuu Librería, which I love. Not far, there’s El Diluvio Universal artwork store. I always stop by there.
- Casa Atlántica + Bar But
Another of my favorite shops in Gràcia is Casa Atlántica. Belén has some treasures there: artisan products from Galicia and Portugal. I always want to buy everything, from pottery and baskets to lamps. The staging is beautiful! Not far from the shop, I stop to eat at the But Bar. The food is fresh and delicious.
- La Vermu + Plaza Vila De Gràcia
La Vermu is my second home, basically. My favorite place to meet my friends. The team is ace. Both Elke and Judith are very welcoming. And the food is wonderful: the fuet, the ensaladilla rusa, the salmon montadito… It is 10 seconds away from my other favorite square, popularly known as Del Reloj.
- Yoga con Gracia
This Yoga space is unique, especially the one on Carrer de Ca l’Alegre de Dalt. It is a very charming loft, very girly. Everything is in the details, like the accessories, most of them made with Liberty printed fabrics. You will fall in love with the vintage kitchen!
- Passatge Sant Felip
I discovered this passage recently and it fascinates me. Nobody gets there, so enjoy yourself. Do not miss the tree-headed house. It’s awesome!