Carrer de Còrsega, 341, 08037
Mon-Thurs 9am - 10pm
Fri-Sat - Open 24 hours
Sun 12pm - 10pm
Barcelona is paradise for foodies. After all, eating well (and often) is all part of the Spanish way of life! There’s literally endless amounts to try, from tapas nibbles to sizzling seafood and hearty mountain fare. But for food-focussed travellers with a taste for the sweeter things in life there’s one particular dulce Spanish delight that is simply unmissable — churros (or ‘xurros’ in Catalan).
This ancient and indulgent treat is basically Spain’s version of the doughnut and they serve them in all sorts of devilishly tempting ways. They are made simply by deep-frying a time-honoured doughy mix and come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, from skinny little crunchy whippets to chunky and crispy tubes that require two hands to eat (which is how I like them).
But the magic isn’t just in the secret doughy mixture, it’s also in the way they are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and piped with mouthwatering fillings such as ‘dulce de leche' (a creamy caramel sauce) and chocolate.
The final piece of the puzzle is the pot of treacle-thick melted hot chocolate that you double dunk your churros into, making every melting mouthful a feat of pure oozing decadence. The first time I tried them was at a stall in the Christmas market. I remember distinctly how they made me feel warm and fuzzy inside, like being a child again. Sometimes I wonder if I might have been Spanish in my previous life.
There are a number of traditional churro stalls around the city, but for the best churros in Barcelona there’s only one place to go, and that’s Xurreria Trebol.
This family-run churro utopia was opened by Cecilia Martínez and her husband Juan Bacells back in the 1950s and is widely considered to be the oldest churreria in Barcelona. When the couple retired they passed on their business, along with their secret family recipes and decades of experience, to their son Ramón Bacells, who continues to run the business with his son Alex. That’s three generations of the same family! Located right on the border between the glitzy Example neighbourhood and the village-like area of Gracia, I suggest picking up your churros and chocolate to nibble on whilst you wander the pretty streets. Or if you’d rather sit, stroll over to the orange blossoming Jardins del Palau Robert and enjoy your bounty in this mini inner-city forest.
Proving just how popular Xurreria Trebol is with the locals, it stays open for 24 hours a day over the weekend to satisfy Barcelona’s late night revellers. Because after all, what could be a better pick-me-up after a long night at la fiesta? If you’re simply too tired to leave your hotel room, they even offer a delivery service — just make your order online on their website and they’ll box up your churros and a pot of steaming hot chocolate and have it delivered straight to your door.
‘Churros con chocolate’ — it’s just one of those timeless Spanish traditions that simply cannot be improved in any way.