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A bodega can be a corner store or a corner bar, or sometimes even a wine cellar with a small kitchen serving refined riffs on traditional Spanish foods. In Barcelona, a bodega is all of these, but most of all it is the beating heart of the neighborhood. Wine barrels, chalk marked with their content’s region of origin, line the walls. Neighbors come in and fill a jug to take it home, pausing for a game of cards, a drink and a bite to eat and some banter. On this walk, as we travel along Barcelona’s urban wine route, we’ll be among those regulars, eating and drinking our way through some of the city’s most iconic bodegas.
We’ll start by dropping in the historic and multicultural El Raval district, first for a carajillo, coffee spiked with Catalan brandy, at an unforgettable neighborhood haunt. From there we’ll make our way to the more upscale bodegas of the San Antoni and Poble Sec neighborhoods, where tradition is tweaked with a modern touch. Along with sips of hard-to-find wines from all over Spain we’ll also sample some fine Catalan wines and, among other delights, we’ll taste artisanal regional cheeses, modern pintxos (Basque-style tapas), top grade anchovies and octopus fritters paired with a dry house cava. During the traditional afternoon “vermouth hour,” we will have our vermut done right, which means served chilled with only an olive as garnish, an old-time soda siphon bottle ready for the occasional spritz and, of course, a few perfectly paired tapas on the side.
There is plenty of food to call this tour a long, well-lubricated lunch and enough drinks to consider it an extended happy hour. Better yet, we like to call it an invitation into the unique culture of the Barcelona bodega and the barrios that keep this tradition alive.
What is included in the fee?
In addition to your Culinary Backstreets guide, all drink and food consumed on the walk- about 7-8 drinks matched with a different edible specialty- are included in the price.
Why is the Culinary Backstreet tour more expensive than some other walking tours?
Our approach is different than most tour companies. Each of our culinary walks is the outcome of considerable research. We work with academics in the field and our own team of experienced professionals – both guides and local journalists. Our ongoing publishing of articles, from restaurant reviews to features about the intersection of food and culture, constantly feeds new material into the culinary walks, so they evolve and constantly improve. Though costly, we believe that this is how to create the quality experiences we strive for.
We practice honest tourism and would never accept a free lunch or any sort of commission. On the contrary, we are proud to know that the money spent during the culinary walk goes to support businesses that we believe in, helping to preserve the social and cultural fabric of the cities we love so dearly.
How does the payment process work?
Once you have made a reservation, we require the full $135 fee to be paid in order to complete the online booking. Our online booking system uses Stripe to process secure payments.
What is your cancellation policy?
100% will be refunded if given 1 week notice prior to walk and 50% will be refunded if given 72 hours notice or more.
Are your walks public or private? How many people are on them?
Our walks are 2-7 people and are open to the public. If you would like to do a private walk, we may be able to arrange one for an additional fee. Please contact us at email@example.com for more information.
Can I get a discount if I join more than one walk?
Yes, we offer a 10% discount to those who join more than one walk. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join multiple walks.
Are your walks suitable for people with food allergies?
This can vary based on a number of factors, including the food item in question. Please email us at email@example.com to discuss your situation before booking.
How physically demanding are the walks?
The walk is about 2KM (1.25 miles) of fairly flat terrain, broken up into almost a dozen stops. The streets and sidewalks of Barcelona are quite well kept but we do recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes.
Can children join the walks?
Although children are welcome in bodegas of Barcelona, this tour is designed to be a tasting of alcoholic beverages and is not very suitable for children, in our opinion.
Can you pick me up from my hotel? How will I return, once the tour is over?
Our tour prices don’t include transportation. If you book a tour, you’re responsible for arriving to the pre-arranged meeting spot on your own.
Once the tour is over, we will help you get an authorized, safe taxi to your hotel, or provide directions on public transportation, if you’re interested in that.
How much food will I get to try?
This is really up to you. We generally make between 6 and 9 eating and drinking stops on our walk and try to include some breaks from eating along the way. We offer a suggested portion size at each stop and you can take our recommendation if you’d like. Our walks often involve sharing food.