Jessica is 24, English-born, California-raised, and living in Barcelona. She works as a translator and freelance journalist. Read about her adventures in Spain at holayessica.com.
Published February 5th 2013
An adorable corner café in the Eixample district
If you're looking mid-afternoon break, Café Marti is the perfect place to relax with a drink and a tasty pastry. This little café is tucked away on a corner two streets over from Passeig de Gràcia right in the city center, but it's a lovely retreat from the city bustle.
Inside, you'll find a collection of bright chairs, wooden tables, and a luscious display of delicious treats ranging from sweet pastries to jamón sandwiches. The walls are painted golden yellow, then sky blue near the top. The blue section is splashed with quotes about love and happiness, and the relaxing music playing adds a nice feeling to the place.
The food is just as tasty as it looks, and the coffee is excellent (I recommend the 'café con leche' - strong, milky coffee). There are often new, tempting things to try, like chocolate and orange 'duos' or freshly baked whole wheat croissants. The friendly staff will help you out with whatever you want. They do speak English.
Despite being so close to the city center, this isn't a highly touristy café. It's filled with all kinds of people from the neighborhood, from kids and their parents after school, exchange students, regular university students, professionals, construction workers, and retirees.
If you don't have time to stop in for a long break, they do coffee to go, which can be tricky to find in Barcelona unless it's from a fast food restaurant. You can also buy pastries to take home. The bread and jams make a lovely breakfast in your flat or hotel.