Barcelona is a great city- the beaches, architecture, beautiful people… and, of course, the tapas. Toronto doesn’t bear much resemblance to sunny palm-lined Barca, but its food has been replicated in near perfect form at Bar Raval.
Raval is a project from prolific chef Grant van Gameren and the concept is a Barcelona tapas bar. There are no chairs- grab a spot along the windows for people-watching, or along the bar to watch the bartenders mix exotic concoctions. The food is served tapas style, meaning small plates. And each delicate morsel is better than the next- crispy ham croquetas oozing cheese as you dive into them, delicate slices of jamon paired with pungent Spanish cheeses, and, my personal favourite, morcilla blood sausage with parsley oil topped with a quail egg- crumbly, rich, spicy. Heaven on the palate.
You can’t go wrong with the drinks here. Pick from their excellent wine list, sample an inventive new cocktail, or sip sherry from their extensive collection. The beauty of this spot is that it is open all day- you can have an excellent coffee with a croissant and jamon, or a full dinner with pinxtos and seafood delights.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that the bar itself is absolutely gorgeous. The sweeping, Gaudi-esque design is a thing to marvel at. That is, if you can take your eyes of the beautiful crowd or the exquisite tapas. Genuinely one of my go-to spots in Toronto- don’t miss it.