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After my first few days in Barcelona, I have tried to avoid Las Ramblas, aside from the occasional shopping trip or visit to the Bocaderia (open-air market). Las Ramblas is the most touristy part of Barcelona, and it is very crowded, with lots of pickpocketers. So when my friends wanted to meet for tapas at Las Ramblas, I was a little hesitant. I’m so glad I went, though, because my friends took me to a surprisingly cheap tapas restaurant, with amazing food.

We all met up at Café Zurich, a café and bar near Plaza Catalunya. I was meeting my Godmother’s friends who live in Barcelona. I had never met them before, and they were both much older than me, but we had a great time nonetheless. I had no idea how I would find them at Café Zurich, because I had never seen them before. So I sat at a table outside with my book and my glass of wine, and just waited. Somehow they found me, after asking two other young girls sitting alone if they were Kelly. They were so friendly, and we headed out to the restaurant.

We went to a cute little place less than a minute from Las Ramblas. It’s called Elisabets, and I would highly recommend it. I had to admit that I am not the best person to go out for tapas with, because I’m such a picky eater. I don’t eat fish or really any meat besides chicken. I felt bad, and I didn’t want them to not order their favorite tapas because of me! But they were very accommodating, and it wasn’t a big deal. They come here fairly often, and are friends with the staff. I let them order everything, because I figured they knew what they were doing. They ordered patatas bravas, mushrooms, hot green peppers, bread with olive oil and tomatoes, and chorizo with toasted bread. They shared a pitcher of beer, and I drank my white wine. I won’t drink red wine when I’m out because it stains my teeth!

The food was amazing. Though I rarely eat red meat, the chorizo looked so good I had to have some. I’m glad I did- it was delicious! One friend was from Dublin and the other from Hungary, so over tapas we discussed our respective cultures. They have both lived all over Europe, but truly love living in Barcelona. They promised to take me out again, so I can experience more cheap bars around the city, which aren’t total tourist traps.

The best part of Elisabets was when we got the bill. We got tons of tapas, tons of drinks, all for less than 30 euro! I was shocked to find such an inexpensive place so close to Las Ramblas, one of the most expensive places in the city. I told my roommates about it, and they all want to go back with me soon. If you are in Barcelona, try Elisabets for great tapas!

Kelly Greacen

Kelly is an English major from Boston University, and interned abroad during Summer 2013.