When I joined my family in Barcelona for a vacation in June of 2010, we had no idea we’d be dining at an iconic restaurant that would soon be a memory for all. Inopia, one of Barcelona’s hippest, most beloved tapas bars, ceased operations just over a month after we visited, leaving fans with this message on their website:
“The 30th July was the last day of service for Inopia. After 5 years of exploring the world of classic tapas, Albert Adrià is handing over the bar to his partner Joan Martinez, the bar is set on a new course with a change of concept and under the new name ‘Lolita’, the girl who enjoys tapas and mini-sandwiches. We are grateful for all the affection we have received from our customers during these years and we hope you will be filled with the same excitement for our new concept on the 1st September. As always we hope to provide you with small portions of happiness. Forever, Inopia.”
Albert Adrià moved on to new culinary adventures by opening Tickets with his brother, Ferran Adrià. If you are heading through Barcelona for TBEX, please go to Tickets for me and share your experiences! I don’t know when I’ll get back to Barcelona, but I hope it’s soon. If Tickets is anything like Inopia, hands down, one of the coolest dining experiences ever. Apparently it’s already been featured on Travel Channel’s No Reservations. From what I’ve read, you must make reservations online and they are booked up to two months in advance. I’ve also read that you can get lucky by stopping in and asking to wait for a table, especially with a small dining party.
A fantastic restaurant that is definitely not closed is Flash Flash Tortilleria. Visually, it’s one of the most stunning restaurants I’ve ever dined in. Everything is black and white, except the bathroom, which is red. The walls are painted with ladies who are holding cameras. Each camera flash in each image is a light on the wall.
photo credit: Carlos Jackson
This seems to be a big hit with the locals – a neighborhood ritual for regulars. It’s been around for over 40 years and the woman featured with the camera is the owner’s wife, painted when they opened. I can’t imagine how they keep such a place looking so tidy, but they do. I felt a big sense of pride from all of the employees during each of our visits. We loved the decor so much, we went three different times! When we arrived at 5pm, we had the place to ourselves. It was much busier at lunch and late night.
To add to this unique dining experience, their specialty is the tortilla, a fluffy omelet-like dish that is eaten at all times of the day. They have over 50 varieties at Flash Flash! They offer burgers and steaks, as well salads, but don’t go for those, go for the tortillas! It’s classic Barcelona.
May your journey be your muse,