picnic eggs benedict

Picnic: brunch american style in El Born

by Carlos Vicente, 01/10/2015

picnic gin lemonadePicnic is an ideal place for a weekend brunch in El Born. Underneath the large glass windows of this establishment, which let light in during the weekend, you’ll find a great stopping point for anyone looking to enjoy a delicious brunch in a centric location in the district of El Born, halfway between Arc de Triomf and the Parc de la Ciutadella (Comerç 1).

A visit to Picnic takes you into a place where you’ll find the purest American style on show, as if you were in the Big Apple. It’s clear that we can’t call this one a truly local bar, as it’s laid out with an international touch to both the food and service. Because of this (and also due to Picnic’s location right in the centre of Barcelona, perhaps), the clientele are mostly tourists or expats who’ve dropped by to pay homage to the American tradition of brunch. The place has a young, modern feel to it where you’ll feel at home wherever you’re from.

The café, despite not being enormous, is large enough and has different tables and bars that you can choose from. Also, it offers a cosy terrace that sits in the midday sun.

picnic eggs benedict

The menu in Picnic is pretty good. It doesn’t offer a massive variety of choice, but has a well-rounded selection of tapas, side orders and main dishes you can choose your brunch from. Despite fairly small rations, the food is delicious. We were able to try one of my great weaknesses: Eggs Benedict. The dish was very tasty, with a touch of salmon included (you can also choose bacon), which gave a great touch. Other star dishes which delight visitors include fried green tomatoes with feta cheese, quinoa croquettes and huevos rancheros, to name a few.

In terms of drinks, there’s not that many to choose from either, but you can find items such as the classic bellinis and mimosa (a.k.a. Buck’s Fizz), as well as perfecto Bloody Marys and Ginger and Pink Lemonades (served with or without alcohol). All cocktails are served in original glasses which are sure to get your attention.

Finally, it’s worth leaving a space in your stomach to try some of the exquisite desserts on offer, such as the cheesecake with fruits of the forest or strawberry crumble with vanilla ice cream. Delicious!

picnic cheesecake

Picnic, due to its reputation and location, is a very popular joint and fills up quickly during the weekends. You can book via telephone, which we highly recommend. During our visit, we were quite lucky as we turned up without a booking and found a table without having to wait. We were also served quite quickly (impressive, given how busy the place was) by Picnic’s friendly, approachable waiting staff.

picnic strawberry crumble

What’s the downside for me? Unfortunately, the reality is that Picnic can be loud and too touristy, which has made it lose part of its magic. Don’t expect to find a typical local establishment here or a hidden jewel, given that this is a very well-known place and its brunch has built up a reputation amongst tourists. Given its location and the type of audience it attracts, Picnic is also priced somewhat above the average, although it is by no means ridiculous. To give you an idea, a brunch including a main dish + drink + dessert might cost up to €20 – €23 per person.

Prices apart, Picnic is somewhere that’s worth a visit if you want to try out a proper brunch on any weekend in Barcelona, so if you’re going for a stroll through El Born or the Parc de la Ciutadella, your palette will appreciate the visit!

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