If you are looking for streets with this special charm in Barcelona, you can't miss carrer Petritxol, it is a pedestrian street known to be the street of chocolate in Barcelona and I will explain to you why. Carrer Petritxol is documented since 1340, and the name petrítxol comes from the word "pedrítxol" that refers to those stones that didn't allow the carriages to come inside a certain street. Petrítxol was the first pedestrian street in Barcelona city in 1959.
If you walk along the street you will notice that there are ceramic tiles that show information about parties, weddings or any other kind of social gathering that took place in the chocolateries in the street. The tiles also have information on the birth or death of famous people in the city such as Montserrat Caballé who used to rehearse in her studio in this very same street.
History of Petrítxol street
Petritxol street is located right next to Las Ramblas and only 4 minutes walking from Portal del Àngel, into your way to Plaça del Pi. Due to its proximity to Las Ramblas, when it started to be a place of gathering in the everyday life of the barcelonins, carrer Petritxol also started to wake up from a medieval dream around XIX. At this time is when this pastry shops started to appear along with artisan shops of different kinds. There was a milk farm, a sculptor, a painter, a shoemaker etc...
Petritxol is famous for many things, the chocolat of course, the art galleries, the tile decoration but also because many famous people in the city were born in this street or had an important moment of their life in Petritxol. Some famous people related to carrer Petritxol are:
Àngel Guimerà who lived in Petritxol number 4, he was a famous catalog writer
Joan Salvat-Papasseit, who was a famous Catalan poet
Enric Prat de la Riba, who stayed at his uncle's house when he came to Barcelona to study.
Montserrat CabaIlé, the Catalan opera singer who worked for some time in the Cornella handkerchief factory located in the number 11.
See a taste of carrer Petrítxol in this video, where you can see everything we told you about, the chocolat shops, the galleries etc...
Sala Parés art gallery
This interesting art gallery opened its doors on 1840 and in 1877 becomes the first art gallery in Spain and many artists of the time exhibit their work in there, some of them were Pablo Picasso, Santiago Rusiñol, Ramon Casas or Isidre Nonell.
Nowadays there are other art galleries that popped up in the same street such as Art Petritxol (Petritxol, 8) and the gallery Carré D’Artistes (Petritxol, 3).
The best Chocolateries in Petritxol
In carrer Petritxol is where all barcelonins went with their grandparents in the summer months, when there was no school to have an afternoon hot chocolate with some pastries. It was a typical stop for children and also for adults, we all like a sweet and this is the street of chocolate in Barcelona, so any doubt what you need to try here?
Granja Pallaresa: Petritxol num 11
It was a dairy shop until 1947 but nowadays is only a " granja", we call granja these cafeterias with home made products, normally they produced most of their products and are old establishments. You can try a swiss -hot chocolate with cream on top-, we call it suizo, they have crema catalana, cottage cheese from Montserrat, cuajadas etc..
In la Pallaresa is the only place in Barcelona where you can taste the dessert " menjar blanc", it is a medieval dessert, made with an almond cream with cinnamon and lemon.
Dulcinea: Petritxol num 2
It is said that in la Dulcinea they serve the best hot chocolate with churros in town. The place is just as it was on 1930 when it was a tavern that was opened since XVIII century but now is a more cosy cafeteria. This granja was and is very popular, even Dalí or Àngel Guimerà used to sit down in its chairs and enjoy some of their delicious products.
There is another chocolate place in carrer Petrítxol but nothing to do with the old ones and best ones on this street. There is a newly opened Xocoa, a shop that belongs to a chain of shops about chocolate. The products are good and they have nice chocolate cakes but really not the place you should sit down in carrer Petritxol if you are visiting for the first time.
My recommendation is to go in winter time when a hot chocolate is the best remedy to the street cold, but on weekends it is a crowded place so take advantage to go during the week