Around seventy emblematic establishments in Barcelona can be visited virtually through the city hall's new website Emblematics route. There are images 360º where you can see the products they sell in the shop, the architecture and the tradition all together in this emblematic establishments.
But what is actually an emblematic establishment you might be asking, it is a shop, a restaurant or another kind of establishment of great interest for his architecture and heritage. Some of the shops that remain are from artisan practices that are almost lost nowadays or very specific business such as Casa Parramon dedicated only to string instruments or L'Estamperia San José that sells religious items.
These establishments belong to the history of Barcelona and in the last years have been in jeopardy since those had very low rents in the city centre since their contracts were done hundreds of years ago. Since some of those establishments were forced to close or to move somewhere else because they rised their rent, the city hall due to the pressure had to start some measures to protect them.
All establishments are located in a map and showing their open date, the oldest restaurant in Barcelona is Can Culleretes, a classic of catalan cuisine that opened in 1786 and the oldest shop in town is Manual Alpargatera from 1941 that still produces the catalan "espardenyes" shoes.
If you want to discover the old shops and restaurants in Barcelona, I would recommend you to keep in mind where are these establishments, they go hand in hand with quality and savoir faire since most of them have been opened for 100 or 200 years so they are an example to be followed. My favorites are:
Carrer Provença, 241, 08008 Barcelona
This one is a must stop for anyone in Barcelona, it is an old chic bakery, they offer a wide variety of sweet pastries but also salty treats. My favorites are little sandwiches, and most of their food is a take away too. They offer a daily menu, and the shop on the inside is beautiful, find a moment to sit down and relax while you eat a croissant.
Carrer de les Floristes de la Rambla, 83, 08001 Barcelona
Escribà is a classic from las Ramblas, a classy patisserie with delicious treats, you can find the classic croissants, muffins and others that would be everywhere but you will be surprised by their creations: a vanilla lip shape cake with strawberry, a mint leave covered with chocolate etc... This was one of our must stops in our Barcelona chocolate tour. They have a big section of creative cakes, you can order a personalized cake for example or a ring made of candy called Candy Glam Rings, a sugar piece that has been sold in 16 countries, a creation by Escribà that shows their ability to work with candy as a material. Christian Escribà is a famous baker in Barcelona but also intenationally, they have
Carrer Xuclà, 4-6, 08001 Barcelona
This one is a classic since is where Cacaolat was invented, Cacaolat is a catalan classic, is a chocolate milkshake that has a flavor like no other. You can order it warm too. It is a good place for breakfast and mid-afternoon snack, order a "suizo" with home made cream and hot chocolate.