I realise kitchenware is not the most riveting of subjects for some but personally I do love a kitchen gadget. I like most gadgets, but as I’ve got older the kitchen gadget is my want. If I had a garden then I am positive I’d like garden gadgets, but I have a 2m2 terrace so the kitchen is my gadget domain.
Kitchen Shops in Barcelona: I’m not talking about shops selling fridges or dishwashers or whole kitchens. These are shops for people looking for that cool item that does a certain cooking task the perfect way. Or the perfect gift for a foodie friend. As well as of course great knives and cookware.
This started when I wanted to buy a Lékué Steam Case, one of those silicone jobs that can withstand the oven, the freezer, the dishwasher, and cats it seems. I thought I’d go on a little trawl of all the kitchen shops I knew and see what I could find.
Darna (new addition: added Jan 2015)
I found out about Darna (c/ Comte Borrell 83-85) in Sant Antoni thanks to a friend who lives locally. It is a surprisingly large shop with a huge variety of colourful products so my penchant for anything as long as it’s a shade between white and black isn’t adequately satisfied. Nonetheless this place is a treasure trove. When I visited there was a sale on with up to 70% off so I relaxed a little on the colour range and went overboard.
Darna produces all its own products with a large range of ceramic knives and cookware. I’m a big fan of Le Creuset but I must say the Darna cookware looks and feels like great quality too, but at half the price (that’s without a sale on!).
There are a ton of silicone utensils, plastic pots and receptacles of all sizes, and some great little porcelain dishes (à la Le Creuset) that come with click on plastic lids; great for cooking a dish in and then once cool, popping on the lid to put in the fridge or freezer.
And although as I write it is not the weather for picnics I shall be back here in the summer as they have a great range of bags for eating on the go.
Colourful or not, this place rocks: and with the current sale on until 28th Feb 2015 you should get down there as soon as you can. In the words of Darna themselves, “If life is full of colours, why do you always choose black for your kitchenware?”
El Corte Inglés
My local department store, El Corte Inglés on Plaça de Catalunya has a big selection of all types of kitchenware on the 5th floor. Departments stores are all well and good if you’re there for other things too. But I want that specialist store that is, well, a bit special I guess. And plus, who wants to traipse up to the 5th floor, especially when the Catalans don’t quite seem to have grasped basic escalator etiquette. Worth a visit though if you’re there.
Cooking – The Kitchen Company
So, on to The Kitchen Company (c/ Provença, 278). This is far more like it. A huge Le Creuset range, an ample Good Grips range, beautiful copper pans, ice cream makers, blenders, bread makers, coffee machines, and even the trusty Magimix. This shop is heaven. It has plenty of gadgets too! And they have regular cooking demonstrations. I couldn’t resist a satin black Le Creuset cast iron grill for 73€. My only tip is if you’re out shopping and wish to purchase such an item, get it last. It’s bloody heavy!
I popped into Avet (c/ Provença, 255) just along from TKC. I was right not to expect much. TKC had been busy and this place was empty. I was the only person in there. They have a lot of budget stuff, with nothing of great quality. But they do have a good range of cheap white tableware. Every kind of piece you may want. So if you have done your wages on Le Creuset this may be the place to go to kit out your table. It’s only something to eat off after all.
Gadgets & Cuina
Up Rambla de Catalunya and left on c/ Aragó you’ll find Gadgets & Cuina (c/ Aragó, 249). As you may be able to tell by the name, this is the kitchen gadget shop. No Magimix’s here! Just lots and lots of kitchen gadgets. They also have a big selection of cake decorating apparatus. And something I couldn’t bring myself to buy but now regret was a Lékué macaron making kit & recipe book. I adore macarons, and this kit made it look easy.
Gadgets & Cuina is well priced too. It is where I ended up buying the Lékué Steam Case and it was the cheapest place I found. I also picked up two of these great little egg cooking things. They also have a stall in the Boqueria you can check out and another shop in L’illa on Diagonal.
What can I say about Vinçon (Passeig de Gràcia, 96), it is a mecca for all things design. The swishest gift and homeware shop ever. Low lighting, smooth jazz playing as you enter and prices that will make your eyes water. A book case caught my eye, a metal tower, it was 830€. I thanked the girl very much and walked away.
A colourful shelf of Pantone mugs and espresso cups, any Moleskine item you could possibly wish for, and these Crumpled City Maps that I have never seen before – ‘truly indestructible and 100% waterproof’. I like them a lot, were it not for the fact that Google Maps on my iPhone works quite adequately, though ‘truly indestructible and 100% waterproof’ it is not!
So what about the kitchenware? They have shelves and shelves of it. Long aisles with tall shelves either side. To tell you the truth it’s a bit warehousey, like Ikea, but with style. I could spend hours in there. Go check it out if you’ve never been!
Upstairs you’ll see the fabulous internal structure of the building. Pillars, stairwells, all very ornate, with an outdoor terrace that gives you a view of the side of La Pedrera next door. All larger designer objects for the home up here. It’s where I saw my bookcase.
Zwilling J.A. Henckels
Back down in the old town is the Zwilling J.A. Henckels store (c/ Pi, 16). This German brand has been around since the 18th century. Zwilling J.A. Henckels specialises in quality knives which they let you try out in store on a range of unsuspecting vegetables. The company has purchased the French Staub cast iron cookware brand, and from Belgium the Demeyere stainless steel cookware company. They also have a range of Japanese knives.
Everything in this shop is of the highest quality. If you like kitchen stuff, you’ll love this shop.
Gràcia and beyond…
I’ve been to a couple of great little shops in Gràcia but I didn’t get up there this time and can’t remember the names of them. I’m sure there are plenty more around town as well. The old town is full of ferreteria’s (hardware shops) where you can get all kinds of paella pans and the like. But the shops above are definitely worth a visit.
So let me know you’re favourite kitchen shop in Barcelona by commenting below. Personally, I can’t get enough of them!