According to an August 2015 report from LGBT Capital, an investment firm based in London and Hong Kong focused on the LGBT consumer market, Spain is Europe’s most valuable LGBT travel destination, with in-bound gay and lesbian visitors pumping in some $6.8 billion to the economy. That puts Spain second behind the US ($21.5 billion) among the 14 global nations counted in the report.
From Alicante to Zaragoza, Spain calls gay travelers to some 11 destinations country wide, but few come as hot as beautiful Barcelona. From bustling Eixample (locally, Gaixample), the city’s gay epicenter to the nude beaches of seaside gay-magnet Sitges, southwest of the city, Catalonia’s capital sizzles year-round.
With flamboyant fiestas including the legendary Sitges Carnival (February), Bear Pride (March), Pride Barcelona (late June into early July), and wild Circuit Festival (which celebrated its 10th anniversary this August) for visitors to enjoy, count Barcelona’s globally recognized culinary scene among the seductions, too.
From its beachfront snack bars (xiringuitos) to its 23 Michelin-starred restaurants, Barcelona’s food scene runs as hot as its men. Even going for coffee here is on an amorous level, per the Catalan phrase “Fotem un café?” or “Let’s make love to a coffee.” On that appetite-whetting possibility alone, here are just a few of the myriad ways to eat your heart out in Barcelona.
With Catalonia designated the European Region of Gastronomy for 2016, Catalan cuisine, reaching back to medieval days has lasting African and Arabic influences, exemplifying the saying that “the history of the world is found on the plate.”
Based primarily on ingredients cultivated, foraged, and harvested from Catalonia’s bountiful seas, valleys, and mountains, the Catalan menu dances to its own exotic beat. Typically cooked in wine, brandy, or extra-virgin olive oil from some of the oldest olive trees in Europe, Catalan dishes characteristically contrast sweet and spicy or sweet and sour accents.