In a city with many restaurants, the peasant’s food is king. In Berlin, it’s street vendor’s kebab. In Prague, bowls of hearty goulash. In Barcelona, it’s Can Paixano’s signature dish.
On Calle de la Reina Cristina, a slim alley between the sun-blasted colonnade of Port Vell and the shady Placa del Palau, Can Paixano’s dedicated overflow onto the street.
In their hands are plastic cocktail glasses brimming with cava, and they walk on a sea of scrunched up, grease and sauce-stained napkins.
Looking into Can Paixano is confirmation of its worth. A long counter runs the length of the restaurant, though it’s a rare day that you can see the far end through throngs of people.
Behind the counter, thick-armed men bustle back and forth from grills to customers, the smell of rich, spiced meat wafting over their heads. Hanging above them are sides of cured pork and in the back, shelves upon shelves of bottled cava.
Established in 1969, Can Paixano’s specialty is Spanish chorizo on fresh white rolls. For only a few euros, one of these ‘sandwiches’ comes with a glass of their specialty chilled, sparkling cava.
The challenge is finding space enough to eat your food but the fight is worth taking up. There are bottles of their two special sauces everywhere. Each bite, seasoned with a healthy dose of both, is a sensation. The robust salt of the chorizo, the tangy spice of the sauces, the crisp, bubbling cava washing it down—it’s a heavenly progression.
In a country marred by economic woes, it is little wonder that Can Paixano thrives, but this authentic Spanish hole in the wall would survive nonetheless. It is too simple and perfect to die.
Calle de la Reina Cristina, 7
Barcelona, Spain 08003