Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is the heart of the city’s old town. It is home to many buildings dating to as far back as the Medieval times.

Within the Gothic Quarter lies a famous cafe by the name of 4Cats, which used to be frequented by famous artists including Pablo Picasso. It was here that Picasso first exhibited his paintings and the cover of the menu (bottom right) was drawn by the artist himself.

Established in 1897, the cafe still retains its old world charm and the walls are decorated with beautiful paintings of the artists who used to meet at the cafe.

Well, they’re all dead now of course, and the cafe seems to be more of a tourist attraction now thanks to its historical background. To say that the cafe is bustling with life is probably an understatement, although the pictures here depict a different atmosphere altogether. We were just lucky to have gotten there before the lunch crowd arrived.

Before our set lunches were served, we saw tour groups from Mainland China and tourists from various parts of the world streaming in and out of the cafe as if it were a museum. The Mainland Chinese tourists occupied the long tables and were so loud and animated throughout their meal, you could hear their shrill voices from a mile away.

From the corner of my eye, I saw a Caucasian couple cringe in disgust at the uncouth Mainland Chinese tourists who were talking at the top of their voices without any consideration for their fellow diners. JW and I could only look on in exasperation as we prayed that no one would associate us with the Mainland Chinese.

While the service was friendly and attentive, the quality of the food left much to be desired. I admit that I am a fastidious eater and I can be pretty picky about my food, but even my other half felt that the food here paled in comparison to other eateries and cafes in Barcelona.

I think the experience of stepping into a cafe popular with renowned artists from a golden era was worth the trip here, but if I were to do this again, I would come here only for drinks, definitely NOT during lunch hour. 😉