Il Birrino Italian restaurant and craft beer bar in Barcelona


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Scruffy but scrumptious: Il Birrino restaurant in Barcelona serves craft beer plus great value Italian comfort food that’s cooked with care.

Appearances can be deceptive. At first glance, Il Birrino hasn’t got much going for it. It’s well off the beaten track and in the unlikely event you were strolling past, you’d probably keep going. The promise of craft beer is alluring and there’s live music at certain times but it looks more like a fun hipster bar than a food destination.

Inside, it’s a happy mess. The walls are cheaply painted with an Exorcist-green paint redolent of neglectful care homes in a documentary about society’s sad abandonment of its elderly. The kitchen is so small there’s no room for the Imperia pasta maker, which is clamped instead to the end of the bar. There’s a tiny, battered domestic oven that would look more at home in a student flat, or a divorce court case. The mise-en-place is out of place in the bar where the drinks shelves should be but aren’t. There’s flour everywhere. And in a badly judged but increasingly common second-language misjudgment, there are swear words scrawled on the blackboards that display the day’s dishes.

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