Espai Mescladís: a cocktail of cultures and ethical treats
Article updated 15 April, 2019.
What if we told you we'd found a place where you can enjoy a good meal doing something good for others? Espai Mescladís offers great food for a great cause!
Carrer dels Calders 35
metro: Jaume 1 (L4)
open every day
summer: 10am - 10pm
winter: 11am - 5pm
lunch menu (weekdays): under 15 euros
for delicious and flavoursome meals
Getting lost in the little side streets of the Old Town (not on purpose, this time) can have advantages, in the form of unexpected finds. Our latest is Espai Mescladís, a not-for-profit social restaurant, hidden away on the Carrer dels Carders in one of the quieter, less touristy areas of the Born.
Espai Mescladís: a great idea in an unusual space
This open-air space, set up following an initiative from the Fundació Ciutadania Multicultural, aims to promote the socio-professional integration of both immigrants and locals in precarious situations through food. It’s been a runaway success!
Mescladís (“mixture”) is truly focused on helping those in need. Food is an excellent means of communication and a medium for social and intercultural development. In the words of its creators, “difference should be a virtue, and diversity should create opportunity”.
- The whole place screams “diversity”, from the mismatched tables and chairs to waiting staff from around the world, not forgetting the menu, which offers a vast array of international cuisines, and the clientele, of all ages and origins.
- The form of joyful organised chaos obviously appeals, and there’s no guarantee you’ll find a table when you get there!
Espai Mescladís: opportunity through food
- The plan for social integration of groups at risk of exclusion involves training waiting and kitchen staff, with theoretical and practical training in hospitality. Espai Mescladís is actually a training restaurant!
- Clients can also get involved, as the apprentice chefs regularly hold events for both children and adults.
- Opportunities include multicultural cooking classes for adults, cooking and photography classes for children, and even an “a la carte” course with dinner in order to learn more about world cuisines as a family or with friends.
The food: freshness and simplicity
The Mescladís menu includes dishes from around the world at a very reasonable price. But the low prices don’t mean low quality! All of the products used are fairly traded, local or responsibly and sustainably produced, with the aim of encouraging practices of solidarity and responsible consumption.The menu
- The menu includes traditional dishes from around the world, including Moroccan lentil salad, curried carrot quiche (try saying that with your mouth full), hummus and empanadas. We recommend the aubergine purée, the goat’s cheese in filo pastry, and the veggie burger.
- The homemade desserts, displayed at the bar, will call your name, even if you’ve eaten plenty… don’t say we didn’t warn you!
- Drinks-wise, there are a few surprises on offer: instead of “classic” soft drinks, you’ll find “green” alternatives, ginger beer and hundreds of different teas. If you’re looking for an aperitif, take a look at the craft beers, including Almogàver and Les Clandestines, amongst others. If wine is more your thing, there are organic bottles on offer for €11!
- There’s a children’s play park a few metres from the patio, so you can relax and enjoy your surroundings whilst your little darlings work off some energy.
- Remember to take cash – the restaurant doesn’t accept cards.
We could say more about the location itself, with its mix of gothic arches and stone walls, colourful tables and potted plants, and the peaceful, harmonious environment… but we won’t. Go and see for yourself, and enjoy a meal which is good for both your budget and your conscience!
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