Quite close to the La Boqueria Granja M Viader is located, Barcelonas oldest milk bar. Started around 1870 and now with the forth generation of the same family running it, it's also famous as being the birthplace of Cacaolat, the popular skim milk and chocolate drink . It's located off Las Ramblas and then down a side ally so narrow that if your not standing in front of the shop you'll blink and miss it.
Wandering in and looking around the place was full but not packed, waiters in black waistcoats glide through the room delivering chocolaty goodness.
Don't wait to be seated, rather seat yourself at the first available table. Little menus on the tables are in Spanish though they have a variety of menus in a variety of other languages if you ask. The aroma of chocolate fills the air and soon it's all we can think about. We both order a suis, which is a chocolate topped with a healthy spoon of whipped cream. Being our first milk bar chocolate experience we had no idea what to expect. The cups are quickly brought to the table - wow, a healthy spoon of cream is right, there's a small mountain of cream preached on the top of each cup.
The danger of it overflowing as it melts prompts swift photos and we dive in with our spoons. Under the cream the chocolate is closer to a thick ganache than a drink. As the cream melts we mix it in to the rich chocolate slightly lightening it. After one cup we are done, so very done, this is about as much as chocolate as one can handle in one go. A few days later we return with our friends Ioanna and Hisashi and this time a Majorcan milk is also in order. The tall glass of milk is mixed with lemon, cinnamon and sugar to create a really refreshing drink.
Funnily enough we never ended up trying the cacaolat. Oh well if Granja M Viader has been around for 140 years we sure it will still be there next time.
Granja M Viader
Carrer d'En Xuclá 4, Barri Gòtic
Telephone 93 318 34 86
Open 5-8.30pm Mon; 9am-1.30pm, 5-8.30pm Tue-Sat. Closed 2wks Aug