A year and a half ago, we moved outside the city limits to a small town near Montserrat. Its about a 40 minute drive into Barcelona, so needless to say, we don’t get out to explore the latest and greatest GF options on a weekly basis. We do however, try to visit places when we can, and revisit them several times before posting. It would be a shame to write a posi post for a lackluster establishment.
Jansana is a dedicated 100% gluten free bakery in the L’Eixample neighborhood, on Carrer Balmes. We tried it about a year ago, seeing that it had stellar reviews on Tripadvisor. (And it still does, for good reasons!)
We were not impressed during our first visit, however, but not because of the food. When we arrived at around 9am, the restaurant was empty which was a good thing because the seating area was tiny. There were several round 2 seater tables crammed into a small back room, and when the throngs of people arrived just a few minutes after we did, things got a little annoying. They piled in bumping into our backs, asking us to move even closer in towards the wall, and the noise of so many conversations made us want to run away instantly. The waitresses hurried us out when we appeared to be finished, as there were more people waiting to sit. Let’s just say it was not the epitome of a tranquil dining experience.
So, does one bad experience preclude you from giving a place a second chance? No way! Not when you have so few options for freshly baked GF goodies! AND, we had no complaints about any of the food we tried during our first visit. It was all delicious! Actually, most of the GF bakeries we have tried in Barcelona have this same issue – a lack of ambiance. For this reason we are extra thankful for the many parks and benches in the vicinity where we can enjoy our snacks in peace. You can take it to go rather than dine in – an easy solution.
Jansana’s has a beautiful, clean, and modern display case full of goodies to try and an extensive menu board with bocadillos and other savory goods like bread and quiches to order. We tried a selection of sweet pastries including croissants, cocas (a Spanish dry, slightly sweet, thin pastry), and something we had never tried before which they call the cabello del angel (angel’s hair). This novelty was amazing. It has a soft, flaky pastry bottom with a layer of vanilla custard, some mysterious sweet filaments, and was topped with pine nuts. Its stick to your teeth sweetness balances well with a nice cafe con leche. We also had an almond napolitano, or croissant pastry wrap filled with almond paste and topped with powdered sugar and almond slices. Everything was delicious! Warning: This place is not recommended for vegan diners.
The bakery also has two large cooler sections filled with well designed cakes, macaroons, and puff pastries. You can preorder cakes to go for special occasions, or show up and see if there is something nice in the case. Seeing as the place gets very busy, you might want to call in advance if you want something special, or to ensure they have what you are looking for.
Overall, the quality and flavor of the food you get from Jansana’s Bakery is great. The ambiance could be improved, but it does not deter us from getting our things to go. This place is highly recommended, and we hope you are all able to taste the cabello de angel yourselves. It’s heavenly!
MON-SAT: 8:00 am – 8:30 pm
SUN: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm