Many of our Spanish friends have vacationed in Sitges so we understood it was a gay friendly city that would require our attention eventually. But upon arriving in the small coastal town just 35 kilometers south of Barcelona, my eyes widened and my jaw slacked. I fell in love immediately. And with that immediate love and connection I felt with Sitges came a bit of irritation and anger toward my friends. How had they not insisted that I visit Sitges earlier?! Sure, they’ve recommended it in passing. But hear me readers, I insist you visit.
Sitges spreads across the spectrum for vacation spots offering just a little of everything for everyone. As trite as that may sound, it’s true! It has a small beach town atmosphere with white painted buildings splashed with bright blue colors reminiscent of the Greek island of Mykonos. An expansive sand front of 17 beaches perfect for bathing in the afternoon sun greats you as you approach the coast along with little market stalls selling goods and treats along the footpath between the road and sand. But it’s not so quiet that it’s lacking in a nightlife scene. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Sitges is a well known gay friendly destination so likewise it’s filled with lively streets lined with bars and terraces that are filled with onlookers staring at the eye candy as they pass by. But the city is just as family friendly as it is gay friendly with plenty of beaches, shops, and restaurants occupied by parents and their young kids. There are of course still the beach areas reserved for the more mature and perhaps clothing optional crowds.
Our friend Nate from the States was visiting us in Spain when we decided to include Sitges in our tour of Spain. We had shown him around Madrid and Barcelona as well, but I was most excited for Sitges since it would be our first stop that was foreign to me. After we had settled into our hotel we stopped at a cafe nearby to grab some food having not satisfied ourselves before leaving Barcelona. We also needed to use wifi as the wifi at our hotel was horrifically and unacceptably slow. Little did we realize how much we would fall in love with this particular cafe.
Clearly traveling includes trying new foods and expanding tastes. However, constant travel has made me realize how much I truly appreciate a hearty American-style breakfast. Especially after a night of excessive drinking, there’s nothing like greasy fried eggs, bacon and a bloody mary to set you straight the next day. Cafe Sitges offered exactly what we were craving. Of course, we were in Spain so we threw in a Spanish style tortilla to our meal as well. The food wasn’t the only great thing about this place as the staff was even better. If you’ve traveled through Spain, you may have noticed they’re not exactly the lead example for customer service and servers can often treat you as a huge inconvenience to their day.
However, at this cafe we were treated like, well, respected customers! On our way in, the cafe also caught our attention with the affordable cocktails it boasted from a chalkboard outside the entrance. So craving caipirinhas that evening, we were lured back noting that they were only 5€. This was just the start. From there we obviously had to try the margaritas and mojitos. Just to be sure all the cocktails were delicious across the board before we went on raving about them. They were. All of them. Delicious. And not over priced.
As we continued to over consume our drinks to start out the night, I had to visit the little girls room leaving Nate to continue video chatting with his boyfriend via the excellent wifi on his oversized not-an-iPhone-therefore-i-hate-it smartphone. When I came back, however, he had left our table and was chatting to two of the Cafe staff by the bar.
“What the hell?”, I thought to myself as I heard them conversing in Spanish. “Why does this white kid speak Spanish so well and how did I not know that he could?” After all, we’ve been friends for eight years. Growing up in the southwest US, everyone picks up a little bit of Spanish, but his full on conversation surprised me. And I’ll admit, irritated me too. I was the one who moved all the way to Spain to learn Spanish after all. So I did not appreciate him coming to my host country and speaking Spanish so well. Didn’t he know that he was to defer to me with all Spanish related issues to fuel my language superiority over him?
Well I swallowed my pride and jumped into the conversation. We soon learned that the establishment was owned by a Cuban man who had recently hired another Cuban woman and also employed his (hopefully-of-age) son. Que guapo! They were like a little Cuban family and when you took a seat in the cafe they made you feel like you were part of it. We chatted with them for a bit and they probably told us many more details of the place and their story but our Spanish isn’t that great even together plus we had already had a few drinks. They weren’t surprised that we felt so comfortable there as they often have regulars for that very reason. And for the remaining time we had in Sitges we were to become regulars as well. In our limited two days we visited Cafe Sitges four times. I would have doubled that if we had the time.
It was the perfect compliment to our wonderful beach weekend. The cure to our morning hangovers and the start to our nights of debauchery. Greatful of our side trip from Barcelona, we loved this cafe and found plenty of things to do in Sitges. So thank you to the staff at Cafe Sitges. We shall return!
What do you think of Sitges? Is it worth your visit? Share with us in the comments below!