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Feb
11
2020

Best places to have tapas in Barcelona

tapas

Tucking into a dinner of tapas is something that is enjoyed all around the world, but of course, no place does it better like its country of origin, Spain. The small dishes are a true treat for the taste buds, letting you enjoy a wide array of Spanish cuisine and culinary delights. It’s no surprise that when visiting the popular Spanish city of Barcelona whilst on a holiday or on a singles cruise, there are endless options for where to go to enjoy tapas. Read on to discover some of the best places to enjoy this culinary delight in Barcelona. 

Casa de Tapas Cañota

The fun and colourful restaurant Casa de Tapas Cañota is the perfect place for a casual meal of delicious tapas, especially for seafood lovers as it’s their speciality, with the menu including Galician octopus, garlic prawns, oysters and clams.

We spoke to Sara from Appetite and Other Stories, a blog for restaurant, cafés and bars in Barcelona and beyond. Sara recommends Case de Tapas Cañota: “In Barcelona there are many great places for tapas, but one of my regular spots is Cañota, an informal restaurant serving top classic tapas. If you’re visiting, don’t forget to order some of the hand-cut Iberic ham. I also love their ensaladilla rusa, and the atmosphere is relaxed and fun.”

La Tasqueta de Blai

Pintxos

If you’re after some tapas with a twist, then make sure you try pintxos, small bites that are traditionally eaten in Northern Spain but are popularly enjoyed throughout the country. Whereas tapas are usually served as small plates of a variety of food, pintxos have one distinct difference – everything is on a cocktail stick! Pintxos commonly has a base of crusty bread followed by the topping, which can be anything from cheese and veg to meat and fish.

One place you can be sure to find tasty pintxos is La Tasqueta de Blai, which serves tasty skewers of all sizes and flavours. Ash from Barcelona Hacks, a site to help you plan the perfect stay in Barcelona, tells us more about La Tasqueta de Blai: “I enjoy the immense variety of pintxos (small tapas pinned onto bread with toothpicks), but by far the best are the chistorra sausages fresh off the grill.

Another must-try on La Tasqueta de Blai’s menu is the padrón peppers, which are a staple in Spanish cuisine. We spoke to Paul from A Luxury Travel Blog, a go-to site for travelling on the finer side, who says: “Simple to prepare but always so tasty, it’s definitely worth looking for the pimientos de Padron. But beware – about 1 in 10 of them are hot! Drizzled in oil and with plenty of salt, and cooked until the skin just starts to blister, these peppers are a great example of traditional and rustic Spanish cuisine.”

Bar Cañete

With fresh fish from local Catalan markets and locally grown vegetables, Bar Cañete serves up some mouth-watering tapas dishes. This is a popular place for locals and tourists alike to indulge in tasty cuisine and many who are enjoying a meal by themselves, or with friends, opt to sit on the long bar to enjoy their tasty dishes.

This is another favourite of Sara’s from Appetite and Other Stories: “In Cañete you can sit at the long bar and see the chefs prepping the food in the open kitchen, the vibe is relaxed and service is great. You must try their croquettes, they’re awesome! It’s worth noting that the ambience in Cañete is informal and busy.”

Tapas 24

Friends eating tapas together

This popular tapas restaurant was founded by one of Barcelona’s most famous chefs, Michelin-starred Carles Abellan, and it has built a brilliant reputation thanks to the tasty traditional-style tapas. If you’re thinking about visiting Tapas 24, you can expect an upbeat and lively atmosphere, as this is one of the city’s favourite foodie hotspots!

You’ll be spoilt for choice with the menu, but Sara recommends some must-try tapa dishes: “They have a bunch of great tapas here, I jump in every now and then for a quick break and always order the same; the bikini, which is a warm toast with cheese, iberic ham and truffle, and a glass of red from Montsant!

“A first-timer in Barcelona needs to try; ensaladilla rusa and patatas bravas, each place you visit will present them slightly differently, but they’re all delicious! Of course, you need to try fuet, which is a Catalan cured sausage which you can nibble on with a glass of wine or get in a sandwich. All of these dishes should, of course, be accompanied by a glass of wine from one of the gorgeous wine regions around Catalonia.”

König

Serving up a mixture of salads, sandwiches, hamburgers and delicious tapas, König is the perfect lunch spot for those looking for an informal dining experience.

We spoke to Arabia from Barcelona Explorers, a blog for tips and advice for Barcelona, who tells us: “My favourite tapas place is König, located in Rambla Catalunya. Most of the customers are locals, so you will feel there is a Catalan ambience. You will see a particularity on this terrace because you have the option to share the table with unknown people.

“My tip is to ask for patatas bravas, the special König eggs or Galician style octopus. You can ask for vegetarian and vegan food as well, so there are options for everyone. I think when visiting Barcelona, you can’t miss the fish paella, risottos, calçots, Iberico ham. If you have room left for dessert, you must try crema catalana or mató with honey.”

Celler Cal Marino

Barells

Whilst in Barcelona make sure you stop by one of the popular bodega restaurants which are cellar-like bars, often with big wooden wine barrels placed in open view. One bodega with an excellent atmosphere is Celler Cal Marino, with the place lined with huge wine barrels, exposed brick walls, and occasional live music.

Operations Manager of Devour Tours, an award-winning food and wine tour operator, Owen Dallison recommends Celler Cal Marino: “The atmosphere is normally laid back, but on a Sunday morning you have families and friends surrounding the barrels, crisp packets open on every barrel with espinaler, fuet, boquerones, cheese and olives. They are famous for their croquettes which come in all sorts of weird and wonderful tastes, my favourite being sobrasada and honey. The whole space is filled with the hum of people enjoying good food, drink and company.”

From running Spanish food tours across Spain, Owen Dallison is an expert in the cuisine. He tells us some of his must-try tapas dishes for tourists:

“La bomba: This is the most famous tapa invented in Barcelona. Its history stretches back to the early 20th Century. The legends of how it came about are varied, but one thing is for certain; if you surround tender meat with potato, deep fry it and serve it with bravas sauce and aioli, you have something everyone enjoys.

“Fideua: Everyone knows Paella, but the more typical dish in Barcelona is fideua. Noodles, squid, stock and lots and lots of aioli.”

La Cova Fumada

No frills, no fuss, just good food. La Cova Fumada is Barcelona’s hidden gem, and perfect for those who want to try a variety of local fish. It has dodged the commercialised feel that most city-centre restaurants succumb to, and instead, maintains an old-school atmosphere, that’s popular with locals.

La Cova Fumada is highly recommended by Maria from Barcelona Food Experience, a guide to the best food in the city. Maria tells us: “I have a soft spot for La Cova Fumada. This humble tapas bar in the Barceloneta neighbourhood doesn’t even have a sign on the door but fills up with hungry customers from early morning. Not much has changed in the last 60 years or so, but it all adds to the charm.

“My favourite items on the menu are the artichoke (when in season), and the Bomba, which is a potato croquette filled with meat and topped with aioli and a spicy sauce. The atmosphere at La Cova Fumada is lively and fun, and the bar is much loved both by locals and visitors. Make sure not to wear your nicest cashmere jumper here though: it might become infused with seafood smells by the time you leave!”

Maria advises what foods you must try when on a holiday to Barcelona: “There is so much fresh fish and seafood to be had in Barcelona, and it does not have to be expensive at all. The patatas bravas are a must: deep-fried potato chunks covered in a spicy sauce, and often with aioli, too. Make sure to ask for anything seasonal; spring, for example, is the time for calçots, which is a kind of spring onion that is very typical for Catalonia and comes served with romesco sauce.”

Spain is perfect for foodies, so when you’re on a singles holiday to Barcelona, you’ll be spoilt for choice for where you can enjoy iconic Spanish tapas.