Best tapas in Barcelona
Tapas is a great option when there´s a group of you as it´s such a sociable way to eat when you´re sharing dishes and drinking together.
There are hundreds of tapas places in Barcelona, but here´s a pick of the best...
Lively tapas bar, quality food
Busy, lively, colourful & tasty; all the things you imagine a tapas restaurant to be.
Big on seafood and a focus on innovative as well as the more traditional tapas.
Next to Plaza España and 5 mins taxi ride from the centre.
You have to try: The pulled pork tacos and the basket of fried seafood.
Centre of town
Tapas 24 is located in the centre of town, just off Passeig de Gracia. You can choose to sit at the bar old-school style, or outside on the small terrace.
Tapas 24 was created by Carles Abellan, who previously worked with Ferran Adriá at the world famous El Bulli. After gaining Michelin success with his restaurant Comerç 24, Carles decided to start "a local tapas bar, but really well done" so he created Tapas 24. As a result the quality of the tapas is great and reasonably priced, although not super cheap.
You have to try: the pulled pork tacos & black truffle bikini.
Cool Market-style tapas
Although it´s not your typical tapas bar, I love the idea and layout of this place.
Mercat Princesa is set out in a market style with different stalls surrounding long tables in the centre. The tapas stalls range from typical tapas dishes to delicious Japanese food & sushi. So have a browse of what you fancy, order and pay at each stall and take it back to your table and enjoy!
The wine bar does some of the best Catalan and Spanish wine too.
You have to try: the huevos estrellados & mini burgers.
Cheap, different and off the beaten track:
Not strictly tapas, but small, quick eats and great for groups on a night out or on a budget in Barcelona. Blai 9 in the Poble Sec area of the city serves a huge variety of pinchos (individual snacks on bread typically from the Basque country).
Take what you fancy, but keep the "pincho" (toothpick) to show the waiter what you´ve eaten & therefore what you have to pay for at the end.
They cost 1 or 1.5 euros each and are just delicious.
You have to try: It sounds like it shouldn´t work, but instead of bread they layer up blinis with mini burgers, ketchup and mustard - amazing!
High street tapas
I say high street, because Lateral is from a chain of restaurants based in Madrid.
This tapas restaurant has a pretty, modern interior with a small outside terrace with heaters, and is located in the centre of town.
An easy option if you´re in town and fancy a tasty tapas lunch or dinner.
You have to try: Provoleta with herbs (just pure dreamy melted cheese with mini breadsticks! What else do you need?)
Ciudad Condal and La Cerveceria Catalana are two of the most classic and popular tapas restaurants in the city.
Both are centrally located with a great and full selection of traditional tapas, but I personally prefer the wider pavement terrace of Ciudad Condal where my sister and I´ve spent many a morning chatting over a café con leche and a small flauta con jamon.
They´re both very lively and always busy (you can´t reserve) so get there a little earlier to avoid having to wait too long for a table. Although sitting at the bar and drinking while you wait is never a bad idea.
You have to try: Flauta con jamon, bravas
MY TAPAS TIPS:
As expected, most of the best tapas places are always dead busy and don´t take bookings, so I recommend going for lunch / dinner just that little bit earlier than the locals. So about 1pm ish for lunch and 8pm ish for dinner.
Be careful if the waiter asks if you´d like "jamon" (cured ham) it is delicious, but in some places they´ll give you the most expensive type and you get hit with a big bill at the end.
When in doubt, order "pa amb tomàquet" or "pan con tomate" - bread with tomato rubbed on top. Just go with me on this one, you´ll love it!
Some tapas places have "tapas" and "raciones", tapas are small and raciones are bigger dishes. If they offer both on the menu, make sure you specify which one you want.
WHAT TAPAS TO ORDER:
These are mainly my favourites (obviously everyone has different opinions!) but also some fairly standard & traditional tapas:
Pa amb tomàquet - as I said before, a must!
Huevos estrellados - fried eggs with potatoes - and even better if they come with "jamon"
Pimientos padron - green padron peppers - not spicy and a bit of green to counteract the fried options
Tacos de cochinita pibil - small fajita style round breads with pulled pork in a delicious sauce
Patatas Bravas - fried and sometimes refried (this is a good thing!) potatoes with a spicy sauce
Enjoy tapas in the city ...would love to hear about your favourite tapas spot. x