08 Sep Going out for tapas in Barcelona?
Who can resist the temptation of a Sunday lunchtime tapas? Restaurants in the city of Barcelona are increasingly embracing this gastronomic format, and the variety offered by the world of tapas satisfies all tastes at the table. From the classic patatas bravas and croquettes to the most innovative and creative offerings, in Barcelona, you will find a wide selection of streets filled with establishments where you can indulge in the pleasure of tapas with your friends and family.
What are tapas?
“Tapas” are a culinary tradition that originated in Spain and has become popular in many parts of the world. These small portions of food are served as accompaniments to drinks such as beer, wine, or cocktails. They can range from simple olives or cheese slices to more elaborate dishes like garlic shrimp, croquettes, bravas potatoes, or Galician octopus.
The word “tapa” derives from the Spanish verb “tapar,” as the tradition of tapas originally involved covering alcoholic beverages with a piece of bread or a slice of ham to prevent them from being contaminated by dust or insects. Over time, this custom evolved to include a variety of snacks and small dishes that are served alongside drinks in bars and restaurants.
Types of tapas
- Olives: Olives are a classic appetizer in most tapas bars.
- Patatas bravas: These are fried potato cubes served with a spicy tomato sauce.
- Croquettes: These are breaded and fried balls filled with ham, chicken, fish, and other ingredients.
- Gambas al ajillo: Shrimp sautéed in olive oil with garlic and chili pepper.
- Pimientos de padrón: Small green peppers, sometimes spicy, fried in olive oil and seasoned with salt.
- Boquerones en vinagre: Anchovies marinated in vinegar, garlic, and parsley.
- Spanish omelette: An egg and potato omelette, often with onions, served in slices.
- Pinchos or pintxos: Slices of bread with a variety of toppings, such as ham, cheese, olives, anchovies, etc., held together with toothpicks.
- Calamares a la romana: Breaded and fried squid rings.
- Manchego cheese: Manchego cheese, often served with quince paste or honey.
- Iberian ham: Thin slices of Iberian ham, sometimes served with bread.
- Russian salad (Ensaladilla rusa): A cold salad made with potatoes, peas, carrots, tuna, mayonnaise, and olives.
- Toasts (Tostas): Toasted bread slices with a variety of toppings, such as tomato and ham, goat cheese and honey, or roasted peppers.
- Migas: A traditional dish of fried breadcrumbs with chorizo, bacon, and garlic.
- Montaditos: Small sandwiches with a variety of fillings, such as loin, chorizo, Spanish omelette, etc.
The best places for tapas in Barcelona
- La Rambla: Despite being a touristy spot, La Rambla has some bars and restaurants with delicious tapas. You can find a mix of traditional and modern options.
- El Raval: This neighborhood boasts a plethora of bars and restaurants offering authentic tapas and a more local vibe. Streets like Carrer de Joaquín Costa and Carrer de la Cera are known for their tapas bars.
- El Born: El Born is a charming neighborhood filled with bars and restaurants serving gourmet and creative tapas options. You can explore its narrow streets and discover interesting places to dine.
- Poble-sec: This area has become increasingly popular for its culinary scene. Carrer de Blai is especially famous for its pintxos and tapas.
- Gothic: The historic heart of Barcelona offers numerous options to savor tapas in charming settings. Streets like Carrer de la Merce and Carrer de la Ciutat offer diverse choices.
- Gràcia: The Gràcia neighborhood is another place with a tapas scene. You can find traditional bars and restaurants along with more modern establishments.
- Passeig de Sant Joan: Along this avenue, you’ll find bars and restaurants offering tapas in a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere.
- El Poble Nou: This former industrial neighborhood has transformed into a trendy area with a growing selection of bars and restaurants serving modern tapas.
- Sants: If you want to get away from the touristy areas, the Sants neighborhood offers authentic tapas in places frequented by locals.
- La Barceloneta: In La Barceloneta, you’ll find a variety of restaurants and tapas spots, including our restaurant, Ca La Montse.
Remember that Barcelona’s culinary scene is constantly evolving, so we recommend exploring and discovering new places as you venture through the city.