Insider tips Restaurants: The best tapas bars and restaurants off the beaten path
Tapas are a way of life in Spain. The urge to share food is deeply anchored and reflects an important aspect of eating in Spain: food is social. Whether in family or with friends, food is celebrated not just eaten.
Dinner does not begin before nine o’clock at night. And often lasts until after 1am even on weekdays. The so-called “sobremesa” the social gathering after the meal is just as important as the food itself. Leave your food envy at home – everything is shared here, including the bill.
Here are the best tapas bars in Barcelona, that you won’t find in your travel guide.
1. Bar del Pla
One of my favourites and one of the first that pops in mind, when I get asked for a good Tapas Bar. The decoration is simple but comfy and good mixture of modern and traditional. Tapas are just the best: good quality ingredients, traditional cuisine with a touch of experimental. You can find tapas with fresh products of the Season with the water-in-mouth effect. The Patatas Bravas are one of the best in Barcelona. And don’t forget to order the croquettes. The restaurant is in the heart of the in area Born and always packed. So do call to reserve, possibly a few days before.
Price: ca. 20-30 € per Person | Link | Metro: Jaume I
2. La Vinateria del Call
La Vinateria del Call is a bit hidden. The authentic Tapas Bar is located in a small side street in the labyrinth district of Born, near the Cathedral. From the outside it looks unimpressive. Once inside you Iberian ham hang above the bar. Its a typical Catalan restaurant, with old wine barrels and corks as decoration. The tapas are very good, the kitchen traditional Catalan and the prices are good.
Price: ca. 20-30 € per Person | Link | Metro: Jaume I
3. Cerveceria Catalana or Ciutat Comtal
La Cerveceria Catalana and Cuitat Comtal are probably the most famous and most frequented tapas restaurants in this list. Both restaurants belog to the same group and both are centrally located. This is also why they are very popular. But even if they look touristy at first sight, most tapas from the broad menu are really outstanding. The prices are not too expensive, the service is fast and good, but you have to either reserve or wait. Prices are 20 – 30 € per person.
Price: ca. 20-30 € per Person | Link | Metro: Plaza Catalunya
4. El 58
If the “El 58” was located the city center it would probably cost twice as much and be packed everyday. But as its located in the Poblenou district, which is not quite over-crowded yet. Hence you get really good tapas at good prices. The menu is creative and the quality of the ingredients is fresh and good. Especially the salmorejo and the tuna tartar are incredibly good.
Price: ca. 15-25 € per Person | Link | Metro: Poblenou
5. El Xampanyet
The restaurant El Xampanyet is a traditional tavern-style tapas bar. It has been family-owned for generations. Hidden in one of the narrow streets in the Born, near the Picasso Museum, the restaurant specializes in traditional tapas and cavas, as the name implies. The decor is traditional Catalan, with antique refrigerators, stoneware, wine barrels and the traditional Karamik tiles on the walls. Just as authentic as the decoration are the tapas. The combination of quality and tradition made the Xampanyet one of the best and most popular among the most popular tapas bars in Barcelona.
Price: ca. 25 – 35 € per Person | Link | Metro: Jaume I
6. La cova fumada
No tourist ever gets lost here by chance. The opening hours are hardy impossible. And you almost get the impression the owners are trying to avoid this restaurant to become to crowded by hiding it. Even having the address and Google Maps, its not very easy to find. From the Barceloneta Marketplace try to find the parallel street. Now, if you are looking for a sign, you are naive. Just duck your head into the door with the right number and you will be surprised to find a cosy small restaurant, which is worth the effort. Traditional tapas and good prices in an authentic ambient. Don’t forget to check opening hours before you go!
Price: ca. 20 – 30 € pro Person | Link | Metro: Barceloneta
The Jai-ca is a classic in Barceloneta, the fishermen district in Barcelona. It is a quaint, authentic bar specializing in fish and seafood tapas. The atmosphere is more of a bar or pub, but the tapas are good and good-priced.
Price: ca. 10 – 20 € per Person | Link | Metro: Barceloneta
Bormuth, located in the popular Born, near the Centro Cultural and the Rambla del Born is a very popular bar among young people that offer delicious tapas. Try the huevos estrellados (chips with a fried egg and bacon), the patatas bravas and the aubergine. Apart from tapas you will get, as the name already indicates, Vermouth. As the place is really popular you might have to wait for a table. Go to the bar and get your name on the list. No reservations.
Bormuth – Tapas Restaurant in El Born
Price: ca. 20-25 € per Person | Link | Metro: St. Jaume
9. La Esquinica
La Esquinica is a classic in Barcelona. Its off the center in the area of Fabra i Puig. But despite the location there is usually a queue at the door. No wonder! They have good tapas at a good price. The restaurant is traditionally decorated with the typical village scarves of different Catalan villages. Good service.
Price: ca. 15 – 25 € per Person | Link | Metro: Virrei Amat