Where do locals go for tapas?
Eating tapas is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the local cooking, as well as getting in touch with the Barcelona way of life.
But what are tapas? Tapas are small plates that you share with your friends and family around a table. It can be just an appetizer before your real meal, or if you order a few of them tapas can be a whole meal by itself.
Lunch or dinner. Meat, fish, vegetables or eggs. Fried, cured, pickled or grilled. Over bread, or in sauce. Often eaten with your fingers, although a fork can be sometimes useful if you don’t want to get your fingers dirty…
Check out my top 5 tapas places where locals go!
Cerveseria Catalana. If you don’t want to go too far from your comfort zone, by either going too far from the city center or by having to try too adventurous foods, that’s a beautiful bet! Locals mix-in gracefully with tourist, showing up at least 1 hour earlier than they would to get a table anywhere else! They also have a sister-restaurant called Ciudad Condal where they serve the exact same food.
But let’s say you want to be adventurous and that you love fish… In that case you’ll have to head to the Barceloneta district and find La Cova Fumada, a super-authentic tapas bar hidden behind a door that doesn’t even have a street number!
Now let’s go a bit further away… Take the blue line of the subway (ok, or maybe a taxi) and go to La Esquinica. That’s a place where no tourist would get by mistake, as it’s a totally off-the-beaten-path neighborhood. Be prepared to wait outside until you are given a place to seat, as it’s always crowded.
If you don’t mind standing, another of my favorite places is Quimet i Quimet. Halfway between a deli grocery and a bar, their specialty are bread buns with assorted toppings. They prepare them right in front of you, while you are standing by the counter. It’s a quite small venue, and the owners are superfriendly.
And let’s finish with some more exquisite tapas. Is your trip more than 3 months ahead? Lucky you! Head over the website of Tickets Bar to book your table. This bar is run by world-famous chef Ferran Adrià and his brother. Every day at Spanish midnight they open bookings for one day, 3 months ahead of time. Keep an eye on their calendar for your favorite date, and when time arrives hurry up! Spots there fly!
What about you? Tell us in a comment below what’s your favorite tapas bar!Not experienced tapas yet? Take one of our Tapas Tours of the Old Town!
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