TapasIf you're traveling to Barcelona, chances are you will be looking for a spot to eat Tapas.  However, a quick check on TripAdvisor shows almost 7,000 restaurants to choose from!  There are a lot of restaurants that rank highly, but are located away from many of the hotels.  With this in mind, here are some of our top choices for restaurants by location (with pictures!)
But first, a little background on Tapas
Wikipedia defines Tapas as a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine. They may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or warm (such as chopitos, which are battered, fried baby squid)
The word Tapas is derived from the Spanish verb tapar, "to cover".  They're evolved over the centuries, and with so many choices and flavors now a part of the Tapas family, they are as popular as ever!  Some of the most recognized Tapas include:
  • Bravas (potatoes) covered with sauce
  • Salted Peppers
  • Prawns on a skewer
  • Fried dough with any sort of meat / cheese combination inside...
And the list goes on and on....
What Are Some of the Top Places for Tapas in Barcelona?
La PepitaIf you're traveling down Avinguda Diagonal street, you're in luck as La Pepita (Carrer de Còrsega, 343) is one of the best tapas restaurants in the area.  One step inside this brick-walled restaurant shows a modern / hipster decor .  The tapas menu has multiple options that include fish, chicken and beef samples.  As you can see from the picture, we chose all 3!
One of the first things a waiter will tell you is that La Pepita uses as many locally made ingredients as possible, and a few bites into the tapas gushed with flavors and spices that are even difficult to describe now.  You can almost taste the freshness.
The wine and food prices were also reasonable, and depending on the type of meal you're looking for, the serve their 'la pepita' dish as well, which is basically a sandwich on bread sliced extremely thinly and toasted.
La Pepita is a must visit if you're anywhere near Avinguda Diagonal.
Tapas (Revised): The Little Dishes of Spain
Amazon Price: $30.00 $15.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 22, 2013)
If La Pepita is your must-visit for lunch, Catalana (Carrer de Mallorca, 236) is a fantastic spot to try for dinner.  Grab your pitcher (or 1/2 pitcher) of Sangria, take a look at the menu and you'll see a magnificent selection of tapas to choose from.  Along with the standard potatoes (bravas) and prawns were a sampling of mini-burgers, cheeses and cured meats.


The portion sizes are smaller than those of La Pepita, but the prices are also lower, basically making it a wash.  The food itself was fantastic, and by dinnertime there was almost a 2 hour wait for a table!  You know a location is good if it's pulling in that many people, so try to get to this restaurant as early as possible.

If you're lucky enough to go when it is warm outside, there is also outdoor seating that lets you watch the hustle and bustle of the street while enjoying your food and tasty sangria.
Finally, if you're near La Rambla street, locals will tell you there aren't any great tapas bars to choose from.  While it's true that quality is more difficult to find in this area due to its touristy feel, Ziryab Fusion Wine and Tapas Bar (Calle de Grunyi no 4) is still an establishment worth going to.  Ziryab Fusion provides a cozy atmosphere, great drinks and reasonably priced tapas.
What to Avoid When Looking for Tapas Restaurants
Although we're focusing on the top tapas restaurants in Barcelona, there are still some tips you can follow to avoid a poor dining experience
  • As strange as it sounds, if the restaurant is in 'too' good of a location (right off a main tourist street for example), we found that it was probably not worth going to.  We found almost all of the best restaurants located a bit off the beaten path.
  • Look at the prices - typical tapas are around 3-5 euros.  Many tourist traps have higher prices and worse food.
  • Look at the food coming out - if the prawns are smaller than shrimp you would find in the US or Canada or the potatoes / peppers look unappealing, it likely that you're not at the right place.
  • Check a trusted source such as TripAdvisor - if you haven't heard of the restaurant before, see if you can look it up at your hotel before risking a wasted meal.
We hope that you found this article useful and remember - the tapas in Barcelona are going to be better than almost anywhere else you'll visit in the world.  Make sure you're taking advantage of that and don't waste a golden opportunity for a life-altering meal on a sub par sprawn.  Enjoy!


The Book of Tapas
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(price as of Jun 22, 2013)