Best Tapas Bars in Barcelona | The Ultimate Guide
If you are planning a food trip to Barcelona, the first type to tick off your list would be a tapas bar. Tapas are similar to appetisers consisting of small, savoury Spanish dishes, typically served with drinks at a bar.
Most tapas bars and restaurants are referred to as Bodega which means wine shop in Spanish and the drink to order at these bodegas is cava, sparkling wine from Catalonia that is registered as a Designation of Origin (DO) product. Some common tapas served in Barcelona include patatas bravas, pan con tomate and croquetas.
Tapas dishes like bacalao, bomba, chipirones, chorizo al vino, and morcilla are some of the must-tries and they can be combined to make a full meal.
Tapas restaurants are generally quite expensive, so we have assembled a list for you in the entire price spectrum. Dive in and choose the one or ones that suit your taste buds and mood.
Top 10 Tapas Bars & Restaurants in Barcelona
As you step into the traditional yellow tiles at Jai-Ca and are immediately surrounded by the Catalan dialect, you know you’ve chosen the most authentic tapas bar in Barcelona.
Located in the old fisherman’s neighborhood of Barceloneta, some of the most recommended tapas dishes at Jai-Ca include fried cuttlefish, Galician-style octopus, and grilled razor clams. If you’re not a seafood lover, try the spicy bomba (fried, meat-filled potato ball). (Image Credits)
If you want to experience the local life and culture of Catalonia, head to Bar Ramón in the Sant Antoni neighborhood. When Ramón Estalella opened it in 1939, he wanted this to be a space of friendship and harmony, a culture which is present to date. It’s a traditional tapas bar serving the likes of char-grilled octopus (their specialty), jabuguitos (chorizo cooked in cider with Cabrales-cheese sauce), patatas bravas (fried potatoes served with spicy tomato sauce) and whole roasted artichokes, a very traditional dish in Catalonia which is served by very few tapas bars. (Image Credits)
One of the best price to quality ratio restaurants in the city, no wonder it’s a student favourite. Located just off Las Ramblas in the heart of El Raval, their patatas are served with spicy bolognese-style sauce and the morcilla (blood sausage) with caramelised onions. Also try their choricitos (tiny, red-hot sausages) or the pimientos de Padrón (scotch bonnet peppers). Jugs of beer are €3.50. (Image Credits)
The Quimets opened a wine bar in 1914, and owing to four devoted generations of Quimets, this tiny bar — doesn’t even have seating space — has become a Barcelona legend. Located off the standard tourist track in the heart of Poble Sec, they serve their own-label Belgian beer but you could also order from their extensive selection of wines and cavas. Along with their classic salom tapa, other specialty dishes include montaditos (slices of bread topped with smoked salmon or cream cheese and honey, conservas (shellfish preserved in tins), and mojama (salt-cured, air-dried tuna). (Image Credits)
Another successful family-run restaurant, dating back to 1929, this bodega is situated in the El Born neighborhood and is quite close to the Picasso museum. El Xampanyet is famous for its eponymous cava. Pair this with the Cantabrian anchovies or Pulpo a la Gallega (Galician-style octopus) and you’ll be settled for the night. (Image Credits)
Situated in Sant Antoni, Lolita Tapería is owned by Joan Martínez, a former colleague of the famous Barcelona chef Ferran Adrià. It’s an old-school "taperia" serving all the traditional tapas dishes like anchovies, fried eggplant with honey, spicy patatas bravas, and ham croquettes, but what makes it stand out is its supreme quality. Locals recommend their incredible truffle "bikini" (or ham-and-cheese toastie). (Image Credits)
Among the old fishermen’s houses of Barceloneta, this is one of the very few tapas bars where you’ll find uniformed waiters serving you home-brewed beer. Given it’s close to the sea, they have boat-fresh squid and shrimp and flash-fried padrón peppers. One of the most recommended dishes here is the solomillo with foie gras. They don’t take reservations and there are very few tables, so be prepared to stand or sit by the bar. (Image Credits)
Albert Adrià’s Bodega 1900 sprinkles a modern twist on traditional tapas dishes. Owing to Chef Ferran Soler’s expertise, classic recipes of the early 20th century are served on the plate with a contemporary perspective. The ingredients used are of the finest quality, making this joint one of the most premium tapas restaurants in Barcelona. Recommended dishes include patatas chips, berberechos, empanadilla, boquerones, tartine de jamon, and French oysters by Gillardeau. Also famous are their cheeses and cakes. (Image Credits)
Ranked number 20 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for 2019 by CNTraveller, Tickets is an experience. Headed by Albert and Ferran Adrià, this Michelin-star restaurant is no traditional tapas restaurant. Taste their culinary excellence with dishes like eel canapés with yuzu tarama, crunchy tacos with Peking-style suckling pig, and delicate potato cubes with wagyu tartare. Located in El Raval, it’s an easy 25-minute walk from the World Trade Center. (Image Credits)
Determining what can be categorized as the best tapas bar or any restaurant in general depends on two factors: food quality and value for money. So naturally, we had to go with the best in business - El 58. It is regarded as one of the best tapas bars in Barcelona by locals and foodies alike, owing to its gastronomic brilliance. Even though the food is premium, it’s very reasonably priced. Their most recommended tapas include tuna tataki, fried aubergines with honey and rosemary, sausage-and-chickpea stew, and local cheeses. (Image Credits)