When you ask a Barcelonian where their favourite tapas bar is, they're usually quick to answer, and very assertively. The city is full of small bars and restaurants serving up these famous shareable dishes, and while some can be tourist traps, there are a few gems that come up repeatedly. And for good reason. Check out our favourite tapas bars around Barcelona.

Two delicious tapas up close.
Goat cheese and sun-dried tomato tapa at Quimet & Quimet, photo via arecipeforgluttony.wordpress.com

La Cova Fumada

La Cova Fumada stands the test of time with its fresh, delicious tapas and friendly service. Located in Barceloneta, it’s very old school with the menu written up on a blackboard and there isn’t even have a sign outside! There are some delicious seafood tapas and seasonal dishes like artichokes in spring and mushrooms in fall. A must-try is the bomba – a potato and spicy meatball that is deep-fried – that it’s most famous for (it’s said it was invented here). They don’t accept reservations, so arrive early.

Freshly fried sardines on a plate, sprinkled with parsley.
Fresh, fried sardines at La Cova Fumada, photo via @hungrytingg

Mont Bar

Mont Bar up on Carrer de la Diputació is small, intimate and all about seafood. It’s a Michelin Guide restaurant meaning no star, but the tapas are daring, unusual, and delicious. Be prepared for higher-than-normal tapas prices, but of course, higher than normal attention to detail as well.

Steak tartare with Waygu beef, photo via @mont_bar

El Xampanyet

El Xampanyet, just down the street from the Picasso Museum in Born, gets its name from the famous cava that it serves up. This is another classic, straightforward, standing bar complete with blue tiles walls. Get a taste of Catalonia: grilled squid and eggplant, anchovies, and their variety of cured meats are all worth the wait. Again, there are no reservations and you can expect to see it filling up quickly.

Image of table with three tapas plates and beers.
Tapas selection at El Xampanyet, photo via @platteristanbul

Quimet & Quimet

Another classic on this list, Quimet y Quimet started as a wine bar in 1914. You’ll feel right in the thick of things as you rub shoulders in the standing-room-only space while eating delicious montaditos (open-faced sandwiches) and their famous conserves. Don’t miss the salmon tapa or the wine or cava, which they’re well known for.

Plate with three open faced salmon tapas.
The famous salmon tapas at Quimet & Quimet, photo via @hungrymatty

Bar Brutal

If you want to splurge a bit more on food that you’ll remember for the rest of your life, check out Bar Brutal. They have a huge selection of natural wines with sommeliers who really know their stuff. Don’t be surprised to see seemingly mismatched combinations of flavours – these guys understand food! Be sure to get a reservation to avoid a wait.

Tuna dish at Bar Brutal, photo via @bedouinfoodie

Bar del Pla

Tucked away in the neighbourhood of el Born, Bar del Pla is one of the tapas bars that comes up again and again in conversations about tapas. It’s a small, traditional space that serves up delicious plates, smooth wines, friendly service and a mix of locals and tourists alike. They offer everyday staples such as their scrumptious mushroom wasabi salad, quid ink croquetas, steamed mussels and tender beef cheek. As it’s usually brimming with people, the best way to get a taste is to make a reservation.

Bright, colourful tapa on black plate with beer and croquettes in background.
Coca with sardines, mango and pinenuts at Bar del Pla, photo via @factrogastrnomic
January 15th, 2020

Posted in Eat and Drink, The best of Barcelona

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