Updated: Mar 8
Eating tapas in a must while in Spain, and Barcelona has so many great tapas bars and restaurants it is hard to miss out on sampling these small plates throughout your travels. The tapas tradition is thought to have originated in the 13th century with king Alfonso X of Castile who recovered from his illness by drinking wine with small dishes between meals. He then ordered that all of the bars could not serve wine unless accompanies by small dishes or "tapas".
Today, there are a variety of tapas to accompany your beverages. However, we have compiled a list of our top 5 absolute favorites!
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1. Patatas Bravas
These delicious fried potatoes are covered in a spicy "bravas" sauce and sometimes a garlic mayonnaise called "alioli". Try them at Bar El Tomàs de Sarrià for some authentic and tasty Patatas Bravas at an affordable price.
Dont Miss: Bar El Tomàs de Sarrià
2. Jamón ibérico de bellota
Jamón is a rich air-dried ham that is a beloved ingredient in many Spanish dishes. While you may find many Jamón-based tapas in bars throughout Barcelona, they are not all made the same. Jamón ibérico de bellota comes from wild acorn-fed Iberian pigs, leading to a slightly nutty flavor in the Jamón that is truly unique and worth trying in Barcelona. Try some at Enrique Tomás JAMON-TAPAS-VINO.
Tip: Try the meat and cheese cones at Enrique Tomás
3. La Bombas
La Bombas are very similar to Patatas Bravas, however, La Bomba is a fried potato croquette stuffed with ground beef. What makes it similar to Patatas Bravas is that it is also covered in "alioli" (garlic mayonnaise) and a spicy bravas sauce. We're not claiming this comfort food to be healthy, but it sure delights the taste buds to sample a few! We recommend trying La Bombas at a restaurant that make them from scratch, like La Cova Fumada in La Barceloneta.
Fact: La Bombas is one of the few tapas that are native to Barcelona
Pintxos is translated as the skewer that holds the tapa together and comes in a large variety of options. The most popular Pintxos are those atop a small slice of bread. We recommend enjoying Pintxos alongside a nice cold brew at Ale&Hop in El Born.
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5. Pa Amb Tomaquet
Sometimes simple ingredients come together to make a delicious creation. In the case of Pa Amb Tomaquet, that is certainly the case. Toasted bread with a thin layer of tomato sauce, seasoned with salt and olive oil. That's it! But oh so good and certainly worth a try. We recommend sampling a bite at El Xampanyet in El Born.
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Lastly, a true tapas experience is not complete without tasting wine from a porrón. A porrón is a traditional wine pitcher found throughout Spain and believed to have been invented as a hygienic way of drinking and sharing wine. Lifting the porrón over your head and aiming the stream of wine directly into your mouth is a skill and an art form. One we attempted, but could not master!
If you are looking for a small-group experience to learn about the history and culture behind Spanish tapas, you may consider booking one of the below tours: