Inopia Let’s put it plainly - this is hands-down our favourite local tapas bar in the world. This is the sort of place that you wished was just around the corner from where you live, so that you could pop in on a daily basis for a few sumptuous bites of their delectable tapas. Chef Albert Adria (the Creative Director of one of the worlds best gastronomy restaurants, El Bulli, for many years) decided to move in a completely new direction with this casual, intimate neighborhood venture. Taking inspiration from the traditional Spanish tapas recipes of his childhood, Adria and his team use only the finest seafood, meats and fresh produce sourced throughout Spain. Expect perfectly crisp homemade croquetas, exceptional jamon iberico de bellota, heavenly anchovies with green olives, and the best pan con tomate we’ve ever tasted. (CLOSED)
Calle Tamarit 104, 08015 Barcelona +34 9 3424 5231
Comerc 24 If you’re looking to have your culinary palette taken out of its comfort zone with inventive, surprising and exquisite flavours, then head to Comerc 24 in the trendy Born district for the most refined gourmet tapas in Barcelona. Having studied for years under Ferran Adria of El Bulli fame, chef Carles Abellan and his team have developed a cult following for his perfectly formed small-plate gourmet tastes. Classic Catalan dishes are reinvented and infused with global flavours, where his signature delicacies include truffled onion soup with oysters and mushrooms marinated in olive oil; and mouth-watering tuna tartare with a rich egg-yolk vinaigrette. The decor is colourful and stylish, the Spanish-focused wine list impressive, and the service team very professional. They also have a great casual tapas bar downstairs, Tapas 24.
Calle Comerç, 24, 08003 Barcelona +34 9 3319 2102
Quimet y Quimet Having opened its doors over 100 years ago, this tiny, rustic tapas bar is literally packed elbow to elbow throughout the day (especially in the early afternoon) for its exquisitely delicious tapas fare. Pick and choose from an assortment of tapas prepared centimeters in front of you by the Quimet family. Quimet y Quimet is renowned for its superb yet highly affordable montaditos - i.e. their perfectly-toasted bread slices with a multitude of tasty morsels on top - prepared with some of the finest seafood, meats and cheeses in Spain. Expect delicacies such as their signature melt-in-your-mouth smoked salmon montadito with cream cheese and truffled honey; also the marinated red peppers, pickled garlic and anchovies. The local crowd is lively and welcoming, and the Spanish wine list is a perfect match for the menu.
Calle del Poeta Cabanyes 25, Barcelona +34 9 3442 3142
The "Mercats" You can also find great quality tapas bars in Barcelona’s bustling local food and fresh produce markets. The Mercat Santa Catarina hosts one of Barcelona’s trendiest tapas bars, Cuines Santa Caterina, with soaring high ceilings, wide open spaces and stylish, casual interiors. Expect a menu of delicious traditional tapas favourites which can be enjoyed while you’re seated at their tapas bar or in their more open, buzzing restaurant. Another popular option is the Mercat Boqueria located on Barcelona’s most famous strip, Las Ramblas. Set amidst a hive of activity with bustling market vendors and crowds, seek out two of our favourite tapas bars - Bar Pinoxto, which is a local institution where people usually stand and devour bite sized tapas morsels on the spot; and El Quim is another popular place that is a little more experimental with flavours.
Mercat Santa Caterina: Ciutat Vella; Mercat de la Boqueria: Las Ramblas, Barcelona