By Regina Winkle-Bryan
The breakdown is: breakfast at 10, lunch at 2 and dinner at 10pm. With an eating schedule like this you may get hungry while wandering Spanish soil. Before you pack the trail mix in your purse, consider tapas which are cooler, less crunchy, and much more delicious.
The Scoopettes have traveled all over Spain doing ‘research’ on tapas. We have gained a few pounds and some seriously good scoop on some fabulous tapas joints in Barcelona.
1. Jai-ca (c/ Ginebra, 13 08003 Barceloneta, Barcelona)
In La Barceloneta, this place is a legend with a lot of seafood tapa options. Don’t plan on getting a seat unless you come at an off hour or were born with good luck. Stand at the bar. Try the bravas (spicy potatoes) and the tigres (it’s delicious inside a shell – not 100% sure what they are). Local, reasonable prices and darn good grub keep this place packed (though many of their tapas are of the ‘fried’ variety).
2. Patxoca (c/ Mercaders 28, El Born, Barcelona)
Across from the Cathedral near El Born, Patxoca is a restaurant with organic dishes. They also do some nice tapas. They are a bit pricy, but worth it. Patxoca has outdoor seating with heaters in the winter, plus a cozy, albeit small, inside dining room. We like this place, and its hidden away location in the center of the city.
3. Fabrica Moritz Barcelona (Ronda de Sant Antoni 39-43, Eixample, Barcelona)
Hmmm, I’m not sure what to think of this new beer bar and tapas spot on Sant Antoni. I like it. I like Moritz beer. I like what they’ve done with the old beer factory, turning it into a super hip gastro-pub. But I don’t like that they make their wait staff wear funny uniforms. Whose idea was that?! Seriously. As someone who worked in the service industry and had to wear a uniform many times, I frown upon this. Whoever is making them wear those never worked as a waiter. It’s a weird jumpsuit, and I just don’t get it. However, their tapas are tasty and creative (not your average fried croqueta here) as are the beers on tap. This is a place to have an interesting experience and sip what most consider to be the Barcelona beer.
4. El Celler del Nou Priorat (Vallespir 19, Sants, Barcelona)
If you’ve read my other post about this place, then you know why I dig it. Mostly though, I appreciate their wine list, which is extensive. Plus, there ain’t much shaking in the Sants barrio, so this place gets extra points for being one of the only decent bars in the ‘hood.
5. Cala de Vermut (Carrer de les Magdalenes, 6, Barri Gotic, Barcelona)
Have you tried vermut? It’s a herbed wine on ice served with an orange wedge and an olive. I’m an addict when it comes to the stuff. The way to drink it is with tapas before lunch or in the late afternoon. It goes well with patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), salty green olives, berberechos (cockles) and spicy peppers stuffed with goat cheese. Therefore, it goes well with everything they serve at Cala de Vermut. While I do recommend the vermut at Cala de Vermut, I don’t think their fried tapas are as good as they used to be. Stick to a drink and some white anchovies and you’ll do well.
6. El Vaso de Oro (Balboa 6, La Barceloneta, Barcelona)
Honestly, I haven’t been to El Vaso de Oro in some time because the place is so small (and long) that it’s hard to go with a group. However, this was one of the first tapa places I tried in Barcelona, quite by accident, in 2005. It was good then and continues to serve fab tapas now. They have a very ample tapa menu here, and many dishes are made to order. The food and the experience are both draws (you’ll see what I mean once you get there).
**More Scoop : A useful source for finding tapas restaurants and really, any sort of restaurant in Barcelona is Salir.com, which is in Spanish. The web lists restaurants all over Spain.
In Seville, The Scoop follows De Tapas por Sevilla on Facebook to get the latest scoop on what people in the south of Spain are munching (http://www.facebook.com/Sevilladetapas). We also like Tapas Con Arte.
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