Tapas in Spain is an national institution, yet still one that is focused as much on good conversation as it is the food. Enjoy the classic Spanish tapas at any of these top restaurants in Barcelona for the best in both food and atmosphere - and don't forget to bring good company.
As the name implies, this joint in Poblenou puts all its TLC into the very edible, unfussy tapas dish that is ‘croquetas,’ breadcrumbed rolls bubbling with mashed potatoes, and typically cheese or ham. Catacroquet has a fancier croqueta offering and there are also three types of dessert croquetas, the most delectable being those stuffed with sweetened carrots in cinnamon with ginger ice cream. Perhaps eat your greens before leaving the hotel, although they do also do some excellent natural juices here to add balance. www.catacroquetbistrot.com
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Quite possibly the very best traditional tapas bar in Barcelona. A favourite with those who live in the area (deepest Barceloneta – the old fishing quarters backing onto the beach) and with those across the city, in the know, alike. Tapas wafting out from the kitchen constantly restacks the counter of a solid, wooden snake-like bar where many will perch or stand beside the giant tortillas, though side tables exist too. Classic interior decoration with Castilian memorabilia and a well-preserved tiled floor create a homely vibe as does excellent and efficient service. It will be hard to stop ordering once you get in here. www.barjaica.com
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La Montiel 37
La Montiel 37
You must go here, if only for the ‘calamares’ (squid rings) which take some beating as the softest and most succulent in town. The owners, one from Madrid and the other from Barcelona, are charismatic and sociable and the menu extensive. Sit inside on the vintage comfy leather sofas or under the cosy and protective porch outside. The croquetas here are also worth talking about. La Montiel, which only opened in the last couple of years, is just off the Sant Antoni neighbourhood’s Parlament Street, which is fast becoming Barcelona’s trendy eating spot should you choose to do a little tapas crawl. La Montiel is closed on Mondays. www.lamontiel37.com