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Snacking In Old Barcelona

Beyond its spectacular monumental and historical heritage, Barcelona is an eminently gastronomic city. From restaurants with several Michelin stars to long-standing bars and taverns, the Catalan capital is geared to the delectation of the most refined palates. Today we wander through the old town in search of the bars and restaurants where you can sample the best tapas on this side of the Mediterranean.

Gothic Quarter

So many eateries cracked up as tourist destinations can be confusing when it comes to choosing a good place for having tapas. In the lower part of the Gothic Quarter, near the sea, is Bar La Plata. This classic has been offering the same four tapas ever since it opened in 1945. Be sure to try the onion, tomato and anchovy salad, the butifarra (pork sausage) or the scrumptious pescaíto frito (fresh fried fish). Washed down with a good aperitif, it is unlikely to leave you indifferent. La Plata also happens to be one of the favourite watering holes of chef Ferran Adrià.

And, from one classic to another. The delicatessen, La Pineda, has been on Calle Pi since 1930. Its cured meats are excellent and you can sit down to sample some Iberian cured ham, chorizo, fuet (both cured pork sausages) and lomo (pork loin) with a glass of red wine or sherry.

Born

El Born is one of Barcelona’s trendiest quarters and it is brimming with restaurants and bars.

One of our favourites is Cal Pep. Here you can sit at a table or at the bar counter and the object of this establishment is that guests share out dishes as if they were tapas. Everything is designation of origin, with priority accorded to local produce. The fame of this eatery is well deserved.

The same holds true for Bar del Pla, where traditional cuisine is imbued with the young spirit of its proprietors. The calamari croquettes are spectacular, as are their patatas bravas (fried potatoes with spicy sauce). We recommend you try the dish of the day, and take advice when it comes to choosing the right wine.

You can’t leave El Born without stopping off at El Xampanyet, one of the city’s best known tapas bars. Here, the star beverage is xampanyet, a mild cava which goes down easily and is ideal for accompanying their famous anchovies, pickles and one of the best omelettes in town.

As in other European cities, there are several firms in Barcelona that offer gastronomic tours. For those of you wishing to find out more about Catalan and Spanish cuisine, we recommend Food Lovers Company, one of the best rated businesses for their competitive prices and the professionalism of their guides.

Book your Vueling to Barcelona and venture into the world of its magnificent cuisine.

Text by Aleix Palau for Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS