How To Find The Best Tapas In Barcelona

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Bravo24 at W Barcelona

Barcelona Tapas Guide

What types of tapas should you pursue, and where can you find them?

...Bombas, a typical dish from Barcelona's fisherman's quarter...
...Patatas bravas at Tapas 24

By Susan Hanson
Originally appeared in October 2015 issue of Virtuoso Traveler

While tapas originated in Spain, epicures everywhere have discovered the joy of sharing these small, savory plates over fine wines and friendly conversation. “The good thing about tapas,” says Barcelona-based Virtuoso travel advisor Pilar Vivet, “is that you don’t need to order everything at the beginning. Order a few plates and, later, if you’re still hungry, you can order some more!” Here, she dishes on some of her favorite staples.

Barcelona's Best Tapas Bars

Tapas 24: “A small place, but extremely high quality. Patatas bravas is one of their specialties.” (Carrer de la Diputació, 269)

Tickets Bar: “Ferran Adrià’s brother Albert has created an experience for the senses. There is always something new, but it’s all about tapas. Save room for dessert.” (Avinguda del Paraŀlel, 164)

Vinitus: “Great tapas, good prices, quick and friendly service.” (Carrer del Consell de Cent, 333)

Quimet & Quimet: “An old-style bar where you eat tapas while standing. They make their own beer and the best vermouth in the city.” (Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 25)

Cal Pep: “Another typical spot; it’s always filled with locals. The butifarra with duck liver and the small omelets are very nice.” (Plaça de les Olles, 8)

A Primer On Tapas Styles

Patatas bravas: Pan-fried potatoes served with tomato sauce.

Calamares a la andaluza: Pan-fried squid.

Pan con tomate y jamón: Tomato-rubbed bread with ham. “Barcelonans can’t live without this bread.”

Boquerones: Fresh, filleted anchovies.

Tortilla de patatas: Spanish omelet, served in countless ways.

Bombas: Potato balls with meat inside, pan-fried and served with sauce. “A typical dish from Barcelona’s fisherman’s quarter. Yum!”

Pulpo a la gallega: Octopus, Galician-style.

Buñuelos de bacalao: Deep-fried cod balls.

Heading to Barcelona with a Virtuoso advisor

Learn to make tapas at Oceania Cruises’ Culinary Center before taking a tasting tour around Barcelona when the 1,250-passenger Riviera calls there on a 14-day sailing between Monte Carlo and Lisbon. Departure: June 26, 2016; from $4,799.

Michelin-ranked chef Carles Abellán takes a playful approach to tapas at Bravo24, located in the 473-room W Barcelona. Doubles from $235; Virtuoso amenities include breakfast daily and a $100 spa credit.

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