Don't be guiri!
You may have heard of Ferran Adrià, Spain’s most famous celebrity chef who has been accumulating so much kudos in the last number of years that the French became worried that Spain was stealing their culinary limelight. Ferran Adrià became famous for molecular gastronomy, the products of which he sold at his now shutdown restaurant, El Bulli. Just after closing due to the cost of keeping up such intricate chemistry-based cooking, Ferran and his brother Albert Adrià ,set up the modern tapas bar Tickets in the Eixample neighbourhood. Albert Adrià, now head chef, offers a 33 course tasting menu of traditional tapas with a modern twist. The interior is designed in a playful, carnival type style featuring ice-cream carts and candy floss machines. This is a great place for a taste of some unpretentious haute cuisine with a traditional Catalan twist.
Can Mano is a typical Barcelona style tapas bar that has been a long time favourite with locals for years and now draws in large crowds at peak times, particularly for lunch. If you arrive there at lunch time or at the later 8pm opening you could be waiting up to half an hour for a table. However, it is well worth the wait for some of the freshest and most authentic Catalan tapas in Barcelona. You can wait outside with a drink in hand and soak up the atmosphere and your name will be called when a table becomes available. The bar’s specialty is sea food freshly caught by local fisherman and you can eat really well here for very cheap.
O’Toxo Tres Hermanos is another highly popular tapas bar with a similar local feel but perhaps a little more up market, but only a little! It is still very reasonably priced and serves really good quality tapas. It’s a great place for big groups as well as couples, but can be quite loud and lively if you’re looking for intimacy. It’s located right in the heart of the Raval neighbourhood and like Can Mano, be prepared for a wait if arrive there at peak time. However, there is a bar inside where you can have a drink and wait and it shouldn’t be more than half an hour. The staff are super friendly and efficient as well.
Restaurante Puerto Plata: No matter where in the country you go, holidays in Spain will inevitably feature a large amount of tapas eating. If one night you get tapas overloud and fancy something a bit different to traditional Catalan then you could try Puerto Plata just off Via Laietana near the Jaume 1 metro stop. It’s a little hidden away Dominican-run food restaurant serving the best Caribbean/Dominican fusion food in Barcelona. The atmosphere here is always great, with random salsa dancing and impromptu drag acts performed by the restaurant owner. They cater for big groups too, in this way you can pay a fixed price per head to get plate after plate of delicious Caribbean dishes and glasses of various types of Caribbean rum.
Posted In: Barcelona