The Most Popular Tapas in Barcelona That Are Worth All the Hype and More – Devour Barcelona
This blog post was originally published on February 1, 2017 and updated on October 28, 2020. Despite the fact that the tapas do not originate from Barcelona, ​​the Catalan capital has adapted them perfectly to the local food scene. If you come to Barcelona in need of tapas, you are not alone. Tapas are a […]

This blog post was originally published on February 1, 2017 and updated on October 28, 2020.

Despite the fact that the tapas do not originate from Barcelona, ​​the Catalan capital has adapted them perfectly to the local food scene.

If you come to Barcelona in need of tapas, you are not alone. Tapas are a way of life here in Spain and have gained popularity abroad for good reason. While often thought of as small plates, making tapas in Span is less about the food itself and more about the social experience of sharing it with others.

But what is really worth trying? With so many options to choose from, it's understandable to feel overwhelmed. We've worked hard for you and put together this guide to the most popular Barcelona tapas that locals love - and so do you.

Tapas in Barcelona: a brief history

Historically, the concept of tapas in Barcelona was quite modest. The original tapas bars in the Catalan capital were the old-fashioned wine bodegas, which often served small bites such as canned seafood, cheese, olives and cold cuts. Bodegas usually don't have a kitchen, so cold tapas like these were the way to go.

But as migration to Spain became more widespread in the 20th century, thousands of Andalusians moved north to Barcelona. With them, they brought the concept of tapas that is better known today.

That's right, we've been eating tapas in Barcelona (in their modern form, at least) for less than a century! But around this time, a few bites made a name for themselves. These are Barcelona's most popular tapas and appetizers that no trip to the ciudad condal would be complete without.

The most popular tapas in Barcelona

Patatas bravas

Patatas bravas are fried potatoes topped with a spicy “bravas” sauce and sometimes Alioli, a garlic mayonnaise, too. These are probably the tapas that you will find on every menu in the city of Barcelona. Therefore, you obviously have to try them, but be aware that all bravas are created equal.

Read reviews (ideally from locals) of any location before you go and be sure to keep an eye out for places that use frozen potatoes, store-bought gravy, etc. Sadly, it's not uncommon for this Barcelona tapas bar staple to be slaughtered. But when do they do it right? Paradise.

Patatas bravas
The emblematic bravas of Bodega La Palma, which make a right to this local classic.

Acorn-fed ibérico jamón

When it comes to cured Spanish ham, remember one thing: not all ham is the same! On a daily basis, most people eat Serrano ham, which is the most basic of Spanish hams. It's still pretty good, but if you're only in Spain for a limited time, you'll want to go for the best of the best.

If you really want to try the right things, keep an eye out ham Iberian bellota, or Iberian acorn-fed ham. This ruby-red delight melting in the mouth is not to be missed.

Plate of Spanish hams
Perfect Spanish ham.

Pan con tomato

Pan con tomato, or bread with tomato, olive oil and sometimes garlic, is without a doubt the simplest staple of Catalan cuisine and one of the most popular tapas in Barcelona. In fact, it is virtually impossible to order bread in Catalonia that does not come with tomato.

But don't expect to see this classic just as a tapa! Pa amb tomàquet (as it is called in Catalan) is also a breakfast staple, and the tomato is also always present on Catalan sandwiches.

Plate of Catalan tomato bread
Pan con tomato is a must-see for bars and restaurants in Barcelona.

The bomba

One of Barcelona's most popular tapas, bomba is a fried potato croquette stuffed with ground beef and topped with the two classic sauces of patatas bravas: Alioli and also the bravas sauce itself. This delicious Catalan tapa has its roots in Barceloneta, the old fishing district of the city. The only problem is to eat just one.

Bomba sautéed potato ball
Bombas are one of the few tapas from Barcelona!


Anchoas, or anchovies, are one of Barcelona's most popular tapas among locals. Anchovies in Spain traditionally come from the northern coast of Cantabria or the Mediterranean coast north of Barcelona.

Even if you think anchovies aren't your thing, don't stop reading for now - Spanish anchovies are unlike anything you've ever tried, we promise. Try this amazing tapa with a little pan con tomato and you might change your mind!


Pintxos, or the Basque Country's answer to tapas, have become very popular in Barcelona, ​​with dozens of pintxos the bars around different neighborhoods. Word pintxo refers to the skewer that holds the tapa together.

There are many types of pintxos, but most come on a small slice of bread. Although they are not necessarily as delicious as those you will find in the Basque Country, pintxo bars are a fun way to taste tapas in Barcelona.

Ale & Hop is one of the best places to drink craft beer in Barcelona.  Their inexpensive yet delicious pintxos are the icing on the cake and serve up some of our favorite and most popular tapas in Barcelona!
Make sure to visit Ale & Hop in the Born for craft beer to taste with your pintxos!

Buñuelos de bacalao

Salted cod is a common denominator for many Mediterranean dishes. And without a doubt, buñuelos de bacalao, or salt cod fritters, are one of Barcelona's best and most popular tapas. While there are different ways to prepare them, you can still expect that perfectly salty flavor!

Eat some of Barcelona's most popular tapas in a typical bar

Want to see the inside of one of our favorite tapas bars? Watch our co-founder James Blick explain more about Barcelona's most popular tapas in the video below.

Do you like good food and want to discover the best authentic and most popular tapas in Barcelona? So there's no better way to do this so join us for our evening Visit of tapas, taverns and history of Barcelona. Immerse yourself in the old historic center and explore the city through your senses!

Whether you regularly whip up Michelin-worthy meals at the drop of a hat or your cooking skills are best described as “fine, ” you can always benefit from the helpful little tricks of others. Here, 14 of our friends’, families’ and coworkers’ most-used cooking tips.

There’s a time and a place to whip out that complicated coq au vin recipe you’ve been dying to try. A dinner party isn’t that time. With a new recipe, you’ll likely be chained to the kitchen the whole time, plus, when you’re trying something for the first time, there’s always the possibility that it could go horribly wrong. When cooking for a group, we always err on the side of tried-and-true crowd-pleasers.

You do hours of prep work on an intricate dish, only to be totally disappointed once you taste the final product. Bummer. Instead of putting in all that effort only to be disappointed, taste while you cook. That way, you’ll realize sooner that the dish isn’t tasting how you’d like it to, and you can make all kinds of last-ditch efforts to save it. This doesn’t just work for bad-to-OK meals. Tasting midway through and realizing how perfect a dash of cayenne or a squirt of lemon juice would be can take a great dinner to legendary status.

Plating pasta means tossing some onto a plate and finishing it with a nice dollop of sauce right on the middle, right ? Wrong. Here’s how to take your carbs to the next level : On the stove there should be two pans, one with pasta and one with sauce. Cook the pasta to al dente and transfer it into the sauce. Then, add a little bit of pasta water ( literally just the starchy water the pasta has been cooking in ), which will help the sauce cling to the pasta while also keeping it the right consistency. Perfection.

In the pursuit of the perfect steak, you have to be OK with your kitchen getting a little smoky. That’s because, to get the mouthwatering sear we’re all after, the meat has to be dry and the pan should be pretty damn close to smoking hot. Trust us, it’s worth a few seconds of a blaring alarm.

Most foods are ruined by too much salt. Steak is different. When it comes to seasoning your meat ( before you cook it ), more is more. Use a generous amount of coarse Kosher salt—more than you think you need. Since most cuts of steak are pretty thick, even though you’re using a lot of salt, it’s still only covering the surface.

This one isn’t too complicated. Whether you’re making avocado toast, pizza, fried rice or a burger, the addition of a fried egg on top will not hurt your feelings. Trust us.

This one seems like a no-brainer, but we’ve definitely found ourselves in a situation where we assumed we knew all of the ingredients that went into chocolate chip cookies only to find out that we had about half the required amount of brown sugar. Ugh. tera avoid a mid-cooking grocery-store trip, read the recipe from front to back—carefully—before you start.

Prepping grains in mass quantities is less about taste than convenience. Rice, quinoa and even oatmeal last about a week in the fridge after being cooked. When we’re prepping any one of those, we double up our measurements and store the leftovers, which are then impossibly easy to use up throughout the week. Too tired to make dinner ? Heat up some leftover rice from the fridge and toss an egg on top ( remember ? ). Couldn’t be simpler.

So you fried up a pound of bacon for an indulgent ( read : delicious ) brunch. Great, just make sure you don’t throw out the grease in the pan. Instead, save it in the refrigerator or freezer ( it technically lasts for up to a year, but should be used sooner than that to take full advantage of its flavor ). Then, anytime you’re cooking something you typically prepare in oil, try cooking it in the bacon grease instead. You’ll never want to eat Brussels sprouts the old way again.

You’ve probably heard that whenever a dish is lacking a little something-something, the best thing to do is toss in some salt. But, we have it on good authority that salt isn’t always the answer. When you’re tasting a dish at the end and you think it needs a little oomph, often it just needs a splash of acid ( like lemon juice ) to round out the flavor.

You know the difference between a paring knife and a fillet knife, but do you know how to take care of them ? Or, more importantly, how to use them ? A set of good knives can be the difference between a stressful cooking experience and a great one. First, practice your knife skills. Look up tutorials on YouTube and practice chopping, slicing and julienne-ing. It’s amazing what you can do with your cook time when your prep time is shortened with solid knife skills. Then, once you’ve got your skills down pat, learn how to take care of your set. No one ever achieved kitchen greatness with a dull chef’s knife.

The key to tender, flavorful barbecue and roasts ? Cooking it on a low temperature for a long time. The same doesn’t go for roasting veggies. For crispy, perfectly cooked butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and more, remember the magic number : 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower, and you risk pulling a pan of blah carrots out of the oven. It might seem high, but to get the nice roasted flavor, you need high heat. And while we’re on the subject, stop crowding your veggies in the pan, which will also make them soggy.

You know how just about every cookie recipe suggests that you chill your dough in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, but oftentimes you don’t listen because you just want cookies now ? ! ( Same. ) Unfortunately, this step actually does make a difference. In addition to limiting how much the dough spreads while baking, chilling your dough intensifies the flavors and produces that perfect chewy, crispy matière we know and love.

It won’t do your breath any favors, but never ( ever ) scrimp on garlic. In fact, we typically double the amount a recipe calls for. Apologies to anyone who was planning on kissing us.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *