If you’re visiting Barcelona, try to take part in a Catalonian institution: tapas. Little appetizers or snacks meant to complement a caña of beer or a glass of wine, tapas are modern, creative, traditional, renowned and absolutely delicious.
For those just wanting a snack before a meal, order una media ración (half ration) or a simple tapa, which is a small mouthful. If you’re eager to take part in something that’s entrenched in Spanish culture, with origins that some say reach back to King Alfonso X who ate a diet of wine and tasty little nibbles, order a wide selection of dishes and tuck in.
Visit Quimet i Quimet in El Poble-sec, where you can enjoy montaditos (usually slices of fresh baguette) topped with anything from salmon to pungent cheese to glazed chestnuts and pickles. The food is less greasy than in other establishments but the flavours are no less intense, and this restaurant is lined with wines and spirits from all over the world.
You’ll probably want to see Gaudi’s Sagrada Família, and afterwards take a stroll to Tossa to relax in a welcoming, family atmosphere. Known all over the city for their crunchy croquetas, Tossa also has a mouth-watering range of fresh tapas including stuffed eggs and chocos (squid).
For those who are fans of seafood, in particular paella, visit Morryssom, which is a local favourite and a great place to enjoy the sunshine from a pavement table. The range of tapas is exquisite and includes whitebait, prawns, mussels and sausages, while vegetarians can even enjoy fragrant vegetable paella with goat’s cheese. How can you resist?
Tapas have come a long way since the days when they consisted of a slice of ham placed over the rim of a wine glass to keep the flies away – or so the story goes! El tapeo or the habit of strolling with friends and stopping at different places for a drink and a bite is something that’s survived for centuries, no matter how it came about. Visit Barcelona and take part in this time-honoured and mouth-watering tradition.