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Best Barcelona Tapas
A question on almost everyone’s lips when they arrive to Barcelona is “Where can we get some Tapas?!” Everyone associates Spanish cuisine with Paella, Sangria and Tapas, and also automatically assumes that everywhere in Spain is a great place to get Tapas. This is not strictly true. Tapas is a specifically Southern Spanish tradition, where in bars in Andalusia will serve you a bar snack with a beer or a glass of house wine after work - some say to keep you in the bar drinking rather than head home, although the real reason of the invention of the Tapas is different. Apparently, drinks were covered with something to keep away flies, and whilst this could often just be a slice of bread, then the idea developed with olives, fish and all sorts of additions coming along the way.

So Tapas in Barcelona is not really a typical traditional Catalan past-time, and many restaurants have simply jumped on the tourist bandwagon and serve tapas as any old thing; and at a hefty price for the smiling tourists. This is not true of the whole city of course and there are obviously some exceptions.

A lot of traditional Tapas can be very fried, be it shallow or deep fried such as croquetas, and the wonderful patatas bravas being two classic examples no tapas menu can do without. This can lead to the food repeating on some people easily, especially if accompanied by a fizzy beer or a glass of white wine. The Basque country in Spain lends itself to a different kind of Tapas snack, called a pincho, or pinxo in Barcelona. This is a lighter snack, usually consisting of a slice of baguette with fish, olives, ham, etc. and a cocktail stick to hold things in place. Generally, these cocktail sticks are counted at the end of your Tapas and the bill calculated this way. The great thing about the Basque Tapas is that you generally are able to eat more! If you combine some of the lighter Tapas with the classic fried Tapas, it makes a happy balance. There are many Basque pinxo Tapas restaurants, and indeed on the famous Ramblas Street, just next to the Boqueria market is a great place to stop and try out the menu. The tourist trap here, though, is the cured Iberic ham – very expensive, so give that a miss.

As a rule, avoid those restaurants with photos of the Tapas outside! Tapas is usually already ready and often displayed at the front of the bar, so you should be able to see what you’re ordering. It’s also quick to make, so the kitchen should be busy in any good Tapas restaurant. Take Tapa Tapa up on Passeig de Gracia – the place is always booming and the pavement terrace outside is always a great spot where you know the food has a quick turnover and is therefore very fresh, too. They also have a great selection of International beers to wash down the Tapas, too!
About the Author
David Brydon has been living in Barcelona for 10 years and writes about Apartments for rent in Barcelona and Barcelona apartments for families.
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