ENJOYING TAPAS IN BARCELONA. PART I

Barcelona is no doubt a great city. In my opinion, one of the nicest place to live.

I spent there some magnificent years during which I studied cuisine, worked in different restaurants and made some good friends. This cosmopolitan city houses a great number of different cultures which blend together with the local one resulting in an enjoyable and quite eclectic atmosphere that also reflects in its gastronomy. Nowadays one can find the most diverse food in the city, ranging from asian, indian, latin, french, italian, moroccan, etc. But the most popular and my favorite one is the local one: the Catalan cuisine. And as the city is and has always been up-to-date, they never put aside the number one concept: Las Tapas. Let’s walk together through my favorites tapas places in this Mediterranean sun-bathed city.

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Let’s start at “El Raval”, one of my favorites neighborhoods. We head to Bar Cañete in Carrer de la Uniò. A tapas bar with an open kitchen offering an interesting fusion between Andalusian cuisine and global flavors, accompanied by the best wines and cavas.

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Espardeñas, anchovies, tataki, lobster ceviche, croquetas, artichokes omelette, calcots, tuna tartare, squid stuffed with butifarra, fried boquerones, etc. An unforgettable feast during which it’s difficult not to continue ordering cañas or glasses of an iced white Cosers del Segre. Next to the bar there’s this space with tables lined with tablecloth where you can also eat deliciously but I could never resist to the charm of being seated next to the bar.

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Leaving behind El Cañete and waking up a few blocks towards The Ramblas we bump into the nice and majestic entrance to Mercat de Sant Josep, known as The Boqueria. Thousands of articles have been written about this temple of Spanish cuisine but there is a stand I can not avoid to mention: El Quim.

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In this place I breakfasted during almost the whole year I worked at restaurant Candela at Carrer de l’hospital just a block away from the market. El Quim de La Boquerìa, which is it’s original name, is one of the oldest tapas bars created long ago to feed workers of the plazas. And with time it has turned out into a place where you can find the original “Cocina de Mercado” and where chefs hang out.

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The classic breakfast is a zucchini, eggplant or potato omelette tapa, accompanied by the so popular “Pa amb Tomaquet”. But the menu is lengthy with different and diverse dishes like pickled boquerones, pimientos del padròn, grilled fish, garlic shrimp, bull tail, etc. But there’s one thing tat drives me nut and that is the fried eggs with not very common products like llanguetas (tiny fish), prawns, fois-gras etc. Making a story short, El Quim is a tiny place with no more than 20 seats where we can find what it is, in my opinion, great spanish gastronomy.

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We exit through the back door of La Boquerìa to a Farmers’ Market in Plaza de Sant Galdric and on one side of the plaza there is El Passatge de la Virreina and we find Bar PAPITU. This fantastic place is no more nor less than a window through which they serve delicious tapas and sandwiches. And it just feels great to seat on its terrace by snack time and enjoy a glass of vermut, local drink, accompanied by some olives, guindillas, tempura fried eggplants, empanadas, etc.

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But what I enjoy the most from their menu is the sardines on the grill, just awesome!!!. They also have tapas made of canned products, they sell in a small shop next to the bar, such as anchovies, caballa, tuna in pickled sauce, etc.
Certainly a nice place to enjoy a tapa or a sandwich by the sunny light of Barcelona, a habit that always makes you feel good and joyful. To be continued…

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