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21 Extremely Tasty Tapas You Have to Eat in Barcelona

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

If you are looking for a Barcelona food guide to learn about the local food and everything you cannot miss to try, you are in luck! You just found the guide to the best tapas in Barcelona.

Tapas is a wide variety of delicious Spanish food you will find in Barcelona. They are served in small portions as an appetizer or a snack in Spanish restaurants and tapas bars.

They are not only eaten as an appetizer, but you can also have dinner only with Tapas. Trust me, after eating 5 or 6 portions, you will be full and delighted.

21 Extremely Tasty Tapas You Have to Eat in Barcelona

What is Tapas?

Tapas is a general name for a small dish of food of local cuisine, you will find different tapas all around Spain. From delicious cheese, olives, ham, potatoes, meat and fish cook in a fantastic way.

How many Tapas should you order?

The quantity of tapas to order is entirely up to you. Just order a couple of tapas to share with your partner or travel mate while enjoying a good glass of wine and then go for dinner.

Or, as I love to do, you can have tapas for dinner.

My advice is never to order them all together. You never know how big portions are in the tapas bar you are dining in. Start by ordering three different tapas, and then see how hungry you still are and proceed by ordering two more tapas at a time.

21 Extremely Tasty Tapas You Have to Eat in Barcelona

What are Pinchos in Spain?

Pinchos or Montadito are Barque style tapas you can also find in Barcelona. Pinchos are sliced bread with on top a topping that can be fish, meat or vegetables. They are usually very cheap, from 1 euro for cheap toppings to 3 euros for more expensive toppings.

21 Extremely Tasty Tapas You Have to Eat in Barcelona

What is a Raciones in Spain?

Raciones is a larger plate of local dishes. When you see two different prices on the menu, one state tapas and one state raciones, the Tapas is a small portion, while raciones is a big plate, basically an ordinary main course.

21 Extremely Tasty Tapas You Have to Eat in Barcelona

What is a plato combinado in Spain?

Plato Combinado is a larger plate with different Tapas. This is the perfect option to try more dishes. It can be done just for one person or more. Just ask at the Tapas Bar you will go to, and they will make it for you.

There are many kinds of Tapas, with fish, meat or vegetables. It all depends on which part of the country you are visiting.

Of course, closer to the seaside, more fish dishes you will find and more inland, more meaty Tapas you will eat.

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1. Jamon Iberico:

Jamon Iberico is a red and rich flavour air-dried ham produced in Spain and Portugal.

There are four different types of Jamon Iberico. It all depends on the pig's diet. There is the Jamon Iberico de Bellota, 100% Bellota, Cebo de Campo and de Cebo.

Prices vary, but the best Jamon Iberico de Bellota can cost up to 4,500 euros for a whole leg.

You will see different prices while purchasing it in a Market where they will cut it on the spot for you.

My advice is to try the best one by purchasing only 100 gr of it. I once purchased 100 gr of one of them in the Mercado de Santa Caterina in Barcelona which costs 200 euros per kilo (so I paid 20 euros). It was the best thing ever eaten in my life.

Jamon Iberico is considered the most delicious cured ham in the whole world. You can order it sliced on a plate, on top of a slice of bread (called pinchos), inside a tortilla, or in a sandwich for breakfast. However you eat it, you will love it.


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2. Queso:

Queso means cheese in Spanish. There are so many cheeses in Spain that if you love cheese, you will be a pleased person at breakfast, lunch and dinner time (also happy because you will be in Spain, of course!).

Catalan region produces more than 150 kinds of artisan cheese, and it also has the higher number of cheese shops in all of Spain.

These are the most common cheese you will find in Barcelona:

  • Queso Manchego is the most famous cheese made with sheep's milk. It has a firm texture and a rich and buttery taste.

  • The Costa Negra is a soft cheese with a sour and sweet flavour.

  • The Queso de Cabra (goat cheese) can be hard or semi-hard.

  • The Alt Urgell-Cerdanya is smooth, creamy and sweet. It is usually served with a paired wine.

  • The Mato' is a creamy cheese served with honey and traditionally eaten as a dessert. With a solid and fruity taste,

  • The Tupi is made from pasteurized goat, sheep or cow's milk and aniseed (cazalla) liquor.

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3. Chorizo:

Chorizo is a cured, smoked and spicy pork sausage that you can eat cold by itself with some bread or fried with olive oil.

It is delicious. You can eat it with a mix of cured meat and cheese, inside a tortilla or even on a pizza. (yes, I know I am Italian, and Italians don't add chorizo on pizza, but we add sausage, and chorizo is a sausage, so trust me that it goes amazingly on pizza, try it!).

4. Croquetas:

Croquetas are typical of Spain, and they are delicious rolls of leftovers, breadcrumbed and fried. Their main ingredient is bechamel.

When in Spain, I could live eating only them. You can find them made in different ways:

  • Croquetas de Jamon, made with a creamy bechamel sauce (there are no potatoes in them as many believe) and ham. Then deep fried and ready to be served. These are my favourite ones.

  • Bacalao croquetas (with Cod)

  • Chorizo croquetas, made with tasty and strong chorizo.

  • Chicken croquetas

  • Black Ink Squido croquetas that something I recently discovered to be amazing. They are made with squid and black ink.

5. Pimientos de Padron:

Pimientos de Padron are little green peppers mildly spicy, fried in olive oil and then served with a sprinkle of rocky salt on top. They are extremely good, and after you eat one, you will finish the whole plate in a few seconds.

I can eat tons of them (am I repeating the same thing about all the food on this list? Yes, I am, but all the food in Spain is so good).

Pimiento de Padron, absolutely to try!

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6. Chipirones:

Chipirones are baby squid, battered and deep-fried. Chipirones are usually served with a sprinkle of salt and lemon juice.

Absolutely delicious!

7. Pulpo alla Gallega:

Polpo alla Gallega is boiled octopus and potatoes sprinkled with paprika is a delicious tapa or served on a slice of bread as pincho.

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8. Pan con Tomate:

Pan con Tomate is a delicious toasted slice of bread, with on top a freshly made uncooked tomatoes sauce (only tomatoes pulp, no seeds or skin), a bit of Spanish olive oil and salt.

The tapa is done!

It is the perfect cheap option if you drink too much Cava or Cerveza and want to soak up the alcohol.


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9. Patatas Bravas:

Patatas bravas are white potatoes cut into cubes, deep-fried and served with a spicy sauce and aioli sauce. You will find them everywhere.

Also called "patatas a la brava" or "papas bravas", they are an excellent option to share with a friend while enjoying a cold cerveza.

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10. Navalles:

Navalles are long shellfish, also called Razor Clams. They cook them in a very simple way, on the grill, and then they add on top olive oil, parsley, garlic and in some cases, a bit of lemon juice.

I recommend you try them without lemon juice to taste all the flavour. One of my favourites, if I see them on the menu, I cannot resist ordering them.

11. Boquerones en Vinagre:

Boquerones en Vinagre are tiny anchovies cleaned and marinated in vinegar mixed with garlic and parsley, then served with good olive oil and bread.

12. Russian Salad:

I think this salad is known everywhere globally, but if you have never tried it, Russian salad is a mix of potatoes, carrots and peas, cut into tiny cubes and then boiled. Once cold, they add a lot of mayonnaise and mix it very well.

You can eat it as it is or with a slice of bread.

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13. Tortilla:

Tortilla is an omelette made with boiled potatoes. You can also find it with chorizo and Jamon. You can order it as Tapas or Pintxos (on top of a slice of bread).

14. Tomato Salad:

Because Spain has delicious red tomatoes (they export them all over Europe), why not get a portion of them? A delightful way to get your vitamins.

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15. Albondigas:

Albondigas are delicious meatballs cooked in tomato sauce, always served with a slice of bread to eat all the sauce.

16. Patatas with Aioli:

I honestly prefer this version at the Patatas Bravas, probably because I love garlic.

Patatas with Aioli are potatoes boiled and cut into cubes, then mixed with delicious and robust garlic mayo (Aioli) and a bit of parsley. I can eat tons of them!

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17. La Bomba:

La Bomba is a potatoes croquette stuffed with ground beef, deep-fried and then topped with aioli sauce and bravas sauce. I bet you won't resist eating only one of them.

18. Buñuelos de Bacalao:

Buñuelos de Bacalao is salt cod fritters, a delicious version of the fish cakes. They are a typical tapa from Barcelona.

19. Brocheta de Camarones:

Brocheta de Camarones are seasoned and grilled shrimp skewers, perfect as Tapas. They are delicious, excellent as Tapa or Pintxos.

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20. Cargols:

Cargols are snails, and they are very popular in Barcelona. Not only french people eat them (also Italians). The most popular way to have them is the Cargol a la Lluana snails with a lightly spiced tomato sauce.

21. Aceitunas:

Aceitunas are olives. Spain has plenty of olives, they make delicious olive oil, after all. This is also an option when ordering tapas. In some places, they serve you olives included with the price of your drink, so you will end up eating a lot of them.

Tip: While eating Tapas, if you eat fish, I highly recommend you drink Cava (a white sparkling wine like champagne, it can be White or Rose') and Vermouth ( a fortified red wine flavoured with botanicals) if you eat meat.

Of course, a nice cold cerveza or caña (beer) is also a perfect choice.

There are many Tapas bars where they serve different local Spanish wines. Just ask for one to pair with what you choose to eat if you don't know the Spanish wines.

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About me

Hi! I'm Valentina,

but you can call me Vale.

I'm an Italian with a passion for well-planned travels and food.

In my Travel Guide, you will find everything you need to plan your perfect travel around the world.


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