Where to Find the Best Wine & Tapas in Barcelona

Posted on July 12, 2017 by

If you’ve noticed, I’ve been having the Spanish fever lately, posting a lot of stories on Spain, my adopted home. Today we have a post from my friend Esme Fox, who lives in Barcelona. She’s my good friend and fellow travel writer who has a deep love for her adopted home. Here she shares tips on where to find the best wine and tapas in Barcelona.

best wine tapas barcelona

Barcelona is known for many things: Gaudi architecture, modern art, and beachfront lifestyle. But for me, it’s the culinary scene that really makes Barcelona stand out from other cities in Spain. One of my favorite things to do in Barcelona is going for tapas and seeing just how creative the Spanish can be with their food.

For the uninitiated, tapas are small Spanish appetizers or snacks, usually served with a beer or wine. They may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or hot (such as chopitos, which are battered, fried baby squid), and can even be big dishes like carne con salsa (meat with sauce), topped with flan. These days, tapas have evolved into an entire, sophisticated cuisine.

best tapas wine barcelona

Diverse Tapas in Barcelona

The tapas in Barcelona may not be free like in Granada or particularly trendy and inventive like in Sevilla or San Sebastian, but they are more diverse than anywhere else in Spain. As tapas is not truly a Catalan concept, the scene here has evolved to incorporate tapas dishes from all over Spain – there’s everything here, including salmorejo from Cordoba, salted pimientos de Padron (small green fried peppers) from Galicia, boquerones fritos (tiny battered fish) from Andalusia and pintxos from the Basque Country.

But with are so many options in the city, it’s hard to know where to find good tapas. Having lived in Barcelona for a few years now, I’ve slowly come to learn where to find the tastiest plates, but as the city has so many different districts – each with its own style and energy – there’s still so much more I have to learn. I recently booked a wine and tapas tour on Withlocals to learn more about the tapas culture and dig a little deeper into the food scene here in Barcelona. My guide Tomas was fun and knowledgable, and he brought me to some of the coolest spots in town.

best tapas wine barcelona

The Best Barcelona Wine + Tapas Combination

I met my guide, Tomas in the up-and-coming district of San Antoni, around the new market being built there. This was an area I didn’t know too well, so I was looking forward to exploring and finding out where the best tapas and wine bars are.

Tomas first took me to Bar Calders (Carrer Parlament, 25) – a cosy bar filled with odd knick-knacks. Located in the pedestrian street named after Catalan writer Pere Calders, the fresh and colourful terrace is said to be one of the most popular in the neighbourhood. It’s particularly well known for its Sant Antoni’s wine – a deep red wine with an intense fruity flavor.

Tomas told me that people come from all over the city to this bar, specifically to try Sant Antoni’s wine. We paired it with a hearty chorizo and pimiento (Spanish sausage with green pepper) tapa that fitted perfectly with the fruity flavor of the wine. Besides this tapa, Tomas also highly recommended the Sant Antoni potatoes with melted cheese and mini pizza with caramelized onion and pear.

Tasting the Best Pintxos in Barcelona

Soon we made our way into the Poble Sec district and headed for the popular street of Carrer Blai, which I’d visited a couple of times before. This is Barcelona’s famous pintxos street, lined with rows of Basque-inspired pintxos bars – typically small pieces of bread topped with various Spanish ingredients.

First Tomas took me to Blai 9, easily one of the best bars on the strip with bare brick walls and creative pintxos bites served in mini black dishes or platters. Here I tried a glass of Mondes Cupatge from Catalonia’s Penedès region, situated to the north of Barcelona, accompanied by a mini pancake topped with a cube of Spanish tortilla (potato omelette) and a dollop of aioli (garlic mayonnaise). 

best tapas barcelona

A Modern Twist on Tapas

Next, we went to Casa Paco (Carrer de l’Allada-Vermell, 10), where I had probably the best patatas bravas in Barcelona. Patatas bravas, fried potatoes drenched in a red piquant sauce, is a local favorite in Barcelona. It’s a dish that can vary wildly depending on where you go, but I liked Casa Paco’s version the best. Perfectly cooked potatoes with a crispy exterior and tangy but not overly spicy sauce on top of it. 

We continued on to L’Atelier de Blai (Carrer Blai, 38) with a glass of Catalan cava and a spinach croqueta (a small ball or roll of minced meat or fish, fried in breadcrumbs). Catalan cava are my favorite (I’ve had one too many) but I had no idea that they paired so well with plain old croquetas.

For our last drink, Tomas selected a glass of Clot Arada wine for me to try – a chilled rosé wine with hints of red fruits and berries. I chose to pair this with a pintxo bite of peppery goat’s cheese and a slice of fried eggplant. The strong flavor of the goat cheese was mellowed down by the sweet rosé wine, and blended perfectly with the crisp savory taste from the eggplant.

best tapas wine barcelona

The tour definitely taught me more about Catalonia’s diverse and local wines, and now I’ll know what to order during my next tapas outing, instead of just the house red or white. It also showed me just how many types of drinks you can find in Barcelona to accompany your plate of tapas, whether its red vermouth paired with olives and anchovies, a local white wine paired with some Manchego cheese and salted almonds or an ice-cold beer with some homemade wild mushroom croquetas (small breaded bites filled with béchamel sauce and other various ingredients).

Whether you’re here in Barcelona to eat your way through or drink yourself silly, you’ll definitely never get hungry here.

Disclaimer: This experience was kindly provided by Withlocals. As always, all opinions expressed above are our own.


About Esme Fox

Esme Fox is a travel writer who splits her time between Barcelona and other destinations worldwide. She has written for places such as Rough Guides, BBC Travel, British Airways High Life and Food and Travel Magazine. She also runs her own travel and lifestyle blog www.coffeeandcaminos.com.

One Response to “Where to Find the Best Wine & Tapas in Barcelona”

  1. Izy Berry July 26, 2017 8:03 pm #

    Love love Patatas bravas! Will make sure to try Casa Paco the next time I’m there!

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