10 Cheap Tapas Bars in Barcelona

Tapas in Barcelona
Tapas in Barcelona | Simon Paterson / Flickr
Photo of Tara Jessop
17 August 2017

The Catalan capital may be famous for its many top-notch restaurants and fashionable lunch spots, but there are some very affordable gems to be enjoyed too. These are some of the most budget-friendly places you can sample authentic Spanish tapas and Catalan cuisine without spending a fortune.

Elisabets Restaurants

Restaurant, Bar, Charcuterie, Spanish
Map View
A choice of burgers
A choice of burgers | Courtesy of El Club de la Hamburguesa

Despite being located just minutes from La Rambla in the heart of El Raval, Elisabets Restaurant is always popular with locals who like to come here for a drink and a snack in the afternoon. The menu includes a selection of hot and cold sandwiches prepared with classic filings such as botifarra sausage or Spanish omelette. Small dishes include croquetas, fried calamari or a selection of Catalan charcuterie.

Bar Ramon

Bar, Market, Restaurant, Spanish, Tapas, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
A plate of Jamon Ibérico
A plate of Jamon Ibérico | Solar Hydro / Flickr

Open in the evenings only, Bar Ramon is a popular tapas bar which you’ll struggle to get in to without a booking. The kitchen serves an ample menu of classic Catalan dishes and Spanish tapas while the dining room is a tribute to some of the greatest musicians of rock’n’roll, with posters and other paraphernalia covering the walls.

Bar Jai-Ca

Bar, Restaurant, Spanish, Tapas, Seafood
Map View

Located in the old fisherman’s neighbourhood La Barceloneta, Bar Jao-Cai is a family-run tapas bar whose prices stay true to the neighbourhood’s spirit – a far cry from the pricier venues which line the beach. Choose from platters of fresh seafood such as fried fish, grilled calamari or steamed razor clams all served in a traditional locale which remains mostly unchanged since the 1950s.

Quimet & Quimet

Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
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Quimet & Quimet
Quimet & Quimet | © Kent Wang / Flickr

Wander down the backstreets of Poble Sec and you’re more than likely to stumble across the queue outside Quimet & Quimet. This tiny bar specialises in a type of dish known as montaditos which consist of slices of bread topped with different ingredients such as smoked salmon, cream cheese and honey. There’s no seating at Quimet & Quimet and you’ll have to be prepared to brush up against a few shoulders to get your place at the bar, but it’s worth it.

La Xampanyeria

Bar, Restaurant, Tapas, Pub Grub
Map View

A trip to La Xampanyeria is likely to leave you feeling a little merry as this popular tapas bar is best known for its cheap glasses of Cava, the local sparkling wine. Large platters of jam, chorizo or cheese are served alongside bottles of local fizz, with a buzzing atmosphere almost any night of the week.

Pa i Trago

Diner, Restaurant, Spanish, 0
Pan con Tomate
Pan con Tomate | Jennifer Woodard Maderazo / Flickr

This is one of the last ‘old-school’ venues that hasn’t been converted into a hipster hangout on the trendy Parlament street in Sant Antoni. Pa i Trago – meaning ‘bread and drink’ – has served traditional Catalan cuisine since 1965 and is still owned by the same family today. The large dining room is usually full at weekends and on Bank Holidays when locals come to get their fix of dishes their grandmother used to cook them.

El Vaso De Oro

Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
Map View
A plate of patatas bravas
A plate of patatas bravas © Haydn Blackey | © Haydn Blackey / Flickr

Step inside El Vaso de Oro and the first thing you’ll notice is that there’s not much more to this bar than the bar itself in terms of space. The second thing you’ll notice is the crisp white shirts of the barmen as they shout orders to each other and occasionally burst out into song. A selection of tapas are all prepared just behind the counter while the beer on tap is their own brew.

La Bodega d'En Rafael

Bar, Restaurant, Bodega, Spanish, Tapas, Pub Grub
Map View
Sant Antoni Market
Sant Antoni Market | Katherine Price / Flickr

Situated just opposite the historic Sant Antoni market, the Bodega d’en Rafael is where many locals like to drop in for a drink after their weekly shop. The owner is always around to greet people with a smile and the atmosphere is more akin to a family gathering than a bar. The tapas are some of the best value for money you will find this side of the Raval, including traditional cooked meat dishes, fried fish and Spanish charcuterie.

El Xampanyet

Bar, Charcuterie, Wine Bar, Spanish, Tapas, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
Champagner-Bar El Xampanyet in the Born quarter in Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, Europe, EU. Image shot 2007. Exact date unknown.
Champagner-Bar El Xampanyet | © Oso Media / Alamy Stock Photo

Located on one of El Born’s coolest streets you’ll find El Xampanyet, a bustling tapas bar which opens out into a traditional-style tiled room with tasty morsels on display in the glass counter. Open since 1929, this popular tapas bar has stayed true to itself over the years as the neighbourhood has become one of the trendiest in Barcelona. Just a stone’s throw from the Picasso Museum and around the corner from the impressive Santa Maria del Mar, this is a great traditional place to eat when sightseeing.

La Flauta

Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
Map View
Jamon flauta
Jamon flauta | juantiagues / Flickr

La Flauta, named after the typical Catalan sandwich, is a great spot for tapas and, of course, the eponymous ‘flautas’. Situated in the heart of the Exiample, not far from Passeig de Gracia and Placa Catalunya, queues here often stretch out the door as locals and tourists know it’s worth the wait even if the service can sometimes be a little brusque at peak times.

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