In the lovely but touristic neighborhood of the Gothic Quarter, Barcelona, it might be difficult to find restaurants where they serve authentic Spanish food. We’ve got you covered with a list of the best tapas spots.
Bar La Plata is one of those tiny, authentic Spanish bars. The place opened in 1945, serving just four dishes, and they still serve the same plates today. Their specialties are: fried fish, pieces of tomato bread with anchovies, a typical Catalan sausage, butifarra, and a salad of tomato, onion and olives. These classic recipes are simple, but are made in a great way. It is one of the oldest tapas bars in Barcelona, where you can feel like a local for a while.
Els Quatre Gats is one of the most famous tapas bars in the Gothic Quarter and has a very interesting history. The place opened in 1897 and soon after became one of the most important centers of modernism in Barcelona. They have hosted many famous guests like Antoni Gaudí, Santiago Rusiñol and Pablo Picasso. Els Quatre Gats offers good quality tapas like jamón ibérico and patatas bravas, and they have a great assortment of seafood. The staff is very friendly and the atmosphere in the bar is amazing, it feels like you are stepping back to modernist times.
Bar del Pi is a typical Spanish-looking bar, located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. Even if the location is very touristic, the old bar has kept its authentic character. They serve great tapas for a fair price and care for the quality of their products. Their jamón is top-notch and the bar is famous for its huge bombas. If you go in during the summer, you can enjoy the seats on their terrace on the lovely Plaza del Pi, or go inside and surround yourself with the artistic ambiance.
On the beautiful Plaça Reial you can find a remarkable restaurant called Ocaña. The place is named after the performer, activist and painter José Pérez Ocaña. He was often found performing around Las Ramblas and Plaça Reial and was very notable because he loved to wear make-up and women’s clothing. During the weekend, you can often find transvestites working and walking around the bar, which creates a fun ambiance. You can enjoy their delicious tapas, wines and desserts inside the stylish restaurant. Alternatively, dine on their terrace, looking over everything that is happening at Plaça Reial.
Just off the famous Carrer d’Avinyó you can find the Gourmet Tapas Bar by Sensi. The intimate-looking restaurant serves a wide variety of Spanish tapas with a French twist. All the plates are very original and the taste is delicious. The staff is very friendly and the service is great. If you have a sweet tooth, you are in luck, because they serve very tasty desserts as well.
La Alcoba Azul is hidden in the small streets of the Gothic Quarter. The atmosphere in La Alcoba Azul is great: the bar is completely decorated in the medieval style. There is a wooden floor, the walls are very old and there are chandeliers with candles hanging throughout the whole place. On top of that, they have great music, serve original tapas, and have great house wines and mojitos.
Since a lot of traditional Spanish tapas have fish or meat in them, a restaurant with great vegetarian tapas might be hard to find. The best place for vegetarians to go in the Gothic Quarter is without a doubt Rasoterra. Their tapas taste delicious and a lot of their plates are gluten-free, vegan and made only with products of local and organic origin. The staff is kind, and will be ready to explain everything you might want to know about the recipes and their ingredients.