Six places to enjoy Barcelona's most creative ‘tapes’ cuisine
Tapes (Catalan for tapas) represent the creativity and culinary quality of the capital of Catalonia. So this year we are offering our top choices of restaurants where you can taste and – crucially – share them, because eating tapes means placing every dish in the middle of the table and eating them in good company.
Iberian ham paired with the best wines
This restaurant’s motto is ‘small delights and great pleasures’, a nice way to describe the tapes at Celler Jordana. Being a wine cellar it also offers the best Catalan and Spanish wines and the walls of the restaurant are actually lined with the wood from the boxes where the wines were shipped.
At the table, start with an appetizer of tomato, stuffed olives, anchovies and piparres (chili peppers) on glass bread. Then continue with some seafood-based tapes: oysters from Normandy, cockles, mussels, razor clams, squid.
After those you can try three tartares, dishes made with raw ingredients, which are very representative of the city. Celler Jordana suggests eating them with vegetables and fish: tomato tartare with tuna belly; smoked salmon tartare; and artichoke and anchovy tartare. Then should come the king: the Iberian ham. They will serve it freshly cut.
For sweet lovers, the desserts will be at the same high level as the tapes you just ate. Most of them are typically Catalan products, such as the carquinyolis (pay attention to the chocolate ones!).
Celler Jordana Floridablanca, 88. Barcelona 93 880 33 89
Snacks at an award-winning restaurant
They call themselves a bar and their creative tapes, which earned them a Michelin star in the 2023 guide, are called snacks. However, the dishes at Mont-Bar are small, artistic culinary jewels, often eaten with your hands (as any good tapes should be), that present a game of textures and flavours to your palate.
Included in the seafood dishes are: scallops; sea urchins; lemon fish; shrimps; oysters; and garots. Each tapa is cooked using a different technique, which surprises all of your senses, starting with your sight. That is why while at Mont-Bar you will often hear other diners saying "oooooh" as waiters bring dishes to their tables. Meat-based tapes are made with Iberian piglet or wagyu. For dessert, try cakes such as the delicious carrot cake or strawberries with piquillo pepper and vanilla.
Besides the regular a-la-carte menu, Mont-Bar also offers a tasting menu including the best selection of dishes by the chef. This is the easiest way to enjoy the culinary art of the restaurant that calls itself a bar and snacks its tapes.
Mont-Bar Diputacio, 220 93 323 95 90
Premier fish and seafood
This restaurant offers two menus: Slow&Low and Slow&Lunch. The first one, available only in the evening, includes 14 dishes. The second one is just for lunchtime, and gives you six dishes plus a dessert.
Standing out are tapes based on Catalan cuisine recipes. But above all, seafood dishes reign supreme. Those are cooked in such an amazing way that biting a salicornia will make you think of the taste of a barnacle.
A major highlight is the fricando, a traditional stew. At Slow&Low they serve it adding ingredients to the plate one by one, so that the flavours of each item blend with each other and you can smell how the stewed meat benefits from mushrooms to really release its taste. The kitchen is in view of the diners, so all the dishes are cooked and prepared in front of you, whether you choose to sit at the bar or dining room.
It has also just won its first Michelin star. Though perhaps should be avoided for vegetarians and vegans.
Slow&Low Comte Borrell, 119 93 625 45 12
Run by the same cooking team as the famed Disfrutar Barcelona, Compartir prepares tapes designed to achieve the best expression of each product using a combination of top-level techniques.
One of its most acclaimed tapes is the tuna cannelloni, where fish meat wraps tuna inside, and the outside is garnished with spherifications of olive oil which will explode on your palate.
Indeed, every one of the restaurant's tapes is made for the fun of diners. One example of this game concept is the razors tapa, with one part being seafood meat and the other a green asparagus cooked in such a way that, in the mouth, it will remind you of the taste of a razor. You will end up believing that green asparagus are the razors of farmers' fields!
The desserts are the most playful creations of the chefs. You will often have to hold them delicately in your hands so they melt in your mouth and release their flavours.
Compartir Valencia, 225 93 624 78 86
Best grilled meat in Barcelona
Most dishes to share at Brabo restaurant are grilled. The grill is the undisputed star of the place, where meat, bread and vegetables – even including lettuce – are cooked. On the menu you will find 15 dishes to be shared, designed so that everyone can have their own tapa. On the grill you will find chuletones (T-bone steaks), lamb, pork and beef. Grilled vegetables and fries are available as side dishes, as well as several homemade sauces. The wine selection, served by the glass, is chosen to match each dish. Pay attention to the DO Priorat and DO Montsant wines, these will take your breath away.
Brabo Seneca, 28 93 124 77 45
Cocina Hermanos Torres
Twin brothers Javier and Sergio Torres run Cocina Hermanos Torres, the latest restaurant in Barcelona to get three Michelin stars. Tables are placed around three kitchen counters located in the centre of the room. Eating at Cocina Hermanos Torres feels like sitting on a theatre seat, looking at live action that happens in front of you.
On the menu, the iconic dishes play with some of Barcelona’s iconic landmarks, such as the edible flower-shaped tile designed by Modernist architect Josep Maria Puig i Cadafalch: with a crunchy texture, it comes crumbled in an onion soup of intense taste.
Every dish on the tasting menu can be considered a small creative tapa, with a presence of vegetables, fish, seafood and meat. For dessert try the chocolate bonbons. Chocolate has never tasted as good as the one you will enjoy at Cocina Hermanos Torres.
Cocina Hermanos Torres Taquígraf Serra, 20 Tel. 93 410 00 20