Tasting Barcelona – Tapas, Cured Ham & More!

Hi all. And get your taste buds ready to journey to Barcelona, Spain. This destination is indeed famous for tapas, as you might be thinking, and although my wife and I tried to keep costs down and didn’t eat out every night, we went to a few places and tried a few things that are worth writing about.

We tried a couple of cafes here and there, and there are plenty of spot for coffees and cakes as you might imagine in the Catalonian capital. However I have to say that overall I don’t feel like we found anything that really excited in the form of a restaurant. The ice cream is pretty decent and even though it was November and coldish, we still enjoyed a couple of helados on occasion!

I’ve singled out four places here for you in my review, the first is a Tapas Bar, Guell Tapas aimed largely at the visitor to Barcelona. In contrast the Alzur Café seemed more locally focussed and a LGBTQI friendly venue. The Mercado de la Boqueria is one that most visitors get to and not a bad option for a snack, and finally I snuck in a few decent kebabs from an Indian Restaurant two minutes’ walk from our hotel.

Guell Tapas

So we had arrived in Barcelona and it was our first night there, and it was time to dive in and try some tapas. We had a recommendation from the hotel (Arc La Rambla) of where to go, they recommend the TAPAS BAR. So we were pretty excited.

This place was actually quite big, and when we arrived we were very worried that there wasn’t a table for us. The first part of the restaurant was nice and dark, moody, but we were taken through it, past an outdoor area into another room right at the back. It was filled with foreigners, and they had to clean up a table, but they had one for us. This room was actually really cool with an extensive bar and an ‘old school’ look and vibe.

I think you have to keep in mind that when foreigners think ‘Spanish Food’ they immediately think ‘tapas’, and so now there are a lot of Tapas bars/restaurants deliberately aiming for the foreigner’s Euro, especially in the area around La Rambla, the main tourist drag of Barcelona. And I think this was one such a place! It certainly beefs itself up to the tourists as the place to try tapas. We had a recommendation from the hotel, but I think it seemed a bit expensive and one thing that you should be aware of in Spain – some restaurants don’t open until 8pm or 830pm. In Spain it’s quite common to eat later than we might in Australia, but I think this one was actually open earlier.

So if you take a look at the menu they offer here – MENU Guell Tapas – you will get the idea about tapas I guess. It’s basically a bunch of small dishes which you choose rather than one big course – although most places usually offer a couple of ‘mains’ style meals, including Guell Tapas.

I’ll be honest, it’s not really my favourite way to eat! I do like a large course to myself, I don’t mind sharing an entrée or two, or even dessert, but I’m a little selfish when it comes to my main course. In this instance though my wife and I ordered a series of different little courses which we shared. I think there was a glass of wine in there too, and the total cost was 31 Euro. So that’s a pretty decent price.

What did we actually eat? Well My wife reminds me apparently I wasn’t very hungry that night but we had the tomato on toast as a starter, the Fried Batter Squid was probably the best thing we had, and we had meatballs as well. My wife had the chicken soup. It was all decent enough, but at the same time I can’t claim it was an amazing culinary experience either!

Alsur Café

I picked this one because it was just opposite the Palau to Musica Catalonia, where we were going to a Flamenco Performance on the particular evening in question. It was actually really busy and had more locals than tourists, and we had to wait to be seated. It was a little squashy but we didn’t mind.

I had a burger – a bacon burger that was nice, served with chips. Except I expected it would be French Fries or something similar, and yet it came out with some crisps which was an interesting take I guess. My wife had a sandwich with Iberian Ham, which seems to be the go-to term for Italian prosciutto style meat – cured ham – in Spain. Which is a very nice meat, but my goodness me, you can’t escape it anywhere you go!

This café also does a lot of cereal style meals, with a big focus on brunch. It’s trendy and laid back in its way, and it’s also very LGBTQI friendly as well. A good choice if you are going to the Palau de Musica, which also has its own restaurant.

Marcardo de la Boqueria

Worth visiting even if you’re not going to eat, if you like cured ham, bread and cheese you will not be disappointed. This market, just of La Rambla, is full of food stalls. You’ll wine of course too, and alongside the ham and cheese, there’s seafood and other choices. You need to wait to get yourself a seat at a stall, and then tuck into whatever takes your fancy!

Rajah Hindi Restaurant

This final one I’m including because the kebabs here were really nice and it was just around the corner from the hotel (Arc La Rambla). It’s primarily got curries and the like, but if you are looking for something different, if cured ham and cheese is not your thing, and if you don’t want to spend too much on your meal this wasn’t a bad option, I went back three times! Roughly 9-10 Euros for a kebab, maybe a little less.

Also on Barcelona

Brash, Bold, Beautiful Barcelona!

Barcelona in Pictures

Gaudi’s Barcelona

Thanks for popping in this fine Wednesday, hope all is okay with you in your space in the world! Thanks for reading of course, and if you have any favourite restaurants in Barcelona, please do mention in the comments below! Thanks, and May the Journey Never End!

4 thoughts on “Tasting Barcelona – Tapas, Cured Ham & More!

  1. When you described the food you had – tomato on toast, fried squid and a glass of wine – it brought me back to that Spanish restaurant that D and I enjoyed so much.
    Thanks for sharing Andy!
    I’m inspired to order some Spanish food for delivery today.

  2. A very interesting and detailed story. I wish you had the wow effect when you tried all of this. I love to experience a culinary shock when exploring dishes from different countries. Good luck to you!

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