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Before we get moving telling you about the hottest spots for tapas in Barcelona let’s regress a little and talk about the basics. Tapas are the quintessential small plate and it is to be paired with wine, beer or cider. Traditionally the name tapas originated from the idea that patrons could cover their glass rim with the plate, which would protect their beverage from flies. Tapas have evolved from five to ten traditional plates to endless combinations of flavors and textures able to delight every palate. In the last two decades Barcelona has become the capital of tapas one cannot walk a single street block without encountering a venue offering a rich selection of ready to eat goodies.

Tapas bars are hangout places for friends where you can stop for a small bite after office hours, during party hours or in the early afternoon. The ambiance is often casual and in many cases it is a self-serve setting in which you pick your plates and keep track of your bill via colored toothpicks or colored plates.  While I am mainly a traditionalist there are plenty of experimental and fusion tapas bars worthy of our consideration. I was lucky enough to live in Barcelona for over four years and without further ado here are my favorites:

La Cova Fumada

Very dear to my heart this off-the-beaten path whole in the wall is lovely, friendly and casual. Their meatballs with salsa de Diablo and marinated sardines are dreamy. During the weekends the wait for a table can be long but often you can simply hangout at the bar and enjoy the culinary delights it has to offer. The pricing structure is super affordable making it one of my favorite casual destinations for tapas.

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