A Tapas Trail of Barcelona
Wherever your Barcelona luxury hotels are located, there is sure to be a tapas bar nearby. The word Tapas is formed from the Spanish verb tapar (to cover) and this describes the original function of tapas, which was a slice of bread to cover a drink between sips. Over the years they have evolved into delicious morsels made from a huge variety of ingredients, designed to encourage conversation. Eating tapas is as much a social experience as an eating one, as they're designed to be eaten standing up allowing you to mingle and converse with friends easily. Joining the locals for a traditional evening hopping from one bar to another will ensure you experience an evening of variation in both the food and the avenues. Whichever district your hotel is in there will be some great establishments to visit.
Tapas have been around for a long time and many restaurants hold on to the traditions fiercely. The popularity of these places is evident by the hordes of people who crowd into them, but do not be put off, the staff are used to serving at high speed with the utmost efficiency.
El Xampanyet is one of the most authentic; it is on Calle Montcada in El Born and it oozes character with its patterned tiles and antique bric a brac. It's been in the same family since the 1930s and is hugely popular; If you're lucky you may get a seat and table service but the authentic way to eat is on your feet. Bonita tuna, anchovies or spicy chorizo sausages are served with ice cold glasses of cava or beer, and to complete your meal you can try a glass of Vino Santo with small almond biscuits to dip into it. You will not want to leave, but you should – because there's always more to experience just round the corner!
El Vaso de Ora is in Barceloneta and is a long narrow bar filled to the brim with wonderful flavors, including solomillo and foie gras. The owners take great pride in the way they store, handle and pour their beer. If your Barcelona luxury hotels are in L'Eixample area, a visit to the Maitea Taberna should be on your agenda. The bustling beamed interior specializes in Pintxos.
Many innovative chefs have now joined the tapas business and their take on this traditional dish should also be sampled. One of the nottable chefs to have opened a Tapas restaurant is Ferran Adria, who created his tapas restaurant, Tickets, with his brother Albert. If you missed out on the dining experience that was El Bulli, this will go some way to compensate. Situated on the Avinguda Paral-lel, the restaurant looks like a gastronomic take on a cinema and the food served is as innovative as you'd expect. Dishes like the 'air baguette', 'liquid ravioli' and the 'cotton candy tree' are all served in a relaxed and vibrant atmosphere.
Another restaurant offering a new take on tapas is Tapas 24, in Dreta de l'Eixample. Chef Carles Abellon serves up wonderful oxtail stews, fried prawns and his signature McFoie Burger.
These are just a few suggestions, as it really is true to say you will be spoiled for choice when staying in any of the Barcelona luxury hotels. An evening spent on a tapas trail will ensure you come up with your own favorites.