Barcelona is an exciting, vibrant city. There is a lot of art and architecture, an it makes for intense sightseeing sessions, but many people go there also to enjoy the pleasures of the beach, the nightlife… and the food. And, when talking about the food, it’s impossible not to mention the Barcelona tapas (although we must say that you can enjoy them in any other Spanish city). And what are tapas? Well, if there is anyone who doesn’t know what these tasty treats are, they should know that they are small dishes of normally fried foods that are usually ordered and shared by all the people sitting at the table. The best tapas in Barcelona are usually the fish tapas, since the city is right next to the sea and many of its traditional dishes include fish or seafood. They are also some of the tastier: shrimp, cuttlefish, calamari and baby cuttlefish are some of the most popular options, and we can’t forget other traditional ones such as the bombas, which are typical from the neighbourhood of Barceloneta, croquetas or the iconic patatas bravas.
But today we’re going to talk about a special kind of tapas, something typical from the north of Spain that has become very popular in the city of Barcelona during the last few years: pinchos or pintxos, as they are originally called. The consist on a small piece of bread with a small portion or tiny food on top of it, which allows for many different combinations including fish, meat, cheese and vegetables. And why are they called pinchos? Well, “pincho” means spike in Spanish, and it refers to the sticks that these tiny tapas have on, so the bread and the food on top stick together. “Pintxo” is it’s spelling in Basque language, as these special treats are originally from the Basque country and Navarre.
Recommended tapas bar tours in Barcelona
But let’s now take a look at the place where you can find the best pintxos in Barcelona: carrer Blai!
Exploring pintxos in carrer Blai
The most iconic place to try these kinds of small tapas in Barcelona is carrer de Blai (Blai Street), one of the most popular streets in the neighbourhood of Poble Sec and a wonderful option to go on a Barcelona tapas tour. We could say that it is one of the main tapas streets Barcelona, and the most famous one that specialises in pinchos tapas bar.
Eating pintxos is one of the best ways of eating tapas in Barcelona, as it has quite a unique modus operandi. In the pintxos and tapas restaurants you will find at carrer Blai, after you’ve found a table, you get up and go to the bar, where you will be overwhelmed by the amount of different pintxos that they display there. You just take a dish and serve yourself with as many as you want. Before or after picking (depending on how fast you respond to the allure of the pintxos that are calling on you from the bar), the waiter will ask for your drinks and bring them to you. Once you’re done eating, the waiter or waitress will just count the amount of sticks in your plate, and charge you a euro for each of them. That’s the most common price, although there can be places which are a bit more expensive than that, or others that work with two different prices and thus two different kinds of sticks. So, as you can see, eating pintxos is a great way to choose your own, personal tapas menu! It’s also a good way to find vegetarian tapas Barcelona easily, because, as bars usually have many different kinds of pintxos, there are always several vegetarian yummy options.
Now that you know how it’s done, you may be wondering which are the best places in carrer Blai. Well, our first tip is to go early if you want to be able to choose. It’s a very popular place, so the terraces and almost all tables can be full as soon as 7 or 8 in the evening (which is very soon for Spanish dinner!). Once you have the schedule covered, there are three tapas bars in Barcelona that we specially recommend: la Tasqueta de Blai, Blai Tonight and Blai 9, which offer some sophisticated and unique options besides the most traditional ones. You don’t need any tickets tapas Barcelona to go there – just find a table, and enjoy the flavours!
Anyway, keep in mind that most of the tapas bars located in carrer Blai will leave your stomach satisfied. A fun way of eating pinxos (and actually one of the traditional ones) is to jump from one bar to the next one, and have a beer and a couple of them in each restaurant- a sort of pintxos bar crawl!
Are you ready to visit carrer Blai and try all the pintxos and tapas? Don’t forget to tell us about your experiences in the comments!