I love CH (thanks you!) I rely on advice before I travel so I make it a point to always give back the best that I can after my travels with things that I hope will be useful to others. Here goes.. please pardon any grammar, spelling mistakes or lack of cleverness in my descriptions of the food and just enjoy what I can share for what it is. these are not in any particular order that I visited but rather in order of areas of the city that the places are located.
Tapas 24- recommended by a local and also by reviews, I thought perhaps I had stumbled into the wrong place after have finished because so much was anticipated for our first meal after arrival jet lagged in the early evening. IMHO take a pass, too many great places. ordered bikini, meatball of some type, croquettes, tomato bread and few other things and all were just ok with the exception of the lamb skewers that were very tasty.
Vinitus-had lunch, fantastic tapas, light, clean modern place, friendly helpful staff that made great suggestions. I love pulpos and would eat it every meal if I could, they prepared it nicely with the light oil and paprika dusting, yummy, grilled vegetables that were fantastic which was weird to get excited about vegetables when in BCN but they were really good and worth ordering, greek feta style salad, light and fresh, we had probably 8-10 different tapas both seafood and meat and have to say all were awesome. very reasonably priced, full bar, 4 people lots of food and cocktails 73 euros
Cerveseria Catalana- same owners as Vinitus, very popular place, no reservations, both outdoor seating with heaters, bar seats, tables, love Pancho the door guy!. 4 of us sat at the bar for a great view of the tapas selection. bottles of Priorat wine (Carmins?) was outstanding and only 24euros, every Tapa was tasty and well prepared, some of the favorites were Pulpos, grilled steak, calamari outstanding/light and crispy, red pepper stuffed/cheese, anything you order is fresh and tasty. We did return a second time, sat at a table which was a completely different experience, even the food was good but nothing compared to what we experienced at the bar top prior. 4 people plenty of tapas and drinks 113 euros, great value 2nd visit was 65 euros for about the same food and drinks.
La Peptia- an absolute must! lots of local, small place, was my favorite pulpos of the whole trip, it was grilled and served on top of some pureed yukka or artichoke, cudos to the chef, unique twist to typical tapas. delicious calamari, chicken croquettes, artichokes, hummus, we had so many more and every single one was fantastic! Gin and tonics great and also had a bottle of Priorat (Salmona ?) all reasonably priced, best of the trip for me. cost? can't recall but very reasonable.
Smilo Pizzeria- appeared to be locals, had a hankering for a slice of pie later in the evening when others were closed, thin crust, wood burning oven, had a margarita with peppers and ham, really good, we also ordered a lasagna (tons of meat) and pasta penne dish both very good. not what we came to BCN for but certainly was a welcome last minute surprise. we picked it up and dined in our hotel.
Como llegar a cornelia and Co- stopped here to pick up a bunch of different things for picnic.. Pulpos of course, a spagetti style pasta dish, a grilled panini sandwich that was delicious! the staff was so helpful and said they are known as the daily picnic store.
Las Ramblas area: inside the Boquiria, yes, inside the market where all of the fresh seafood is sold and locals shop from what I am told. fantastic market experience, take it all in! Tapas at El Quim and Pinotxo, both the best within the market, if you see a crowd waiting for one of the 12 seats that's the place. Jamon ham, cheese, olives...chipirones con huevo (squid with egg). You must go and experience the market while visiting BCN. I walked around each isle selecting little bites along the way, the fresh seafood display are simply incredible. You will see the gentlemen with the pleasant huge smile serving, he was featured on a Anthony Bourdain segment of Barclona,Juanito at Pinotxo he is adorable, friendly and such a great representation of the people of Barcelona.
Sagardi Coiners Bascos right near Santa Maria Church- We went there 2 times for lunch, did make reserve when passing by the area and came back, glad we did since it ended up being packed. they also have a tapas bar attached next door which was also very popular and the tapas looked very inviting but we did not taste. In the rest. service was great, food fantastic! we sat near the open kitchen which also happened to be next to the big cider barrels on the wall :). the rustic bread, crusty and yummy, sardines and olives appetizer, little chorizo (?) sausages were delicous, we ordered steak for 4, rib eye (?) cooked to perfection, simple salad was wonderful change with light vinegar dressing and onion, all in all fantastic! the the total tab was around 150 euros for 4 of us, wine, cider,tons of food, coffee, and healthy gratuity, really great value.
La Cassola, this was near the Barcelona Cathedral, we stumbled on this one, small family rest. we had lunch there. I had a salad with goat cheese and pears, so perfect! the largest portion of goat cheese ever which was exactly what I was craving on the lighter side after all the heavier things I have been eating thorough the trip. really don't recall what hubby had but he was happy, very reasonable prices, we had a bottle of local wine which was recommended and very nice.
Taller Tapas- fantastic tapas, great cocktails, really great choice as we were headed to the area of Picasso Museum.
Bar Pla- stopped in for a little break from sightseeing, drinks and classic tapas
Dos Palillos- a must! Asian flare tapas, sit by the open kitchen and enjoy the view and the delicious food that comes out. one of the more expensive meals we had. my first experience with the razor clams, love the texture. do not be in a hurry while dining here, slow but enjoyable experience.
Train trip to Figueres town when we went to the Dali Musuem.
Castell 4, had lunch there, family restaurant, locals and tourists. Pulpos grilled was fantastic, nice cozy setting. really great food and service.
These are the ones that were on my list but we did not get to, even the concierge was impressed with my rather extensive hit list that we worked off of and asked to make a copy!
Tickets-could not get a reservation to save our lives, guess months in advance
la Pubilla, Quimet & Quimet, hisup which I was told to do the tasting menu, la Palmera, Cal Pep for classic tapas and lastly Gasterra.
We really enjoyed everything that we had during our visit and consider BCN to be our number #1 favorite city for the winning combo of great Architecture, exceptional food and the lovely people. if you don't have the time to do all of the research don't panic, you will most likely be delighted with things you come across just stay away from the touristy high traffic plaza's and streets and you will be just fine. CH is the best resource ever and I am truly thankful to have all of the thoughtful and knowledgeable suggestions given.
cheers and enjoy!