Probably the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Spanish food is tapas, and it is a eating tradition particular to Spain! Tapas are small portions of food that originally were given free with every drink in a tapas bar. Unfortunately almost everywhere in Barcelona now charges for tapas dishes, and trying a wide selection can t can end up being rather pricey without satisfying those with big appetites. Better to try a couple of dishes with your drink on each occasion and work your way through the typical dishes slowly but surely during your stay!
A tapas dish can be a small portion of just about anything, from the traditional slice of Spanish tortilla (omelette), olives or anchovies, to more modern and creative inventions such as mini-hamburgers. Here are some of the more typical dishes you will find on a tapas menu:
olives - aceitunas
anchovies - anchoas
Spanish omelette - tortilla española
Serrano ham - jamón Serrano
bread and tomato - pan con tomate
pimientos del padrón - green peppers (the odd one in a dish is spicy!)
spicy potatoes - patatas bravas
chickpeas - garbanzos con chipirones
steamed clams - almejas al vapour
gambas al ajillo - prawns and garlic
Tapas bars can be found all over town in every district of the city. One successful chain of tapas restaurants with high quality food is called Taller de Tapas; they have a wide selection of food and are tourist-friendly for those trying out these dishes for the first time.