Eating out - tapes!


12 Apr 2016 | Last update: 23 Dec 2020

Tapes is Catalan for tapas. You pronounce tapes as... tapas! Easy.

There are at least three main styles of tapes. Pintxos are very popular in Barcelona. They're very artistic little snacks presented on a small piece of bread and pierced (pinchado) with a cocktail stick. Take what you fancy, save the cocktail sticks, and when you're all done, the waiter will count your sticks and charge you accordingly. Yes, really.

In some parts of Spain, and in a small number of bars in Barcelona, a tapa is a small, free snack served with every drink. Many bars will give you some chips or nuts with your drink, but true tapas will be something a bit more interesting. But as I say, it's not very common in Barcelona.

The main style of tapes you'll come across is a carta (menu - but more on this word below) listing many individual dishes. These are not "courses" but are individual items. Generally, a dish will be more than you'd want to eat by yourself. You'll want to share, and that's the point. A group of 4 might order say, 6 or 7 different tapes to share. It's a lot of fun, and you get to try a variety of dishes. Some things to look out for include:

  • Pimientos al padron (tiny green peppers). Roasted on a hot plate (a la plancha) and sprinkled with salt. Once in a while there'll be a random spicy one!
  • Pan con tomate (bread with tomato). Most places will just bring you this ready prepared. Toasted bread, with garlic and tomato smeared over, then drizzled with olive oil. In some places they bring you the makings and you do it yourself.
  • Chipirones - tiny baby octopi, fried until crispy in batter.
  • Patatas bravas - chips with allioli and spicy sauce. In my opinion, pleasant enough but wildly overrated, but a lot of people love them.

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Beautiful

A beautiful sailing trip with a great skipper :). Nice sailing boat , I had a very cool experience on sea.
Ioan C | | 5 September 2014

Simply Awesome!

My Dad booked the trip as a surprise. And what a surprise! The weather was ideal, the boat fantastic and Captain Dave did a great job. We were out for about three very enjoyable hours. Gemini is a lovely little traditional sailing boat and this added charm to the event. One certainly learnt a lot from the trip and was left with a memory that will stick for a lifetime. A recommendation.
MacDonald555 | Wiesmoor, Germany | 21 September 2018

Relaxing Sail after Touring

Capt Dave is very accommodating and knows just how to customize the experience to his customers. We booked the sail after a few hard days of touring and we enjoyed just relaxing on the boat while Capt Dave took care of everything else. We highly recommend sailing with Dave.
RossTonyB | Pensacola, Florida | 2 May 2015

Chillin on the Mediterranean Sea

It was quick and easy to book this trip. The boat was easy to find and captain Dave was the perfect host. Unobtrusively providing a wonderful outing for us and allowing for us to truely enjoy relaxing in the boat and taking in the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea. Absolutely beautiful! I highly recommend this!
Julia H | Austin | 3 August 2018

Spectacular!

This was a highlight of our family visit to Barcelona. With our family of five kids, ranging from a nine year old to a twenty year old, Skipper Dave was the bomb. He answered every one of my older son's questions on the how-to and physics of sailing. We learned a lot. We also were able to stop the boat and jump into the sea for a few minutes, which was a blast. The scenery was spectacular and the boat was unbelievably cool and classic. My wife and teenage daughters loved laying on the deck and soaking in the Vitamin D. To anyone visiting Barca, I'd put this sail trip high on your list. We absolutely loved it.
Eric M | | 26 July 2018

Great Sunset Sail

My boyfriend and I booked a sunset sail with Dave. The Gemini was a beautiful old ship. We enjoyed a 3 hour sail around the harbor. We brought our own wine on board and relaxed with the views.
cam20152015 | Dallas, Texas | 20 July 2015

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