Eating out - tapes!


12 Apr 2016 | Last update: 28 Jun 2019

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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What an absolute treat

My friends and I had an absolutely fantastic afternoon sailing along the Barcelona coastline earlier in the month. Dave was a brilliant and knowledgeable host, extremely welcoming and we couldn't have asked for better weather. It was such a treat being able to swim in the clear waters alongside the boat. I would highly recommend this experience to all as it was the highlight of my Barcelona adventure. Thanks again Dave!
SuzeDyson | Auckland Central, New Zealand | 22 June 2015

Amazing Trip

We booked an afternoon 3.5 hour sailing tour and it was just incredible! We had so much fun, lying in the sun, jumping in the sea and just enjoying the beautiful day!
Sabrina P | Graz, Austria | 25 July 2015

The most relaxing adventure of our trip!!

I would highly recommend taking a sailing trip with Dave!! He is wonderfully laid back and lets you make the very most out of the experience (unlike some of the larger/corporate excursions where they do not give room for a flexible schedule and you end up feeling like your on a school field-trip ), yet Dave is a safe and experienced sailor. My husband and I had been traveling for two weeks and this was the PERFECT break! We enjoyed the views, swam in the ocean, and even took a nap (yes, I was that relaxed)! If you are in Barcelona and want to have a great time out on the ocean, book with Dave!
Jaclyn P | Austin, Texas | 20 August 2015

Great Trip!

My wife and I sailed through the afternoon into the evening. We swam in the Mediterranean and watched the sun set over Barcelona. It was an amazing experience! Beautiful and relaxing. Captain Dave was great. He is a first class skipper full of knowledge and enjoyable conversation, if you like. When we return, we plan on a longer excursion on the Gimini with captain Dave at the helm.
mfrazie | Tyler, Texas | 14 July 2015

Classic Sailing Barcelona Yacht Charter

An excellent afternoons sail with Dave off the coast of Barcelona. It was an absolute joy and would thoroughly recommend it whether you are experienced or not. It was lovely to leave the hot city behind and have the sea breeze on your face.
Jan R | | 4 October 2018

You want to go sailing? Classic Sail Barcelona is the perfect provider!!

I wanted to surprise my fiancée for her birthday - the booking of Gemini with Skipper Dave was the perfect gift and an incredible experience. We took the Sunset Tour which was a picture perfect trip with blue sea, a romantic sunset and a refreshing swimming stop. Gemini is a beautiful and very well maintained sailing boat, with a nice history (built in 1947). Skipper Dave couldn't have been a nicer host with a friendly smile and loads of cool insights into sailing.
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