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.

What our customers say

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A sunset sail with David!

After a long day of walking the streets of Barcelona, our group of 8 (seniors) took a cab to meet David for his last sail of the day. Unfortunately for David, his classic sail boat was down for repairs, however; he had a backup plan in place when we arrived. We spent a relaxing evening enjoying our wine and snacks while sailing in a 42' sailboat overlooking the magnificent city of Barcelona. Seeing the sunset over the water...priceless! The best advise I can offer is to book a sail with David. David is a first class captain and we (really) enjoyed his company. David was not only easy on the eyes, he was a delightful captain to talk to. David left nothing unanswered if you had a question about sailing or the city of Barcelona. What an enjoyable evening...thank you David for adding your personal touch to a beautiful evening! You're the best and we wish you much success!!!
nchurchill | Houston, Texas | 19 September 2014

Great Time

Gemini is a wonderful ship and Dave is a great captain. You'll have an excellent afternoon overlooking Barcelona.
Chris S | Detroit, Michigan | 25 June 2015

Highlight of our trip

We really enjoyed sailing with Dave. We spent 10 days in Barcelona and sailing was our break from sightseeing, which turned out to be the highlight of our trip. Would definitely go back. First time on the Mediterranean, it was beautiful and relaxing. Dave was a great host.
Jolynne P | | 19 June 2018

Catamara <3

We booked the catamaran for 12 persons, after a tour in both harbour of Barcelona, we sailed further away and then stopped to take a bath :D.
Rouffy83350 | Barcelona, Spain | 28 September 2018

Best thing we've done in Barcelona

This sailing trip was one of the best things we have ever done in Barcelona and we’ve been to Barcelona many times and seen most of what it has to offer. Dave was absolutely brilliant and made the whole experience from the initial booking through to disembarking back at the harbour totally seamless and a great experience. Dave replies to emails straight away, he was very accommodating, he even agreed to move our trip to another day due to the weather, he didn’t mind if we brought along our own food and drink, he was even prepared to pull up and let us go for a swim, but we chickened out of that because the water was so cold..
alexjwood | Birmingham, UK | 28 May 2014

Amazing Family adventure

We had an Amazing time, we where able to have such a relaxing time. Dave answered all of our questions before and during our trip. We have 2 kids ages 4 and 9 they loved it. Dave gave us a tour of he boat and explained safety tips before we left, made sure we where comfortable. It was an incredible experience, Definitely recommend it.
Daniel R | Wiesbaden, Germany | 19 August 2015

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