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

Over 250 ★★★★★ reviews

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Great way to escape the crowds

Great day on the water! Took my two daughters (17,20) and a friend out for a three hour sail. They really enjoyed it, very relaxing. The boat is definitely older but has a lot of charm. Our captain was Dave, he was very knowledgeable and a super nice guy. It was the perfect way to escape the crowds and noise of Barcelona. Great trip.
JCS28715 | Asheville, North Carolina | 24 August 2018

Brilliant! A perfect morning!

A wonderful morning of sun and sea, enjoyed hugely by adults and children alike (11 and 15). Dave is a gracious, knowledgeable host but not at all intrusive - very amenable when the kids wanted to stop the boat and swim. Much more personal than one of the more touristy operators who we watched setting off just before us. No better way to spend a sunny morning in Barcelona.
GemmaRLondon | London | 8 June 2018

Fantastic experience

My wife and I recently had the pleasure of sailing with Dave on the Gemini. It was an unforgettable experience. Dave is a pleasure personally and a very professional skipper. The boat is beautiful as well. He stopped twice so we could have a swim. He provides water but if you want anything else to drink or eat you gotta bring it. If you are thinking about sailing in Barcelona.. don't hesitate. Book with Dave and you wont be disappointed!
mdzebar | Brooklyn NY | 29 July 2015

Fantastic afternoon's sailing on Gemini with Skipper Dave

We took a 3 hour sailing trip with Skipper Dave - it was by far my favourite part of the holiday, and represented excellent value for money.
dduffy41 | | 25 October 2018

Fantastic Experience

Highly recommended for a group of friends/family. 3 hours was a perfect amount of time to cruise the harbour and the captain really gave us space so it felt like our own boat. Much preferred to the large catamaran tours with 50+ people
mitchpittaway | Toronto, Canada | 18 July 2019

Excellent morning sail from Port Olimpic

We were a group of 11 who booked a sailing boat trip for my 30th birthday.
Karan S | London, United Kingdom | 14 June 2018

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