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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A lovely way to spent an afternoon!

The whole thing was very straightforward; we emailed Dave asking about certain time slots then reserved one on his website and paid a 30 Euro deposit. We arrived at the dock ahead of time and identified his boat. Dave himself was lovely and very interesting to talk to. It was a bit choppier than we would have liked but what a lovely way to cool down. It was very hot when we were there, about 30 degrees so we enjoyed the break on Dave's boat. All in all a good experience!
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A perfect way to spend the evening

I booked Classic Sail as a gift for my friends on our last night together in Barcelona. The booking was easy, communication thorough, and it was easy to find the boat. Dave got us out away from some of the noisier groups so we could enjoy a dip in the Mediterranean during the sunset. He was available but unobtrusive, and seems to be a great captain and lovely person. Six thumbs up!
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Relaxing Afternoon Sailing Trip

My husband and I did the afternoon sail with Captain Dave and had a really great experience. I am one to usually get seasick when out on the ocean, but thankfully had an enjoyable sail without even taking medicine. It was a nice escape from the big city crowds in Barcelona and was incredibly relaxing. The area to sit on the boat was really comfy and Dave even stopped the boat for us to swim, which was really appreciated by us. I would definitely recommend Classic Sail Barcelona to anyone looking for a relaxing time at sea in Barcelona.
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Beautiful evening sail!

Skipper Dave was amazing! We took the evening sail and it was perfect. This is a great activity and I highly recommend it.
HNikkie | Chicago, Illinois

Great Fun

4 of us booked the boat for 3 hours on a glorious Saturday afternoon. Dave was a great Skipper, letting us drink and play music while he took care of the sailing.
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Great experience sailing

This was very nice way of spending some quality time for our family. Views when out in the sea are just mesmerising. And it is a good way to get some fresh air and cool down a bit from the city heat. Especially we loved the option to swim out in the sea away from beachside chaos.
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