We don’t blame you if sampling Barcelona’s tapas is the first thing on your mind as soon as you touch down in the city. Patatas Bravas, Croquetas, Pan con Tomate, Calamares… our mouths are watering just at the thought!
The beauty of Spain is that you don’t have to burn a hole in your wallet to eat well, especially not when we’ve whittled down the best cheap tapas bars in Barcelona.
A simple rule that usually works: The more locals in the bar, the more authentic and nicer the tapas will be!
Delicious and Cheap Tapas Bars in Barcelona
Right in the heart of the trendy El Born neighbourhood, Bormuth has been loved by locals and tourists ever since it opened in 2013. If you’re looking to try authentic but affordable tapas in a happening venue, this is where you want to go. As well as offering all the traditional tapas dishes, Bormuth cook a sensational dish of fried aubergine with honey drizzle called patatas ‘mojo picón’ which is to die for.
Heads up, on a Friday or Saturday night this place can get busy. Go early to avoid any queues, or wait inside with a bottle of wine.
2) Ca’l Chusco
What’s better than cheap tapas in Barcelona? Free tapas! At Ca’l Chusco in the city’s Barceloneta barrio, you can enjoy a complimentary tapas dish with your drink, giving you a chance to sample the menu and work out what you’ll order next time.
Our recommendation? The bombas (fried potato balls) or fried fish. If you’re a fan of your freebie, you can also order bigger portions of any of the tapas dishes on the menu.
3) Cafè Milans
With a chilled out vibe, good music, and friendly staff, Cafè Milans offers a fantastic range of exclusive cocktails as well as a myriad of authentic and affordable tapas. What’s more, on a Thursday they invite diners to eat as many tapas as their stomachs can handle, all for €3 a head!
4) Tapa Tapa
Normally we would suggest avoiding chain restaurants in Barcelona, but we’ll make an exception for Tapa Tapa. With more than 50 reasonably priced tapas dishes on the menu, Tapa Tapa’s tapas range from the classic patatas bravas, to Iberian ham croquettes, and offers a wide selection of seafood dishes, salads, meat brochettes and mini tapas dishes to nibble on.
There are more then five restaurants located across the city, all conveniently placed next to Barcelona’s hotspots making Tapa Tapa the perfect place to go after a day of sightseeing adventures. It’s one of the more commercial cheap tapas bars in Barcelona, but that’s okay.
If you’re in a large group, we recommend booking prior to eating.
Devised by the talented Jordi Vilà, Moritz knows good food, and even better tapas. All the dishes at Moritz have been influenced by Catalan cuisine, chef Vilà paying special attention to the quality of the produced used in his creations.
As well as many traditional favourites, the menu here includes beer-based tapas dishes such as the Moritz style ‘siscentó’ tapas. Many of the dishes are also under €6, making this exclusive experience enjoyable for all, no matter their budget.
Pintxos Bars in Barcelona
Pintxos may have originated in the Basque Country, but Barcelona knows how to do them just as well! From the classics to the most creative, pintxos are small pieces of bread with different toppings held together by wooden picks. At the end of the meal, you are charged on how many picks you have left on your plate!
This tapas bar in Barcelona has a range of over 100 hot and cold pintxos that combine both Catalan and Basque cuisine, Maitea basing their dishes on ‘simplicity, originality, and equality’.
You can only expect the best at Maitea, and the bar has even received a Certificate of Excellence on Tripadvisor. It can get extremely crowded here so we suggest turning up before 9pm. Unsure where to start? Try our favourite pintxo, omelette and piquillo peppers served with a leek and romesco sauce.
7) Euskal Etxea
This traditional bar in the city’s Old Town is Barcelona’s answer to gourmet pintxos. The restaurant is divided into two sections: a lively bar for casual diners and a more formal area for those eating out. Euskal Etxea offers some of the best ‘tapas on a toothpick’ available in the city, and what’s more, each pintxo costs you just €1.20.
8) Golfo de Bizkaia
Boasting food that has ‘the essence of the Cantabrian in small format’, this charming place is a must if you find yourself in the El Born area- although we reckon it’s also worth walking to wherever you are in the city… With all tapas at Golfo de Bizkaia made from seasonal produce, word has spread fast about just how great this bar is, so be prepared to fight for a table at rush hour. But for pintxos this good, it’s definitely worth it…
After 15 years in business, you know that you’re in the hands of professionals at Irati. Each of their pintxos includes at least four toppings, with the flavours of each ingredient perfectly complementing one another. During its busiest hours, the restaurant dishes out up to 600 pintxos with 50 different varieties, both hot and cold.
A particular favourite amongst locals is the scorpion fishcake with sour cream and egg, and at only 1.95€ a pintxo, we guarantee that you’ll leave Irati with a broken belt hole but not a broken wallet.
Alternative Tapas Bars in Barcelona
10) Mosquito Asian
If you’re sick of patatas bravas and want to experience something a bit different, why not head to Mosquito. The restaurant’s unique twist on a traditional tapas bar sees them create a myriad of tapas inspired by Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean cuisine.
Mosquito’s specialty is Chinese dumplings with the xiaolong bao (steamed pork dumplings), a particular favourite amongst diners. They also serve a delicious selection of noodle, soup and vegetable dishes and a great variety of beers, some of which are even brewed just for the restaurant.
To receive the full Asian tapas experience, your best bet is to go here for dinner when its tapas menu is offered in its entirety. Enjoy more than 20 small dishes, all made from high quality local ingredients which form some of tastiest Asian tapas we’ve ever put in our mouths.
If you have the time, try all of the above cheap tapas bars in Barcelona! You won’t regret it!