Mercat de la Boqueria – this bustling food market is just off La Rambla, but a world away from the overpriced drinks, sneaky service charges and stale tapas of the nearby tourist traps. For breakfast on the run, the market has chilled juices and chilled salads, while many of the deli counters give out samples and sell small pinxtos to eat while you explore. There’s a huge range of tapas restaurants set up in the market so follow the locals and queue up for a seat at the most popular ones.
Golfo del Bizkaia – right in the heart of the gorgeous Barrio Gotico district, this is the place to try pinxtos. With a steady flow of fresh plates of hot and cold coming from the kitchen, you might have to make a second trip here to have seconds of your favourites. At the end, your bill is calculated by counting up how many pinxto sticks are on your plate but, at these prices, you can afford to rack up a high count.
Els Quatre Gats – if it’s good enough for Picasso… despite the famous patron, this is a sweet neighbourhood restaurant serving up hearty fare with live piano music.
Cal Pep – one of the best-known tapas restaurants in Barcelona and a great place to try the local seafood. The queues get long here in the evening but half the fun is chatting to the always-cheerful service staff as you wait for your table and change your mind about what to order for the millionth time.
Tickets – Foodie types will love this new venture from the Adrià brothers. Ferrán was in charge at the world famous El Bulli, but brother Albert has his chance to shine here at this fun and good value for money tapas restaurant.