What started as a humble neighborhood of Barcelona, Carrer Blai in the Poble-Sec district has evolved into one of the most interesting tapas bars zones in Barcelona. This pedestrianized street now has more than 30 different pintxos bars sitting next to each other. So which ones are our favorite? Read on discover our picks for the best 5 pintxos bars in Barcelona.
What are Pintxos?
Pintxos are from our friends up in northern Spain in the Basque country. They differ from tapas in that they are usually smaller and individually presented and they also have a toothpick in-between them. You might be asking, why the toothpick? The answer is – it’s not for cleaning your teeth of course! It’s actually because the etiquette in these types of bars works similar to those of an honor bar. They are self-service bars and the toothpicks serve as an accountability tool, you will need to show them at the end of your meal in order to get charged appropriately.
La Tasqueta de Blai
One of the most popular pintxos bars in Barcelona, La Tasqueta de Blai draws in a diverse crowd. This is a great place if you want to sample an array of different flavors, as they have the broadest selection of pintxos in the area. You’ll find something for vegetarians, meat eaters, and seafood lovers alike, we simply suggest you go there and dive right in, as everything they serve is top-quality.
Serving both as the name and address of the place, Blai 9 is a hip bar that gives a modern twist to their delicious pintxos. Instead of using bread as a base like most places, they have substituted it for homemade little crepes, mini pancakes and tortillas to give another flavor dimension to their already exceptionally good pintxos.
Step inside Maitea to discover charming interior decor with a quaint ambiance, where you can sample a variety of pintxos. Pick from the hot and cold servings and seasonal specialties that include ingredients such as spider crab, smoked salmon, cod, grilled calamari and red sausage. The portions here are generous and the flavors and execution are on point.
Meander down the picturesque tree-lined Verdi Street and pop into Gasterea. It’s one of the best spots in the area for casual fare, specializing in fantastic pintxos. Feast on their fresh selection of treats that come at an affordable price, then wash your bites down with a delicious glass of fizzy txakoli wine. Some favorites here include a chimichurri steak, prawn skewer, tuna tataki, Catalan sausage and fried eggplant with spicy garlic cheese.
Sit at the bar in Koska Taverna to enjoy an extensive menu of pintxos, where you’ll find an excellent price-quality ratio that will have you coming back for more. While you’ll be lured in by the tasty dishes that are served with quality ingredients, the friendly service is the cherry on top of this already favorite local spot. It’s cozy spot with only a few tables, so arrive early so you can indulge in cured secallona sausage from Osona and carefully selected wine.
Want to dive deeper into Spanish gastronomy? Join one of our carefully curated food tours at Culinary Paths.