Carrer de Mallorca 236
It was my second time to visit Barcelona, my favorite city in Europe, so I skipped the sight-seeing and decided to just relax and… eat. One thing about Barcelona is that you cannot visit this lovely city without having tapas, sangria, and cava. In Barcelona, I’ve only gone to a proper retaurant (and ate proper meal) 3-4x because I just enjoy the concept of tapas. I love the fact that I can have 3-4 different varieties of dishes in 1 meal, served in small portions (well, not exactly small because some dishes are good for 2 persons).
Since tapas are a must when in Barcelona, expect that all tourist areas, especially along La Rambla and Rambla de Catalunya, are packed with tapas bar. If you don’t know where to go, it can be pretty overwhelming and there’s a chance that you’ll end up in a mediocre, pricy tapas bar. Here, enters my favorite tapas bar in Barcelona, the Cerveceria Catalana.
Cerveceria Catalana is located at Carrer de Mallorca 236. Coming from Placa Catalunya, walk up to Ramblas de Catalunya (not La Ramba, the street directly opposite to it). It is a bit of a walk but Ramblas de Catalunya is a calmer version of La Rambla but full of shops and restaurants – I actually enjoy walking along this street more than La Rambla. On your left, you will eventually see a MAC store (the make-up brand, not the apple) – that would be Carrer de Mallorca. The tapas bar is just 2 establishments next to the MAC store. If you happen to reach the metro station for Diagonal, then better turn around because you’ve already missed it by 2-3 blocks.
Choosing a tapas bar is not the only overwhelming part you will go through on a tapas adventure. Choosing among the dishes in the menu and/or infront of you, for me, it is the most overwhelming yet exciting part. At Cerveceria Catalana, if you sit by the bar, right in front of the tapas, there is a high chance of you leaving the place in foodcoma.
For this visit at Cerveceria Catalana, I actually (and shamelessly) had 6 dishes (including a dessert). I had the fried green peppers, perfectly grilled veal, gambas, calamares, fried mozzarella, and their house cake.
TIP: Out of all the tapas I’ve tried here, I highly recommend the fried green peppers (wherever tapas bar you go, you cannot not have the fried green peppers), the veal, the shrimps, and the fried mozzarella (this one is perfect before heading on to your dessert plate).
One thing about this tapas bar is it is quite famous. Therefore, this place is always packed. The first time I came here, I sat by the bar and it was quite noisy, in a festive way. In my last visit, I managed to get a seat outside, which was way better for me – I didn’t notice the chaos inside plus I like people watching. Keep in mind that tapas bar are not exactly restaurants, they are bars.
With my 6 dishes, a glass of rosé, and a bottle of water with gas, my total bill was like € 21.00. I say, not bad at all! Their tapas range from € 3-11. Some of the tapas, such as the fried green peppers and the calamares are good for 2 persons (at least in my opinion). In one of the tapas bar in La Boqueira, I paid roughly € 16 for 3 tapas and a bottle of fizzy water.
I’m a little bit biased on this part because one of the things I love about this tapas bar is the Filipino servers. They have always been friendly, engaging, and helpful with thier recommendations to me. However I noticed how other customers were pretty satisfied with their services as well. In fact, with my very little comprehension on Spanish, I noticed that they have a lot of local regulars based on their interactions with the bar staff. Also, considering their volume of customers, I say they’re pretty quick in taking orders and delivering them to our tables.
Cerveceria Catalana is not to be missed! This tapas bar remains to be my favourite among all the tapas bars I’ve tried in Barcelona. The quality of food they have is such a treat to those who travel for the love of food.
They don’t take reservations so be warned of long queues during peak hours. I came in at around 13.00H, I only had to wait for 5 minutes to get a table outside. However, 10 minutes after I was seated, people started coming in and I heard they would have to wait up to 45 mins to get a table. Yikes! But don’t throw a fit if this happens to you. Remember, this is quite a small but popular bar so avoid peak hours if possible. My wild guess for their peak hours would be 13.30h onwards as Spaniards have their lunch quite late.