Catalans themselves admit (with pride) to being stingy. In fact there’s a popular joke: how do you get ten Catalans into a car? Tell them there’s a euro in the seat cushions.
There’s also an old Catalan proverb: Barcelona és bona si la bossa sona (Barcelona is only good if you’ve got money).
It doesn’t have to be that way though. There’s free food out there!
Here are 9 places to get free tapas in Barcelona.
Free Tapas in Barcelona
MALA GATA. Area: Gracia – Rabassa 37. Metro: Joanic (yellow line L4). A hidden gem in Gracia. This tiny bar is for two things only: beer and tapas. Order a beer and you’ll get free patatas bravas or a tasty tortilla. The only problem is it gets a bit crowded, but the atmosphere is decidedly local and you won’t complain because there’s free food!
Recommended: the ensaladilla Rusa (a kind of potato, vegetable, and mayonnaise salad) is really delicious.
CAL’ CHUSCO. Area: Barceloneta – Almirall Aixada 5. Metro: Barceloneta (yellow line L4). More beer and more free tapas. Here you’ll find traditional croquettes and empanadillas served like in Madrid. The tradition of cubo de birras con racion (a bucket of beers with a plate of food) lives on here, and the price is more than right! A good place for football lovers to see the match.
Recommended: the homemade bombas (a type of spicy potato and mince meat ball).
EL MOLL DE REBAIX. Area: Barceloneta – Balluart 84. Metro: Barceloneta (yellow line L4). The locals keep saying that Barceloneta is gradually losing its soul as authentic locales are replaced by chains or tourist traps. This is a massive exception. Fresh produce, warm atmosphere, simple, effective.
Recommended: pimientos de padron con migas (an Andalusian classic with peppers, chorizo and breadcrumbs).
AMBIENTE DEL SUR. Area: Sant Antoni – Viladomat 85. Metro: Sant Antoni (purple line L2). A simple and satisfying concept: order a beer and get a free tapa. The more beer you drink the more creative they’ll get with the freebies too! As if you needed another excuse 😉 One of the can’t miss places for free tapas in Barcelona.
Recommended: the giant tortilla de patatas.
BAR RUSTIK. Area: Raval – Carrer Sant Pau 9. Metro: Liceu (green line L3). This bar is hidden in a small, winding street in the Raval. It may not be the best or the most fun but finding another terrace in the Raval which serves free tapas with your drink? Good luck!
Recommended: the homemade ham croquettes.
DANIEL CAFE. Area: Glories – Av Diagonal 177. Metro: Glories (red line L1). Mon Dieu! Here the chef and all the tapas are French. So get yourself a good glass of wine and a slice of “real” cheese.
Recommended: the anchoïade (a type of tapanade made with anchovies, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar).
EL CAPRITXO. Area: Sants – Melcior Palau 62. Metro: Plaça del Centre (green line L3). A must for lovers of fried fish. Even though it’s not too central this bar is a Barcelona institution. According to the owner the secret to their quality is getting up at 5 am every day and getting their seafood from the Mercabarna.
Recommended: the buttered sole, oh my god!
CASA MAYO. Area: Sants – Rector Triado 72. Metro: Tarragona (green line L3). A Galician father-son team run this joint. In addition to a more than adequate menu of Spanish classics they offer free pinchos with every drink. The decor isn’t much to look at but the food is fresh… and the service, impeccable!
Recommended: pulpo a la gallega (Gallegan octopus)… what else!?
CASA LOLO. Area: Sants – Calle Arizala 5-7. Metro: Badal (blue line L5). These crazy folks have flipped the idea of free tapas on its ear. Here you get free beer with every tapa you order! The colourful and modern decor is a great setting for tapas with Andalusian flavors – but they also do the classics.
Recommended: the eggplant with honey.
There you go! Free tapas in Barcelona, who would have thought?
Have anything else to add to the list? Dying to share you free tapas in Barcelona experience? Don’t be shy. Drop me a line in the comments below.