It may not be the Basque country but the Catalonian capital has its share of quality pintxo bars. Here’s a list of the best pintxo bars in Barcelona – tell me how wrong I am in the comments below!
What’s a Pintxo?
A small piece of bread with something delicious on top.
Meaning ‘thorn’ or ‘spike’ in Spanish, referring to the toothpicks holding the snack together, this Basque staple is best enjoyed with a glass of young white wine or zurito (quarter pint).
Why You’ll Like Pintxos
- Fast self service
- An easy way to try mini versions of Spanish culinary staples
- A large variety to satisfy even fussy eaters
How Does it Work?
Sit down and order yourself a drink. The waiter will ask you if you need a plate for the pintxos. When they bring you the plate it’s self-service free for all madness! So load up on tasty wonders that’ll make you hate yourself for eating with your eyes.
Make sure to keep the toothpicks. They’ll be counted for the final bill. Most pintxos run about €1.30-1.80 but below I’ll be showing you some great places where you can get pintxos for €1!
Barcelona’s Best Pintxos – Carrer Blai
If you’re looking for good prices and a huge variety then the (not really at all) famous Carrer Blai is your best bet. Between Tapioles and Roser there must be 7-8 bars all serving €1 pintxos and €1 beer.
Get to Paral-lel metro (purple line L2 or green line L3) and it’s a short walk to pintxo paradise.
La Taberna Blai Tonight
Value value value. A cozy traditional and oft-packed bar with a terrace for watching the always active Blai. A friendly staff with good English. The high turnover at peak hours means fresh food is coming out constantly. A huge variety of 30 or more tapas.
Try: the salmon and asparagus, chicken curry (yes, you read right), and classic chistorra sausage.
Calle Blai 23-25
Price: €1.00 (yes, everything!)
A departure from the classics. Most pintxos here are served on delicious mini pancakes and the flavours are more international: the nachos and quesadillas prove this. A trendy and modern bar with unparalleled presentation and a wide assortment of local craft beers.
Try: tuna croquettes, black rice and squid wrap, ricotta spinach and bacon piadina.
Calle Blai 9
La Tasqueta de Blai
Another gem hidden in plain sight. This one’s packed with locals. A bit more upscale in decor compared with Blai Tonight but offering the same value. The one downside is there’s no terrace, but at least here you won’t get a funny look for ordering cocktails – so go for it!
Try: spicy chorizo with quail egg, roasted aubergine with mozzarella, mini burgers.
Calle Blai 17
Barcelona’s Best Pintxos – Central
Golfo de Bizkaia
Ignore the Blockbuster Video-esque logo and tacky maritime decor. This is a classic Barcelona pintxos spot right near the Santa Maria del Mar. A bit more gourmet than its Blai cousins, the 80 types of ‘pure Basque’ pintxos and central location more than justify the prices.
Try: anchovies in vinegar, Iberian ham, fried prawns.
Calle Vidriera 12 (metro Jaume I yellow line L4)
More than 100 varieties of pintxo! The Basque country meets Barcelona here and the offerings are decidedly more refined than tradition calls for. Possibly the best quality-price ratio in central Barcelona.
Try: foie stuffed mushrooms, goat cheese and iberian ham, tortilla de patatas.
Calle Casanova 155 (metro Hospital Clinic red line L5)