Barcelona, Spain – Food Lover Tapas Tour
Casa Milá, Barcelona, Spain
With over 400 photos of Barcelona to dig through and whittle down to a more manageable number, I almost started to think this trip recap was never going to happen. But…I fell so in love with this city that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share, no matter how long it took me!
While I was attempting to write one single Barcelona post, I’ve decided that’s absolutely impossible. Honestly, I’m not even sure I can fit it all in 3, but that’s my goal! *Hopefully* over the course of the next couple of weeks, I’ll find the time to give you the full rundown of our Barcelona adventure.
La Bodegueta, Barcelona, Spain
For today, I’m starting at the beginning – Day 1 of our stay in Barcelona. Within 2 hours of checking into our hotel we were already out the door and on the way to a tapas tour of our neighborhood, L’Eixample. I discovered Food Lover Tours through my friend Lindsay, who had, just a couple of months before, gone on their Sweets Lover Tour in Barcelona.
Since Ravi and I are definitely more savory than sweet people, I wanted to try out one of their other tours. Tapas style eating is my jam, so when I saw “Tapas Lover”, I was all in. Funny thing is, I didn’t even realize when booking it how near our hotel we would be.
Our meeting point to start the tour was at Gaudi’s La Pedrera (Casa Milá photo at top of page), located just two blocks away!
La Bodegueta, Barcelona, Spain
Our tapas tour began at 7:30 pm and was to end at 11:30 pm. After several hours on a train traveling from Paris, I was definitely ready to stretch my legs and eat more than a croissant. Little did I know just how much food (and drink!) we would be consuming that night. At 94 €, we MORE than got our money’s worth.
Our Food Lover Tour group (sans me) at our first stop, La Bodegueta
This is a group tour, and we were fortunate that we ended up with a really fun crew. Of the 12 of us, a few were from the U.S., but France, Germany, England and Australia were also represented (as well as Ireland, which is where our guide Brian hailed from).
Boquerones en vinagre (small anchovies in vinegar with olives)
La Bodegueta was the first stop, and here we got “a taste of the sea”: Esqueixada (Cod fish with olives and tomato), Bunuelos de Bacalao (codfish croquettes), and Salpicon de Pulpo (octopus in vinegar). And it’s not seafood, but it’s perhaps the most traditional tapa- Pan Con Tomate (Spanish style toast).
Next we made our way to what would end up being our favorite neighborhood tavern during our stay in Barcelona – Colmado. At Colmado we were treated to “mountain food” and Vermut.
We learned that if you want to drink like a Spaniard, you participate in the ritual of tomar un vermut (“taking a vermouth”). It happens any time during the day, typically with a friend (or a few). There are different variations at every spot, and at Colmado we had Casero, a small production white wine made with 20 spices in Reus, the village where Gaudi was born.
Gin Tonics almost as big as our heads at Colmado
The purpose of vermouth is not to get drunk, but to just relax and enjoy yourself. Sounds pretty good to me.
Of course, after some wine at our first stop, then this vermouth, and then a Gin Tonic that was far larger than any drink I’ve ever had in the U.S., let’s just say I’m really glad there was plenty of food to soak up all the alcohol…
patatas bravas al caliu at Colmada
Here at Colmado we noshed on Alcachofa (artichokes), manchego sprinkled with crushed almonds and drizzled with olive oil, and Patatas Bravas Al Caliu (roast potatoes with “allioli” – a Catalan variant of the garlic sauce aioli).
You guys. These potatoes. !!! I’m not even a huge fan of potatoes, but man, these were delicious.
Butifarra (Catalan Sausage) at Colmado in Barcelona, Spain
But my very favorite dish of all was the Butifarra (Catalan sausage) in white sauce with mushrooms and crema de leche. Oh. My. Word. It might not be the prettiest dish, but it was certainly one of the best bites I had on the entire trip.
Restaurant 2254 in Barcelona, Spain
After all that, it was on to Restaurant 2254 for “Mediterranean modern tapas” and I honestly have no idea how my stomach found room for all of the food we consumed here, but it did.
And it was glorious.
First up was a Gazpacho with strawberries from Maresme, a rucola salad with goat cheese, pistachios, and dried tomato, and then red shrimps capuchino with sea urchin. Sure, that’ll get us started.
Oxtail (Boneless with prawns) at Restaurant 2254
There were several dishes to follow – oxtail, smoked sardines, rigatoni, and octopus. And I ate every single one. And drank more wine.
The coolest presentation of a dish goes to the Smoked Sardines with Guacamole…. just watch this short video clip below to see for yourself.
I have to say, gastronomically speaking, Barcelona was smoking Paris. At least in my humble opinion.
Smoked Sardines with guacamole at Restaurant 2254 in Barcelona
Brandade stuffed rigattoni with crispy Catalan sausage
Octopus with green curry and Catalan beans from Ganxet
Hazelnut Coulant with vanilla ice cream
Words really cannot explain how much we enjoyed this Tapas Lover Tour, and I cannot recommend it enough. It was the PERFECT way to kick off our Barcelona experience and I’m so happy we did it on our very first night in the city. If you find yourself heading to Barcelona or Seville, definitely check out Food Lover Tours!