The Barri Gòtic of Barcelona is the old town with narrow winding streets and hidden food gems. If you want to eat with locals instead of tourists, get lost in the maze of the gothic quarter and go where you see no menus in English. The tapas place on this street was so packed I never got a chance to try it, so I guess I just have to go back to Barcelona:)

Some signs reminded me of a place I know well.

I even found a vegan deli called Gopal, which had tasty (no meat product) burgers and salads that were exactly what my upset stomach needed one afternoon. I would avoid the fries which were covered with a big spoon of a vegan mayo and literally swam in oil.

Once my stomach calmed down, I headed over to Bar Celta Pulperia. This tapas bar specializes in tapas from Galicia, and they serve their wine in bowls 🙂 They pour the first bowl and you refill as often as you like (they will tally up the total at the end). There are three long counters with choices of  traditional tortillas (in Spain this is a potato quiche), sausages, fried fish and seafood like calamari or shrimp,

potatoes, croquetas (fried potatoes with crab, cod, ham, or cheese),

razor clams, langoustines, and the best baby octopus, all grilled to order in garlic and olive oil.

The razor clams were tender and fresh, but only whetted my appetite for more,

like the grilled baby octopus, which was the best version I’ve ever eaten.

I love smelt but these were too big and fishy (I found much better ones a block away).

Of the croquetas, I preferred the cod to the ham, even though both were good.

The total for two of us sharing four tapas with four drinks (the sodas cost twice as much as the wine which was only 1.20 Euro a bowl) was 36 Euros or about $42 USD. The plates here are fairly large portions, so order as you eat, or just get a plate of the grilled octopus and head a block down the street to La Plata, which only serves four tapas, and of course wine

served in thimble sized glasses, a pour into your mouth carafe, or bottles.

The smelt here were delightful, small, crisp, hot and lightly salted. If it’s the only tapa you eat in Barcelona, order this at La Plata!

I ordered the anchovy on tomato bread drizzled with olive oil that would make all of you saying “Ew!” right now change your mind about anchovies! The grand total for two tapas and a thimble of wine was about 6 Euros or $7 USD.

After all these savory bites, I had to try something sweet, so I went to Chulapio, a crepe bar. I know, you can take me out of Paris, but I still need my French food. The owner here is half Mexican and half French, so his crepes are authentic, but his presentation is more tapas style so bites can be shared. A glass of cava with a sugar crepe was less than 7 Euros or $8 USD, and I had great conversations with the three other people in this tiny homey place.

It was still light outside, so a stroll around the Plaça Reial was next on the menu:)