Barcelona Tapas! Cal Pep! The Battle For Tapas Supremacy!

Time To Get Your Tapas On!

Cal Pep baby squid dish

Hope you’ve eaten, because I’m about to share some food that will make you VERY HUNGRY! It’s time to celebrate some of the best Spanish tapas from one of the greatest cities in the world!

Welcome To Barcelona!

Barcelona Spain skyline

Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city, and the capital of the region of Catalonia – a very proud area that extends from Barcelona to the Costa Brava, Spain’s “wild coast.” The city is alive with energy – and food – like these hanging hams in the city’s famed Boqueria market…

Barcelona Hanging Hams

The city is full of great food – but nothing is more renowned than Spanish tapas, small plates of food that take advantage of the freshest ingredients the region has to offer…

Barcelona tapas fresh clams

And of course, Barcelona is on the Mediterranean, so you will no doubt see a plate of fresh fish – fried up in their entirety for you to enjoy…

small fried fish Barcelona tapas

It’s The Battle For Barcelona’s Best Tapas Restaurant!

Time to visit one of Barcelona’s most iconic tapas restaurants – the legendary Cal Pep!

Cal Pep Barcelona

Cal Pep is one of the most known tapas restaurant in Barcelona. It’s located in the Placa de les Olles, a small courtyard near the waterfront neighborhood of Barcelonetta. Cal Pep is known as one of Barcelona’s greatest tapas bars. There are two ways to eat at Cal Pep:

Cal Pep lunch counter Barcelona

Belly Up To The Bar!

Cal Pep doesn’t take reservations, so when you show up, look for a spot at the bar, where you can watch them cook your food:

Cal Pep

Cal Pep is renowned for their fresh daily tapas that change depending on the market products of the day – meaning, you can order off a menu, but it’s more fun to let them bring whatever suits their fancy that day!

Cal Pep! – 5.7.13

Cal Pep Alex Duda

Here is Alex waiting patiently for a space at the bar to open up…as you can see, people hunker down to watch them cook the food – and pour over dish after dish of delicious tapas…

Cal Pep tapas

There’s another way to enjoy Cap Pep as well…Cal Pep also has a dining room, and since the bar was packed, they offered us seats there, which we took…once we sat down, we were greeted immediately by two glasses of Cava, Spain’s champagne…

Cal Pep Cava Alex Duda

Cal Pep’s Daily Specials!

They first check to see if you have any food restrictions – we were, of course, up for anything…but the waiter had more difficulty with the young couple next to us, as the woman didn’t like ANYTHING they offered…at one point the waiter said:

“Octopussy? No? This one is negative, doesn’t want anything!””

Cal Pep amuse bouche of sardine

He said it with a laugh, and they finally settled on food she would eat…for us, they started with a small Apéritif of toasted bread with sardine – a small, tasty bite to get you going…then it was Tuna tartar with toasted bread…

Cal Pep Barcelona

Next up was a small plate of fried artichokes:

Fried Artichokes Cal Pep

Cue The Whole Fried Fish!

After ordering a bottle of great Spanish white wine – surprisingly inexpensive – a whole bottle for 19 euros…we were given a plate of fried squid and baby sardines:

best barcelona tapas Cal Pep

Cal Pep’s Sense Of Humor!

The waiter not only comments on your willingness to try certain dishes, but as they replace your water bottle, they tip it off the table as if it will smash onto the ground – before catching it and having a laugh…we saw this done at every table while we were there…

world's best tapas Cal Pep

Next up were fresh clams, served in a delicious broth – and you were instructed to use the clam shell as your spoon – scooping up the broth and sliding the clam right into your mouth…

Barcelona tapas

world's best tapas Cal Pep

We love Razor clams, so we added them to our meal…and we saw another table order a dish that we just had to have as well:

Cal Pep baby squid dish

Our Favorite Cal Pep Dish!

We ordered this special, and we are so glad we did! It’s a plate of baby squid and chickpeas – absolutely delicious…the only downside to sitting in the back is you don’t see them cooking from there – at the counter we would have seen more of the dishes – and probably have ordered even more!

Cal Pep counter

That said, we LOVED Cal Pep, and it is certainly worth the wait – next time we will sit at the counter and watch the food being made…but that is a small quibble with a terrific tapas restaurant that does Barcelona proud!

Cal Pep Barcelona tapas

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23 replies

  1. There is one thing that the citizens of this former capital of Catalonia are not at all confused about: eating. Barcelona is a food lovers paradise. It is a city of bustling covered food markets, tapas bars and cafes, a city where people enthusiastically snack all day and night.


  2. This is right around the corner of my old house! Funny enough, never been there, actually went to their sister restaurant, Passadis d’en Pep, which is a little harder to find. Same strategy, you sit down, and they bring out the food! Glad you guys enjoyed!



  1. Passadis del Pep! Barcelona’s Tapas King? Spain’s Tapas Battle Continues! « johnrieber
  2. Barcelona’s Famous “Boqueira” Food Stalls! Tapas! Hanging Ham! « johnrieber
  3. Barcelona’s Boqueria! Spain’s Famous Hanging Hams! | JR Food Talk
  4. Barcelona’s Best Tapas! Restaurant Cal Pep! « Bite Eat Swallow!
  5. Barcelona’s “Magic Fountain!” Spain’s Magical City At Night! « johnrieber
  6. Barcelona’s Sagrada Famiglia! The World’s Most Beautiful Construction! « johnrieber
  7. Spain’s Sagrada Famiglia! Barcelona’s Brilliant Architecture! «
  8. Beautiful Barcelona At Night! Experience Spain’s “Magic” Fountain! | Spinning Orbit
  9. Cycling Through “Wild” Spain! Biking Costa Brava’s Medieval Villages! | johnrieber
  10. Barcelona’s Magical Molecular Meal! Comerc24! Tapas Tapas Tapas! | johnrieber
  11. The World’s Most Famous Lizard Park! Barcelona’s Parc Guell! | johnrieber
  12. “Wild” Spanish Travel! Biking Costa Brava’s Medieval Villages! | Spinning Orbit
  13. Spain’s Amazing Medieval Villages! Biking Thru Paradise! | Spinning Orbit
  14. Amazing Barcelona Meals! Molecules! Michelin Stars! | Spinning Orbit
  15. Caviar Tater Tots! Bacon ‘n’ Egg Cups! Bacon Oreos! Culinary Wizardry! | johnrieber
  16. Barcelona’s Molecular Magic! Michelin-Starred Comerc24 Restaurant! | Bite Eat Swallow!
  17. Caviar On Deviled Eggs! Caviar Tater Tots! Amazing Food Mashups! | Bite Eat Swallow!
  18. Barcelona’s Magical Beauty! Lizards! Cathedrals! Casa Mila! Tapas! Spain’s Brilliant Imagery! | johnrieber
  19. Barcelona’s Las Ramblas…A Tragedy At An Iconic Destination…Here Is A Look At This Classic Barcelona Neighborhood… – johnrieber
  20. “Wanderlusting” Barcelona! A Magical Getaway Of Architecture And Food! – johnrieber

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