My last but not least Europe recap! Sharing the BEST tapas restaurant in Barcelona. Authentic vibes. DELICIOUS small plates. And $10 cava. If I could go back in time, I would have eaten at this place every night!Once upon a time there was a girl who made a goal to eat her way through three countries in two weeks. She did. The End. 🙂
I hope you’ve enjoyed my European foodie recaps as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. Every time I sit down to write one of these posts, my stomach starts grumbling without fail (#truestory). The food was just THAT good.
El Xampanyet was recommended by everyone I asked for restaurant recommendations from. And they all said it was the best authentic tapas restaurant in Barcelona. DONE.And it was truly authentic. Super tiny with people crowded at the tapas bar. I thought we were going to have to wait forever for a table but we actually got seated right away. I think we got there on the earlier side…well early for Spain, anyways. We couldn’t understand what anything on the menu was (Baxter, you know I don’t speak Spanish. English, please). Our lovely waitress said we could order or she could take over and order stuff for us. At first were were like no, no we’ll order, afraid that she would bring us questionable foods that were still staring at us. But after trying to decipher the menu further, we were like screw this. That waitress knows much better than us what dishes are good and popular; let’s just let her do the ordering and tell her our must-haves (calamari & olives).
The waitress didn’t disappoint. She was on point with every dish she brought to the table. First off, the OLIVES. The MOST BUTTERY OLIVES THAT EVER DID LIVE. Seriously, I’ve never had better olives than I had in Spain. Especially the ones here. They were my favorite by far. Thank god my friend Ana loves olives as much as I do because it became an unspoken rule that we ordered olives wherever we went. And we tried a new-to-me Spanish staple – tomato and olive oil bread. Who knew! They just rub a very thin layer of grated tomato on top along with olive oil. It’s delish.
We then had tuna in oil with leeks, sea salt and cracked pepper.And then there was the calamari. Oh. Boy. This was definitely our favorite dish of the night. Grilled squid with chimichurri. Best calamari of life. I much prefer to have squid grilled than deep fried. And then there were the prawns and razor clams. I’d never had razor clams before and was a little skeptical but these were charred on the grill so they had a little smoky flavor to them and were much firmer in texture than other clams like littlenecks. SO GOOD. Must find these again.
Not pictured here is the blistered padron peppers with sea salt I beckoned our waitress for. I kept seeing these peppers accompany a dish of meat going by and I asked the waitress if we could just have the peppers. I’m obsessed with shishito and padron peppers especially when they’re topped with flaked sea salt.
And then we had stuffed potatoes and stuffed red peppers with cheese. Stuff anything with cheese and it’s a pretty safe bet it’s going to be yummo.
And towards the end of the meal, we decided we should probably order a bottle of the wine that we kept seeing everyone imbibing. It’s their house cava, aka sparkling wine. And only 10 euro for a decent size bottle ! It paired perfectly with that manchego cheese she brought us for dessert.And then she brought us the real dessert. Biscotti with a sweet local dessert wine (moscatel).Be sure to check out El Xampanyet for tapas if you make it to Barcelona!
Contrary to popular belief, I did do more than just eat my way around these cities (although let’s face it, that was a priority).
I loved the look and feel of Barcelona, especially the old neighborhood we stayed in – El Born. Lots of narrow, pedestrian-only streets with laundry left hanging to dry over balconies. And the architecture was gorgeous. We didn’t do too much touristy stuff here (we saved all the sights to see for Paris) but we did visit La Sagrada Familia, that church that’s been being built since the 1800s and still isn’t finished. Pretty breathtaking. Especially the inside. That’s it! Can you believe my Europe recaps are over?! Time for another trip 🙂 In case you missed any of my travel posts, check ’em out below!