- Great food
May 11, 2018
If you’re a fan of funky little drinking and eating spots, miss this Barcelona gem at your peril. Located down a narrow, cobbled alley only a stone’s throw away from the Picasso Museum, this tapas bar is coolest bodega in town. Named after the home-made sparkling wine it serves, this small and unashamedly old school space specialises in quality tapas served in an unpretentious but pretty setting.
Blue-tiled walls and antique artefacts combining with marble tables and zinc bar, El Xampanyet is old meets new, trendy meets trusted much like the Spanish psyche itself. Cava is sold by the bottle or the glass (trust us – you really need to try it) and a pre-club crowd come here to sip it over tapas with aging locals. There’s a no booking policy so you’re taking your chances on getting a table (turn up slightly earlier to maximise your chances, or be prepared to wait until one comes free) and its compact size means that when it’s busy it can be loud and a little claustrophobic if you’re after a quiet and relaxed evening this place will likely leave your nerves jangling.
The service is super friendly though, and for such a central location it’s not overpriced and you feel like you’re having a proper Spanish experience, not simply being fed themed tourist fodder. Accordingly, the staff of this popular generally don’t have great English, so be prepared to do a lot of pointing to things and smiling if your Spanish isn’t up to scratch. Luckily, they’re so nice they won’t hold your linguistic shortcomings against you, and will usually steer you to the tastiest treats.
Main photo credit: BineHerzog / Flickr under Creative Commons license