During our hike in the Pyrenees, we met a French family who has lived in Barcelona for the last ten years. They recommended Tapelia for their more-adventurous tapas and paellas. We tried the pig’s ears which were crunchy and addictively chewy. We had wine with it but it would have been more perfect with a nice pint of beer. The octopus with mushrooms and potatoes was tender and delicious. The squid was as good, if not better. And I could have eaten the anchovies with aubergines the entire night.
We went on a Saturday night at 10:30pm which is prime dinner time in Barcelona, but Tapelia was still under-staffed. It took a while to get the menu, have our orders taken and get our final check, but it also made for a quiet first night in Barcelona.
We also couldn’t skip the paellas while in Spain. There were several fast-food type of places serving them around the city but we ended up at Xador in the El Born neighborhood. While also hiking the Pyrenees, we met a young German couple we ended up following during one of the routes to avoid getting lost. Funnily enough, we crossed paths again on the bus back to Barcelona so we got together one night to hang out and have dinner. Between the four of us, we ordered the langoustine and the squid-ink paella. They were just okay because to me, paella is like risotto–it’s harder and harder to find people who can make it from scratch without it being soupy and mushy.