Gats

It’s tempting to believe that any establishment in an area frequented by tourists is, by definition, a tourist joint. Happily some restaurants disprove that theory – restaurants such as Gats.

Just metres away from the horrible tourist sangria and paella joints on Las Ramblas, Gats may as well be in a different country. That’s not to say tourists don’t go there (it is Barcelona, after all), but it appeals to locals as well. 

And why not? The food, service, and ambience are all decent.

The menu includes a range of the expected tapas dishes, such as croquettas, Padrón peppers, and patatas bravas. It also extends to ceviches, some imaginative salads, rice dishes and mains.

When I last visited it was a wintry night that called for some warming comfort food, and the ‘mountain paella’ – with mushrooms, Catalan sausage and asparagus – answered the call. It’s a nicely rich rice dish (served in a hot iron pan), though I feel I remember having it before with rabbit or chicken pieces. I may be wrong about that, but they’d be a nice addition.

And because I spend altogether too much time in tapas bars, green vegetables, in the form of a green bean salad with smoked sardine and horseradish was a real winner. The little chunks of smokey, salty sardine are nicely balanced by the horseradish bite.

There may not be many surprises on the menu at Gats, but everything I’ve eaten here lives up to its promise, and hardly breaks the bank. It’s definitely on my return list.

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El Dinamic de Bcn

Hugely popular with a young crowd, El Dinamic can be a tricky place to find a table. The space barely hides its workshop origins, and the wait staff can be tricky to flag down, though when they do get around to it there are some nice tapas bites to be had here and a selection of local craft beers.

Open: Wed & Thurs 5:00pm – midnight; Fri 5:00pm – 1:00am; Sat 1:00pm – 1:00am; Sun 1:00pm – midnight

Passatge de Pere Calders, 4

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Enoiteca Zona d’Ombra

A charming little wine bar in the equally charming El Coll, Enoiteca Zona d’Ombra offers some seating in the square in front for those warmer nights, as well as another 30 or so seats indoors.

The name gives the game away here – the specialty is wine, and there are eight whites, 12 reds, two rosés and two cavas available by the glass, as well as a few on the specials board.

Wines hail from Catalunya and other regions around Spain. Those 12 reds are each from different regions, so it is a terrific way to tour the amazing world of Spanish wine without leaving town.

As it’s Barcelona, there is a range of snacks available too.

Tel: 935 005 802

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