For almost two decades, Samuel and Samantha Clark's Moro, and the newer Morito, restaurants have delighted London foodies with authentic dishes from across Spain and the wider Mediterranean. Their Moro and Casa Moro cookbooks are justly considered to be classics. Now, these are joined by the Morito cookbook, a celebration of vibrant, authentic tapas and mezze.
Authenticity lies at the heart of Sam and Sam Clark's cooking and the pair have spent years travelling across Spain in search of the best Iberian ingredients and dishes. This meticulously authentic approach shines through in their restaurants and books and is key to their popularity with restaurant-goers and home cooks alike.
The Clarks' passion for Spanish food has taken them to countless restaurants, bars and eateries, and the pair have a particular love of the tapas scene in Barcelona. Who better, then, to provide the definitive guide to the best Barcelona tapas bars? Note down these names for your next visit to that great city, and make it an unforgettably wonderful tapas adventure.
1. La Cova Fumada
Carrer del Baluart 56, Barceloneta
Telephone: +34 932 214 061
Opened in 1944, the Smokey Cave is an institution which epitomises everything we love about eating in Spain. Wonderful fresh food cooked straight from the market, timeless décor and atmosphere with a loyal following that is mostly packed with locals and a few others who have had the good fortune to discover this family-run gem. The fried artichokes and potato bomba are not to be missed.
2. La Pepita
Carrer Còrsega, 343
Tel. +34 93 238 48 93
La Pepita is only two years old but has quickly established itself within the Barcelona culinary scene for its delicious and innovative tapas that are executed with real flair and flavour. Owners Sofia (front of house) and Sergio (kitchen) are absolutely charming and deserve all the high praise they have been inundated with. Our favourite dish: aubergine fritters with goat's curd, green apple and cane molasses.
3. Quimet i Quimet
Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 25
Tel: +34 93 442 3142
A favourite amongst chefs, this tiny bar, which is more like someone’s front room, is lined from floor to ceiling with an extensive selection of mostly Spanish wines and spirits. Choose a glass and with it one of the myriad of montaditos on offer. These toasts are simply prepared with top quality ingredients: casera, a rich, soft sheep cheese with chestnuts and rosemary honey or home-made pâté with wild mushrooms and balsamic vinegar.
4. Taktika Berri
Telephone: +34 93 453 47 59
One of the best, if not the best, Basque pintxo bars in Barcelona. Position yourself along the bar and, if you're lucky, grab one of the delicious hot tapas that get brought out periodically from the kitchen, though each plate is usually empty before it has reached half way. Really fresh and extremely tasty pintxos and naturally very popular as a result.
5. La Boqueria: Bar Pinotxo and El Quim
Although the Boqueria market off Las Ramblas is quite touristy, it is still worth a visit in the morning, preferably for breakfast. We had the most delicious pastry and café con leche at Pinotxo served by the charming owner Juanito. We then moved to El Quim and tucked into wild mushrooms and slow-cooked pork cheek. A buzzy and fun way to start the day.
Bar Pinotxo, Mercat de la Boqueria, Ramblas 91
Tel: +34 93 3171731
Bar El Quim
Mercat de la Boqueria, Ramblas 91
Tel: +34 93 301 98 10
One tapas bar we would love to go to:
Following the closure of El Bulli, Ferran Adria and his brother Albert have opened this brilliant tapas bar in Barcelona. At midnight every night 80 tickets are released, so watch the website as it books up instantly.
Avinguda Paral-lel 164, 08015 Barcelona, ticketsbar.es
We'd love to hear from you on Twitter if you've been to any of the tapas bars recommended by Sam + Sam Clark, or have any personal favourites to add to their list. Get in touch with us @thehappyfoodie.
The Morito cookbook, by Sam + Sam Clark is out now.
Try these recipes from the Morito cookbook: