Barcelona: La Pepita
When in Spain do as the Spaniards do, and get some yummy tapas!
We had landed in Barcelona late morning after a very early flight from Gatwick. We were sleepy, thirsty, hungry and starved of Vitamin D. After dropping off our bags at the hotel, we rushed out into the warm midday sun in search for some lunch!
La Pepita is a small tapas dedicated bar-come-restaurant, just off the top of Passeig de Gracia, and if you didn’t know of its existence, it is easy to walk right past it. But don’t. Stop, look up, check out the menu and stride right inside.
You would totally be missing out if you didn’t stop by for a couple of small plates of their delicious morsels to be washed down with a tumbler of sangria or cold refreshing local beer.
The menu is scribbled on the mirror above the bar almost unreadable from the reflection, the walls are adorned with graffiti from all the previous diners, and aside from bar stools, it houses about 10 tables. It’s quaint.
The waiter spoke good-enough English to have recommend us some of their popular dishes. This included some swordfish and octopus dishes, aside from the ones that we had ordered, which were some Iberico ham croquettes (totally divine – so creamy and loaded with spanish ham), aubergine dish (sweet from the balsamic and aubergine so soft), calamari (crispy and fleshy squid), and of course, patatas bravas. For two people, we were recommended four dishes between us, which felt just about right, but only because we realised we had only ordered fried dishes! Hehe, how very typical of us. I knew that we should have ordered the burrata salad!
There is a tiny kitchen at the back that whips up all the food here, fresh made to order. This is why this place is so great. Even though it is very easy to get tempted into restaurants that display rows of cocktail sticks of tapas on bar counter tops, they have been there for who-knows how long? Don’t do it. The piping hot little bites of tasty food that you can pop into your mouth are the best, and even though there may be many of these gems of tapas places dotted around Barcelona, I am pleased that we had discovered this little place.
You can’t be in Spain without having some patatas bravas!
Crispy fried potatoes with spicy tomato and paprika sauce covered with sour cream. There is something so very moreish and comforting about picking up a potato on your fork and dunking it around the plate to get as much sauce as possible! It’s proper lip-smacking good stuff. Mmm.
La Pepita only opens from 13:30 for lunch and 19:00 for dinner – remember that everything happens a bit later in Spain! They don’t take reservations either so it’s on a first come first served basis, but if you’re a Londoner and you’re used to lining up to catch some supper at the likes of Baraffina or Polpo, then you would well be in the knowledge that you would have to be prepared to wait for some tasty food. What was the saying… good things come to those who wait? Luckily, I didn’t need to wait at all when we arrived at 2pm, but it was a weekday. I saw a business lunch happening at a table next to us, with six 40-something year old men in suits, who did look out of place, as it is a trendy little hot spot perfect for dates and a catch up with friends. I would definately be back!
La Pepita | Carrer de Còrsega, 343, 08037 Barcelona, Spain