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Barcelona: Lunch at Cal Pep

You have to go to Cal Pep! You may not get in though, big queues! Book in advance. It is excellent. So echoed everyone that gave me advice for my trip to Barcelona. Cal Pep is loved by locals and tourists alike.

A gorgeous little tapas bar tucked away in a corner of Plaça de les Olles near Barceloneta, it reminds me of a sushi bar in style. Lots of happy diners scoffed at the bar, and a queue snaked the length of it. I was happy that I had taken the advice proffered and booked a little table at the back.

Happily I was dining with yet another food blogger, lovely Luisa (The Wednesday Chef) and Nico, a wine importer and wine blogger based in Barcelona, so we were all open to enjoying a decadent lunch and Nico was appointed our wine expert.

I asked for a menu, there is none. But, but, but, I saw one on the wall outside, didn’t I? No, there’s no menu, what would you like? A selection of meat, veg and seafood? It sounded great to me and I love to be surprised (the others were happy with it too) so we went with that.

Nico chose a lovely rich creamy cava, a Gran Reserva from Bertha. A complex and delicious cava, and one that we don’t see too much of here unless you really seek it out. A great shame really, but do try it if you come across it. The food was delivered plate by plate, a series of delights and all delicious, there wasn’t a dud among them.

We stayed there for a few hours, moving on to a house red rioja that was only €9 a bottle and very drinkable before I had to get a taxi to the airport. I loved Cal Pep and can see why everyone says it’s a must do. We paid €50 each for a terrific large meal (incl of drinks and service). Treat yourself to lunch or dinner there, and book before you go.

08003 Barcelona, Spain
933 107 961

A delicious raw salmon dish (the name escapes me - sorry!)

Pimentos de Padron

Tuna Tartare (this was sensational)

Excellent jamon

Tortilla with Ham - perfefctly gooey and eggy inside as it should be

Clams with paprika

Sirloin Steak with Potatoes (it looks plain but is packed with flavour and richness)

Foie Botifarra (I think) with Beans (divine)



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Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.


  1. Sue Vickers-Thompson says

    Great article – on our list for when we next get into BCN – tend to stay in suburbs with family. We ate in one of the tapas bars in La Boqueria – will try the other market next time – thanks!

  2. I’ve heard lots about Cal Pep but I’ve never been, put off my the thought of expensive prices for my meagre budget. However, 50€ seems reasonable and it looks wonderful. I love the idea of there not being a menu.

  3. Brings back good memories Niamh. I had a great meal at Cal Pep when I visited Barcelona last year. It was manically busy at the front bar area, with a queue snaking outside and the staff organising those waiting for seats into a line through the bar. But finally getting a seat and working my way through the seafood recommended by the chef was worth the wait. Interesting to see pics of the restaurant out back!

  4. Ooh I can’t wait to try this place! Heading to Barcelona next month and already got more restaurants I want to visit than days of holiday! Food looks delicious and I love the fact that there’s no menu – much better to see what the chef recommends!

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