Barcelona Pinchos Tour
If you have ever been to Barcelona before, you have probably tried pinchos. Also called pintxo or pinchu, these are sort of Barcelona’s answer to tapas culture and are wildly popular. All a pincho is, is a slice of bread with a topping. Traditional toppings are things like jamon iberico or croquettes. However, these days creativity plays as much a part in pinchos offerings as many hot trendy restaurants. This Barcelona Pinchos Tour article will show you some of the best places to try pinchos, whether for a first timer or a Barcelona old hand.
When talking about pinchos in Barcelona, the first thing that comes to mind is Carrer de Blai. This is known as Pinchos Street in Barcelona and will be the first stop on any Barcelona pinchos guide. The street itself has over 20 pinchos bars which make for some very competitive prices. Unlike most restaurants in Spain which do not open until 8pm or later, the bars here are open at noon and pretty much stay open all day long until midnight or later. Which means if you are hungry in the afternoon, come here and have a few drinks and snacks.
In fact, Carrer de Blai is so well known for pinchos, only 3 places on my list are not on this street. So if you only have one night in Barcelona and want to experience this culture, definitely make your way to Carrer de Blai.
La Tasqueta de Blai
This is one of the most popular pinchos bars in all of Barcelona, and for good reason. They have a ton of offerings including traditional stuff. However it is their creative stuff which really won me over. I probably tried 20 different pinchos here during my time in Barcelona (yes, we stayed a block from this street) and I enjoyed all of them. You should almost always expect a crowd, but if you are fortunate you should be able to get some pinchos within a few minutes.
Featured in the picture below are some of my favorite pinchos from La Tasqueta de Blai. From left to right we have a smoked salmon roll with aioli, bbq shortrib with courgette, and tempura-esque shrimp with a sweet chili sauce. The prices here start at 1 euro for the classic, and 1.80 euro for the superior choices. you can tell which is which by the red tips on the toothpicks.
This was, I think, Alona’s favorite Barcelona pinchos place. They have a ton of creative choices, and the staff are extremely helpful. This place does fantastic seafood pinchos so you should definitely plan on coming here if you go to Carrer de Blai.
The pinchos here are the same as La Tasqueta de Blai price-wise. At 1 euro for the classic and 1.80 for the superior. A great thing about this bar though is the beer is extremely cheap. Just 1.30 per glass which is a fantastic deal in my opinion.
Pincho J has a good amount of seating, but like many places on this street it does get crowded. However you could always just eat standing up and socializing with the new friends you make.
Blai 9 is definitely one of the more trendy pinchos places I’ve been to. In fact, they don’t even serve all their pinchos on a piece of bread. I guess maybe that makes them slightly unique, but at the same time still delicious. This pinchos bar is located at the east end of the street near the end and there is not much seating. So if you want to get a good spot, try to go in early afternoon before it gets too crowded.
Blai 9 has a smaller selection than most places, but you can tell they put a lot of effort into the creativity. My favorite dish of theirs would have to be the breaded poached egg on a blini with aioli. The creamy textures just all meld together to make great flavor. Also featured in the above picture are croquettes, spring roll, and fried chicken strips with crepe.
Prices are 1 euro for the white plates/bowls, and 1.50 euro for the black plates/bowls.
Bilbao Berria is the most expensive choice on this list, and also the first one that is not located on Carrer de Blai. In fact, Bilbao Berria is located in Placa Nova right near the Barcelona Cathedral. This makes it centrally located, and the prices reflect that.
While it is more expensive (prices START at 1.80 euro) than what I’ve selected so far on Carrer de Blai, this place is much fancier. The entire bar is beautiful with tons of copper work and lots of seating. In fact, it is probably why it is so popular.
Not too far from Bilbao Berria is another interesting little place called Craft Barcelona. I will say right now that there is nothing special about the pinchos here, except for the fact they have a pretty awesome lunch deal. Here you can get two plates of pinchos and a beer for 5 Euro. Not bad for being right in the city center.
Don’t mistake however. The pinchos are not bad by any means, they are just traditional fare. Compared to the high creativity like the first four entries on this list, this is a much more “local” place with good craft beer, live music, and simple yet good food.
I like Zodiaco for the variety and prices on offer. Pinchos are 1 euro for the classic and 1.50 for the superior and alcohol is fairly priced. This means of course, we are back on Carrer de Blai. Alona and I went here after we went to Tibidabo to get some drone footage.
Pictured above was a selection of basic Barcelona pinchos that I quite enjoyed. Front and center is sesame crusted chicken strips with brie cheese. Left and right are spring roll and bbq chicken wings with a blistered padron pepper respectively, and in the back is a croquette.
Golfo de Bizkaia
Golfo de Bizkaia seems to be extremely popular with locals even though it is located pretty much in the center of Barcelona. They had soccer playing on the tv screens, and a large bar with tons of different pinchos. Most of the stuff here is traditional (try the croquettes and tortilla) but that is okay as long as they do a good job. And they do.
Barcelona Pinchos Etiquette
When getting pinchos in Barcelona, there are only a few simple rules. The main one being, you touch it, you buy it. All the pinchos are layed out on the bar for everyone to see, so it would be rude if you touched something and then put it back. If you have questions, just ask the bar tender to explain something to you.
Another rule is to understand the toothpick values. Pinchos bars usually have different prices depending on the type of pincho they are serving. This means that you need to pay attention to the differentiating factor. Usually it is a toothpick, but as you can see with Blai 9, they use different colored plates. It would be bad form to argue you did not understand the prices when the bar is usually pretty explicit.
Lastly, seating. Many Barcelona pinchos bars get pretty crowded especially around main meal times. If you are by yourself try to sit directly at the bar or eat standing up so you don’t take a table away from a group. If you do sit at a table the staff may ask you to share with other people which is a good way to meet new friends, but not so much if you are an introvert.
Barcelona Pinchos Tour
I hope you liked this brief guide to pinchos in Barcelona, and it helps you with your next outing. If you have any questions please let me know in the comments section down below!