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Tapas in Bilbao? Donastia? Barcelona?

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Will be hitting all three in September and am trying to start my list. Of course I'll comb some existing threads as well.

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  1. The best tapas I had in all of Spain were at Tapac 24 in Barcelona. It's on Disputacio, just off Passeig de Gracia.
    They have super traditional tapas from all over Spain. In fact, the rabo de toro I had there was better than any of the ones I had in Andalusia.

    1. Restaurant Bosch in Barcelona was spectacular several years ago.

      1. taller a tapas,via argentera.

        1. Cuchara de San Telmo in San Sebastian. Everything on the list is good; the specialty is the foie.

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          1. re: erica

            In Barcelona: most of the bars on C/Merce in the Barri Gotic, especially Bar Plata and the old-school asturian cider bars. Quimet i Quimet on Poeta Cabanyes in Poble Sec. Cerveceria Catalana on C/Mallorca.

          2. In Bilbao, check out El Globo on Diputación 8, close to Plaza Moyua. It's a hip place, with gentle servers and a large and interesting selection of tapas.

            1. As for Barcelona, here are a couple of options I recommend:

              For modern try Comarc 24 by chef Carlos Abellan, a protege of Adria Ferran, which is nice. I had a bunch of tapas there that were really awesome including: A fresh mozzerella grilled cheese "sandwich" that had jamon iberico and truffles/ Potato chips with pimenton vinegar foam/ Several japanese influenced "sashimi" with hyper-mod accompaniments/ Bonito soup with wasabi ice cream/ Lentils with fois gras ice cream/ Canneloni stuffed with fois topped with duxelle and pecorino and drizzled with a PX reduction. Super modern stuff, but this guy is no amateur figuring out what he does as he goes. Everything was very refined, delicious and very rewarding, not just showy.

              For very traditional tapas in Barcelona I have really enjoyed both Pinotxo (near the entrance) and El Quim (near the rear) in La Boqueria market where I know you will be going! Pinotxo is renowned among locals and local chefs for the real deal (Deal?)! Don't miss either of these.

              You also have to go to Vila Viniteca, one of the greatest wine stores in the world which will flip your wig! You can find pretty much the greatest of the coolest wines in the world there, especially when it comes to Spanish wines. Their gourmet market down the alley is the standard by which all others must be judged. The cheese room alone will drop.. your.. jaw. http://www.vilaviniteca.es/

              1. Oh yeah, not completely tapas (eleven courses), but one of the best meals of my life was at Suquet de l'Almirall in Barceloneta. Varieties of ridiculously fresh seafood prepared perfectly in traditional Catalan style. Nothing contrived and on this night the food could not have been more perfect or honest. Great wine list too without too much swagger.