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tapas itinerary...help.

We're going to Barcelona and Valencia...this is our first time in Europe, and to experience Tapas.

we will be 6 people...with 1 child (7yr old)....

I'm not quite sure how this tapas bar hoping works.....realistically, how many bars do you normally hit in 1 night? i guess if you eat a lot, you might be done with 1 bar...and call it a night .... But do you normally eat like 3-4 plates each and move to the next one?

sorry for my ignorance, but i just want to clear this scenario in my head and make a realistic plan.

Im looking at google maps, and trying to see the locations of the tapas bars im trying to hit, (tapac24, cal pep, taller de tapas, Paco meralgo, 41 degrees, tickets, euskal etxea, el vaso de oro,...) and they are relatively far apart. (unless i am misjudging the distance) ...which makes me wonder how is this gonna work....and it gives me an impression that you would normally just pick a place, and that would be it for the night. (which would suck coz' i would like to try as many places as possible)

I still have to make reservations on some of them, so i wanted to make sure if we are hitting more than 1 per night, i should at least choose the ones that are close to eachother and not across town. Unless all this requires multiple cab rides...

So, can someone educate me on this.... what would be a good line up in 1 night? Is the El born area and Gotic area good places to start despite being known as touristy. (which is what we are...)... are there other good places down there that you can recommend that is not on my list?

We are staying in the Eixample area...i read that there are good tapas bars here too....can anyone recommend a good line up there too? so we can just walk from one place to another?

We are spending our NYE dinner at HISOP also, and im trying to get a reservation for Cinc Sentits and Neichel. Im very excited about this whole trip. :)

Thanks in advance.

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  1. There are no set numbers on how many tapas/pintxos bars or how many dishes to order. Depends on each individual place as some things are just bits while other plate is like a half portion.These places are as much about drinking as eating. Pintxos places are pretty much the same: a long counter with bite size room temperature food in platters for you to help yourself. Keep the toothpicks, shells, etc, for later bill settling. Periodically, platters of hot items will appear for everyone to take. Take a few, go back for more if you like the place, if not move on. All items have a single price.
    Tapas places comes in all forms: from the simple Quimet y Quimet where food are served room temperature (slices of cured meat, cheeses, clams on pieces of roasted peppers), to elaborate concoctions served at places like Tickets, Santa Maria, Cata1.81, Comerc24 or its simpler more traditional sister Tapac24. PacoMeralgo and Cerverseria Catalana are more traditional, less designer. All have large menus, table waiter service. These places, including Cal Pep (with 6 people and a child, skip it as it does not take reservations for their counter), one tends to eat an entire meal though there is no rule that you must. Never order everything at once which is not the spirit of tapas eating (exception are places that offer a tasting menu); order a few to start, order more as you go, eating as much as you want. For whatever reason you don't like the place, move on.
    For tapas/pintxos crawl: there are clusters of places in every areas of Barcelona. Don't think in term of the 'greatest hits" for a single lunch or dinner. One will need the stamina of a marathon runner and lots of time and still impossible. Think in term of a few places close together in a particular area. A general comment that tapas/pintxos places are not always about food but also the ambience. There will be things that are not great but hopefully in good places, that will be exceptions. Pick an area:
    Bari Gotic: around Placa del Pi and Placa St. Josep: Bar del Pi, Irati, Taller de Tapas (since you mentioned it), Convent del Angel, El Portalo, La Peneda. This area and around the Cathedral are the most pleasant of the Gotic. Except for breakfast of coffee/pastry, skip all the places on c/Ferran.
    El Born: best area is lower part of c/de l'Argenteria/Placa Santa Maria del Mar/Placa and c/Montcado: Sagardi, La Vinya del Senyor (great wines, simple tapas, best terrace seating), Euskal Etxea, Tapeo, El Xampanyet, La Tinaja; another Taller de Tapas. Lots more. El Vasco toward the edge of Barceloneta; think it is too far to drag a child.
    Eixample: the area is large, the blocks long and can be nondescript, therefore, it is impossible to cover the whole Eixample. I would concentrate around Ramblas de Catalunya: Cuidal Condal, La Bodegueta, Cerverseria Catalana, Taller de Tapas, Cinco Jotas; a little further west is one of the best pintxos bar, Taktika Berri; also another Sagardi. There are also a cluster of places further up toward the Diagional. Avoid the big barnlike places on the lower Pg de Gracia.
    Some general comments:
    Most places in central Barcelona will have tourists; many tourist like you like good food. A restaurant like Cinc Sentits is about 75% visitors, therefore, go with it.
    Large group of 6 plus a child will make tapas/pintxos crawl a little more difficult. Some are small and stand up only; others have bar stools but it can be packed and stool are hard to come by. Definitely need to google map the places.
    Holiday period can be tricky as to what places are open.
    Hope the above is helpful.

    17 Replies
    1. re: PBSF

      PBSF and erica, THANK YOU SO MUCH! this is very good insight and also great recommendations.....so many choices....hopefully i will have enought time. We will be in Barcelona for around 10 days...and valencia for 3 days. Are these tapas places open for lunch as well? or is this usually just an evening thing?
      Will most of them accept credit card/visa/MC? or are these places more cash based?

      Thank you again...this is a lot of help!

      1. re: erickp

        Barcelona: most tapas/pintxos places are open for lunch and dinner. Some open throughout the day. And many in the center open until midnight and later. Non Spanish visitors tend to eat early as many are not crowded until after 9pm. Also many are open 7 days a week, great for Sundays as most sit down places are closed. Taktika Berri is one of the few that has odd closing: Saturday night and all day Sunday. The high end tapas places such as Comerc24, Santa Maria are closed Sundays and some also Mondays. Most will except credit cards.
        10 days is a good amount of time to sample a lot of different types of Catalan food. There are some wonderful neighborhoods just beyond the center: Gracia just beyond the Diagonal is where many locals eat and shop; also Sarria/Sant Gervasi (Hisop is on the western edge) that has a bit of bohemian with good cafes and a few great tapas places. Don't know what your budget is. Aside from tapas/pintxtos places which are not expensive, there are many fun everyday sit down places that does not bust ones budget. They can be a down to earth, not much on decor and the food can be a big heavy. But that is what most locals eat.
        For a group, I would definitely recommend La Paradeta for seafood. It is a no frill, pick your seafood from the counter, tell them to cook it one of three ways, pick up the sauces and drinks and pay. Informal and festival and quite modest for very good seafood. The branch in El Born has better ambience than that of the Eixample.
        Didn't answer your reservation question: pintxos places will not take reservations. Tapas places that are sit down/menu ordering such as PacoMeralgo, Cerverseria Catalana, El Xampanyet, Taller de Tapas will take reservations. High-end tapas places definitely reserve. Bar type tapas such as El Vasco, El Portalon, Bar del Pi, etc, will not. With 7 people, definitely reserve if you can, otherwise, eat early.
        Barcelona has a very good public transport system. Taxis are plentiful and not expensive as the center is quite compact; maybe 7 people wouldn't fit into one.

        1. re: PBSF

          These are really great advice....wow. I think i am done.
          Here's our itinerary. We will be there during Dec 26-Jan 9. Unfortunately Some restaruants will be closed during this time...but it seems barcelona is never lacking of good places to eat.

          So, on the "tapas TBD"...its still open for anything..and the parenthesis are where im planning to go as far as tourist attraction....also tentative since i have no idea how long we should spend in each place...or how far it will be from the food places that are good. So, i need to pair it properly. BTW...i have not done research on the tourist spots..hahaha...im doing my food research FIRST...and working around that. So, i have no idea what are the cool places are....so, forgive me if i am listing things that are lame.

          Arrive Dec 26-
          Dec 27 - tapas TBD (maybe go to Passeig de gracia)
          Dec 28 -Neichel (lunch or dinner...maybe dinner) (Sagrada Famila, Casa Mila)
          Dec 29-Tapas TBD ( Casa Batilo, Palau de la Musica Catalana)
          Dec 30 - shop at la Boqueria for food since most places will be closed on NYE and NYD. (any good places to buy food in the market? some jamon and quezo?) (we might go to Gruell park)
          Dec 31- NYE dinner at HISOP
          Jan 1- Tapas TBD (Barri gothic or picasso museum)
          Jan 2- Tapas TBD (rituels d'orient, city history museum??)
          Jan 3- Cinc Sentits Lunch (if we get a reservation)
          Jan 4-7 Valencia (will eat at Ca Sento for sure...)
          Jan 8- Tapas TBD

          So, i have many opportunites to EAT! :) and the list you gave me is awesome!!

          the thing now is to figure out how to PAIR the tourist attractions with the lunch and Dinner locations....so, well....i'll research the tourist attraction later.....i need to get my tapas line up set!

          i have to read thru your recommendations and Ericas' and check out the locations and webistes....and secure reservations whenever i can.

          Thank you again for everything....this is REALLY helpful.

          Just to share with you guys some of the places i've been....i still need to author a blog, but i have very little time...so, i only have pictures for now in my smugmug account. I'll get to wordpress after my big trip.
          I am going on a 1.5 month trip to japan and china next month, and it is going to be an extensive food trip as well...but here is where im at!

          http://erickpangilinan.smugmug.com/

          Thanks again.

          1. re: erickp

            Parc Guell: definitely pack a lunch as there is nothing much around it for eating.
            Boqueria: it is loaded with stall selling cured meat and cheese. They all carrying basically the same stuff: check the prices and also also the condition of the jamon and if they are slicing from the fat part and not the end. The best jamon Iberico is Carrasco. Boqueria is a showcase but better shopping at Santa Caterina in upper El Born.
            Cinc Sentits: should have no trouble getting a lunch reservation. Current policy, they take reservations two weeks in advance.
            Other than Hisop, Neichel and Cinc Sentits, rest of the meals are all tapas? might be an overload.
            I would definitely go down to Barceloneta for Sunday midday meal of seafood and rice dishes (not paella, that is for Valencia). It is a festive scene, even in January. Otherwise much of Barcelona is Sunday daytime quiet.
            Yes, do check out sightseeing as there are much more than Gaudi and museums. Barcelona is a beautiful city and it is very different from day to night. But like other big cities, the heavy car traffic can be wearing. With ten days, might get out of the city: Girona, Figuere, Poblet.
            Valencia: would love to hear your experience at Ca Sento.

            1. re: PBSF

              yes...i heard about Parc Gruell.

              aside from the 3 big meal....the rest can be a mix of tapas and restaurants....i will definitely try the seafood place and other good sit down places you recommend.

              I like to stay in barcelona so i get a good feel for it and enjoy everything it has....valencia is our out of town excursion.

              i'll post a trip report when i get back...thanks

          2. re: PBSF

            I'm pretty certain that El Xampanyet does not take reservations. It's a small bar, with only a few tables. I've only been there 6 or 7 times, but I've never seen them hold a table for anyone.

        2. re: PBSF

          do you guys recommend booking in http://www.bcnrestaurantes.com? is that a reliable website to book?
          So, i have reservations confirmed at these places...and the * is still waiting for confirmation.
          dec 27-tickets/41 degrees
          dec 28- Paco Meralgo* and Neichel
          Dec 29- Tapas
          Dec 30- Aklima*
          Dec 31- Hisop
          Jan 1- TBA ( La Dama? Botafumeiro? Gelnoch? Gresa?
          )Jan 2- Cinc Sentits*
          Jan 3- El Motel @Figueres
          Jan 4 - Ca Sento*( @Valencia
          Jan 5 - TBA??? @ valencia
          Jan 6 - TBA??? @valencia
          Jan 7 - TBA?? @barcelona

          So, i have Jan 1...which is usually CLOSED for most places....i was wondering which one of these would be a good choice.....I've gotten great reviews on all La Dama, Botafumeiro, Gelnoch, Gresa,....but what do you guys think?

          also, i need to fill my lunches with some "normal" priced meals....so i don't break my bank account with all these crazy meals. (i'm paying for my entire family....all 5 of them!!! so you can imagine what my bank account will look like after this trip) I will probalby hit some Tapas place for lunch too...

          a friend of mine who lives in spain sent me this list....let me know what you guys think. Im not sure if he is a foodie or even cares about food....so, i dont know what to make of it.

          El Asador de Aranda
          La Lonja De Tapas
          Chardonnay
          Pousada Caballito Blanco
          7 Portes
          Casa Lucio
          Casa Julio

          are any of these worth going to or considering? im looking now for lunch places or modest priced meals but GOOD....so it will balance my retirement fund killer meals..

          and is bcnrestaurants.com good to book? reliable? or should i just call them up long distance?

          Thanks again guys.

          -----
          Casa Lucio
          Calle Cava Baja, 35, Madrid, Madrid 28005, ES

          1. re: erickp

            I began a thread here about lechazo and the consensus was that it was better to wait until you are in the lamb zone rather than try it in one of the Aranda outposts in Madrid or Barcelona.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/739228

            You should plan one paella/rice meal in Valencia; this is usually taken at lunch.

            Tapac24 in Barcelona is not expensive and I thought the food was very good. I wrote about it in my report. You should also have a meal or two at the Boqueria; I liked Quim very much. Not inexpensive but you can eat well for not all that much money if you order correctly.

            I am not sure if calcots will be around yet, but if they are, you might want to take the train/cable car to Can Marti; even if they are not in season, this would be a great, local venue and it is very reasonable.

            http://www.bcnrestaurantes.com/eng/ba...

            1. re: erica

              Hi erica,

              yes, i read your article...makes me more curious about this Lamb dish...roast pig is also good. :) The website looks good too for El Asador de Aranda. Although prices on the menu... and they seem to have more than 1 location in barcelona?
              We are definitely going to Tapac24 and a bunch of other tapas place that PBSF recommended.
              Ca Sento was going to be our paella meal...but im sure we will have another one....just going to do some paella search later...but if you have a good rec, that wouldnt hurt.

              I've reserved most of the big dinners at night, coz' i dont want to conflict them with the day trips to the tourist places.....i have to "pair" the lunches with the appropriate tourist spot so it wont be too inconvenient. Or else, we will be victims of last minute bad meal decisions, and it would just kill me to realize later that a really good restaurant was just next door or a few blocks down. :)
              Here's our tour open plan...NOTE, i just typed this stuff in without any indept research...so comments and advice are always welcome...but this is very early itinerary.
              dec27- Passeig de gracia or Barceloneta
              dec 28-Sagrada Familia, casa Mila
              Dec 29- casa Batlo, Palau de la Musica Catalana
              Dec 30- La Boqueria, Guell Park
              Dec 31- open
              Jan 1- open
              Jan 2- City history museum, Rituels d'orient
              Jan 3- Dali museum Figueres
              Jan 4- open? valencia
              Jan 5 - Science center/guliver park @ valencia
              jan 6- open? valencia
              jan 7- back to BCN. Open
              Jan 8- Open BCN.
              Jan9- go home. :(

              So, im sure im missing a tourist spot here and there...and might have paired the wrong things together, or misjudge the time on some of these.....maybe i can combine stuff in 1 day or something....but this is where i am planning to be...and would like to know convinient but GOOD lunch places to pair these locations to.

              So, i assume www.bcnrestaurantes.com is reliable?

              Thanks!

            2. re: erickp

              La Dama: modern take on Catalan cooking; beautiful and unsual decor in an old mansion.

              Botafumeiro: tn classic Galician seafood house in Barcelona.

              Gelonch (have not been) and Gracia; modern Catalan cooking similiar to Hisop.

              If you are considering budget, the first two are very expensive. There have been many earlier posts on all four. Do a search on this board if you are interested in them.

              New Years Day: an alternative is that many tapas places will be open

              Asador de Aranda: they do a good job on roast lamb; they do not serve suckling pig. Moderate, about 35 euro for food if one goes for a complete dinner. Go during prime dinner time, around 9pm or after to make sure of getting lamb right out of the oven and not been sitting around. I've been to the branches in Pau Claris and Tibidabo and the Tibidabo one has much better ambience. Same for all asadors that do roast meat, busy is important.

              Your friends list:

              Longja de Tapas: fusion tapas; stark modern decor; hip young crowd.

              Chardonnay: ok, nothing special

              7Portes: old classic place in Barceloneta; good seafood and arroz; some say it is overprice but one always pay for cache and for the name. Barceloneta is best on Sunday midday.

              Others I have not been.

              An earlier poster recommend eating in the Boqueria. The places inside are all small counter kioske. Unless you are there very early for breakfast (around 7am) or late afternnon arund 4pm, chances of getting a seat for 7 people is almost nil. Shut down by 5pm ot earlier.

              Everyday place: these are good value simple everyday places; may not be GOOD to everyones taste. Great ingredients do not come cheap, especially seafood, great meat, etc, therefore, can't expect these in places where a hearty meal with house wine for around 15 euro or less. Decor and service can be quite basic. Here is my list: Sant Joan, Foxos, Surency, La Cova Fumada, Can Mano, Can Mao, Anima, the lunch menu at Goliard are just a few. Most do not take reservations, therefore, go there at noon when it opens, there should be seats. Good moderate seafood at La Paradeta (El Born) and El Barkito. I have mentioned just about all of these in earlier posts. Type the name in the search box " the past 5 years" and you'll get the earlier threads.

              I have not used BCN personally but couple of friends had no trouble with it.

              I am sure you are taking into account while planning, sightsseeing and lunch should be close by otherwise, too much time and energy is wasted.

              1. re: PBSF

                Oh, my mistake about recommending Boqueria for lunch; I did not notice that there will be 7 people.

                I wish I had a great paella recommendation in Valencia for you. There is a fairly new restaurant in the center that is a branch of a highly respected rice place in Benisano.
                I think I had received the tip about it here. It opened early this year and might be worth looking into. I wish I had gone there instead of the place I ended up.

                http://www.restaurantelevante.com/con...

                You must have the black rice dish at Ca Sento. This is a contemporary take on paella and does not substitute for the actual paella or other rice dishes that you should try while you are in the city. (Remember that paella is but one of several types of Valencian rice dishes)

                1. re: erica

                  I'll check out R. Levante, and definitely go to Ca Sento. I saw your post and blog...so good! My favorite is that black squid paella....i wish there was a cooking class i can take to learn how to do that....i already know how to cook regular paella.
                  thanks

                  1. re: erickp

                    You are in luck, because the chef of Ca Sento does give cooking classes!

                    His next one will be on September 12, 65 euro for three hours, but you could write and see when his next one will take place. He will not demonstrate the paella in this course, though:

                    http://escuelafoodandfun.es/curso-coc...

                2. re: PBSF

                  PBSF,
                  Yeah, you are right... La Dama is expensive. Damn.... and Eating at Gelonch and Gracia might be just redundant. 30-40 euros per person is probably what im looking for...

                  so, is there a good place for suckling pig? like in that Andrew Zimmerman show in Madrid?

                  Yeah, your posts is all over the board, and it is very complete....just gotta go thru them all, and check the websites over and over, and mark them in google maps to see the locations and how they relate to eachother.

                  it should all work out.

                  thanks!

                  1. re: erickp

                    I have not seen any of Andrew Zimmerman's food/travel programs. If he filmed an episode on roast suckling pig in Madrid, it ws probably at the classic Botin. I have not been able to eat roast suckling pig after being served a half of a suckling pig with all its inards of no more than 2 kilos at a restaurant in Andalusia. One of the few places that serve it in Barcelona is Asador de Burgos which I have never been. It seems that the grill is very popular method to cook meat in most Barcelona asadors.

                    1. re: PBSF

                      Ok...here's my thoughts....SINCE we are 7 people, with a kid! I figure, it should be best to secure a sit down place for lunch and dinner...so, it satisfies the kid situation, and the adults can go to other tapas places after as an option.
                      Which means, that the choices for the lunch and dinner location has to be solid! coz' everything else will just be supplemental.
                      Also, im trying to pair the tourist attractions...which brings me to another problem of figuring out how long does one normally stay in these places...(i know its subjective but im thinking most of these places can be squeezed between Lunch and dinner? so, we can afford to have a slow start in the morning.. hit lunch and then tourist attraction...then diiner!...then maybe more tapas and drinks!! what do you think?

                      Ok...schedule so far.

                      Here's the tour places we wanted to see. (got from tripadvisor.com)
                      Palau de la Musica
                      Casa Batllo
                      Sagrada Familia
                      Casa Mila
                      La Boqueria
                      Guell Parc
                      Gaudi Museum
                      Rituels d'orient
                      Dali Museum
                      The various tourist streets like Las Rambla, Passeig de gracia, Barceloneta, ..etc

                      Dec 27 - lunch - OPEN dinner - Tickets?? 41deg?? (still waiting to reserve) tour: OPEN
                      Dec 28 - lunch- Paco Meralgo dinner- Neichel (yeah, i know they are far apart..) tour Open
                      Dec 29 - Lunch-im thinking sit down tapas place like Santa Maria, or Cerveceria Catalana, or El Glop Dinner- EL asador de Aranda ( might just go to the one on londres since that's just 2 blocks from our hotel..unless the other place is really worth the effort)
                      Dec 30- lunch- Aklima (maybe squeeze sagrada familia here) Dinner-?? OPEN..or do Aklima for dinner here...which means, i could go for another solid tapas sit down place for lunch...or PLA.
                      Dec 31- Lunch - Open (maybe go to Boqueria) NYE Dinner- HISOP
                      Jan 1- Lunch - thinking of Euskal Etxea..Dinner- Sagardi Gotic
                      Jan 2- Lunch- Cinc Sentits Dinner- Open (sit down tapas)
                      Jan 3- Lunch -El Motel in Figueres to visit the Dali museum, Dinner - either Geloch or Grasca (will we make it back in time??)
                      Jan 4 7-valencia (am i staying too long in Valencia?) will eat at Ca Sento.
                      Jan 7-8 Open.

                      I'll check the Asador de Burgos too....coz' im really curious about that suckling pig.

                      1. re: erickp

                        I believe that Tickets and 41 are closed the entire time during your visit. I am also planning a trip to BCN during this week and have resigned myself to not being able to go to either restaurant. I noticed in one of your earlier itineraries that you were thinking of going to the Picasso museum on Jan 1, they are closed that day according to their website. Also, can you tell me more about your New Years Eve dinner at Hisop? That date is blacked out on BcnRestaurants.com so I didn't think they were open. And their website keeps crashing my computer. How much is their tasting menu and how did you arrange the reservation? Thanks!

            3. As far as Valencia goes, there is a concentration of tapas places within an easy walk of the central market/Carmen areas; I wrote about two of these in this report (Tasca Angel and La Pilareta). No need to reserve at either.
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/785066

              1. It's pretty hard to move around with 7 people at the tapas bars in the Barri Gothic area. Sagardi is standing room only (no chairs). My partner didn't enjoy eating while standing so on our tapas crawls we tended toward the larger places with ample seating. Taller de Tapas was one of our favorites and had lots of seating for larger parties. We actually went there 2 nights in a row because there are so many pinxtos/tapas bars in that area that we wanted to try that we wouldn't have been able to sample everything in one night.

                I thought Alkimia was the highlight of our trip, and we did the lunch prix fixe there before heading over to Sagrada Familia a few blocks away. It also allowed us to avoid the insane lines in the morning, and we didn't have to worry about being hungry while waiting or visiting.

                We visited in August when most of the high end restaurants were closed, so you're lucky you have your pick of places - I would have loved to go to Cinc Sentis!

                11 Replies
                1. re: windycity

                  There is also a branch of Sagardi in Valencia, but I've not been, so....

                  1. re: erica

                    COOL! i will check it out...aside from the other tapas places you mentioned.

                  2. re: windycity

                    Sagardi Gotic?? standing room only?? i just looked at pictures from BCN restaurants and it seems like it has a lot of tables.
                    http://www.bcnrestaurantes.com/eng/ba...
                    is this the same branch?? this is Carrer de l' Argenteria, 62 (Barcelona). Pl. Jacint Reventós

                    yes...we cant go to standing room only....im planning that style for after dinner and late drinking with the adults when our daughter is ready to sleep.

                    1. re: erickp

                      Sagardi has an adjoining seat down restaurant that serves Basque food. Pintxos strictly standup only though there is a lot of space. Same for the Eixample and other branches. Food basically the same in all but the real fun action is in El Born. Same setup for Taktika Berri and Euskal Extea though both have a few stools. I've seen a football team squeezed into Taktika Berri but it does get crowded, so be warned. That is fun part of pintxos eating. There are pintxos places where you can sit down at a table: those barnlike places on the first couple blocks of Pg de Gracia, several places on Las Ramblas and a couple on c/Ferran. Those all strict;y for non-discriminating visitors, more for fun time than for the food.These are all large places, therefore, they can accommodate almost everyone.
                      If you want to truly sit down, make reservations at some of the bigger tapas places such as Taller de Tapas, Cerverseria Catalana, PacoMeralgo, Santa Maria, Cata1.81. Some do have some seating such as Bar de PLA, La Bodegeueta but they are smaller places and do not take reservations. Because I never reserve at any tapas places, I really can't tell you which one will take reservations except for those above. Hopefully some other posters can help.
                      You are very much into food and doing the planning, what are the tastes of the rest of the group. Are they casual about it? That might be helpful in further recommendations.

                      1. re: PBSF

                        I think your list is pretty good to follow. I will hit these places up as the main places to go for the lunch or dinner since they seem to be the most comfortable.....
                        Taller de Tapas, Cerverseria Catalana, PacoMeralgo, Santa Maria, Cata1.81...and the rest will be optional. We cant go to a bar-frat house loud environment with a kid,....id rather do that when the i go out after hours when it will be easier.
                        Everyone is pretty much open to food....im very much into high end eating...but have to put the brakes on a bit coz' im paying for everyone.
                        This is gonna be an awesome trip....

                        We are going to Figueres and Girona...has anyone been to El Motel? and Cal Ros in Girona? Im wondering if we have dinner in Girona...will we be able to make it back to BCN? Does the trains have a last car going from Girona to BCN? or should we just eat dinner in BCN?

                        1. re: erickp

                          Never been to either restaurants.
                          Last train leaves Girona for Barcelona around 21.30. Below is the link for Renfe to check for train schedule:
                          http://horarios.renfe.es/hir/ingles.html

                          1. re: PBSF

                            ah...cool....i guess we'll be eating in BCN. :) thanks

                          2. re: erickp

                            Euskal Etxea can get crowded but is not like a frat house. Many families do go there. I would never miss this place which is one of the best tapas joints not only in the Borne but in Barcelona.
                            Euskal Etxea has stools in the bar area and also a sitdown area - a real restaurant - in the back.
                            I lived practically above Sagardi Gotic and went there once and did not go back. It was not disgusting, just lackluster compared to the other places in the old town or nearby Barceloneta like Euskal Etxea, Bilbao Berria, El Vaso de Oro. The latter, like the rest of Barceloneta, does get very intense after 8pm.
                            Cervecera Catalana, similar setup as Euskal Etxea in that it has a bar area with stools plus a restaurant area. You may want to team up Cervecera Catalana with visits of the nearby Gaudi houses.
                            Another family-oriented place with good tapas in the old town is Bilbao Berria, on the square of the old cathedral. The bar has tables and chairs throughout. You get a plate, fill it up at the bar with whatever looks good to you, then sit down at a table. Tip: the hot dishes are in the back area of the bar counter.
                            For such a touristy location, Bilbao Berria is frequented by a lot of locals, especially the Sunday churchgoers and the Castellers crowd. Oh the children, and adults, will love the Castellers on the Catheral square.

                            1. re: Parigi

                              I also prefer Euskal Etxea to Sagardi but that could be as much about the atmosphere as the food, which I'm not convinced is really different. Why? Because Euskal Etxea, Golfo de Bizkaia, Irati, and Sargardi (plus others) are all part of the same conglomerate - Grupo Sargardi.

                              I've seen the managers meeting together before so I assume they coordinate some things. It makes sense to assume they're supplying their restaurants from the same sources so the ingredients used are most likely the same and I'm pretty sure the cold "standards" like crab salad, gildas, various tuna pintxos, tartlets and the like are identical.
                              (Oh, and did you mean to mention castellers or the Sardana dancers? I don't know of a regular performance by castellers at that location, but there are weekly Sardana gatherings at the cathedral and Placa Sant Jaume.)

                              1. re: Parigi

                                ...And by Castellers you must mean Sardana dancers? Although I wish the plaça in front of the Catedral had castells every Sunday, I believe it only happens very rarely.

                                1. re: SnackHappy

                                  I was very lucky with the Castelers then. :-)

                                  As for Sagardi vs Euskal, Euskal has a much wider variety of tapas, and they were just tastier. Sagardi's tapas also had dryish bread. Sorriest, original sin.

                      2. Some of these palces get extemely busy, loud, lot of drinking, etc in busy times--you may wish to mention that to the parents of the child.