Tapas near Passeig de Gracia in BCN
Our first time in BCN w/ my wife, we're staying in an apartment near Casa Mila on Passeig de Gracia. Trying to narrow down a few tapas places nearby. Which of the ones below would be your top 3? Our order of importance is food quality (#1), price, ambiance, booze.
La Cuina d'en Garriga
Let me first disqualify myself as I much prefer 'dining' as opposed to tapas-style. For example, I found Paco Meralgo extremely boring. The food was fine, but I speculate that the much love it receives here is because English is spoken; it has a formal menu; and expansive seating. There may be some daily specials (I don't recall) but the rest is available all year round, so strikes me as middle-of-the-road (but competent). BUT it is open Sundays (always a challenge in Barcelona).
I did enjoy Tapas24 - but didn't return! It struck me as more creative, but you're at a frenetic counter (or tiny table) and dishes come out randomly.
Even the much-lauded (deservedly) Tickets is hectic - just not dining - the Tapas experience is more of a 'fast lunch' style for me.
BUT, given your location, please do try Moments in the Shangri La hotel FOR LUNCH. They have a prix-fixe lunch that is an absolute bargain - IMO one of the best places in Barcelona and a real deal.
Also Gresca is no further than Paco meralgo - and a great place. I'd spring for their tasting menu (needs to be specified in advance) - although their regular menu is excellent too.
Interesting perception of Paco Meralgo. Our server spoke little or no English (we were at the bar) and while we consulted a menu we mostly saw what others were getting and what was arrayed along the bar and ordered that way. But, yes, if you want non-tapas 'style' then you probably would like it.
Also interested in your experience at Tickets. Nothing fast the night we were there. I believe it took us 2-1/2 hours to work our way through the lovely meal. No rushing and everything was timed perfectly. But, again, if you want "meat and three" then, no, not your cup of tea.
Hi Estufarian, thx for the reply and you being from Toronto really helps me out too. I read your previous BCN posts about your experience at Ruscadella's restaurant in Sant Pau and decided to book Moments for my wife's 40th bday dinner (tasting menu). I couldn't get reservations for Tickers or 41degrees online, but figured maybe trying Tapas24 will be a hint of the "El bulli" experience. Will add Gresca to my list too.
I made my reservations early, and the time I was at Tickets (Tuesday) they did allow a few walk-ins - these people were there at opening(7:00) and maybe a dozen actually got in. No guarantees, of course, but probably worth a try - especially on a Tue (or Wed) which may be less popular. If you strike out it's still way too early for most restaurants anyway, so you'll have plenty of time to go somewhere else.
I have seen 41grados tickets come up irregularly at short notice. Earlier this year you had to pay fully in advance, so cancellations were rare, but now it's "just" a 50€ deposit, so cancellations are more likely (I just saw a 2-top for Jan 11 on their site). For me, the 'experience' was my greatest meal EVER - not only is the food fantastic, but the way it's 'choreographed' with the sound and light 'show' elevates the whole thing - nothing else can compete! If it's available, trust me - break the bank (even at 240€ pp, including wine), it's a bargain by world standards.
Of those listed, we've only been to Paco Meralgo which we thought was great. You can find here a review I wrote of it. Highly recommend and I'd definitely sit up at the bar if you can. Have a great time.