Cal Pep, a Barcelona institution

When I did my research, talking to people and reading up on it there  is one place that always comes up. Cal Pep. It was so consistent I had to put it on the top of my list for our visit. Last time I went to Barcelona I sort of just went, this time I wanted to have done my research and ended up with a foodie “must visit” list longer than my arm!

We started at Grand Hotel Central, perfectly located in the Gothic district and within walking distance of most things. It is modern, sleek and very relaxing.

There was a small but great welcome message, it made us feel very welcome and happy Barcelona_HotelSweets

The lounge Hotelcentral_lounge

The beautiful rooftop pool Barcelona_HotelPool

The staff is lovely and I would be happy to come back!

The Cal Pep tapas bar/restaurant was about a 10 minutes walk from the hotel and we could see a few people waiting already, we had gone for a quite early just, about 7.30 PM on purpose but it was a quick wait and it was great just watching the busy kitchen and Pep running his stab of chefs and waiters, all seeming able to coordinate with an astonishing speed and precision in a small space. Pep spotted us and waived us through to the little dining room in the back! I wanted to try and get us a table but we didn’t think we would be able to as the tables are very few, and there we were, whisked through and quickly seated.


No menu was presented, you eat what they bring and if you are still hungry when the food stops you can order more. I love the concept and sometimes it is nice to go out and not have to make any decisions. Once established that we like pretty much everything the food started coming and we were in for a treat!

Served to us was a lovely selection of tapas.

Tuna tartare Barcelona_TunaTartar_CalPepI

Anchovy on toast CalPep_Anchovy_bite

Deep fried artichokes, served in just about every tapas bar, crunchy and salty


Octopus with a dusting of smoked paprika CalPep_Squid

The best Jamon we tasted, tender, sweet, salty and it just melted on my tongue.CalPep_JamonIberico

Tortilla, perfectly cookedCalPep_Tortilla

Our favourite, and that I have tried to re create, clams in broth, it was so delicious we could have eaten just a big, big bowl of them on their own and the broth was so good we mopped everything up with some bread!


To go with the tapas we continued on the Spain theme and washed it all down with the bottle of Rioja


The tapas stopped here and I have to say there was only room for some pacharan and a tiny biscuit, it did make me think of that wafer thin mint scene in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, without getting quite that full of course!


It was a lovely meal, wonderful tapas in a great atmosphere, I will make sure I come here again when going to Barcelona!

2 Responses to “Cal Pep, a Barcelona institution”
  1. Any other recommendations? I’m off to barcelona in a month or so and would be grateful for any suggestions

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