tradition in Barcelona

Aperitivo: a social and delicious tradition in Barcelona

Today we talk about a common tradition in Barcelona: aperitivo. But first we have to know some things.

Barcelona is an astonishing city. There is so much to visit: walking around the majestic Gothic quarter with its incomparable narrow streets and charming squares; the well-known Ramblas; Raval neighbourhood with Botero’s cat; renting an apartment in el Born and discovering its unique bohemian environment… we could walk and walk for days and we still wouldn’t have discovered all the secret corners of this breathtaking city.

This is why, while visiting Barcelona, we usually walk for hours with no rest. This is a mistake! Having a break and enjoying an aperitivo is one of the things we can’t miss when we visit the Catalan capital.

But, what is aperitivo? In this post we talk about this social and delicious tradition in Barcelona and we present some of the most popular ones.

What does aperitivo mean?

Aperitivo (appetizer in English) is the light meal that is taken to whet the appetite, before the main meal of noon or before dinner.

Meanwhile in some countries it is usually done on designated dates or holidays and it is not common to do it daily, it is a tradition extended to any day of the week in Spain.

Additionally, it is not only a gastronomic event but also a social tradition. This way, it is very common to meet with friends or family to enjoy a delicious aperitivo and spend some time together. This way, you can leave your apartment in Eixample to walk along this great area and, eventually, meet with some friends to enjoy a tasty aperitivo.

Aperitivo is usually composed by some drinks (such as beer, vermouth or soft drinks) and tapas.

Tapas: tradition in Barcelona


Vermouth is a wine marinated in herbs served during aperitivo. It is composed of white wine, wormwood and other bitter substances. These wines have a characteristic aroma that provides them a particular elegance for a cocktail or aperitivo. Generally, you can find two types: red and white.

The red vermouth is sweet, while white is dry, with a higher alcohol content.

Having a fresh vermouth with olives in a terrace enjoying a sunny midday is a very typical tradition in Barcelona.

Patatas Bravas

The patatas bravas are potatoes cut into irregular dice fried in oil and accompanied by a spicy sauce (known as brava sauce) that is poured over the potatoes serving the whole hot set.

This is a traditional dish not only in Barcelona but also in most of the regions of Spain, where it is usually taken accompanied by beer or wine.

It is usually considered one of the cheapest tapas due to the low cost of its ingredients.

aperitivo tradition in Barcelona

Fried Calamari

Fried calamari (also called calamari a la romana or rabas) are a fried product prepared with fried squid batter or octopus batter or flour. Those are a traditional dish of Mediterranean cuisine.

In Barcelona they are usually served as a tapa in many bars and they are one of the stars of aperitivo.

As some other seafood dishes are usually served together with a slice of lemon, to squeeze it on the ration.

Pa amb tomàquet

Bread with tomato (pa amb tomàquet or pa amb tomata in the different dialects of Catalan) is a traditional meal Catalan cuisine.

It is considered one of the typical examples that define the Mediterranean diet. It consists of a slice of bread with half a ripe tomato scrubbed and seasoned with olive oil and salt.

So, now that you know the most popular tapas and drinks, do not hesitate to take a break, take a sit in a terrace and enjoy this delicious tradition in Barcelona.

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Aperitivo: a social and delicious tradition in Barcelona
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