I spent 2 months in Barcelona last spring. I wanted to give myself the time to not only know the city, but the people and the culture. My family is from north Catalonia and I’ve never been in Spain before so that was a really good way of getting in touch with my roots.
What did I do those 2 months? Well basically drink cava and have tapas every single day. Because that’s what you do in Barcelona, you EAT and you DRINK.
I went to a lot of bars which they pretty much have the same concept: A nice terrace in the street were you order some tapas and drink -a lot- of cava.
If you’re never been to Spain let me introduce you a little bit about the concept of tapas and cava.
Tapas is what spanish call appetizers/snacks that you eat with a drink. Usually you have tapas instead of dinner in the evening. You order a variety of different tapas and that counts as a meal.
There are infinitely different types of tapas. Usually it can be some ham or chorizo on top of a piece of baguette bread, or some seafood or olives in a little stick (pinxos) or fried squid (chopitos).
Of course tapas always have to be eaten with a drink. Usually a caña (draft beer) or cava (my favorite).
Cava is a variety of sparking wine which is produced in the region of Catalonia. It’s usually a little bit dryer than the sparkling wine that you can get in Chile and Argentina. It tastes similar to prosseco (Italian sparkling wine).
Because I was in Catalonia and I’ve always been a sparkling wine lover, I made sure I drink as much cava as I can while I was there.
Looking for the best places to have cava in Barcelona I found out the one that turned to be my favorite. Now I always recommend it to everyone that travels to Barcelona: Can Paixano.
It’s also known as “La Xampanyeria” and it’s an old -rustic style- tiny bar in the middle of Barceloneta. No signs outside, no advertising. Actually from the outside it looks like a shithole. But OH MY GOD what you can find inside!!!
Can Paixano is the ultimate tapa and cava experience in Barcelona. First of all: no tables, no chairs. Everyone is just standing up in front of a big wooden bar. You can buy a bottle of cava for less than 5 euros, but only before 5pm. After that just glasses starting from 1 euro. They have different kind of cava: semi sec, brut, extra brut, rossé, etc. It’s important to know that this place ONLY sells cava, so if you are looking for cheap beer you can just stay in Plaça de la Universitat and don’t even bother to go down there.
And you have to do it the spanish way, so if you drink you have to eat. Can Paixano have the cheapest tapas I have ever seen not only in Barcelona but in Spain. I definitely recommend their butifarras (my mouth is watering just thinking about it).They also have amazing sandwiches. Try the one with blue cheese or the one with jamón serrano. What can I say? HEAVEN.
Make sure you go there early, because it used to be a small unknown place, but in the past year or so apparently someone wrote about it in Lonely Planet or some tourist guide and now is full of foreigners. If you get there after 5pm you will probably going to have to wait outside for a while.
How to get there? You can walk down La Rambla till the end and then turn left in Passeig de Colón. After you passed Via Laietana you look for a small street at the right called Carrer de la Reina Cristina Nº7. If you take the subway get off at Drassanes station.
You can also buy cava online through their website http://www.canpaixano.com
Make sure you don’t plan any sightseeing after visiting Can Paixano because you’re not going to leave the place sober. Still you can’t miss this place for the real catalán cava experience!