The nature of tapas should mean that manners and protocol are forgotten in a flurry of sharing,finger-using and general'digging in'.This is a Barcelona travel guide for the essence of what tapas are all about and a local's guide to the etiquette for tapas dining.When I first moved to Spain it took me some time to work up the courage to take a deep breath and wade in to a busy bar to fight my way to the front and place an order in pidgin Spanish.Over time I have learnt little tricks of the trade to make trips for tapas easier and more enjoyable.Now's my chance to share these tips with you.

Barcelona Travel Guide

This page will cover the various names for tapas dishes,how to order tapas,some common tapas dishes in Barcelona,what to drink with your tapas and how to pay.

Different Names for Tapas Dishes In Barcelona

Tapas:This is the general name for small dishes of food that are served to be shared.They can vary widely and cover anything from a bowl of almonds or olives to a plate of grilled prawns.

Raciones:On menus you will often see the dishes marked with two separate prices-one for tapas and one for raciones.This will simply be the same dish,but a bigger portion of it-ideal for when you're really hungry.

Pinchos:This is a concept that originates from the Basque region of Spain.Pinchos are like mouth sized tapas-always served on top of pieces of bread.They are also sometimes called'Montaditos'(this is what they are called in Quimet y Quimet).

Platos Combinados:This is the name often given to what we might call'meat and two veg'-an entire meal on a plate.However,it sometimes also relates to tapas.In Quimet y Quimet a Plato Combinado is a larger plate containing a variety of the tapas that are on offer.

Barcelona Travel Guide

How to Order Tapas in Barcelona

The best tapas are often served standing in a crowded and smoky bar.Rule number one is to get stuck in-do not be intimidated by a crowd at the bar,all waiting to place orders.Make your presence known and let the bar staff know what you want.If you are unsure about quantity,you can ask the person serving you whether they think that you have ordered enough.They are generally honest in their response.

It can be worth telling the waiter that you intend to eat,rather than simply order a drink.They will then find you a small table or a space on the bar top where you can place the food that you order.