Restaurant feature - El Xampanyet Barcelona

by Neil Morris - 12 June 2012

El Xampanyet
Carrer de Montcada 22,
08003 Barcelona,

El Xampanyet Barcelona simply had to feature on this website, not only because it is a fantastic place to eat and drink but also because it is the place where the idea for began. It was during an pleasurable night here in 2011 that I finally made the decision to start a website dedicated to the enjoyment of Spanish food and drink.

El Xampanyet is the perfect place to understand the concept and philosophy of Spanish food. It has been run by the same family since 1929 and little has changed since in terms of decoration or routine. It is a meeting place for people of all ages; from old-timers, who sit at the bar putting the world to rights; to young trendies, fuelling themselves on tapas and Cava before heading out into the night, this is a place that welcomes all and as a result, it can get a little crowded!

You have to fight your way to a seat on most nights and you must be prepared to share your table with any number of strangers. It is unlikely that you would be strangers for long, however, as the close proximity of the clients inevitably leads to new acquaintances being formed.

The Catalan name of the bar hints at its origins as a champagne bar and although the name of the drink has changed, Cava is still the main tipple here. The locally produced Cava is served in pop-top bottles and is perfect for washing down the wonderful array of tapas that is available or if you prefer you could sample some of the Spanish cider that is also popular.

As far as food is concerned, just ask for a combination of tapas for however many people you are dining with and you will not be disappointed; bread with tomato, jamon, tortilla, anchovies, cheese, olives and other such delights will be served promptly to your table and replenished if needed. The most pleasant surprise will be the price; you can eat and drink well here very reasonably, especially considering the location.

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