One day in the not-so-distant past, my brother-in-law, foodie extraordinaire, sent me on a mission. Not just any mission, you understand – a mission of the utmost importance. My challenge was to find great tapas in a great location – central without being a tourist trap, value for money, and with space for a group of fourteen.
I’m not one to shy away from a challenge, but I must admit that this one almost got the better of me. Tapas bars in the historic centre of Barcelona are rarely much larger than a pocket handkerchief – so how on earth was I supposed to find somewhere with a table to seat 14, and with a wide range of tapas to boot?
Putting my “leetle grey cells” to work, I finally remembered seeing a large bodega on the same street as the Picasso Museum. Now, what was it called again?
La Puntual! That was it. Mission accomplished, honour saved, large table booked. Bingo!
Bodega la Puntual: a welcoming and spacious eatery
Fast forward to the day of the meal – a Monday lunchtime, to be precise – and we found ourselves seated around a long, wooden table in a pretty and typical bodega setting, right in the historic heart of the city.
The space has a warm, authentic feel, with pretty arches and exposed stone walls, decorative barrels and bottles, posters showing the best of Catalan culture, leather club-style armchairs and tables in a range of shapes and sizes.
There’s also a decent amount of space between the tables, which is (believe you me) a significant advantage for a bodega in the historic city centre! You won’t find yourself packed in elbow-to-elbow or struggling for breath – this is a pleasant and relaxing venue for spending time with friends, no matter how big or small your group.
Bodega la Puntual: top-quality traditional tapas
My second challenge was to order for everyone. It’s not always easy to please that number of people – but given the ethusiasm of the group and their willingness to try tasty Catalan specialities, it wasn’t too hard.
Aaaand… out came the tapas! Dishes of fat, juicy olives packed with whole anchovies (highly recommended), seared or battered calamari, homemade croquetas, Iberico ham, the inevitable patatas bravas, tomato bread and fresh and varied salads all made their way around the table, helped along by a few bottles of good wine.
What more can I say? Well, service was fast and the staff were attentive, all of the products were at the peak of freshness, and the authentic local desserts were top-notch.
Prices at Bodega La Puntual
Bodega La Puntual isn’t the cheapest tapas joint in town, but the prices are very reasonable given the quality of what’s on offer.
- Expect to spend around 5 euros for a portion of patatas bravas, around 10 euros for a generously-sized mixed salad, 13 euros for a large dish of calamari and 17 euros for a sharing platter of superb Iberico ham.
- Desserts come in at around the 5 – 6 euro mark.
- In short, a full meal of tapas including a drink, dessert and coffee will cost you around 25 – 30 euros.
And just to top it off, they have an English version of the menu!