La Cova Fumada: an authentic and picturesque tapas bar in Barceloneta

Valérie
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Article updated 14 November, 2018. 0 comments

La Cova Fumada is an iconic tapas bar in Barceloneta. Good food, fresh produce and a friendly, local vibe: a must!

la cova fumada bomba picante
Where?

Baluard 56
Barceloneta
metro: Barceloneta (L4)

When?

Monday-Friday 9am-3.20pm
Saturday 9am-1.20pm
Thursday-Friday 6pm-8.20pm

How much?

under 20 euros

Why?

for its authentic charm

If you ask a born-and-bred Barcelonian for their top 5 typical tapas bars, La Cova Fumada is sure to feature somewhere on the list.

This small and unassuming tapas bar has all of the necessary ingredients to satisfy even the most demanding local palate and boost your mood at the same time. Give it a try!

La Cova Fumada: a hidden gem

It’s almost impossible to find La Cova Fumada if you’re not actually looking for it, as there’s no sign! Rest assured, though: there IS a restaurant at 56 Carrer Baluard.

It’s a busy spot, though, and there’s plenty to attract your attention, from clients waiting their turn outside to the kitchen equipment drying in the window.

window la cova fumada

One thing is for certain: La Cova Fumada is not your typical tapas bar!

It may be well-hidden, but it’s also pretty famous. Word spreads fast in Barcelona, particularly when the venue in question boasts a picturesque charm and has been there as long as La Cova Fumada, established over 70 years ago. It’s a “toda la vida” establishment, now run by the third generation of the same family.

La Cova Fumada: no fuss, no frills

If you want to try the tapas, you’ll have to be patient, and/or share a table with other customers. The atmosphere is homely, with no unnecessary fuss.

Each trip is worth its weight in gold. The servers are attentive and efficient, and the blurred lines between kitchen and restaurant mean that customers can talk to the cooking staff unhindered. The flowery curtains and bistro tables are original, and very little seems to have changed since the Cova Fumada opened in 1944.

customers la cova fumada

la cova fumada portraits

cova fumada cook

The experience is fantastic, but it’s hard to linger for long given the huge demand for spaces! It’s a great spot for people-watching, with something new going on every time we visit.

  • You’ve probably worked it out on your own by now, but if you’re looking for design, sophistication, peace and elaborate cuisine, this is not the place for you.
  • If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a picturesque spot with simple but tasty food, somewhere where you can blend in with the locals, welcome to La Cova Fumada! We’re pretty certain you’ll love it as much as we do.

Home cooking, fresh produce and typical tapas

la cova fumada board

The house speciality: the bomba picante

The tapas at La Cova Fumada lives up to its reputation!

The recipe for the Bomba picante, a Barceloneta classic made from potatoes and meat with aioli and spicy sauce, is said to have been dreamt up by the grandmother of the current owners. There’s a general agreement amongst foodies that the bomba picante at La Cova Fumada are the best you’ll find anywhere in Barcelona. We believe them. An absolute must!

Other tapas

Other options on offer include freshly-caught sardines, amazing artichokes, chorizo, seasonal mushrooms, cod, octopus, calamari and prawns. Order whatever takes your fancy – everything on the menu is tasty, simple, fresh and cheap!

sardines at la cova fumada

artichokes at la cova fumada

La Cova Fumada’s unusual opening hours

La Cova Fumada is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 3.20pm, Saturday from 9am to 1.20pm, but only two evenings: Thursday and Friday, 6pm – 8.20pm.

Many locals come to La Cova Fumada for breakfast, following the Catalan custom of eating a copious, savoury meal in the morning. We suggest you do the same, or eat your lunch early in order to avoid queueing, particularly in summer!

In short, La Cova Fumada is a truly unmissable, typical bar. Ready to dig in?

drawing plate of sardines

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About the author

Valérie

Valérie, the creator of Barcelona Top Travel Tips, loves discovering new places, finding the words to describe them, and coming up with little illustrations for the website. Her favourite thing in Barcelona is the unusual, curvy architectural features of some of the city’s buildings. Some say she’s a dreamer… in any case, a city full of works by Gaudí is a great place for her!