An eclectic mix of fresh, beautiful tapas
in a dinner party atmosphere
Approx. €25 - 35
Nearest Metro: Diagonal
Carrer Còrsega, 343
+34 932 38 48 93
Go For: The seabass & strawberries | Slim sexy sandwiches, known as ‘Pepitas’ | A warm, buzzing atmosphere
Good For: Groups of family / friends | Fun dinners | Relaxed lunches | Showing off local hotspots to guests
Need to know: Day | Night | Bar | Drinks | No reservations | Family Friendly | Veggie & Vegan friendly
Restaurants are named for lots of reasons. Sentimental. Sardonic. And sometimes, after sandwiches.
Which brings us to La Pepita, so called after the classic Spanish sarnie ‘el pepito.’ But don’t get the wrong idea – because nothing about this place smacks of a chunky meat baguette.
La Pepita is long, slim and heavily tattooed - scrawled messages adorn the walls, ceilings and even underside of overhead fans, all speaking of her many past admirers. The rest of the décor is a wild melee of old, new, borrowed and blue, with azure painted tiles clashing beautifully with vintage French art and strings of hanging garlic.
Tonight is my umpteenth visit, this time to show off to some friends from back home. There’s already a crowd around the door when we arrive at 8.30pm, testament to Pepita’s hot Tripadvisor rating.
While they don’t take reservations, La Pepita seem to be the only place in the city who work this to both their and their customers’ advantage. No space? No problem! One of the gang will take your name and escort you down the road to sister establishment La Cova, where you can while away the wait with an aperitif and some nibbles, before being collected when a table becomes available. You can even take your drinks back with you.
This is exactly what we do, later marching back into Pepita two spritzes down and all the happier for it.
Sofia, the owner, greets us herself at the door, a warm hug and a kiss despite us never having met. Sofia’s Mum gives us a wave as we squeeze inside, while her Uncle seats us and offers us a drink. The atmosphere is warm, relaxed and buzzing with chatter and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d just arrived at a friend’s dinner party, rather than one of Barcelona’s most in-demand eateries.
This is the essence of La Pepita which makes it, yep, I’m going to say it, my favourite restaurant in Barcelona
(for now at least... #ficklefoodblogger)
Not to say that the food isn’t very good too.
As well as an extensive menu of small plates, there are also a number of different ‘Pepitas’ to choose from; slim, sexy sandwiches, filled with anything from blood sausage to foie gras.
We start with a tuna one, (€8.50 – the crunch of the radish and ooze of avocado proving that these are so much more than just sandwiches ), before moving on to the small plates.
The seabass with strawberries is the runaway, while the smokey aubergine with goats cheese, honey and apple, comes a close second. The citrus and coriander mash which accompanies the octopus is light and lovely while the foie gras with white chocolate and lime is the perfect indulgence to round things off.
Everything looks lush and abundant and tastes fresh enough to leave you feeling good, rather than induce the normal post tapas slump; another of the reasons which always draws me back here.
For me, this place has pretty much everything. I guess you could say, it really was love at first bite...
*If you liked La Pepita then do try sister establishment La Cova, located just down the road
(And if you're ever in Berlin then get excited, because Sofia and Sergio's new project Bar Gracia has just opened!)
Photography by Jessie Ann James jessieannjames.com