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Casa Lolea, El Born

Classic tapas done rather nicely

in a snug space

Price Approx: €25 - €35

Nearest Metro: Urquinaona

Casa Lolea

Carrer de Sant Pere Més Alt, 49

+34 936 24 10 16

Go for: A goblet of good sangria | Great ham selection | Smiling service

Good for: Cosy suppers | Taking tourists | Something special but relaxed

Need to know: Day | Night | Takes Reservations by phone & e-mail | Family friendly


As a tourist in Barcelona, you want your days crammed with ‘The Spanish Experience,’ where you eat nothing but tapas and drink only cheap beer and sangria.

But living here, there is a limit to the number of croquettes one person can eat, which is why I sometimes find it a tad tricky to know where to take my tapas-hankering visitors.

Casa Lolea has become one of my answers, offering an authentic eating experience, but one refined enough to still be different to the norm.

I’m here with my family on a Saturday night, Mum, Dad and Jo in tow. As we enter, we’re immediately enveloped by a warm waft of rosemary and garlic. Mmm.

The design of the place is gorgeous, full of higgledy piggledy wooden crates and hanging chillis, plus of course Lolea’s signature beauty spots, which bubble up over the windows and adorn the tableware in their playful red polka dot. The effect is wonderfully kitsch, especially as we notice the waitresses in their matching checked aprons.

The staff are super smiley and attentive, our waitress even finding it hilarious when Mum soaks the table by spraying Dad in the face with our soda siphon…(I assume, unintentionally…)

It’s the kind of place that brings a whole range of diners together unperturbed - both tourists and locals, groups and couples. An Asian girl even dines alone, perfectly relaxed with only a sangria, chocolate cake and tiny red handbag for company.

The food is a selection of classic tapas options (which all cost around €5) plus some slightly more special ones (which push prices up to more like €8+ a pop).

We love the glossy rows of assorted hams, the dainty blinis of salmon, yogurt and honey and the “Bravas Our Way,” which uses oven cooked new potatoes, rather than the normal fried hunks. We also treat ourselves to the bluefin red tuna with orange, almond and onions, which is thick, smooth and really lovely.

Casa Lolea are also one of a handful of places in Barcelona which pride themselves on their Sangria, offering goblets of slightly different blends, both of red and white wines. We dive into a bottle of the Lolea Brut (a sparkling white wine and elderberry blend) which arrives in a beautiful on-brand spotted bottle. The best news? You get to keep it!

Any restaurant where you leave with a party bag is my kind of place.


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