One of the best areas to visit in Barcelona is called El Poble-Sec. The reason being, well, it is home to Carrer de Blai aka Pinchos street. The long walking street is bordered by dozens of different pinchos bars, and most of them are quite good. You can come for lunch, and afternoon snack, or make a dinner out of it. In this article I’ll give you my favorite spots to get pinchos on Carrer de Blai along with a bunch of pictures of what you can expect.
The first thing you may be wondering though, is what are pinchos? Simply put, a pincho is a piece of bread with a topping. The toppings can be pretty much anything you can think of, from skewered meats, to fried veggies, croquettes or even salads. They are similar to tapas in the sense that it is a small amount of food and you can get a lot of them, except pinchos are not free. You can read Cody’s guide to pinchos in Barcelona here, since I am only focusing on this one street.
You should expect to pay at least 1 Euro per pincho on Carrer de Blai, and I rarely see them go higher than 2 Euros. You can tell what price they are by the types of toothpicks they use. If it is a regular toothpick it is the classic, or 1 Euro pincho (usually). If the toothpick has a red circle, or a different shape, or really anything extra, those are going to be more expensive. The bartender will explain you the price difference when you sit down so no need to be nervous.
This place is always crowded, and for good reason. Their pinchos are some of the best, and the drinks are fairly priced. This place has the most creative offerings I have seen, so if you want an easy pinchos experience, I suggest Las Tasqueta de Blai for your first time as you’ll definitely find something you will like.
I went to Zodiaco for lunch and was thoroughly impressed. They do not cheap out with giving you a decent amount of food, and everything we had was good. The prices at Zodiaco are 1 Euro for the classic, and 1.50 Euro for the special. Pictured below is their sesame crusted chicken with brie, chicken wings with a roasted jalapeno pepper, Feta cheese spring roll, and a jamon croquette. For 5 Euro I think it was a pretty great deal.
I went to Pincho J with Cody and his parents on Halloween so it was fun to see their decorations. This place had the best seafood options in my opinion—just look at that shrimp! My favorite thing here was the salmon salad pinchos which reminded me of a lox and bagels just with bread instead of a bagel. Prices are 1.00/1.80 depending on the pinchos’ toothpicks, and drinks are as always, fairly priced.
It does amuse me that a lot of the places on Carrer de Blai put Blai in their name. I wonder if it is to capitalize on the fact that this street is so famous in Barcelona for pinchos. This place is a bit more trendy than most of the places on Carrer de Blai, but that doesn’t mean high prices. You will still be getting a high quality pincho with great ingredients. This place is quite small so make sure you show up early enough to nab a seat. While some pinchos do have bread and toothpicks, the way it works here is by the color of the dish. There is white and black, with white being the classico, and black being the special.
This pinchos bar is one of the more traditional in my opinion as there is a ton of the classics. That means various croquettes, spreads, hams, and the like. The selection is smaller than most places on Carrer de Blai, but I have not tried a bad pincho at L’Atelier de Blai so they are A-Ok in my book. They use green capped toothpicks for their premium pinchos, and they go from 1.00/1.50 Euro.
There you have it—5 excellent choices for pinchos on Barcelona’s famous pinchos street, Carrer de Blai. What do you think about these classic bites of Barcelona culture? Let me know in the comments your favorite pinchos spots!
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