Tapas = Conviviality

If you ran a search on all my TV scripts, the word “convivial” would come up a lot. I think it’s because one of the things that I love about Europe is each country’s knack for creating a convivial setting. And here in Spain, that’s around the table for tapas…enjoying a parade of dishes, family-style.

I’ve been updating my Barcelona guidebook — and getting frustrated. When I reviewed my list of recommended places to eat, it occurred to me that there are very few actual restaurants where you sit down to your own meal. Nearly everything on my list of favorite places is a tapas bar. Mentioning that to my local guide friends, they said, simply, “Tapas is how Spaniards like to eat.” So, rather than seek out a fine restaurant, I decided to find top-end tapas places.

In this clip, we’re gathering at 10 p.m. for dinner at Onofre Vinos y Viandas, surrounded by wine bottles and enjoying the service of Marisol and Angel. Catalans are particularly proud these days, and it’s almost a patriotic duty to drink the top Catalan — rather than Spanish — wine, Priorat. Eating dinner so late was handy, because at midnight we drank the last of that Priorat…and toasted my birthday!

(You can pick up a copy of my Barcelona guidebook — with all of its tasty tapas listings — at https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/barcelona-guidebook.)