Don’t let the line dissuade you – you have to go to this tiny tapas bar in El Poble-sec neighborhood that serves up creative, delectable bites with super fresh ingredients. Funny enough, when we went the line was full of various Asian foodie tourists, but they knew what’s up. This place was fantastic despite it being famous. I think the small size helps keep it from going too mainstream.
Quimet y Quimet is busy all the time and the wait can be quite long. Best bet is to go for lunch and arrive right before it opens. Below is where we were in line, and when they opened the doors we easily grabbed two spots at the bar. Luckily there was only two of us though.
Quimet y Quimet is a former wine shop, so the place is standing-room only. There’s one bar where the tapas are made. You can see all the ingredients neatly displayed.
I had been dying to go here and missed it on my previous Barcelona trips. So when my friend KB and I arrived for a weekend, I knew exactly where our first stop would be.
We arrived a few minutes before the bar started lunch. When the doors opened everyone rushed in and the place was quickly packed. We found the best place to stand was right at the edge of the bar, along the street. It’s where a small group of middle-aged locals immediately went, so we followed. Everyone else seemed to go along the back and sides of the restaurant, or right to the middle of the bar. The side close to the street was relatively empty.
Quimet y Quimet is known for its various “montadito” (small, open-faced toast with toppings). We were given a menu, but honestly the easiest thing to do was just point at what you want. Which is another reason to stand at the bar.
The locals next to us were definitely veterans. They knew exactly what they wanted and were served quickly. Total respect to them – I mean, their first order of business was to all get glasses of rose cava! So we told the woman behind the counter that we wanted whatever that group was having. One of the local ladies heard me and smiled; when KB and my cavas arrived the local lady toasted us. It kind of felt like our groups were kindred spirits – huddled in our corner, united against the horde of bulldozing tourists in the bar.
At Quimet y Quiment you don’t get the typical tapas like patatas bravas and tortilla. You get funky creations – like this toast with roasted pepper, the most fresh shrimp, caviar and a touch of Greek yogurt. A dreamy delight.
Here’s one with anchovies (and the cava).
We also got plates of meats, cheese and olives. Hope you’ll give this bar a chance and brave the crowd. You won’t be disappointed.
If interested, here’s a more detailed description of the Quimet y Quimet experience on CulinaryBackstreets.com.
Quimet y Quimet
Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes 25 (El Poble-sec neighborhood)
Tel: +34 93 442 3142
Hours: Monday-Friday lunch (12pm-4pm) and dinner (7pm-10:30pm), Saturday lunch only (12pm-4pm), closed Sunday