Cal Pep in El Born, Barcelona

Cal Pep is said to be THE best tapas restaurant in Barcelona. Acclaimed for it’s fresh tapas especially the seafood, super fun atmosphere, amazing service, it is no wonder the long queues out of the restaurant is notorious. This restaurant is also famous for the lack of menu. Simply tell the English-speaking Filipino waiter how many courses you want, he kindly recommended us lost tourists the best, and sit back to wait. I can’t second the “best tapas” claim for Mummy and I only tried three dishes. Such a shame as I am sure if I had more stomach-room for more, I would have tasted the best Cal Pep had to offer. However the three dishes we had were SPLENDID! It was where I experienced for the first time the truly amazing Spanish Codfish!

One late afternoon at 2pm, my Mum and I finally got a little hungry after walking off our three breakfasts. So we decided to head to El Born where Cal Pep resides since so many guides raved about it; also the only reason we ventured into El Born. When there, the small tapas bar was packed. There was a queue but only 6 people in front of us therefore saving us the torture of waiting outside under the hot Spanish Sun.

After twenty agonizing minutes, we finally sat at the end of the bar. I was absolutely delighted with my placemat. And so the acclaimed fun begins. The portly man in specs is the legandary owner, Pep Manubens.


Here he is, in the flash:


Every diner had a different illustrated placemat too, I liked this place immediately!


Mummy’s was particularly interesting too.


When asked how many courses we wanted, we decided three would be best for two of us. Dad had gone on a Big Bike Tour.

A must-order, this Grilled Green Peppers with large salt flakes sprinkled on it, was unusual, not spicy as I expected, and good!


The restaurant recommended us this: a Seafood Platter comprising of expertly deep-fried Calamari (OMG! YUMS!), little fried shrimps, and two types of fish. You might think it is hard for deep-fried food not to be tasty but how often does one have really good deep-fried grub that is devoid of the heaviness from oil?! This dish was it.


And finally, this! Cod Fish with Spinach and Aioli. To describe this as splendid or marvellous would be unkind to the good people at Cal Pep. This was stellar and unforgettable! I could literally taste the freshness of the codfish! The sturdy fish contrasted beautifully with the soft spinach and evenly sliced tender potatoes. It was a fine dish.


If you do head to Cal Pep, do ensure an empty tummy to fill yourself with more of their delightful dishes and save some room for their desserts which look AMAZING!

Address : Pl. de les Olles, 8
Zip code : 08003
City : Barcelona –
Area : Ciutat Vella
Email :
Website : Cal Pep – Barcelona
Opening hours : Monday from 7.30pm to 11.30pm / Tuesday – Friday from 1pm to 3.45pm and from 7.30pm to 11.30pm / Saturday from 1pm to 3.45pm / Closed Sunays and holidays
Prices : Tapas 5€ -15€ Restaurant from 40 €
Phone : +34 933 107 961
Phone 2 : Fax: 933 196 281
Metro/Bus : Metro: Barceloneta (L4) / Bus: 17, 36, 40, 45, 57, 59, 64, 157


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