Palosanto: The Best Tapas in Barcelona

We stumbled on Palosanto on one of the many tapas and pintxos crawls we undertook to discover where to eat in Barcelona. Tucked into a bend on Rambla del Raval (and not too far from El Gat de Botero, a sculpture I can only assume is based on Simon’s Cat), Palosanto appears pretty unassuming from first glance.

Palosanto: The Best Tapas in Barcelona

But inside, golden wood tones and relaxing earthy greens create a cozily intimate vibe. There are fewer than ten tables (most of them seat two people), plus a counter with a few stools, and four tables outside. Music, conversation, and a steady patter from the friendly staff keeps the place humming.

As you look around, you’ll notice dozens of hand-done drawings—crayon on heavy drawing paper—are framed on the wall. It takes a moment to realize there’s a can of crayons and a sketchbook at each table, and that the restaurant warmly encourages you to “express your art”. The sketchbooks are filled with all kinds of drawings: dogs, Gaudi, beaches, nudes, portraits. Some are shit. Others are surprisingly decent.  

A note on the menu reads, “Please be patient, good food takes time.” I’m going to say it now—it was all worth the wait. We visited Palosanto on two occasions, once for a weeknight tapas stop and once for a weekend brunch. For dinner, the menu needn’t have warned us. The service was quick enough that I barely got a foundational sketch in our table’s canvas book. For brunch, I had a bit longer, as the restaurant opens an hour before the kitchen does. Which brings us to the food!

The tapas to order

We ordered the chicken fingers, which were breaded in a thick layer of breadcrumbs and came with some sort of pineapple mustard. I’d be willing to trade my dog for a jar of that mustard, it was so good.

We followed that up with an order of country bread with aioli and pesto—the aioli came thick as a slice of cheese, and the pesto was rich with garlic (so make sure your whole group eats it!).

The patatas bravas was served with a spicy red mojo sauce. The potatoes could have been a hit crispier in my opinion, but the sauce was finger-licking good. (Are you sensing a pattern?)

For a bit more protein, we went for the pork loin, cooked soft and decadent per the house recommendation.

To drink, Tim got a vermouth and I tried the sangria. I found the sangria at Palosanto to be easily the best I had in Barcelona. Neither too sweet or too bitter, it had a pleasant kick and didn’t overwhelm any of the flavors of the food.

Three tapas and the bread were filling enough for a brunch. But because it’s holiday, and why not—we splurged and split a lemon cake. It came in a little jar, topped with toasted cream, and the perfect note of tart and sweet.

The portions were ideal for two people, which can be tricky with tapas. You got just enough of one flavor that you felt sated, but still considered ordering a second portion, just to enjoy. The menu was extremely varied, with plenty of options for seafood-lovers, meat-eaters, and vegetarians. I could have eaten there even a third time, if I’m honest.

On the door are a few stickers proclaiming it a TripAdvisor favorite, but in our research on the best tapas in Barcelona, Palosanto went largely unrecognized. So if you’re looking for a chill spot, far from the big crowds (or long lines), make sure you add this little gem to your list!