Irati Taverna Basca

Carrer del Cardenal Casañas, 17, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

Restaurants abound in the heavily touristed Gothic Quarter, but few of them are particularly good. Irati is one of the exceptions, a bustling spot popular with locals thanks to its excellent pintxos, traditional Basque tapas served on bread and speared with a toothpick. There’s seating in the back, but you’re really here for the experience of eating pintxos, which means standing shoulder-to-shoulder at the bar and helping yourself to the buffet of bite-size offerings. A sure bet is the jamón, lightly drizzled in olive oil, and the blue cheese topped with quince paste and walnuts. Save room for the hot snacks, like ham-and-cheese croquetas, which are brought out at regular intervals from the kitchen. And don’t toss your toothpicks—that’s how the bill is tallied.

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