A well-kept local secret, one only discovers Cata 181 for the first time with people who know this city well – but this would be an incomplete guide to the top restaurants in Barcelona without it. Although the décor is a little reminiscent of an Easyjet flight (they are fans of the orange-grey combination) the food and vibe of Cata 181, especially if you eat that bit later at night, is unparalleled. The menu actually translates to describe the food as tiny dishes to accompanying the vast wine list (with over 700 one wonders how so much fits into such a tiny little restaurant). For larger parties one should book ahead and book the private back room of the restaurant where anything goes and privacy reigns.
rnThe menu is an eclectic mix of what most would consider modern tapas. The penne pasta with blood sausage and white chocolate sauce is sensational, the steak tartare is made as just it should be with capers and the mini club sandwiches (don’t baulk, they’re incredible) are a must. The wine flows for hours, the atmosphere is really buzzy and mainly created by locals making Cata 181 is a real treat. Our advice is to order conservatively, because while the portions may be tapas size, the rich ingredients go along way.