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“Lots fun but you must be patient”
Review of Cal Pep

Cal Pep
Ranked #339 of 9,931 Restaurants in Barcelona
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $40
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Neighborhood: El Born / La Ribera
Description: Cal Pep offers a fresh and bright culinary experience with easy and quick preparations. Our restaurant concept grew from the idea of sharing the dishes, their tastes and flavours, in a 'tapas'-style. Faithful to this style, Pep invites us to enjoy light, exquisite and extremely varied dishes. Cal Pep is authentic Mediterranean cuisine, reflecting Pep's personal style and incorporating seasonal ingredients. You will enjoy fish, shellfish and fresh produce, all prepared with Pep's originality and flair. Welcome and happy dining! For a truly great tapas place, sit at the bar at old-school Cal Pep, Thomas Keller's vote for the best food in Europe. -- The Guardian The 'Tapas Institution' of Barcelona. There is no shtick here apart from superbly fresh seafood, served simply and on plates designed for sharing. -- The Telegraph
Reviewed July 20, 2013

Be prepared to wait on line for this no reservations counter tapas place. The atmosphere is party like and you can have a drink while waiting so it's not that bad to wait. Once you are seated, all is well - there is no menu but your server will guide you. You can watch your food be prepared. This place runs like a well oiled machine. Maybe a little touristy but the food is yummy. Try the cuttlefish on rice and/or the tuna tartar.

Thank Janie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 20, 2013

We were here several years ago and were anxious to return with our kids. We made a reservation which we were able to do as a party of four. When we got there there was already a line of people waiting to get in 1/2 hr before opening. Although we had a table we opted for the counter with is fun, fast vibe and view of cooks and fish available for the day. No menu as they base food on whats fresh and very little conversation. Food is chosen for you and dishes come at a fast pace. Food is good with a few standouts (monkfish). It is packed and very popular. It was more remarkable to us on our first trip as the concept and food were new to us then. It was still very good and has a great location, but it wasn't "the best" of our trip. Very good. Fun experience.

Thank jaluca04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

Bar none, one of the best meals we had in Barcelona. Yes, there's a wait and the seating is slightly unorthodox- but 100% worth it. Basically the restaurant is set up in a 'diner' style where patrons sit on stools on a long bar (I believe there's a back room for larger parties). But in essence, you line up and stand along the inside wall (wait times can be up to 20-30 minutes) and as folks finish their meals, you take their place on the bar. During our visit, there was three of us, so when two bar stools opened up together along with a third on the far end of the bar, they just made everyone slide over one spot to accommodate our party.

Once seated, the wait was totally worth it. Your experience begins with the server asking you if you are opposed/allergic to anything and basically if chicken, meat and seafood are ok to serve. With that, the plates start coming. There's no menu, no ordering- just food the chef has prepared that day and thinks we will like based on our preferences. We found this to be so fun and unique because we ate plates we normally would not have ordered (such as clams, calamari, etc). Not only was the food selection great, but EVERY single dish was divine. We took our time savoring each plate while at the same time excited to see what would be presented next. Truly an enjoyable and tasty experience and would go there again in a heartbeat. Don't miss out on this delicious culinary adventure.

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Thank Tim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013

We are so glad we were recommended this place. You must queue up at least 30 minutes before they open if you want any chance of eating soon. Everyone walking by kept asking us why us and 30 other people were lined up outside what looked like a garage door. We were lucky enough to get in the first sitting. Only 20 barstools available and you sit right next to each other. There are no menus, they just ask you if there's anything you don't eat and how hungry you are and the dishes just start coming. We shared a bottle of Cava and were impressed with every dish that came to us- the clams are by far the best. Highly highly recommend. Even though there were heaps of people waiting we never felt rushed.

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Thank Kalyn N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013

The food here is the best we have eaten in Barcelona. Lines form at least 30 minutes prior to their afternoon opening time and continue throughout the day as the food is beyond awesome and worth the wait. We arrived about 10 pm and waited about 15 to 20 minutes for a seat at the counter--this is the best place to eat as you can see the food being prepared. There are a few tables in the back, but the counter area is a lot more fun. There was no menu. We were asked what we wanted to drink and we said wine; the waiter said red or white. The red he brought us was really good. He then asked what we wanted to eat, meat, seafood, vegetables, etc. While waiting for our seat, we had the chance to see what others were ordering and choose the mushrooms, steamed clams, and prawns. All three were the best we had ever eaten. The restaurant was alive with diners, cooks, and wait staff. Everyone was friendly, and the restaurant was clean. I wish I had discovered Cal Pep earlier in my trip as I would have been back for sure. You can also sign up for their newsletter by giving them your e-mail address, and they will send you their recipes. I did and can't wait as I would really like to try making their recipes. The food is beyond awesome.

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1  Thank Susan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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