In some parts of Spain, a free tapa with your beer or glass of wine is a basic human right. Not so in Barcelona, however, where frugality usually prevails. That's not to say the tradition doesn't exist. A tight budgeteer will discover bars in Barcelona where the tradition of the free tapa is upheld. It's just a case of hunting them down.
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One such locale is the highly acclaimed veggie restaurant beside the Sant Antoni market, Sesamo (Sant Antoni Abad 52)), which has free tapas tasting sessions on Tuesdays. In order to enjoy it though you have to reserve a space via Facebook (the Sesamo Comida Sin Bestias page). The nearest Metro station is Sant Antoni (Line 2).
Wedged on a corner of Passeig de Born is another free tapas bonus, Bar No Sé. Sunday evenings are the time to visit, when you can enjoy a free buffet of salads, pasta, pinchos and savoury crepes, accompanied by some of El Born's sweetest cocktails.
If out in Eixample, check out Bar Atrapatapa, at 77 Comte d'Urgell (just a few blocks from Urgell Metro station on line 1). Here you can get a beer of glass of cava plus a tasty tapa from a mouth-watering selection showcased along the bar for less than 2 Euros.
Also near Urgell Metro Station, at 85 Carrer Viladomat, is Ambiente del Sur, an Andalusian bar with an Andalusian attitude to tapas. A free tapa of tortilla, paella or sardines accompanies any order of a beer.