As a frequent visitor to Barcelona, I have some favorite spots on bar-hopping jaunts with local friends that I shared in a travel story on The Daily Meal.
Drink Like a Local: 12 Off-The-Beaten-Path Barcelona Bars
By Geeta Bansal
Barcelona is a great choice for those who like to get to know a city by it’s cocktails as this city with the word bar in its name has one around each corner to sip and lounge the night or day away. The speakeasy craze is at its peak these days and the city has a slew of hidden bars inviting discovery by the inquisitive who venture away from touristy watering holes.
“Vemuting” or drinking vermouth is a hip activity in the bar culture of the city where the fortified aperitf is usually accompanied with small savory, salty bites. Gin and tonics are best ordered late in the evening and it’s advisable not to show up until after nine at the watering holes to avoid being tagged as a tourist. Visitors should take note, as smoking is verboten in the city’s bars.
Carrer de Montcada, 22, 08003 Barcelona
+34 933 19 70 03
The first thing that catches your eye are the inviting plates loaded with jamon or fried anchovies that regulars at the bar are angling for. The olde world atmosphere seems perfect to sip cava or the house made vermouth as you try to play the guessing game of picking out the tourists from the Catalans. it is conveniently across the street from the Picasso Museum in the El Born.
Carrer d’Aribau, 162-166, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
+34 932 17 50 72
The Dry Martini bar is a clubby joint in a warehouse where white jacketed servers tote trays of the drink it’s named after to a mix of fashionable locals and pleasure seeking tourists. The trick is to nonchalantly attempt to blend in with well heeled locals with in an atmosphere reminiscent of the 1920’s prohibition era in the States. Secrecy was the hallmark of those clandestine operations and a play at password required for entry adding to the fun at this speakeasy.
Carrer de Rera Palau, 4, 08003 Barcelona
+34 933 60 72 22
This speakeasy is hidden behind a fridge door in pastrami sandwich joint in the El Born area. Needless to say the cocktails reflect the ambiance with bacon infused rum concoctions to go along with the pastrami sandwiches which are not too shabby.
Carrer dels Mirallers, 5, 08003 Barcelona
+34 931 57 12 33
It comes with a great reference opened by a Norwegian barman who worked at the famous Adria owned 41 Degrees Experience that has since closed. It’s quickly earning a following since its recent opening in the Gothic quarter for its alchemist/ laboratory vibe, funky music, and moderate price. The friendly bar tenders have quite a repertoire of drinks.
Carrer de la Riera Alta, 4-6, 08001 Barcelona
+34 934 42 39 66
A former furniture store transformed into a grand , elegant spot by the sister concept Milk Bar team. The hopping space is divvied up into four sections to enjoy the reasonable priced cocktail list that include the classics along with drinks like “Bling Bling” and “Porn Star Martini”.
Avinguda de les Drassanes, 6, 08001 Barcelona
+34 936 31 35 90
The best views in town to enjoy grilled fish and cocktails. Situated on the 24th floor of Torre Colon where the Raval meets the seafront, the maritime theme runs through the food and drinks in this romantic spot.
Passeig de Gràcia, 38-40, 08007 Barcelona
+34 931 51 88 88
A high end stylish bar boasting 360 views from the rooftop of the Mandarin Oriental hotel on the fashionable Passeig de Garcia. Enjoy sundowners next to the sleek pool and partake of small bites from Peruvian Chef Gaston Acurio’s fare. Weather permitting, it’s the best alfresco dining with a twist.
Carrer de la Reina Cristina, 7, 08003 Barcelona
+34 933 10 08 39
Though Cava temples abound in the city Can Paixano with a wide range of cavas and tapas stands out. Just order by pointing out what looks good on your neighbors table if you don’t speak fluent Catalan. Sandwiches a la minute and bubbles when you do snag a table.
Carrer de Pau Claris, 192, 08037 Barcelona
+34 932 17 43 38
A Parisian bar in Barcelona with dark wood, polished brass, disco music its walls lined with exclusive wines safely behind glass. Not a large choice of bar food but the wine selection is impressive. It’s location and high prices keep away the one time tourists but those in the know make a beeline for its vibe.
Carrer de Sant Pau, 128, 08001 Barcelona
+34 931 40 54 35
This location at the bottom end of the Raval with an Art Deco flair used to sell candy at one time hence the name Confiteria. The cocktail of the day which could arrive under a smoke filled glass dome is a good bet to begin within the latter half of the evening after the tourist rush has subsided.
Carrer de Tamarit, 91, 08015 Barcelona
+34 933 25 26 59
If you didn’t score a reservation at Tickets Albert Adria’s famous tapas bar head to Bodega 1900 across the street. House vermouth and a great selection of tapas will transform you into ‘vermuting ‘addict. Traditional tapas and to top it all a delicious flan to end the experience.
Passeig de Gràcia, 38-40, 08007 Barcelona
+34 931 51 87 82
Originally a bank this is the night spot the fashionable set heads to sip a cocktail or two from its extensive selection with the Banker#3 being the signature drink. There is an ever changing choice of bar food to go along with the libations.