Stretching from the touristy area of Las Ramblas to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront
to Ronda de Sant Pere, Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter
is the heart of the old part of the city. The life, history and culture is reflected not only in its plentiful daytime sites, but in its friendly and inviting bars. Here we explore the best bars in this enchanting area.
After falling in love with wine on a tour of Venice, a couple of friends established Zone d’Ombra with the hope of bringing this extensive and delicious Italian wine selection to the heart of Barcelona. The Italian culture is prominent in Zone d’ombra, whose drinks menu includes Italian wines, Spanish wines and Italian aperitifs. Once a shop selling wine, and now a locally famous wine bar, Zona d’Ombra is a treat for those searching for ecological wines and superb tapas. Drink by the glass or even by the bottle in this excellent wine bar.
Zona d’Ombra, Carrer de Sant Domènec del Call, 12, 08002 Barcelona, Spain, +34 935 00 58 02
Les Tapes | ©Hope Ogden/Flickr
Tapas are indeed a much-loved part of the Spanish culture, and Barcelona is no stranger to tapas bars. Les Tapes is by far one of the best, certainly in this part of Barcelona. The passionate chefs serve a special 10-selection tapas medley for less than €15 per person. Choose from an extensive and tempting menu of croquettes, Spanish omelette, patatas bravas, and all the Spanish favorites. Guests can enjoy traditional tapas in this friendly and charmingly small and narrow bar ideally located near the Plaça Sant Jaume.
Les Tapes, Plaça del Regomir, 4, 08002 Barcelona, Spain, +34 933 02 48 40
Sub Rosa Cocktail Bar
Sub Rosa is a bustling bar full of character. There’s an attic-like aesthetic taking guests back a century, and walls scattered with sometimes unnerving pictures of ghostly women. Guests flock here for an alternative and cosmopolitan ambiance, and more so, the fantastic selection of strong and creative fruit cocktails.
Sub Rosa Cocktail Bar, Carrer de Rauric, 23, 08002 Barcelona, Spain, +34 617 26 29 27
For a bit of French spirit, head to Bar Pastís and relax to some soothing French music, drink typically French beverages and imagine yourself transported to the South of France. It may be small, but Bar Pastís regularly has intimate gigs and music almost every night. Serving guests its own label absinthe and pastis, draft beer, and a tempting selection of French wines, there’s something for everyone.
Bar Pastís, Carrer de Santa Mònica, 4, 08001 Barcelona, Spain, +34 933 18 79 80
Bar Lobo Interior | ©Joselu Blanco/ Flickr
Bar, Spanish, Contemporary, $$$
Bar Lobo has it all – tempting tapas and delicious drinks. In a stunning location in the center of Barcelona, with an inviting terrace on the square, Bar Lobo boasts food made from the freshest of local market produce, giving guests a taste of Spanish home-cooking in a modern and sophisticated bar environment. For quality dishes, including top-notch beef burgers, Bar Lobo is a fantastic choice for simple cuisine with modern and international influences. So once you’re done feasting on steak tartar with French fries, or rice wok sautéed with mushrooms and ginger, stick around for drinks and musical entertainment.
Bar Lobo, Carrer del Pintor Fortuny, 3, 08001 Barcelona, Spain, +34 934 81 53 46
A beautiful, multipurpose venue, previously described as a piece of art in itself, Ocaña is perfectly located just off the Plaça Real. It plays host to a number of corporate and sponsored events, paying homage to its air of sophistication and elegance. Ocaña maintains its stunning 1850s architecture and has noble wood furnishings, complete with period pieces of furniture, and displays of art from local artists. Restaurant and meeting place by day, bar and club by night, Ocaña has not only fantastic cuisine, but an inviting selection of drinks.
Ocaña, Plaça Reial, 13-15, 08002 Barcelona, Spain, +34 936 76 48 14
Placa Real | ©hélène plaisant/Flickr
This fantastic little cocktail bar invites guests in through its old and authentic wooden lift, into a characterful little bar bustling with a young and lively crowd. Guests can enjoy the wooden decor whilst sipping a fantastic and creative cocktail with help from the friendly bartenders. Not only does L’Ascensor serve some of the city’s best cocktails, there is also a good wine list. This busy but not overcrowded bar is a fantastic place to relax and mingle with some unique people.
L’Ascensor, Carrer de Bellafila, 3, 08002 Barcelona, Spain, +34 933 18 53 47
Another tempting cocktail bar, Sor Rita gives guests the feeling of stepping into one of Almodóvar’s intriguing films, complete with characterful pieces of decor: from Barbie dolls to shoes on the ceiling. Visit on Tuesdays and take advantage of the couscous and hummus inspired buffet. Sor Rita occasionally hosts its own second hand markets, making it a great place to experience the local community.
Sor Rita, Carrer de la Mercè, 27, 08002 Barcelona, Spain,+34 931 76 62 66
Strawberry Martini | ©daspunkt/Flickr
Red Rocket Bar
Red Rocket Bar is unsuspectingly hidden in a dubious looking alley way, but what you’ll find inside is a well established rock and roll haven with an authentic, lively, and welcoming ambiance. Red Rock Bar offers a fresh boost to the rock and roll side of the city; enjoy the best of rock, including Nirvana, and fantastic and inspiring live music.
Red Rocket Bar, Carrer dels Còdols, 21, 08004 Barcelona, Spain,+34 931 80 45 13
Beer Samples | ©Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr
Another excellent tapas bar, Bar Mingus is also rumored to have the best beer tap in the whole of the city. Adorned with skateboards which line the walls and provide a quirky feast for the eyes, this friendly bar is loved also for its fantastic gin and tonics which hydrate many of the guests who flock here to begin a fun night on the town. Bar Mingus makes a name for itself by day with its tasty meatballs and unbeatable ensaladilla rusa by day, keeping guests around for an enticing drinks menu by night.
Bar Mingus, Carrer Ataülf, 6, 08002 Barcelona, Spain, +34 630 90 16 90