Bar Rufián is a huge hit with locals. Here you can enjoy a good drink and great conversation. Owners Dani, Jorge, Ghenado and Berta are always keen to chat to customers, be it about politics or family life. This is a fun and friendly bar, serving quality products in a cool and modern space.
Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 123, 08004 Barcelona, Spain, +34 931 80 68 28
Located in Carrer Blai, Koska Taverna is a small basque bar with a great atmosphere and fantastic service. The pinchos and tapas come highly recommended: from stuffed squid to beef cooked in red wine through to chorizo in cider, every menu item is imaginative and worth trying. There is also a good selection of wines, carefully selected by the owners. If you want a table outside, it’s best to arrive early because this place gets busy.
Carrer de Blai, 8, 08004 Barcelona, Spain, +34 931 27 03 13
Tucked away in a side alley, La Federica is an immaculate vintage-style bar with antique cashiers, fans, and telephones dotted around. Everything about the bar oozes cool, from the lighting to the mural by artist Julio Fuentes. The bar has an excellent list of wines and cocktails too, all of which are good value for money. Order one of their delicious homemade cakes if you fancy treating yourself to some food; you won’t be disappointed.
Carrer de Salvà, 3, 08004 Barcelona, Spain, +34 936 00 59 01
Founded by the guys behind maumau underground – an online guide to Barcelona’s most popular alternative spots – Mau Mau is popular with creatives from El Poble Sec and the rest of Barcelona. Mau Mau is a warehouse space beautifully decorated with low white couches and wooden tables. They host short film screenings every Thursday.
Calle de Fontrodona, 35, 08004 Barcelona, Spain, +34 934 41 80 15
El Rouge is another beautifully decorated bar with leather sofas, chandeliers, and red mood lighting to match. The walls are covered in all sorts of oddities, from the framed torso of a mannequin, to cutouts, to Van Eyck and Velázquez paintings. There is also a small stage for acoustic performances and poetry recitals. The bar hosts tango classes on Thursdays and regular photography exhibitions.
Poeta Cabanyes, 21, 08004 Barcelona, Spain, +34 666 25 15 56
Tribal Cafe is a quirky bar on Carrer de Blai. Handmade puppets line the brick walls and dim lighting exudes mystery. There is something very theatrical about the space, with heavy velvet curtains framing all sorts of other artworks. Tribal Cafe is also celebrated for making the best mojitos in El Poble Sec.
Celler Cal Mario is the place to go for a glass of wine. It has a giant selection, from bottled wines to regional wines, found in barrels. If you prefer champagne, cava, and beer, there is a huge range of these too, with delicious tapas to accompany the drink of your choice. A traditional bodega, Cal Marino is the ideal place to visit for an authentic basque experience.
Margarit. 54, Poble-sec 08004 Barcelona, Spain, +34 933 29 45 92