The Best High-Budget Local Bars in Barcelona

The bar at El Nacional
The bar at El Nacional | © El Nacional
Tara Jessop

If drinking out in Barcelona is notoriously more affordable than in some other European cities, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some pretty cool places to splash your cash if you want to. These exclusive lounges and stylish cocktail bars are great places to drink when you’re in the mood for something a little fancier than your average bodega.

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Solange Cocktails & Luxury Spirits

This sleek cocktail bar is where wealthier residents like to pretend they’re in a James Bond movie for the night. There’s a selection of cocktails named after the epic spy films which the bar staff are happy to advise on. The plush velvet sofas and ceiling high partitions add to the sense of mystique, although there’s no doubt people really come here to be seen.

El Nacional

The central bar at El Nacional

This rather impressive Art Deco-inspired venue is located on Barcelona’s famous Passeig de Gràcia. Once a humble garage, these days El Nacional boasts some four different restaurant areas and as many bars. The cocktail bar has a glamorous feel to it, with its tall crushed velvet stools and wall-to-wall glass cabinets stocked with premium spirits and liqueurs. This is a great spot for people watching.

Boca Chica

Boca Chica is a stylish cocktail bar located alongisde sister restaurant Boca Grande on a side street off the Passeig de Gràcia. The interior was designed by one of Spain’s most sought-after designers, Lazaro Rosa-Violán, and is characteristically elegant, luxurious and eye-catching . Boca Chica’s tea-infused gin and tonic was voted best G&T in Spain back in 2014.

El Paradiso

Recently named ‘One to Watch’ by the World’s 50 Best Bars guide, El Paradiso is a speakeasy-style cocktail bar accessed via the back door of a pastrami sandwich shop – which is well worth trying on your way out. Creative cocktails match the equally imaginative décor brimming with exotic bird imagery.

Caribbean Club

Just a short walk from La Rambla, the Caribbean Club is a small but characterful cocktail bar with a certain retro charm to it. The owner and head barman knows his classics and doesn’t pay much heed to the whimsy of modern mixology. The best seats are the counters at the bar where you’ll be able to admire the many bottles poised against the glass panelled walls and dark wood frames. The Caribbean Club is the perfect spot for a serious night cap and reliably amusing bar chat.

Slow Barcelona

This uptown and upmarket late-night bar is open until the early hours of the morning nearly every day of the week. A sophisticated affair frequented by the young and glamorous crowds from the nearby Sarrià and Sant Gervasi neighbourhoods, Slow Barcelona is as much about its cocktails as it is the music. Mixologist Fran Mekk trained by the sides of some of the city’s best barmen, and his signature cocktails are boldly creative and come in a veritably eclectic range of ‘glassware’ – including seashells and Moroccan tajine dishes.

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