From fancy cocktail lounges to dirt-cheap dive bars and old-school bodegas, there’s no shortage of bars in the Catalan capital. However, knowing where’s the in place to drink can be a little tricky with so many to choose from and so many new openings and closings. So to help, here’s a roundup of Barcelona bars that ooze a certain cool factor.
One of the latest projects of local food entrepreneurs Enric Rebordosa and Lito Baldovinos – behind iconic bars such as the nearby La Confiteria, a bar housed in a former sweet shop – the Bar Muy Buenas is a Modernist jewel in El Raval. The bar’s website describes it as offering ‘Catalan food, Catalan wine and Catalan liqueurs’, and indeed it does just that and does so quite well. The duo have managed to restore the building’s original glory and add a few modern touches, such as the Gaudí-inspired bar on the top floor. This places oozes 1920s charm and locals have very much succumbed to it.
Located in the heart of Barcelona’s bohemian El Born neighbourhood, Collage is a stylish cocktail bar with a seriously tempting collection of signature drinks on offer. The bar area has a stylish, retro feel to it thanks to the colourful patterned tile counter and cut-glass drink ware in the counters behind it. The cocktails are by no means classic though, combing imported liqueurs, exotic ingredients and brazenly quirky glassware.
Located at the bottom end of the Carrer Joaquin Costa – El Raval‘s most popular late-night destination – Bar 33/45 is a hip affair that gets busy after dark. The décor has a little Berlin vibe to it thanks to its mismatched retro furniture, including some old cinema seats and brightly-coloured fake-leather couches. Crowds like to gather in the large back room for gintonics, before moving on to whichever house party or club night that awaits them. Earlier on in the evening, Bar 33/45 makes for a nice place for an early doors cocktail with prices starting from just €5 (around US$6) for a mojito.
There will be nothing bitter about your evening at this cozy cocktail bar, besides the occasional drop of Angostura in your drink. Located in the middle of Sant Antoni’s unstoppably trendy Parlament Street – the cradle of Barcelona’s brunch scene – Bitter was the first place to offer somewhere decent to go after the tapas bars closed. Open until late and regularly hosting DJ nights at the weekends, the cocktails are delicious and so are the generous sandwiches, which come in real handy around 1am.
A private, members club with venues across the world, Soho House Barcelona opened its doors in October 2016 and rapidly established itself as one of the coolest places to be seen in the city. Getting into the Club House requires either being a hotel guest, a club member or (and this is possibly where your best bet lies) being invited by a member. The oh-so-stylish interior is inspired by the city’s Modernist current and the Mediterranean way of life, with plush velvet armchairs, eye-catching vintage lampshades and a seemingly hand-picked collection of soft furnishings and ornaments.
This hip bar and restaurant is something of a reference in the world of natural wine, but is just as popular for its offering of modern tapas. The venue has more of a dinning room feel to it with many tables reserved for dinners, but you can pull up a stool at the bar and let the sommelier guide you to a Catalan pét-nat (a naturally-sparkling wine). Eventually you will find it hard to resist ordering a small plate of something to nibble on and that will prove an equally pleasant experience.
This popular Gràcia bar manages to set itself out from the rest thanks to its eye-popping bicycle theme: everything from bike handle door knobs to wheel tables. It’s enough to make you want to don a polkadot jersey and watch the Tour de France. However, you don’t need to be a fan of the two-wheeled sport to enjoy the cocktails here, which are more than up to scratch. The bar fills out quickly at weekends and the rather danceable music keeps the crowds here until closing at 3am.