By now you likely know that Barcelona is FULL of great cocktail bars! Because of this, we split our Barcelona Bar Hop into two parts. First up we explored the Gracia and Eixample neighbourhoods. This time around, we hit up the Born, Raval and Gothic areas of Barcelona.
And just a little warning: you will get lost in these neighbourhoods. The streets were laid out hundreds of years ago and don’t really follow any kind of pattern. That’s fine though, because there are so many treasures among these old tiny streets. Even if you can’t find these spots specifically, you will have a good time.
El Chigre 1769 (Carrer dels Sombrerers, 7, 08003)
Start by having a beautiful dinner at this intimate restaurant. You choose the fish you want to eat fresh from the sea and they cook it up. The wine, vermouth and cider list is impressive. The servers are ready to help you figure out what you should be drinking with your food choice. That said, you can basically close your eyes and point to somewhere on the list and whatever you land on will be perfect. Oh, and please do get the cheese plate.
Dr. Stravinsky (Carrer dels Mirallers, 5, 08003)
After dinner (do you say “dinner” or “supper”? Coloquialisms are weird!) take a short walk around the corner to Dr. Stravinsky. This new-ish cocktail centric bar looks like it was built in a space that was formerly a pharmacy. The decor is outstanding! There are jars holding infusions all over the place and there are glass tubes bubbling away. Their menu is based on the “Flavour Cosmos”. Blown Mind Emoji. They were also recently were named the 90th best bar in the world… no big deal.
Paradiso (Carrer de Rera Palau, 4, 08003)
This bar gets a lot of attention and with good reason. First of all, you enter through what looks like a freezer door at a deli (look for the Pastrami Bar sign!). Once inside the long bar has 3-4 bartenders behind it going at full clip. Their creative glassware choices would be reason enough to order these cocktails, but then what’s in them could also stand alone. This was the first cocktail bar on our whole trip where we saw a woman working behind a bar. There also may or may not be another hidden bar within this hidden bar.
Collage (Carrer dels Consellers, 1, 08003)
Upon entering Collage, you might think that there is only space for 7 or 8 people in this bar. There is however a room up a flight of stairs decorated with ornate vintage furniture. The drink menu here is made of mostly of slight twists on classics and the bartenders are SO FAST. These were easily the quickest hands we saw in Barcelona. They dabble in dry ice, spherefication (is that a word?) and foams too, if you are into modernist techniques. This bar just feels good.
Two Schmucks (Carrer de Joaquín Costa, 52, 08001)
The real strength of this bar is their commitment to both top notch, well thought out and perfectly executed cocktails, and not being pretentious about it. In my notes about this bar I have the word “chillllllll” with that many “L”s. Their international staff are knowledgeable and friendly but very relaxed and low pressure. There is no wrong thing to drink here, just follow your heart. Please say hi to the dog here as well, he was a sweet pooch.
Boadas Cocteleria (Carrer dels Tallers, 1, 08001)
This bar offers a very different, but no less comforting style of service. The bartenders are all in jackets with tails. The room is almost big enough to fit two cars in it and it has clearly looked this way for several decades. The majority of the drinks here are thrown (if you are unfamiliar with the practise, check out this piece written by Naren Young a few years ago) and the whole bar feels like home, even if you’ve never been there before. It’s a few steps from the tourist heavy promenade La Rambla, but once that door closes behind you, you find a neighbourhood bar, with regulars like anywhere else, except with great cocktails.
BAR BRUTAL (Carrer de la Princesa, 14, 08003)
By this point in your night/visit to Barcelona you will be hungry again. And maybe you are in the mood for some wine. Good news! Bar Brutal has both of these things, and lots of them. You will walk through one restaurant to get to a back room with benches and wobbly but endearing chairs. You will be bathed in neon and you will be served natural wines produced less than 100 kilometres away. You will also find yourself basically where you started, a block or three from El Chigre.
Note: As with all Bar Hops, we are not encouraging getting inebriated. This is a list of great cocktail bars that we suggest visiting while in Barcelona. We want you to have fun and play safe. Check out How to Do a Good Bar Hop for some hot tips.