pesca salada bar barcelona

Unusual Bars in Barcelona

bars-in-barcelona

There are a fair number of unique, unusual and quirky bars in Barcelona, some have fun themes while in others the drinks or decor makes them stand out in your memory. Here we feature some that have been our favorites and some you should try to check out on your next trip to Barcelona!

pesca salada bar barcelona

TRIED & TESTED

Pesca Salada – fancy drinking inside an aquarium? This teeny tiny cocktail is all aquatic inspired! Loads of quirky details, from a scaley ceiling to fun fishy diaramas. You can find the little establishment in raval, but be quick, it packs out fast, due to its petit size.

Gran Bodega Salto – a wine bar with a difference. if you enjoy drinking wine from the barrel under a barbie leg chandelier while stuffed tigers eyeball you, then this bodega is just perfect for you. loads of details to keep you entertained, they often have live music or a dj to keep your feet tapping.

Sor Rita– loads of fun in the Gothic, be sure to don your sexy black habit and high heels for this fun theme bar. expect great drinks, good music and a fun ambiance, dance or chat under a roof covered in shoes or below mother superior surrounded by flowers!

El Ciclista – a bicylce themed gin bar in gracia. watch all the cogs turn when the door opens as the whole bar is connected with kinetic parts. Clever bicyle sokes make chandeliers and tables, and the bar tenders pour superb G6Ts. the music ain’t half bad either.

Can Paixano or La Xampaneria – although not a theme bar in the usual sense, the Xampaneria is an institution in Barcelona, and one to behold. Go for the cheap cava – catalan champange and tapas, and revel in all the tradition has to offer! Standing room only!

pesca salada bar barcelona

OTHER THEME BARS

Betty Fords – named after the mental institute, this American theme bar in Raval draws a steady crowd.

Kahala Tiki Bar – one of a kind in Barcelona, serving frothing volcano drinks and more!

El Bosc de les Fades – the forest of fairies, a mystical, magical, if somewhat cheesy, bar near the bottom of Las Ramblas.

Gatsby Barcelona – all that 1920s glamour, glitz and roaring fun that the era is famed for can be found here, they have shows and singers on a regular basis.

 

 

all images courtesy the above establishments website.

brunch

Brunch Barcelona

brunch

Brunch in Barcelona is all the rage. On a weekend, you can’t step out of your front door without finding a spot where you can fill up on the best food invention ever –  breakfast and lunch rolled into one. Throw in some bloody marys, mimosas, and your weekend in Barcelona is set!

We have trawled the streets and found and tasted almost all the brunches on offer, and the following list offers restaurants that consistently present good brunch meals. Brunch may not be a very Catalan style of food in Barcelona, but if you are missing your french toast or eggs from back home, there are plenty of lovely bistros here that will make your belly full, possibly with a dash of Spanish flare and send you adventuring with loads of energy.

 

Avenue Bar – a sweet tiny space that gets packed on the weekend due to their great brunch specials with giant jug of bottomless mimosas. We dare you to try it!

Picnic – down near the citudella park, picnic has tables outside, serves up delicious pink lemonade and good food. Perfect before a summer siesta in the park under the trees.

Milk – possibly one of the first places to serve Brunch in Barcelona, before eggs benedict became a weekend way of life here, milk consistently brought it! Huge portions in cute surrounds, the bar is the original Brunch spot. It gets jammed full of weekenders, and there’s usually a queue, but it’s so worth it. They also make a mean cocktail if you happen to land up there in the evening.

Brunch & Cake – this is a brunch institution. open all week, and serving breakfast all day, every day, their eggs and waffles will satisfy your sweet tooth, and they have a good selection of healthy breakfast alternatives. Heck the last time we visited they even had Green eggs and Ham ala Dr. Seuss

Cafe Godot – neighborhood cafe that’s kid friendly. They have great brunch and lunch options, friendly staff and a baby changing table in the bathroom.

Can Dende – rated one of the best brunches in Barcelona on Yelp, and we can’t lie their unusual plates are getting high fives from all of us. Perhaps a little off the beaten path, but close to the beach and the Palo Alto market. If you are exploring Poble Nou, you hipster you, this place cannot, let’s say that again, CANNOT, be beat.

Granja Petibo – a wander up from the Arc de Triomf, the Petibo has delicious breakfast any day of the week, and their weekend brunch is good too! The menu changes, so you can always go back and try something new. An airy cafe with high ceilings and a good ambiance.

a guide to sweets and cakes barcelona

Barcelona for the Sweet Tooth

a guide to sweets and cakes barcelona

a guide to sweets and cakes barcelona

Barcelona has a sweet tooth! Perhaps not the kind you are used to, but how can a place that offers nutella or chocolate croissants for breakfast not enjoy a little spot of sweetness. If you enjoy sugary delights, look no further than our recommendations below. Before long your belly will be very happy and your wallet a little light, and, well, let’s not think about your weight! Check out these shops in Barcelona to satify your cravings, be it for cake, cookies or cream!

Chok – all manner of donuts and muffins and more, want a donut covered in flowers and orange sprinkles, head to chok, just off las ramblas.

Patisserie Hofmann – pastries in a superb location in the old city, and they have an indoor terrace upstairs.

Usagui – a japanese tea house serving classic japanese cakes, mochis and more, served with green tea or yuzu, all superbly served on gorgeous crockery.

Eyescream & Friends -icescream fun near the beach. perfect for the kids, but the adults will also enjoy a monster eyed icescream. you scream, I scream, we all scream for icecream.!

Happy Pills – self service candy, fill up on happy pills, and let sugar take care of all of your woes. these make perfect little treats you can take home with you.

La Besneta – cookies to die for, and vegan friendly too! filled with peanuts, chocolate and nuts, or try their lemon drizzle cake. best of all they offer the cutest cakes in jars. just waiting for you to take on your next picnic!

Çukor  -artisanal sweets, they run workshops where you can learn to make marshmellows and eat such unusual flavors you’ll be back before you know it to grab more of their goodies.

 

CAFES IN BARCELONA

4 Lovely cafes in Barcelona

CAFES IN BARCELONA

There are oodles of lovely coffee shops in Barcelona, it’s hard to pick a favorite. If you are struggling, why not try one of these 4 that are in our Top 10 cafes of Barcelona. We will be sure to add more later, but for now, enjoy some coffee, and sweet treats in style!

IMG_5589cafe cometa – cometa is the little sister cafe of cosmo cafe on c/enric granados. cometa is located in sant antoni on c/parlament, and is super petit, a tiny cute space, where you can squeeze in for a little jam on toast and coffee, and enjoy the art on the walls.

la criolla – off the beaten track, la criolla has a beautiful indoor terrace, they also serve cakes, pastries and a great menu del dia.

meatpacking bistro – labelling themselves a little slice of NYC in Barcelona, meatpacking bistro packs a good lunch and coffee in a crisp cafe designed by Lazaro Rosa Violan.

spice cafe– go for the carrot cake. its good! nuff said!

*BONUS CAFE lukumas (pictured above) serves delicious greek donuts and coffee in two locales, one in Gracia, and the other in Raval. the perfect spot for your sweet tooth!

Interested in coffee spots in Barcelona? see our post here…

COFFEE in barcelona

All About Coffee in Barcelona

COFFEE in barcelona

COFFEE in barcelona

The 3rd wave coffee phenomenon has landed in Barcelona. It’s true – a number of months ago, there were only a smattering of places that offered hand poured coffee, but now you can find yourself in a cool Spandi cafe (my new word for Spanish+Scandinavian Style)in two or three easy steps. Flickering filament lightbulbs highlight the choices – chemex, siphon, aeropress, french press, espresso, flat white, and trusty old hario. The white tiled walls and wooden accents complement the azulejos and copper piping, your coffee is fragrantly steaming in your hand as a barista tells you about the beans.

If this is something you get excited about, and I won’t lie, I love a good coffee in a pretty place, then you’re in luck, head to the following coffee shops and enjoy your brew!

Satan’s coffee in the Gothic quarter, this is a good cafe to stop at while exploring near the cathedral. Get lost in the alleyways trying to find their shop.

Onna cafe in Gracia serves up delicious coffee from Costa Rica, they also offer yummy snacks, and free wifi.

Syra coffee a hole in the wall coffee stand, with space for a few bar stools, Syra makes coffee with Onnas beans and they do a great takeaway

Nomad coffee on the fast track to being Barcelona’s number one coffee shop, they take their coffee seriously.

Cafes el Magnifico the oldest locale in Barcelona to serve great coffee. they have a roastery in their shop and supply a large number of the cafes and bistros in Barcelona with coffee beans, you can sample coffee from a large selection of growers, and they do a mean espresso.

SlowMov a recently opened space in Gracia, they serve filter coffee and espresso from a cute little shop/ meeting space. The coffee is direct trade, and they roast in house. You can buy their beans by the bag, or just enjoy a cuppa at their central table while you read a book.

 

IMG_5645

 

You can also find coffee in a few food trucks scattered around Barcelona, they turn up at various pop-up markets and with a little google investigation you’ll be able to sample their cups. Skye coffee and Nomad both have coffee trucks.

You can sample some great coffee at various Bistros through the city – Caravelle which serves coffee made with beans roasted by Right Side Coffee, a local roastery. Nomad also has a roastery in Poble Nou, and you can sign up for coffee workshops with both ventures.

If you are here in summer, be sure to try the cold brews on offer at Nomad and Onna. You can also try to find Cafes Fred who construct their own cold brews.

If all this is mumbo jumbo to you, here is a little guide to typical traditional spanish coffee found in most cafes in Barcelona.

Americano – large machine coffee with extra hot water

Cafe Largo – espresso shot with extra hot water

Cortado – espresso shot with milk

Carajillo – espresso shot with milk and your favorite alcohol (be specific carajillo con baileys…)

Cafe con Leche – milk coffee

A few other notable Spanish words you may want to throw around to make your coffee just how you like it –

sin espuma -without foam

leche desnatada – fat free milk

leche de soja – soya milk

caliente – hot

templado – warm

fria -cold

descafinado – decaffeinated

So perhaps you enjoy your coffee – “cafe con leche sin espuma, con leche desnatada,  fria, gracias!” – milk coffee without foam, with fat free cold milk. Thank you very much!

Also of interest is this post on the mystery of Torrefacto… love it or hate it, it’s some fascinating coffee history!

Enjoy your coffee at these lovely Barcelona cafes…

IMG_2210

EAT EAT EAT – a guide to some of Barcelonas Restaurants

guide to BARCELONA restaurants

guide to BARCELONA restaurants

What are some great places to sample Barcelona’s culinary offerings? It’s hard to choose, with over 2000 restaurants in the city, it can be overwhelming to know your pan con tomate from your patatas bravas. We’re here to help. With a list of over 20 restaurants that have all been tried and tested, you can’t go wrong. From Catalan dishes to Mediterranean fusion food. Slow food and fast food, romantic restaurants, michellin starred spots, and everything in between, plus some tips for dining in the Catalan Capital.

IMG_1676 IMG_1098

So let’s break it down. Breakfast can be found in any cafe from as early as 7am until around 11am. Usually this consists of a croissant and a coffee, but more substantial fare can be found if you look hard enough. Bocadillos (sandwiches) with ham or cheese or a slice of spanish tortilla (omlette) may also be of interest if you have a big day of sight seeing planned. Finding a full english breakfast during the week may be hard, however Brunch has become increasingly popular here in Barcelona and on the weekends, every cafe and bistro in the city is offering some form of eggs benedict.

Coffee, that all important morning beverage, can be easily obtained in any cafe. The locals like theirs strong and dark, and if you order a cafe, you will be served an espresso. cafe con leche is coffee with milk, a cortado an espresso with milk, an americano is a machine coffee with extra water, supposedly to resemble a filter coffee. We recommend you try the cortado, and, if you are feeling adventurous, you can ask for a carajillo, which is a coffee with a dash of your preferred alcohol. A carajillo with Baileys can be mighty delicious, and on a cold morning or afternoon the perfect hand and tummy warmer.

Of course the ubiquitous cool-city artisanal coffee shops have been sprouting up in Barcelona too, and these days you can find handcrafted filter coffee in a number of hip cafes. Poured expertly, with fresh beans ground just for you, you wont be disappointed with daily caffeine fix. A myriad of cafes offer hario, chemex, aeropress and siphon coffees.

After breakfast and before lunch (which typically starts at around 12 noon and continues until 4pm) you may find yourself peckish. Join the locals in their merienda – this is a light snack between main meals. Especially if you only had a small bite for breakfast. Sometimes people enjoy a merienda after lunch and before dinner which only begins at 8pm, with most restaurants kitchens only opening at this hour, and diners only arriving at 9pm. You will find restaurants closed between lunch and dinner, so make sure you don’t miss their serving hours.

IMG_2102  IMG_2840

TIP      In Spain, the midday meal menu is often half the price of that in the evening. Look for places advertising a menu del dia, which will consist of a starter, main, and dessert or coffee. Most come with a drink and water too. It’s a great way to try more expensive restaurants if you are traveling on a budget.

 

TRIED & TESTED

  • cafe godota family friendly bistro in gracia. their menu del dia options are good, and their salad and service to be recommended.
  • picnica cafe near el arc de triomf, famous for their brunches. try the huevos rancheros on the weekend.
  • brunch and cake a breakfast institution in barcelona, they serve breakfast all day everyday.
  • granja petiboa small cafe with high ceilings on psg sant joan, serving cafe food, fresh juices and good breakfasts.
  • can dendein poble nou, slightly off the beaten track, but somehow still very popular with a queue out the door on weekends. their brunch is worth the wait.

 

  • el nacionala large and beautiful space, with 4 restaurants and center bar. a bit pricey, but you pay for the ambiance as well as the food.
  • cafe emma french bistro cafe, lookout for the giant fork on the wall inside. a good menu selection and they serve oysters.
  • chivuosbranded as slow street food, their burgers and pulled pork sandwiches are delectable. an interesting selection of beers too.
  • bacoavoted the best burgers in barcelona, this spot with self service tables right on the beach is a good bet for a hungry tummy.
  • cafe federallovely cafe in cool sant antoni on coveted c/ parlament, good brunch and lunches.

 

  • sesamo vegetarian hotspot. serving fresh vegetarian dishes, this tiny restaurant never disappoints.
  • jaime beriestainbeautiful restaurant by the interior designer of the same name, perfect date night.
  • el glop catalan fare, this tavern serves typical dishes, and seasonal greats such as calçots. go with an empty stomach!
  • koy shunkamichellin starred restaurant well worth the high price tag, if you like japanese food. you are transported to japan as soon as you step inside.
  • el niño viejoone of the adria brothers newer eateries, they serve mexican tacos, make sure to book ahead of time.

 

  • la paradeta canteen style seafood. order by the gram, and they cook your food up and call your number. it’s not to be missed if it’s your first time to the city. we recommend the branch in el born, however there is also one near the sagrada famila and another in sitges!
  • torre d’alta marfancy pants restaunt at the top of the tower next to the harbour. stunning views, this place is good for special occasions.
  • puddingkid friendly cake and tea shop styled like wonderland, full of giant mushrooms and circus tent awnings. you do feel like you have been invited to the mad hatters tea party. a fun spot with good carrot cake!
  • hoffman patisseriefantastic bakery, they also have an indoor terrace upstairs for lunch.
  • chez cocorotiserie with a difference. a gorgeous restaurant designed by lazaro rosa violan who is responsible for a number of gorgeous locales in barcelona, their roasted acron fed chickens are another good reason to visit.

 

  • la llar de foctraditional catalan food, all wood fired meats, smoked cheeses, and tasty breads.
  • batuar in the cotton house hotel – lovely garden terrace restaurant in the hotel, great for a romantic dinner.
  • quimet & quimet a tourist hot spot in poble sec, their tapas and wine are worth the crowd, go for one, and then fill up around the corner on c/ blai, read our post on pintxos in poble sec.

You can find a bunch more tried and tested places to get grub in our downloadable guide

10665099_306786302847969_3507570463221376062_n-500x500

Bicycle Anyone?

In Gracia alone there are not one but three bicycle themed restaurant-cafe-bars. Three! And that’s only in one small neighbourhood of Barcelona! There are plenty of other places where the bicycle can be stashed or stowed while you eat, or it’s spoked image is ubiquitous on the walls in the form of artwork or frame, parts on display. So what makes this form of bipedal transport so popular that it has rung it’s way into the heart of Barcelona, enough so that 3 cafes have made it their central theme. It’s classic form, geometric lines, gear and wheels have slowly but surely become a popular graphic symbol. Do you have a bike cafe in your city? When next you wend your way up to my neighbourhood, be sure to check out one of the following bike friendly spots.

Bicioci Bike Cafe
Carrer de Venus, 1-3
Barcelona, Spain
934 58 20 44
Serving up Pizza in the evening, this cafe has bikes on the walls and the bartender seems like the perfect caricature of the Italian cyclist, small cycling hat and all, he could have stepped out of the Triplets of Belville. They also offer weekend brunch.

———————-

El Ciclista
C/Mozart nº18
Barcelona, Spain
933 68 53 02
A popular bar in Gracia, it’s small, gets jam packed, but serves up good music and delicious gin and tonics. The whole places feels like you are inside a miniature bike factory, from glass holding chandeliers made from bicycle wheels to the door which is opened by a deconstructed bike chain and various other bike parts.

———————-

La Bicicleta

C/Verdi 65
Barcelona, Spain
931 28 14 16
Recently opened on ever popular Calle Verdi, this market produce restaurant, offers fresh goods in daily specials. Dine in their cozy cafe or enjoy the ever popular vermut while watching pedestrians pass by under their big blue bicycle in the window.

all photos courtesy each locale’s web page, title image by Enric Fradera, page image by Jai Kapoor