The Best Bars in Barcelona

Whether you’re sampling Spanish wine in a rustic taverna or sipping a cocktail in an airy, modern rooftop bar, you’ll find Barcelona’s variety of drinking options hard to beat. ¡Salud! —or as they say in Catalan—¡Txin txin!

Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents, 1 Final, Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 08039 Barcelona, Spain
It’s got trendy cocktails, DJs, and a fashionable crowd, but the real reason to head to this swanky lounge is for the views—of the sea, the sky, and the whole of Barcelona below. Located 26 stories up, on the topmost floor of the renovated oceanfront W Hotel, the sleek bar is wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glass; there’s simply no better spot to watch dusk fall and the lights of Barcelona twinkle on than from a coveted window seat here. The cocktail menu changes seasonally, but mainstays include the watermelon martini and passion fruit martini; there’s also a rather good sushi menu. DJs start spinning at 11 p.m. on weekdays, midnight on weekends, and that’s when the party really gets started—after all, nothing happens in Barcelona before 10 p.m. Be sure to reserve a table in advance, and dress smartly.
38-40 Passeig de Gràcia
Barcelona’s skyline is on full display at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona’s posh rooftop terrace. Soak up views of Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló while sipping a pisco sour and feasting on fresh ceviche and sushi from the Peruvian-inspired menu created especially for Terrat by acclaimed chef Gastón Acurio. Sample a variety of tiradito (spicy raw fish) and maki—the colorful Chalaco Maki, with fried prawns, shrimp ceviche, avocado, and sweet potato in a peppery rocoto sauce is a standout. Terrat is open seasonally from April to October; non–hotel guests can enter after 6 p.m. Tip: Book a table reservation for sunset hour; the sun sinking behind the surrounding mountains is a spectacular sight. If the weather isn’t cooperating, the hotel’s ritzy Banker’s Bar is a great spot to splurge on a cocktail.
128 Carrer de Sant Pau
It’s as much about the atmosphere as the cocktails at this historic confectioner’s shop turned bar, which retains many of the glorious details of its former life. Display windows now serve as nooks for small tables, the long wood counter has been converted into a bar, and shelves that once held sweets today display bottles of booze. The frescoed ceilings and tile floors dating back to 1912 are still intact. It’s a sophisticated setting for imbibing elegantly crafted cocktails; try a classic old-fashioned or an inventive signature drink like El Confitero—a mix of fig, apricot, egg whites, sherry, and whiskey, served in a jelly jar and tied with a ribbon.
164 Avinguda del Paraŀlel, 08015, Barcelona
The man behind the award-winning molecular gastronomy at el Bulli and his younger brother are the great culinary minds behind contemporary tapas bar Tickets, on Avinguda Parallel in Barcelona’s theatre district. Don’t miss molecular favorites like the spherical olives, liquid ravioli and air-baguette from el Bulli that made it onto the menu.
Carrer de la Princesa, 14, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Natural wines are all the rage these days, but this interconnected wine shop and tapas bar in El Born was one of the pioneers of Barcelona’s vin vivant movement when it opened in 2013. You can choose from a lengthy list of natural Spanish and European wines; it also stocks some 300 bottles from organic and biodynamic producers. The Can Cisa wine shop entrance is on Carrer de la Princesa, while you can enter the Bar Brutal restaurant directly from Carrer Barra de Ferro. Bar Brutal’s taverna decor is understated—exposed wood rafters, bistro tables, a long bar with high stools—with a few clever touches like mounted heads of a pig, chicken, and cow. The menu is similarly unpretentious, offering local specialties such as anchovies in olive oil and pata negra jamón.
Carrer de Pau Claris, 192, 08037 Barcelona, Spain
“First stop in Barcelona is Bar Mut. Great vibes, wine, and this house classic of egg yolk, prawns, and crispy potatoes. Hot damn, it’s good to be here."—Matt Duckor
Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 25, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
Forget Google Maps: You’ll quickly locate this venerable tapas bar in El Poble-Sec by the line out the door. With standing-room-only space for just 20 people, this sliver of a spot fills up fast—and stays that way until closing time. In a room lined floor-to-ceiling with bottles of wine, liquor, and pricey vinegar, you can sample a dizzying variety of tapas and montaditos (small bites served atop slices of bread). Many of the ingredients—namely the mussels, sardines, and tuna—come from cans, which sounds suspect, but Spanish conservas (tinned food) is actually of the highest quality. The cheeses—all fresh—are also top-notch.
Ronda de Sant Antoni, 41, 08011 Barcelona, Spain
Order one of Moritz’s draft microbrews and sample tapas inspired by bar food from France, Germany and North America, with touches from around Spain. Main dishes from chef Jordi Vilà fuse Alsatian and Catalan cuisine, and the deep menu has over 300 dishes on offer.
Av. de Francesc Cambó, 14, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Mainland Europe’s first (and currently only) outpost of Ian Schrager’s trendy Edition hotel brand is topped by one of the city’s most scenic drinking spots. The indoor/outdoor bar, overlooking the red-tiled roofs of the surrounding El Born neighborhood, offers panoramic views that span from the sea to the mountains and include highlights like La Sagrada Familia and the Barcelona Cathedral. Vistas are best enjoyed on the sprawling wraparound terrace: Grab an east-facing daybed for views of the ocean; tables on the western side are ideal for sunsets. There’s a concise cocktail menu, a solid wine card featuring French and Spanish varietals, and several sakes available by the glass.
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 621, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Among the sea of rooftop bars across Barcelona, Azimuth, atop the newish Almanac hotel, is one of the few that can be enjoyed year-round. The glass-enclosed lounge overlooking the Gran Via offers nice city views but it’s out on the spacious wraparound terrace that you’ll want to park yourself, on a cushy white sofa with a stellar perspective of La Sagrada Familia’s striking towers. (Even in winter, heat lamps and cozy fleece blankets keep things warm al fresco.) Along with a well-conceived seasonal cocktail menu, there’s an especially good wine list that features several Austrian and German wines by the glass—rare in this Spanish-wine-dominated city. The low-key, sophisticated space gets a bit buzzier on weekend evenings when local DJs spin tunes until 1 a.m.
5 Carrer dels Mirallers
Imagine a cross between a laboratory and a cocktail bar and you’ll have the successful experiment that is Dr. Stravinsky. In this dimly lit, dual-level space, surrounded by herb-filled glass jars, bubbling flasks, and test tubes, bartenders precisely pour, stir and shake various ingredients—including house-made tinctures, bitters, and syrups—with the skill of scientists. Expect inventively flavored concoctions like the Camp Nou, a refreshing mix of house-distilled gin and dill, thyme and cilantro syrup, and El Suculento, with tequila, mezcal, pepper syrup, and fresh coriander. No wonder that it garnered 2017’s Best New European Bar at the Mixology Bar Awards.
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