I travelled to Barcelona with Jet2CityBreaks who offer great hotel and flight city break packages. Jet2 fly to El Prat Airport in Barcelona which is a short hop from town and very handy for a city break. I wanted to explore Barcelona from all angles, traditional to modern and budget to blowout. Every recommendation is researched in advance and tried and tested by my demanding palate. You will love Barcelona, and all of the wonderful things that you can eat and drink there. First in this series: Barcelona Eating Guide: Traditional to Modern and Budget to Blowout. This is the second (and last).
Now that we know where to eat in Barcelona, let’s focus on where to drink. Barcelona has a terrific bar culture and it is a fun city. You will find plenty to satisfy, old school, contemporary and exciting. You will find a lot of gin. Spain is the biggest gin market in the EU and the third largest in the world (doffs cap to Spain!). They have lots of varieties and pour it freehand and generously in large glasses reminiscent of fish bowls. You must try some Spanish gin when you are there too, one of my favourites is the Nordes gin, fragrant of gentle sea breezes and crashing waves.
There are established crusty bars serving vermuts and cavas, bars bursting on to the streets with punters pouring wine from on high via porrón (try it, make a mess and try again!), and there are secret bars hidden in unexpected places serving fantastic cocktails. There are bars where legendary artists drank. There is lots of wonderful wine from the local wine regions and all over Spain. I also include a place that specialises in hot chocolate, drinks don’t always have to be alcoholic, do they? And a good hot chocolate is a very fine thing (especially with fresh hot churros to dip into it).
Els Quatre Gats – Picasso’s old local
Named for the Catalan phrase, it is only going to be you and 4 cats (AKA no one will come), Quatre Gats (4 cats) was inspired by Le Chat Noir in Paris. Opened in 1897, Picasso started to frequent here at age 17 in 1899. He held his first exhibition here subsequently and designed the poster that would become the title page of the menu. The room is beautiful and has some of the original art still. Pop in for a drink and absorb it all.
Els Quatre Gats, Carrer de Montsió, 3, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Bar La Plata – vermut and porrón
You will hear La Plata before you see it. A lively bar packed with locals that is well known for the local vermut served inside. They also serve wine from porrón, like a modernist glass teapot, you raise it over your head and pour (assumedly expertedly) into your mouth. I missed, spectacularly, but it was fun! There is very good fried whitebait and butifarra here too.
Bar La Plata, Carrer de la Mercè, 28, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Bodega La Tinaja – drink wine in an old monastery kitchen
An old monastery kitchen where they used to make food and serve wine to the monks in the monastery upstairs. Now a bar (and the bar itself is an altar from the 1600’s), it is named for the large ceramic urns that wine was traditionally aged in. There is an excellent wine list here and we had some great charcuterie also.
Bodega La Tinaja, Carrer de l’Esparteria, 9, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Paradiso – cocktail bar hidden behind a fridge door in a pastrami bar
Sequestered behind one of those gorgeous old wooden fridge doors in a Pastrami Bar, the Paradiso is a clandestine cocktail bar serving fun creative cocktails. The drinks here are very good, and the prices are excellent. I didn’t try the pastrami, but I will next time!
Paradiso, Carrer de Rera Palau, 4, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
La Granja 1872 – all the hot chocolate, all the time
All of the hot chocolate that your frosty heart desires in a variety of flavours. Grab some churros from the churreria down the road to dip in it. And relax!
La Granja 1872, Carrer dels Banys Nous, 4, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Food tours can be hit and miss. I like a food tour that looks beyond the obvious, and when it comes to food I want to know all about it, down to the smallest detail. I also prefer tours with small group sizes. Marwa set up Wanderbeak because she loves Barcelona, and because she had a passion for sharing the core of it, the soul of the city, and what isn’t immediately obvious. Group sizes are small, never larger than 7, and Marwa entertains and surprises with lots of detail about Barcelona. This was not my first trip there (I think my third or fourth), yet I still learned a lot. It was through Marwa’s Walking Food Tour in Old Barcelona that I discovered most of these bars, on our walk through 3 neighbourhoods, 7 spots and 15 dishes to be exact. Heartily recommended.
This post was brought to you as a result of the #Jet2Europe blog trip, created and managed by iambassador in partnership with Jet2Holidays. I flew with Jet2 from Manchester to Barcelona. I maintain full editorial control of the content published on this site, as always!