Nighttime Hangouts – The Ultimate Barcelona Cocktail Bar Guide
The cocktail culture in Europe is thriving, with a plethora of city’s packed with amazing bars where you can sip something special. The undisputed champion of them all is Barcelona, with the capital of Catalunya being home to a cocktail scene that would rival any other city in the world. There is an extensive number of excellent cocktail bars in Barcelona, finding the best spots can be quite difficult. So we sent Laura, our local insider and cocktail connoisseur on a mission to find the very best of what the city offers, for you to try. So get ready to embark on a cocktail filled adventure, with our Ultimate Barcelona Cocktail Bar Guide.
Boadas – The Classic
Barcelona’s cracking cocktail culture isn’t something new, and if you need any evidence for this then Boadas is the place to go. Founded in 1933, it’s officially Barcelona’s oldest cocktail bar and has been serving Negroni’s and Mojitos since then. A true trailblazer, Boadas was the first to buck the normal trend of decor, opting to go for high seats and an American style bar. The great ambience and cocktails made it a favourite amongst the masses back then, and something it has managed to maintain despite the changing styles and trends. As you head inside to enjoy a drink, just know that you’re following in the footsteps of icons who frequented this place. From Joan Miro, Ernest Hemingway to Pablo Picasso. The bar is small in size but big in personality, with the history, decor, great service, skilled mixologists and crowd creating the perfect vibe.
My Top Pick: The Daiquiri is a Boadas speciality and to die for. If that doesn’t tingle your taste buds then a fresh Bloody Mary always hits the spot.
Details: Carrer dels Tallers, 1, 08001 Barcelona, Spain | Open Mon-Thu: 12.00 – 2.00, Fri-Sat: 12.00 – 3.00
Paradiso – The Pastrami Shop
Paradiso is not only one of the best cocktail bars in Barcelona but is considered one of the best in the world. Consistently featuring in the coveted ‘World’s Top 50 bars’ list, Paradiso draws inspiration from the secret speakeasy-style bars of the prohibition era, whilst adding its own little twist. To enter the bar’s in that alcohol-free era, you needed to have a password to pass the disguised doors, with Paradiso it’s very similar. As you approach this spot you might think you’re in the wrong place, that’s because at the front it is a pastrami shop. Don’t be fooled though, to get inside and try these heavenly cocktails you don’t need a password, but to pass through a freezer door. Yes, the freezer door is the gateway to good drinks, pretty cool right? Inside, the bar has a dim lighting and cool curved wooden roof with plenty of seating. So you can enjoy a delicious drink to a backdrop of chilled music.
My Top Pick: The Le Peruvien, which is a Paradiso twist on pisco sour, with a slight addition of aniseed flavour. Plus it comes served looking like a bird which is pretty fricking awesome.
Details: Carrer de Rera Palau, 4, 08003 Barcelona, Spain | Open Mon-Sun: 19.00 – 2.30.
Bobby’s Free – The Barber Shop
Bobby’s Free is another banging Barcelona bar that pays tribute to the prohibition era. Like Paradiso, the team behind this joint has added their own little twist by involving an element of mystery. Before you can enjoy a cocktail, you have to pass through a barber shop, where a host will ask you a question. Answer correctly and you’ll be whisked through some red curtains into a marvellous bar room reminiscent of the roaring 1920s. If you don’t want to look like a fool, be sure to check out the website to find the answer that will get you in. Ok, so they do make you work for a cocktail, but once you’re inside it’s nothing but good drinks and vibes.
My Top Pick: The Good Idea, a refreshing vodka-based cocktail which has rosemary, elderflower and jasmine mixed in. It pretty strong but goes down easy, so be careful, unlike the name having too many is not a good idea.
Details: Carrer de Pau Claris, 85, 08010 Barcelona, Spain | Open Wed, Sat, Sun: 20.00 – 03.00, Thur-Fri: 20.00 – 3.30.
Marlowe – Best Kept Secret
Marlowe is one of Barcelona’s best-kept secrets, so it’s quite fitting that it’s named after a fictional detective. It’s an ultimate favourite bar of mine, and quite honestly you will find me sitting here on a Friday or Saturday, sipping away at their Sake based Pan amb Tomcat, which translates to bread with tomato. This is the typical Catalan dish that you will find at every restaurant worth its salt, and I know this combo may seem kind of weird in a drink, but one try and believe me it’ll have you falling in love. The guys here are masters of mixology, creating flavour combinations that always make my mind boggle and taste buds tingle.
My Top Pick: The Sake based Pan amb Tomcat, as I said I know it sounds weird but don’t knock it till you try it. If you can’t decide, tell the bartender a bit about yourself and he will mix a drink that suits your personality flawlessly.
Details: Carrer del Rec, 24, 08003 Barcelona, Spain | Open Mon-Thu, Sun: 18.00 – 02.30, Fri-Sat: 18.00 – 03.00
Creps al Born – Here For A Good Time
Located in El Born, Creps is a firm favourite for cocktail lovers from Barcelona and beyond. Few places offer the liveliness that you feel when walking into Creps. Every inch of the place is decorated to the maximum, and the ambience is always on point. Though creps is in the name, once you come here you’ll quickly realise that cracking cocktails is their game. These twists on classics paired with the excellent entertainment of their mixologists make for a perfect night out on the town. Here everyone’s guaranteed a good time, regardless of the night of the year.
My Top Pick: At Creps, my cocktail of choice is a classic Espresso Martini. I’d recommend going down on the weekend when they open at noon for their beloved boozy brunches, trust me they are pretty special and ones you don’t want to miss.
Details: Passeig del Born, 12, 08003 Barcelona, Spain | Open Mon-Wed: 18.00 – 02.30, Thu: 18.00 – 03.00, Fri: 17.30 – 03.00, Sat-Sun: 12.00 – 02.30.
Dr Stravinsky – There’s Nothing A Good Drink Can´t Fix
Hidden in the narrow streets of the trendy Barcelona neighbourhood of El Born, Dr Stravinsky has gained quite the reputation amongst a global contingent of cocktail consumers. The bar is designed to look like a science lab, with mysterious jars of infusions lining the walls inside. When I first came here I thought the jars were just for decoration, but the contents are actually used in their magnificent cocktails. Once you walk in and watch the bartenders concoct potion after potion, you can´t help but feel like a bit of an alchemist yourself. The team behind this bar have made it a habit of serving up inventive cocktails, crafted with tiresomely precise techniques. It’s quite the sight to behold and when you taste the tipple, you realise why many, including myself, consider Dr Stravinsky to be the MVP of cocktail bars in Barcelona. This spot is all good cocktails, people and vibes, which make it the perfect bar to start the night.
My Top Pick: My favourite cocktail here is their signature Camp Nou, an ode to the city’s iconic footballing tradition. This gin-based cocktail is mixed with dill, cilantro, thyme syrup and chamomile. So damn refreshing with a flavour profile that is second to none.
Details: Carrer dels Mirallers, 5, 08003 Barcelona, Spain | Open Mon-Sun: 18.00 – 02.30.
Hemingway – Small but Potent
Hemingway is a cosy little cocktail bar specializing in gins, which once you visit will definitely become one of your favourite spots to get your drink on. Like the novelist it’s named after, the drinks menu captures the core essence of imagination and creativity. Every sip served is crafted with the ethos of pushing boundaries beyond the norm. Something which can also be seen its sister bars, Old Fashioned and The Bowery. So regardless of which Barcelona neighbourhood you find yourself in by nightfall, good times are guaranteed. Also like Ernest Hemmingway, this spot is favourite for cigar aficionados. So if you´re in the mood to channel your inner writer, then pick one out from their collection to accompany the drink. Not my thing, but if it floats your boat, then you’re in the right place.
My Top Pick: The Montgomery is a lush cocktail made from the English Oxley dry gin, capturing the British spirit of the Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery after whom it’s named. It has a citrus taste, perfectly combined with thyme, basil and chamomile which adds a layer of herbaceous flavour. Super smooth with a nice kick, in my opinion, it’s the perfect cocktail.
Details: Carrer de Muntaner, 114, 08036 Barcelona, Spain | Open Sun-Thu: 16.00 – 02.00, Fri-Sat: 16.00 – 03.00
The Club Caribbean
Just as you start to think that the classic cocktail scene is getting squished out of Barcelona, comes along a comforting place, The Club Caribbean, where tradition is honoured. Described by Conde Nast as “a rum-fueled Caribbean hideout.” The intention is to have you feeling like you are entering a ship about to set sail on an adventurous journey across the ocean of flavours. Juanjo Gonzales, the owner and one of Barcelona´s most charismatic barmen is the man behind this brilliant little secret bar. None of those silly little garnishes (that some of us love oh-so-much) can be seen here. This is the place to truly celebrate spirits.
My Top Pick: It has to be the Moscow Mule, a cocktail made from Vodka, mixed perfectly with ginger beer which adds a layer of spice, topped off with a lime infusion action which gives it a real zing. Hands down one of my favourite cocktails in Barcelona.
Details: Carrer de les Sitges, 5, 08001 Barcelona, Spain | Open Tue-Thu: 18.00 – 02.00, Fri: 18.00 – 02.30, Sat: 18.00 – 03.00.
Boca Chica – Elegant & Cool
Boca Chica, is the upstairs bar of the ever-famous Boca Grande restaurant, and one you definitely have to visit if you’re in Barcelona. This cocktail bar brings inspiration from Africa, New York and Barcelona into a perfect symbiosis. It’s known to be one of the trendiest spots in the Eixample, so put on your best dress and head over for some glitz, glamour and good drinks. The decor is extravagant and the cocktail list extensive, a perfect combination which makes this spot special. If you think the decoration in the main space is amazing, check out the bathroom (sorry, no spoilers here
My Top Pick: Here I keep it classic and go for a mojito, it’s truly magnificent.
Details: Passatge de la Concepció, 12, 08008 Barcelona, Spain | Open Mon-Sun: 13.00 – 00.00,
Torre Rosa – A Place to Remember
Torre Rosa is a bar like no other that has been serving sublime cocktails to Barcelona’s most in the know locals since 1987. Set in an early 20th Century building that can only be described as an architectural marvel, this iconic spot offers a drinking experience like sure to leave you speechless. Its terrace has been dubbed one of the most beautiful in the city of Barcelona, and it´s no marketing scheme, this is the real deal. Like travelling to Havana it’s heyday, this gem will be one you won’t fast for forget, but most certainly come back for more.
My Top Pick: I have two favourites here, the Ninja Turtles, a creamy mocktail made with banana, pineapple, cream and kiwi. Second has to be the William Chase, a classic G & T mixed with green apple slice that can only be described as flipping fantastic.
Details: Carrer de Francesc Tàrrega, 22, 08027 Barcelona, Spain | Open Mon-Sun: 19.00 – 2.30, Fri: 19.00 – 3.00, Sat: 17.00 – 03.00, Sun: Sat: 17.00 – 02.30.
Hopefully, you can now navigate the narrow streets in Barcelona and impress your friends with your new-found knowledge of Barcelona’s best cocktail bars.