The Ultimate Barcelona Bar Guide

Explore the Barcelona bar scene like a local.

Boadas. Augusta Sagnelli

Barcelona long ago established its reputation as a global capital for architecture, art, boisterous street life and elevated Spanish cuisine. Now it’s time to add cocktails to that list. Until recently, the drink culture in Barcelona equated exclusively to wine and vermut (Spanish vermouth). But suddenly, it holds a vast spectrum of playful parlors specializing in everything from expertly-arranged gimlets to cocktails in cloud-form—seriously. 

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Though some of these venues have been quietly known to locals for years, they can no longer avoid international attention. To wit, the World’s 50 Best Bars has awarded its top slot to Barcelonan watering holes for two consecutive years. From its 2009 inception, it had formerly been a prize reserved exclusively for London and New York-based establishments.

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Sips. Sips

I recently returned to the Catalonian capital, eager to drink in all that had fomented throughout my four-year absence, and I was not disappointed. I checked into the Barcelona Edition, where I experienced a trio of these newfound tipple temples.

The Roof. Nikolas Koenig

At the aptly-named The Roof, I savored a selection of Asian-inspired arrangements while peering out over the entirety of the surrounding cityscape, from the Gothic District to the Mediterranean Sea. Highlights included a yuzu-forward spin on clara (the local term for a shandy) as well as a martini riff built on wasabi-infused gin and sake.

Bar Veraz. Nikolas Koenig

Downstairs in the lobby, Veraz focuses on elaborate preparations, backdropped by a series of black and white photography which celebrates the local culture. The Gauche Divine was the highlight here, a frothy and floral ode to a Vesper. 

I ended my on-site escapades at the Punch Room, a dimly lit den devoted to fruity cocktails from a bygone era of elixirs—presented primarily in large formats. The signature variety leverages hibiscus-infused gin, grapefruit cordial and a sandalwood syrup to arrive at a beautiful bowl of botanical wonder. 

Punch Room. Nikolas Koenig

I wasn’t about to spend all my time at the hotel, no matter how much I was enjoying their liquid efforts. And whenever I’m readying to explore any drinks scene, I invariably start by surveying the closest trusted bartender I can find. In this case, it was the drink maker up at The Roof. When asked for recommendations, she nodded knowingly, advised me to wait a moment, and promptly returned with a handwritten note encompassing more than a dozen local favorites. 

After extensively drinking my way through most of that list, I’ve winnowed it down to the best of the best. And I’m going to share details on each below. 

Paradiso.

Bear in mind that icons like Paradiso and Sips have been omitted, and not because they aren’t worthy of your time. Quite the contrary—they are obligatory. As the winners of the aforementioned World’s Best Bars lists in 2022 and 2023, respectively, plenty of ink has already been spilled in their praise. Now it’s time to spill more in service of the rest. 

Marlowe Bar

C/ del Rec, 24, Ciutat Vella, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

Long-renowned by locals as a gimlet bar, this jewel of El Born has reinvented itself to fit the expectations of modern imbibers. Read: unique, ingredient-focused offerings, rendered fancifully with sophisticated garnishes. An illustrative menu shows you exactly what you’re in for with the signature pours. But you’re invited to chat up the bar staff to land on something bespoke to suit your mood. 

14 de la Rosa. 14 de la Rosa

14 de la Rosa

C/ de Martínez de la Rosa, 14, Gràcia, 08012 Barcelona, Spain

This cozy cafe bar in the Gràcia neighborhood is a thrill anytime of day. But since they also specialize in top notch coffee, you might as well kick things off with a world class espresso martini. Move into more innovative expressions of the classics as the night wears on. 

Dr Stravinsky. Dr Stravinsky.

Dr Stravinsky

C/ dels Mirallers, 5, Ciutat Vella, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

You can be forgiven for mistaking this contemporary cocktail lounge for a laboratory. There are roto-vaps, microstills and other scattered hints at scientific experimentation. But make no mistake that the folks here are dedicated, first and foremost, to the science of fine hospitality. Just be ready to be daring in your selections (a cheese fat-washed Paloma is one of their top sellers) and you’ll be amply rewarded for those efforts. 

Florería Atlántico

Av. del Marquès de l’Argentera, 19, Barcelona, Spain 08003

This decade-old speakeasy, hidden below a working flower shop, is an institution in Buenos Aires. In 2023, owner Renato “Tato” Giovannoni brought the concept to Barcelona’s El Born neighborhood. It is already as beloved as the original, following the same template: serious cocktails paired with lighthearted vibe—and killer grilled octopus. 

Boadas. AUGUSTA SAGNELLI

Boadas

C/ dels Tallers, 1, Ciutat Vella, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

The city’s original cocktail bar, which dates back to 1933, affords you an opportunity to step off the crowded thoroughfare of Las Ramblas and escape directly into the 1930s. Although it has undoubtedly benefited from the modern cocktail revival and added a few preparations to match, virtually everything is as it was. There are even some vintage bottles behind the bar from the earlier parts of the 20th century. Come for the classics, most notably a daiquiri or a gimlet, and enjoy the show as the bartenders fully stretch their arms to extend a pouring ribbon between opposing shakers. 

The Ultimate Barcelona Bar Guide