This post has been a long time in the making. After living in Barcelona four years ago, (and writing about it) I was often asked by friends and family for my favourite places to eat and drink whenever they visited. This turned into a long email of me describing my favourite spots, with every detail of what to order, what time to go, who to ask for, etc… all of which made it the best local experience ever.
But it has now been four years and I wasnt sure if the places still held their charm. So since I am back for a visit, I figured it was the perfect time to check in on my old watering holes and write a full guide to enjoy Barcelona as a local.
As most of you know, I like the places that haven’t changed for generations, so that you get a feel for how people live instead of what is just currently popular. That’s why many of these places have been around a long time, are quite well known, and busy to prove it…. I hope these spots will make you feel like part of the community and less of a tourist.
So everyone wants to check off what Spain is known for right? Tapas, sangria, paella, etc… well my list isn’t about ticking the boxes of popular dishes around Spain, Barcelona does things its own way, and I like these places because they are authentic and delicious. I haven’t listed them for what you have to eat but rather by why go here, what kind of vibe are you interested in, and they will have the tasty Barcelona dish for that.
I tried to keep the list small, just covering my favourites places, and noted a few in each neighborhood so that your covered as you explore the sites. Below is a quick summary list, but you can download the google map that has more details when your on the go. Enjoy!
- La Xampanyeria * – MUST STOP HERE after the beach for cava, meat and cheese
- Bo de B – Large, fresh sandwiches perfect on your way to the beach
- Advocado – in case you need a fresh restaurant on your way back from Mont Juic
- Bar Joan – Local eatery inside the market so you know everything is fresh
- Quimet Quimet – tapas from the north of Spain $$
- Bar del Pla – delicious daily tapas, try the olives and some vermouth
- El Xampanyet * – always busy, great tapas and cava
- Vegetalia – get the lunch menu, other meat options in the same plaza
- Petrixol Xocoa – chocolate stop
- La Caseta del Migdia * – afternoon chill out with flamenco and barbecue
- NAP – The BEST pizza outside of Italy, its worth the wait, try the buffata cheese salad too
- Tasca el corral – PLEASE GO HERE and get the cider, tapas meats and cheeses are good too
- Antic Teatro * – chill out courtyard, often has events and music
- Ovella Negra – cheap drinks, cool cave
- Sala Apolo – party all night, especially mondays
- El Bosc de les Fades – cool jungle bar, stop for a look
- Ocana – My favourite bar on placa reial
* These places are also good for day drinking 🙂
I’ll be constantly updating this every time I visit Barcelona, (trying not to add too many) so let me know if you try any or if you know a spot you think I would like!