I’m still relatively new to Barcelona, but I have discovered a few places that I particularly find worthy of multiple visits. I still don’t know this city like I do Madrid, but for anyone from out of town, these are the places I’d say you must go. Many are popular spots for tourists and locals alike, and others are off the grid, yet to be discovered by the hoards of tourists that fill Barcelona.
- L’Ovella Negra (Black Sheep) – Carrer Sitges 5
This place makes me think of La Casa Bonita from back home for its charming personality. Total tavern-style, this is a good place to grab a pitcher (or their giant 5-liters tanks) of beer or sangria and kick it with the homies. Always full, always fun, and free pop corn with drink purchases. You can’t leave Barcelona without going here!
- Rebel – Carrer Ample 54
This is our favorite bar for sure – It’s a reggae joint with live music every Sunday. Yes, you’ll find us there around 9pm every domingo.
- Bollocks – Carrer Ample 46
Literally, right next to Rebel, this is a punk/metal dive bar with a terrific alternative atmosphere. If you’re into graffiti, punk dives, tattoos, good music, piercings, and headbanging, this is your place.
- La Xampanyeria – Carrer de la Reina Cristina 7
Champagne bar, perfect place to start the night.
- Pipa Club – Plaça Reial 3
This bar is clandestine – you gotta know what you are looking for to find it. Hidden away in an old apartment, ring the door and climb up to this Sherlock Holmes-styled (not officially, I could just see S.H. kickin’ it here) “cigar and pipe” bar (don’t worry, smoking isn’t allowed, it’s just part of the decore) is great for a beer, a round of pool, and feeling like you are an old explorer.
- Plataforma – Carrer Nou de la Rambla 145
Up-beat club that plays all kinds of fun music. A great place to meet locals and enjoy Spanish classics and other hits from all over the world.
- Sala Apolo (Nasty Mondays or Crappy Tuesdays) – Carrer Nou de la Rambla 113
All out mayhem. Enough said. Go, go, go!
- Factory – Carrer dels Escudellers 5
In my correct and humble opinion, it’s only good to go to on Saturdays because that’s Killer Barbie night, or Punk/Metal night when all the kids come out to play. Music that kills, people with tattoos and patches, gauges-galore, and a whole lot of skinny jeans and Vans, this is my kind of dig.
- Sidecar – Plaça Reial 7
Hipster, anyone? If you like the Smiths, horn-rimmed glasses, and you wear a Joy Division t-shirt, you’ll fit in just great. Don’t forget your flannel and a beard. Fixed-gear bikes can be locked up around the corner.
- Magic – Passeig Picaso 40
The Ramones emblem is spray painted on the front door: come here for punk, rock, and alternative music.
- Mendizábal – Junta de Comerç 2
Amazing Spanish-style sandwiches (my favorite: Spanish ham, goat cheese, arugula, and mango).
- Can Eusebio – Vilà i Vilà 84
1-euro plate of patatas bravas and 1-euro beer, can’t beat that.
- Kiosko – Avinguda del Marquès de l’Argentera 1
Best burger joint in Europe. It’s not necessarily cheap but locals love it and people from abroad that know Barcelona make it a priority every time they come for a visit.
- Babelia – Carrer Villarroel 27
Super chill environment, this cozy half-café, half-bookstore is run by the two sweetest ladies and it’s a terrific place to catch up with a friend, study, or just read a book. Try the americano, it’s the best I’ve found in Europe.
- Cosmo – Carrer Enric Granados 3
Hipster coffee shop where (literally) fixed gear bikes are pinned to walls as art. It’s a large, modern coffee hang out and a local art gallery all in one fantastic place. Come for a small bite, a café con leche, and enjoy life. That’s what I do when I go there.