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Best wine and tapas bars in Barcelona

Bar hopping, enjoying wine and tapas at bars one after the other is a very traditional Spanish custom. In the city center there is no bar for tourists where you will not find, in rather large letters , the word " TAPAS " in its facade… Not a coincidence

But be careful! Many of these bars do not offer what you would expect. With this list of the best wine bars and tapas bars in Barcelona we hope to help you find the best options for dining and drinking as the locals do in Barcelona. Not all these bars specially in typical Catalan food. Catalan gastronomy has an influence on tapas, but in some cases, the "world of tapas" does not understand much of cities...

Before we get going we must clarify one thing. Many of the bars you would find in Barcelona  while you walk the streets of the City (and the same applies for many other cities in Spain ) offer tapas , yes. But not the kind of tapas nor wine that would make your dining experience one  that will last in your memory.  That is why we decided to do this article with some of what we think are the best wine bars and tapas of Barcelona. In some cases you will be surprised to see many bars offer mainly red wines from Rioja. That is changing a lot, but still, if you would like to enjoy local wines we recommend you join a winery tour from Barcelona during your stay in the City. 

We have chosen a number of bars offering a menu composed of excellent tapas in Barcelona. There are some bars that have specialized in only one type of tapas. They are excellent at what they do, but for the purpose of this post we have preferred to focus on the bars offering more variety.

On the other hand it is very difficult to speak of the "Top 10 wine bars" in Barcelona or of the "10 best tapas bars in Barcelona" It is virtually impossible to do so if we pretend to be fair. To start with, we do not know all the bars in Barcelona! It is a pretty big City, with many neighbourhoods and many people behind new bars trying to do very interesting things. 

When we start writing this post we do not know how many bars we will include in our list. There wil be for sure quite many, as there are many wine bars in Barcelona with great quality. But our list should not be taken as a ranking, nor as a fully exhaustive list. It would not be fair. A visit to one of these bars is a perfect way to continue a day after enjoying one of our wine tours from Barcelona.

El vaso de oro (Balboa, 6. Barcelona).  

We start not with a wine bar, but with a “cervecería” . El vaso de oro is located in the tourist area of Barceloneta and , despite not being on the front line , it is always packed with both locals and tourists alike.

The first thing you will notice is that this bar is very narrow. You will find yourself face to face with a long bar. The bar serves to split the area in two, with tables very close to each other, though you will soon notice most people stand while they eat and drink.

The atmosphere  is cozy, with hardwood decoration and big mugs of beer on the walls , but certainly what is most striking are all the tapas exposed along the bar and the waiters,  homogeneously uniformed.  Waiters are very professional and the food is good. You would not expect very modern tapas style here. If you are looking for “typical” tapas this is the place: “patatas bravas”, peppers, “ensalada rusa” (potato salad), etc.

 

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Lolita. Carrer de Tamarit, 104, Local 2-4, 08015 Barcelona

This is the same bar, but with a different name than Inopia. Inopia became famous years ago with the “lost croquette”.  Following the departure of Albert Adrià the bar changed its name but retained all of its values. Tapas like eggplant with molasses, bravas, fried prawns and of course, the croquettes. At night the bar changes and it becomes a place to enjoy drinks.

Bar Quimet Quimet. Poeta Cabanyes, 25. Barcelona

If there is a bar that is mentioned in most guides this is probably Quimet Quimet. They do not require any further advertising!  Quimet Quimet´s reputation is inversely proportional to the size of the bar: it only requires about 20 people to be packed! Lots of bottles on the walls provide the atmosphere of an old cellar, but there is no doubt that the main attraction of Quimet Quimet are its sandwiches, some of which combine quality cheeses with  meat or vegetables. 

At Quimet Quimet there is no kitchen… everything they serve is cold. This, it seems, has become an advantage more than a disadvantage for them. What can you drink at Quimet Quimet? They have their own beer, which competes with one of the star drinks: cava rosé.

This is definitely a highly recommended bar unless you cannot eat cold, or stand while you eat or you are claustrophobic or unsociable.

La cova fumada. Baluart, 56. Barcelona

Located in the same square as the market, La Cova fumada is one of those bars where you can feel history.  This place has not lost its identity and you can imagine sailors that lived in the neighborhood offering its customers fresh and varied fish. A clear drawback today is that you will have to be patient to be served.  If you are and if you want to taste the best things La cova provides, go and ask for a “Bomba”… you may end up ordering another one!.

Quim de la Boquería.  Mercado de la Boquería

One of the "must see" at La Boqueria market. This is a great place to fell the “beat” of the boqueria market and also to  be seduced by the rigorous talent of Quim. Fried eggs are the main dish, and they are preared with as many ingredientes as you can possibly think of… (mushrooms, foie gras, prawns, squid), shrimp scampi).

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Bodega La Palma.  Calle La Palma de Sant Just, 7. Barcelona

This bodega is located in the old quarter (Gothic quarter) in Barcelona. You will have to pay attention whilst you stroll down the street if you want to find it, since there are no signs that indicate the name of the bar. This is a typical bodega, as typical as you can get in Barcelona. Marble tables, wineskins, barrels, high ceilings, and an elongated shape. The atmosphere is very cozy. Something which may differentiate this bodega from others is that the menus is a bit more elaborated, and you will be able to find some excellent tapas in the menu.  

Tickets. Avinguda  Paral le 164

If according to the New York Times this is the best bar in the world…. What else could we say. Eating tapas here is for sure an experience, and it is different from all the other bars we have mentioned so far. Then it all comes to a question of taste.

The bar has the image of one of the old theatres of this side of Barcelona.  The concept is very different from most tapas bars. You need to book to be able to eat at tickets, and you should do it from their online site. So unless you are organised and book in advance you should forget about trying to enjoy the talent of the Adria brothers and the spectacle they bring to the world of tapas.

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La Cañota. Calle Lleida 7 (Avd paralell)

Again another bar with the influence of top chefs in Barcelona. La Cañota is owned by the Brothers Iglesias, who are partenrs with Albert Adria.  The atmosphere here makes you think of a brasserie. Something very unsual for this bar is that you will find in tapas “signed” by some of the top chefs in Spain. Paco Roncero, or Arzak or Dani Garcia are part of the “guest tapas” menu. The menu offers excellent quality and traditional tapas are to be found here as well as new ones. Reservation is highly recommended.

Disset 17 Graus

This bar is more famius due to its large wine list rather than to its tapas.  There are wines from different countries , not only wines from Cataluña or Spain. France, italy, Portugal or Germany find their space here.  Wine is found everywhere: coolers, bottles of all shapes and sizes are part of the decoration. You will find many tourists and expats alike here.

Vila Vinateca. Carrer dels Agullers, 7

This is one of Barcelona´s top wine shops. Wine tasting events, activities… and also food: cheese and ibericos are part of Vila´s essence. The menu is limited in the sense that you will find items (all excellent and part of the Teca, the gourmet store in Vila Vinateca). There are very few tables and if you sit down here, you cannot avoid eating more than you initally thought, since you are basically sourranded by gourment products.  You can try excellent burrata cheese, anchovies from Santoña, good bread, gorgeus tuna, burrata… and wine on the glass from a carefully built wine list.

Can Cisa / Bar Brutal. Carrer de la Princesa,

This is an old winery in the neighborhood. Old customers continue to buy their wine in bulk, to drink or to cook, as they did decades ago. Despite this atmosphere has been preserved, the place was radically transformed: over 300 wine references which offer a peculiarity: they are bio or ecologically produced. To this change in the wine section, food has been added, and the quality is high. All in all, a very good place to enjoy past and present, wine and food…

This is not a very exhaustive list. There are many more enjoyable wine bars and tapas bars in Barcelona. At some of them (like the ones we included at the beginning of our list) food is tha main argument, but there are always good wines (or decent at least) as well as good beer ("caña") At others, wine becomes the main argument and food is important, but almost perceived as a complement. 

The number of wine bars in Barcelona is increasing, with some traditional bars being transformed into bars that offer a wider selection of wines and where the wine lists are carefully selected. As for tapas, there are many tapas bars with high quality, though it is true you would need to be careful sometimes, specially in those areas which are totally saturated with tourists. The presence of locals is normally a guarantee of high quality food, so that could be an advice to follow.

 

 

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