Barcelona is one of the European cities with the highest amount of bars per inhabitant, so it’s not difficult to find a place for a drink. But wouldn’t that drink taste just a little bit better in a classic bar, for example the one where Pablo Picasso and Hemmingway spent their time? Exactly. Things to do in Barcelona made a list of their favorite “clásicos”.
- Els Quatre Gats
This all-time favorite is located on the ground floor of Casa Martí, a modernista house in the gothic quarter designed by the famous architect Josep Puig I Cadafalch. The Catalan waiter Pere Romeu had worked in the French caf? Le Chat Noir and wanted to open a similar bar in Barcelona. In 1897, he opened, together with three artistic friends, Els Quatre Gats (The Four Cats). Soon after, artists found their way to the place. Pablo Picasso had his two first expositions here and the Spanish maestro is also responsible for the menu cards, designed in 1899. Take a look at them and also at the dining room. The food is not that special, but for a nice cup of coffee this is definitely where you should go. Where: Carrer de Montsià 3 (El Gótico)
- Bar Marsella
We don’t mean to promote alcoholism, but according to the tradition you should have an absinth in Bar Marsella. That is also what writer Ernest Hemmingway did. You get your “absenta” served with a sugar cube, a fork and a bottle of water. Put the cube on the fork and let the water seep in the glass via the same fork, to make the absinth less sweet and less strong. The bar, almost 200 years old, only opens at night. It can be very crowded, especially in the weekends.
Where: Carrer Sant Pau 65 (El Raval)
- Oveja Negra
Actually Oveja Negra is not a typical bar. Especially the one in Poblenou will remind you more of a big German beer hall. The “Black Sheep” has two locations in town and is the place to be to watch football. Take a seat at one of the long wooden tables and enjoy the spectacle. Just cheer for Barça, because if they win, the party is on. When you are with a bigger group, it’s quite normal to order your own small keg of beer (don’t worry, your can also get a glass). Craving for a snack? They sell bocadillos and crisps. Every now and then they organize second hand markets in the Poblenou location.
Where: Carrer de les Sitges 5 (El G?tico) en Carrer de Zamora 78 (Poblenou)
- It won’t get more Spanish than Can Paixano (also called La Xampanyeria). A wooden bar, sharp TL-lights, hams hanging from the ceiling and waiters shouting out loud when your order is ready. As you might have noticed by reading the name, this bar is known for its champagne. Or better: cava, the Catalan variant. Warning: the pink one tastes just like lemonade and before you know, the entire bottle is gone. The good news is that your wallet will survive: a bottle only costs you 5 euros. Don?t forget to order some gravy tapas to avoid the likely hangover. There are no places to sit.
Where: Carrer de la Reina Cristina 7 (Barceloneta)
- Casa Almirall
This bar, opened in 1860, is one of the oldest in town. A part of the interior is still the same as 150 years ago, the other part had to be reconstructed in the 1970s. The building is an example of typical Catalan modernisme. Classics on the menu are the Oliveta, a homemade vermouth, and (again) absinth. Casa Almirall is located in the multicultural and lively neighborhood of El Raval, so the bar is often crowded with young people celebrating the weekend (or the end of a working day). Don?t forget to try one of the tapas.
Where: Joaqu?n Costa 33 (El Raval)