The locals in Barcelona are obsessed with drinking vermouth, and after one night in Barcelona, you will be too. The red, slightly sweet version is what you’ll most commonly find and one of our favourite places to drink it is Morro Fi. These guys have a few locations now as they’ve been so successful but we like the tiny, standing room-only original best. As well as making their own vermouth, they also have epic bar snacks such as the thick cut potato chips topped with anchovies, olives and their own hot sauce. This is an essential Barcelona visit.


At the excellent Casa Bonay hotel, you’ll find Bodega Bonay, a restaurant and wine bar featuring Mediterranean small plates and beaut interiors. Don’t miss signature dishes such as the sea-urchin royale, glazed eel with coleslaw, braised pork jowl on pan tumaca or the artichoke tatin with a filo pastry based on a recipe by the chefs own Tunisian grandmother. There’s plenty of interesting natural wines from small, independent producers on offer too. A perfect hipster Barca hangout.


El Pollo, Carrer del Tigre, Barcelona, Spain

This should be high on your list of tapas bars – their Basque-style tortillas are worth visiting alone. Make sure you arrive early however, as they sell out fast. Elsewhere on the menu there’s classic tapas like gildas and boquerones, as well as larger plates if you have a reservation in the restaurant at the back.


La Cova Fumada is one of our favourite places in Barcelona. This crowded little restaurant is very old school, having opened way back in 1944. It is most famous for having invented the ‘bomba’, a small ball made of potatoes, pork, rolled in breadcrumbs and egg, deep-fried and, finally, served with spicy pepper sauce and aioli. You can now find these all over the city but here is the original, and the best. There’s more classic tapas on offer too, including butifarra (like black pudding) and grilled sardines, all of which appear from the tiny, hot kitchen in one corner. There’s often a queue of people outside waiting for tables but take our tip and just go inside and find a standing space at the bar – you’ll eat straight away and it’s way more fun anyway.


Funky Bakers -Bakery, Passeig del Born, Barcelona, Spain

Funky Bakers is the best modern bakery in Barca. As well as the original plain old bakery, there’s now also Funk Bakery – Deli and Funky Bakers – Eatery too (all pretty self explanatory) so mark them all on your map, as any of them makes for a great pit stop for a pastry or coffee, and more. Their San Sebastian-style cheesecake is particularly good, as are the croissants and lemon tarts. Each location has a little shop filled with great produce and natural wines too so you can pick up a few bits to bring back to London.


If you want to hang out with the cool kids in Barcelona, you need to head to Gracia. It’s an amazing area of pretty streets and squares and is absolutely packed with bars and restaurants. One of our favourite places to hang out is Bar Pietro, where hipsters spill out on the street drinking crisp Spanish beers, and local vermouths. There’s a small food menu too and again those thick cut chips are the star of the show, especially when doused in aioli and paprika.


La Plata is another Barcelona classic, having opened in 1945 and changing very little in the years since. It’s located in the Gothic Quarter, where you will find yourself at least once during any trip to Barcelona, so make sure you factor in a pit stop at La Plata. It’s tiny inside but you can stand outside on the street with a cool glass of vermouth and a plate of deep-fried anchovies (La Plata’s speciality) and you’ll feel very much one of the locals. This isn’t a place to spend all night but it’s a perfect first stop on a citywide tapas tour.


Tope, Avinguda Diagonal, Barcelona, Spain

Tope is the rooftop restaurant at The Hoxton, Barcelona. As well as sunshine and beaut views, you can sip on fresh cocktails and slushies (hello the Turbo Slushie), and feast on tacos and Mexican small plates. Don’t miss the shrimp and sea bass ceviche, the tuna tostada, and the lobster tacos.


Four Corners, Avinguda Diagonal, Barcelona, Spain

Epic Detroit-style pizza slices, Italian small plates, cocktails, and natural wines, plus a bodgea shop stocked with local produce make Four Corners a brilliant addition to Barcelona. You’ll find it on the ground floor of The Hoxton hotel, and there’s a large outdoor terrace for the summer months too.


Although Bar del Pla is a bit on the touristy side these days (close your eyes and you could be in New York, for all the screaming Americans) it’s still a fantastic little tapas bar in central Barcelona with excellent food. We’d recommend making it a stop on a little tour of the area as you may have to put your name down for a table and then come back in later (unless you’ve been organised enough to book in advance). It’s a long thin room, with a cool curved ceiling and there’s a great menu of tapas, beers, and vermouth. We especially loved the ham and roast chicken croquettes, the cured Iberian beef, and anchovies. 


La Vermu is another one of Gracia’s many highlights and is one of the best places in the city to drink vermouth. Whereas a lot of bars in Barcelona lack much space at all, let alone tables, La Vermu has plenty of both. It has a bright red exterior, whitewashed walls and plenty of seats so this is somewhere you can really bed in for the night. As well as excellent vermouths, wines and beers, they have a solid line up of tapas including bombas, patata bravas, and Spanish omelette.


Can Cisa / Bar Brutal is hands down the best place for natural wine in Barcelona. You may have to wait for a seat for a bit, but it’s worth it to try their selection of all natural, low intervention wines from Spanish producers. It’s all in one location really but theoretically it’s split in too, with Can Cisa being the wine bar at the front and Bar Brutal being more of a sit down experience. You can get anything you want in both places so just grab any space you can, but we did like sitting at the kitchen counter if you can bag a space there. The food is non-traditional, a bit Spanish, and a little bit from almost anywhere else they fancy but it all adds up to a great meal. Grab the famous porchetta sandwich or just get some ham and cheese to go with all that delicious wine.


Yes, it’s one of the city’s biggest attractions, and yes between hungry tourists and locals trying to get a bit of shopping done, La Boqueria can get mental busy, but it’s worth braving the crowds for. Not only can you check out all the amazing goodies on show, and pick up a little inspo for your own kitchen, but you can get cones of jamon, chorizo and manchego for five euros, enormous oysters at €1.50 a go, croquetas, coconuts, juices and all manner of other treats to eat as you’re walking round. And if you’re prepared to wait for a spot, there are small tapas bars in the market itself, putting all that fresh produce to good use.


FOCO, Carrer de l'Encarnació, Barcelona, Spain

An excellent new cocktail bar in Gracia from Theo Quinn and Tom Godfrey, two UK bartenders, who have worked in Barcelona’s best bars before venturing out on their own in 2023. There’s classic cocktails, an outdoor terrace and regular guest bartenders from around the world. Well worth stopping by for great drinks and the chilled, friendly vibe.


Salts - Terrassa Bar Montjuïc, Avinguda Miramar, Barcelona, Spain

This bar isn’t going to win any awards for its food and drink, but what it does have is a very cool setting at the top of the steps of Barcelona’s old Olympic swimming pool. If you find yourself climbing up to Montjuic Park, then this is a great place to relax with a drink and an ice cream afterwards, with amazing views of the city and the old pool and rows of stadium seating below.


The Hoxton, Poblenou, Avinguda Diagonal, Barcelona, Spain

A beaut new outpost of The Hoxton located in the Poblenou neighbourhood of Barcelona. As well as the superbly designed, spacious bedrooms, there’s a rooftop pool and restaurant (Tope), plus Four Corners Detroit-style pizza, and bikes to rent. Poblenou is a relaxed yet buzzing neighbourhood situated a little away from the centre – so you’re free from the tourist hoards that clog up downtown Barca, but still just a quick cycle or taxi away.


Casa Bonay is one of Barcelona’s best boutique design hotels, and is excellent value too. Once a private home, the building has been converted into a very cool hotel with a bar in the former garage and a hipster coffee shop at the front called Satan’s Coffee. The rooms are cosy size-wise but well designed with mosaic-tiled floors, high ceilings, and modern furniture. We love the little roof top too which as a little bar and restaurant, plus a small garden area reserved just for hotel guests. It’s got a great location too and you can walk most places, perhaps with the odd cab home at the end of the night.


Hotel Arts Barcelona is an exceptional choice for anyone looking for luxurious accommodation in the city. With five gastronomic restaurants, including two Michelin-starred Enoteca, led by the five Michelin-starred chef Paco Perez; a cocktail bar; and a unique collection of open and leisure spaces, including a spa, an infinity pool, a family pool overlooking the gardens, the hotel is an oasis of calm by day and a vibrant hot spot at night. The duplex penthouses are nothing short of incredible, with sleek, modern design complemented by an impressive 20th-century collection of works by contemporary Catalan and Spanish artists, a huge dining table that seats eight, a mini kitchenette with enough equipment to pull off a dinner party, and his and hers sinks, a double walk-in shower and bathtub in the bathroom. With exceptional service and attention to detail, a stay at Hotel Arts is an unforgettable experience.


Looking for the best things to do in Barcelona? Discover the best of Barcelona with our guide to the city’s best restaurants, bars, and hotels.