Waterside dining, Port Vell

All food and drink names are given in Catalan, but in many cases the Castilian variant is used just as commonly.

  1. Cafè Bliss

    Hidden down a tiny side street, in one of the loveliest Gothic squares in the old city, is this delightful café. There is a bright terrace, comfy sofas and a range of international magazines and newspapers to browse through. It is perfect for coffee, cakes, light meals or a romantic drink in the evening. 

  2. Cafè de l’Òpera

    Kick back at this elegant, late 19th-century café while being tended to by vested cambrers (waiters). This former xocolateria (confectionary café) – named after the Liceu opera house opposite – still serves fine gooey delights such as xurros amb xocolata (strips of fried dough with thick chocolate). It’s perfect for people-watching on La Rambla.

    • La Rambla 74

    Cafè de l’Òpera, La Rambla
  3. Tèxtil Cafè

    Nestled in a sun-splashed medieval courtyard, this soothing café offers a cheery respite from the outside world. Tuck into the amanida tèxtil, with goat’s cheese, artichokes and leafy greens, or international fusion favourites, from baba ganoush to couscous.

    • C/Montcada 12

    • Closed Mon

  4. Bar Lobo

    This chic café is a popular brunch spot during the day, but it really comes alive in the evenings. From Thursday to Saturday, the second floor becomes a hip club, with guest DJs and a chill-out space.

    • Pintor Fortuny, 3

    • 93 481 53 46

    • Closed Sun eve and for occasional events

    • DA

  5. Madame Jasmine

    This relaxed, arty café is furnished with flea market finds, and the mismatched tables and chairs give it a boho-chic feel. There are delicious croissants at breakfast, huge salads at lunchtime and killer cocktails in the evenings.

    • Rambla de Raval 22

    • 60 788 04 43

  6. Bar Kasparo

    This laid-back, outdoor café serves a sprightly menu of fresh, international fare with an Asiatic twist, including chicken curry and Greek salad. After the sun dips beneath the horizon, a bar-like vibe takes over, fuelled by beer and cider.

    • Pl Vicenç Martorell 4

    • Closed Jan

  7. Cafè Salambó

    Stylish evidence of Gràcia’s intellectual and literary character, this airy, lofty café draws arty locals. While away the afternoon over a steaming cafè amb llet or munching on fresh salads and entrepans (sandwiches). 

    Cafè Salambó
  8. Laie Llibreria Cafè

    Tuck into a generous buffet of rice, pasta, greens, chicken and more at this charming, long-running Eixample café-bookshop. You can also opt for the well-priced vegetarian menu, including soup, salad and a main dish.

  9. Granja Dulcinea

    The xocolateries and granjes along Carrer Petritxol have been satiating sugar cravings for decades. Among them is this old-fashioned café with to-die-for delights, from xurros amb xocolata to strawberries and whipped cream. In the summer, delicious orxates and granissats are on the menu.

    • C/Petritxol 2

    • Closes at 9pm

  10. El Jardí

    This outdoor café-bar occupies a corner of the Gothic courtyard in front of the medieval hospital of Santa Creu. It is a great spot for a quiet drink, and there is live jazz in the summer. During the winter gas heaters are brought outside. 

Top 10 Café Drinks

  1. Cafè amb llet

    Traditionally enjoyed in the morning, cafè amb llet is an ample cup of milky coffee.

  2. Tallat & Cafè Sol

    Need a fortifying caffeine fix? Try a tallat, a small cup of coffee with a dash of milk. A cafè sol is just plain coffee. In the summer, opt for either one amb gel (with ice).

  3. Cigaló

    For coffee with a bite, try a cigaló (carajillo), which has a shot of alcohol, usually conyac (cognac), whisky or rom (rum).

  4. Orxata

    This sweet, milky-white drink made from a tuber (tiger nut) is a summertime favourite.

  5. Granissat

    Slake your thirst with a cool granissat, a crushed-ice drink, usually lemon flavoured.

  6. Aigua

    Stay hydrated with aigua mineral (mineral water) – amb gas is sparkling, sense gas, still.

  7. Cacaolat

    Chocolate lovers swoon over this chocolate-milk concoction, one of Spain’s most popular sweet drink exports.

  8. Una Canya & Una Clara

    Una canya is roughly a quarter of a litre of cervesa de barril (draft beer). Una clara is the same, but with fizzy lemonade mixed in.

  9. Cava

    Catalonia’s answer to champagne is its home-grown cava, of which Freixenet and Codorníu are the most famous brands.

  10. Sangría

    This ever-popular concoction of red wine, fruit juices, and liquors is ordered at cafés throughout the city.

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