If you love sitting at street side cafes you’ll feel at home in Barcelona. There are cafes all over town. Whether you want to people watch, feel like Picasso or George Orwell, searching for the best coffee available or just looking for a place to relax, you are sure to stop at a cafe sometime. Some are historic, others are just shabby, there are Starbucks and Costa Coffee for those who need them and then there are gourmet cafes…where the coffee is at the centre of what they do.
You could try Satan’s cafe on Gran Via near Plaza Tetuan, Nomad Cafe in Passeig de Sert, or Black Remedy, just behind the City Hall in Plaza Sant Jaume. There are new places opening all the time as gourmet coffee takes off.
Old style cafes:
There are quite a few around the city – I will just list a few to get going. Cafe Central in Career Girona 69, a couple of blocks up from Gran Via is a little off the beaten track. (closed Sunday)
Cafe de l’Opera in las Ramblas is a classic. It may be overrun by tourists a little these days, due to its location, but still worth taking a look.
The 4Gats cafe is very popular because it was once the meeting place for the young artists and poets at the turn of the last century. Pablo Picasso, Ramon Casas (part owner) and Santiago Rusiñol (part owner) are all linked to the cafe.
Not far from Plaza Catalunya you can find a hidden plaza. Kasparo is found at Placa Vincenc Matorell, which feels like a find in itself when you see it. Just by the Cathedral you can find the Summer Cafe by the Frederic Mares Museum. There are many more plazas all around the city and most have cafes and places where you can sit out, so explore at your leisure.
Both Passeig de Gracia and Rambla Catalunya form a central part of the city. There are a few cafes in Passeig de Gracia and you can sit out and watch people wander past. Personally i prefer the tree lined Rambla Catalunya for this, as there is much less traffic and cooler in the summer months.
How to order coffee:
Cafe con leche /Cafe amb llet – typical morning coffee with hot milk (flat white)
Cortado/ Tallat – an espresso cafe with a little bit of milk
Cafe solo/ Cafe sol – an espresso (short black)
Most cafes don’t offer the variety that Starbucks has popularised, but the coffee is usually ok.