BCNGuide

The Best Wine Bars In Barcelona

8 places to try vermut, cava, and natural vintages on tap, plus what you should eat while you drink them.
The Best Wine Bars In Barcelona image

photo credit: Sara Larsson

Barcelona has its fair share of bars, but there’s a lot more to them than late-night revelry. The one thing you’ll definitely find is that Catalan wine flows in abundance—so much so that the house wine by the glass is often cheaper than water. Aside from “regular” wine, the natural wine phenomenon is in full force here, with Catalonia being one of the fastest growing natty-producing regions in Europe.

You’ll also see folks sipping vermut, a white wine fortified with spirits and laced with herbs and spices. La hora del vermut is an essential part of the weekend, when vermut is served as a pre-lunch aperitivo in the mornings (typically on Sundays) across Spain. It’s not all about drinking, though. In Barcelona, you can get food almost everywhere wine is served—even the most unassuming bodegas and vermuterías serve simple tapas like fried calamari or patatas bravas, and you’ll also find modern wine bars with menus so elaborate they could pass for a proper trendy restaurant.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Sara Larsson

Tapas

Gothic Quarter

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You can get a great glass of local wine served directly from one of the three barrels that line the wall at this tiny Old Town bar. Located on busy alley, La Plata is an institution that’s been serving the same four tapas since 1945, and is always packed with Barcelonians who are willing to ignore the touristy bustle of the Gothic Quarter for the butifarra sausage, anchovies, tomato salad with raw onions and olives, and small fried fish known as pescaditos. The barrels of red, white, and rosé are from the Penedès wine region, while the house vermut is made just for them by Perucchi 1876, a Catalan hometown producer. 

Sharpen those ‘bows before tucking into the inevitably crowded El Xampanyet, where the vibes are as bubbly as the cheap, housemade cava that keeps locals and tourists chilling in the street out front for hours. When you’re ready for a little food between rounds, order some unfussy tapas like olives, cheese, and charcuterie from the counter display, or made-to-order plates like tortilla with chorizo and grilled Iberian pork with padron peppers hot from the kitchen. It’s located right near the Picasso museum, so stop by for a drink from noon to 3:30pm after a morning visit, or once the museum closes and the bar opens back up from 7pm on weekdays.

Catalan for savage or wild, “salvatge” is the word for the most unconventional of natural, biodynamic vintages, and you can try tons of them on tap at this busy natural wine bar in Gràcia. But if you aren’t in the mood to take risks with your palate, you can still get something more delicate, like the airén pet-nat for a minerally aperitif, or the smooth clarete with a touch of yeast that’s just stank enough to stay intriguing. Order a bottle, find a seat at the communal tables, and enjoy the Tears for Fears playing on the sound system. The food here is more of an afterthought, but the cheese and charcuterie platters are a solid snack. 

This Poble Sec wine bar feels a bit like a place two sommeliers opened to hang out with their friends on their days off. You might stop by for a quick drink on their patio and, before you know it, it’s 1am and you’re not sure how many hours have passed since you moseyed in during the daylight. And best of all, you won’t care. There’s a wide range of natural wines from small organic producers, along with shared plates like Peking duck croquetas and grilled leeks with a zingy citrus vinaigrette, plus a string of excellent daily specials.

Experience la hora del vermut for yourself at Morro Fi, a tiny, perennially-packed bar with space for about 15 people on the inside and just as many on the outdoor terrace. Get the house-made vermut or a couple of cañas (or small glasses of beer), and order all the snacks to go with them. Don’t miss the house classic: potato chips topped with pickled mussels, boquerones, olives, and spicy piparra chili peppers. Morro Fi has three other locations in Barcelona, all with lively crowds and an indie-industrial vibe.

Catalonia is one of Europe’s best-known natural wine producers, with vintages typically made from grenache, carignan, and macabeu. Bandini’s selection, which is mostly from local producers and a handful of labels from France, is as funky as James Brown in his heyday. There’s a friendly, old-school neighborhood vibe, and it's a great spot to pop into for a quick glass before dinner—and before you know it, you’ve finished a whole bottle, shared your life story, and eaten half the things off the Scandinavian-Mediterranean menu.

This is one of the last old-school bodegas in Barcelona that continues to sell its own house wine directly from the barrel. It’s famous for conservas, food preserved and pickled in cans and jars, which get piled high and served up as small open sandwiches called montaditos (basically, morsels of anything served on bread). This spot gets packed, but shoving food in your face while juggling your drink and trying not to elbow the person next to you is half the fun. Eventually, you can make your way to the middle of the street with the rest of the crowd that’s spilled outside. 

Located on the edge of the city in Plaza España, this bodega—run by the former director of Barcelona’s legendary fine-dining joint, Tickets—comes off as bougie, but can get a little rowdy and actually feels super casual. The list of local vintages is long enough to keep you parked (and a bit drunk) on the sunny patio all afternoon, plus an impressive selection of vermut. Traditional Catalan dishes like pig’s trotters with black pudding and mushrooms, or roast chicken with raisins and pine nuts are hearty enough to keep you from completely languishing under the Spanish sun.

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