El Born is simply one of the best barrios in Barcelona to partake of a drink or two. Here are some of El Palauet Living Barcelona's favourite watering holes...
Super Super Bar
C/ Esparteria 14
I have to admit Super Super has become a super personal favourite of mine. Again, quite new to the bourgeoning El Born bar scene, Super Super is part hipster drinking hole, part Catalan bodega. The wine list is carefully chosen with a range of Spanish and Catalan wines and cavas to savour, try the rosé cava if it’s a hot night or why not a red from Montsant , Catalonia to warm you up on a chilly autumn evening. The wine list is complemented by local beer, cocktails and, of course, the ubiquitous gin and tonic. Add to that a food menu that goes beyond the usual bar offerings of jamón and cheese, although they do offer a beautiful array of them too. Fresh buffalo mozzarella in pesto, cod carpaccio, foie mi-cuit with wild mushrooms, you’ll be spoilt for choice. The bar staff are friendly and achingly hip, the music is modern and the décor gives off an extremely cool Barcelona meets New York vibe. Simply put, it ticks all the right boxes. I’ll see you there!
L’Anima de vi
C/ del Vigatans, 8
A wine bar that looks like it´s has been part of the fabric of this neighbourhood for a hundred years actually opened just recently. Before this the owners had a small wine shop in Gràcia and after this success decided to branch out and combine shop with bar and opened L’Anima de Vi in El Born. Having been one of the pioneers and early champions of natural, organic wines in Barcelona, the bar follows suit offering a range of Spanish and Catalan wines all free from additives and preservatives. The owner, Benoît is French and brings a slightly different touch to the wine and menu choices than normally found in similar wine bars around town. The selection of wines by the glass were slightly lighter in taste, closer to French wines such as Beaujolais and the cheese board was not simply filled with manchego in various stages of maturity, but a variety of smooth, creamy and then extremely strong French and Spanish cheeses. The atmosphere of turn of the century décor, jazz music and good wine all adds up to a relaxed, yet sophisticated evening.
C/ Montcada, 22
El Xampanyet is an oldie but a goodie. Seemingly overwhelmed by tourists these days it can actually be quite quiet if you go in the hours between meals. The main draw is the old style of the bar and, of course, their own sparkling wine, the ‘xampán’ of the name. Decorated in a ‘typical’ style, covered in artistic tiles, pictures with Catalan and Spanish sayings, and of course the odd jamón hanging from the ceiling, El Xampanyet is a good place to go to get a feeling of the ‘good old days’ (whenever they were). The done this is to order a glass (or bottle) of their ‘xampán’ and try some tapas (their anchovies are particularly well thought of) while soaking up the atmosphere. Although it can sometimes feel a little chaotic, therein lies the charm, this bar has been open over 80 years and serves great food in a traditional, lively environment. If you manage to work out their slightly erratic opening hours (they also close in August) enjoy this little piece of Barcelona history.
Can Cisa/Bar Brutal
C/ Princesa, 14/ C/ Barra de Ferro, 1
La Vinya del Senyor
Plaça Santa Maria, 5
La Vinya del Senyor may seem lost in the terraces which surround it but far from offering dodgy tapas and warm red wine, this bar is a gem in the heart of El Born. A wine bar (la vinya means ‘vine’) La Vinya del Senyor has a huge selection of wines to choose from and make fortnightly recommendations for their clients. The waiters are highly knowledgable, picking the perfect wine to suit your taste or mood. Feeling peckish? Well La Vinya del Senyor also offer tapas plates, just don’t forget to ask which wine would be the best to complement the food! Just opposite Santa María del Mar church the bar is even more delightful if you can snag one of their four outside tables. Just sit back, glass in hand, and watch the world go by.
Cocktail Bar Juanra Falces
C/ Rec, 24
“I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat and a hat. I put them on and walked into Cocktail Bar Juanra Falces.”* A gimlet, Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler’s most famous detective, that was one of his tipples of choice, and who can blame him? It is, coincidently, the former name of this bar which was opened in 1979 by Juanra Falces and Javier de las Muelas who left 4 years later to begin his cocktail bar empire. The whole place has an air of being in a detective novel, expecting Marlowe and his femme fatale to walk in, dressed to the nines and trade pithy barbs over gin cocktails. A discreet place, this bar harks back to the golden age of cocktails; no foam, no fake dry ice steam coming off a blue drink, just sit at the 50’s style wooden bar and order a perfectly mixed cocktail. Just remember that if you see Marlowe in there, his is a gimlet, which, incidentally, so is mine.