Best Rooftop Bars Barcelona

Tapas! Tapas! Tapas! Restaurants and Rooftop Bars in Barcelona

Julie Spain 2 Comments

While in Barcelona, there is a lot to see and do. Of course, you must visit the Sagrada Familia, walk through the Gothic Quarter, and stroll down La Rambla. But dining is another important part of getting the entire “Barcelona” experience. Tapas, vermouth, and cava are the rage here. It’s almost impossible to walk down the street without passing what seems to be an endless supply of tapas restaurants.

The choices for dining at tapas restaurants in Barcelona is overwhelming. It’s hard to go wrong in this city when it comes to having a good meal. Tim and I spent one week in Barcelona. While we were here, we made it our mission to sample as many tapas restaurants as possible, without breaking the bank and widening our waistbands. We got recommendations from friends, fellow travelers, Trip Advisor, and other travelbloggers.

After one week of eating (and drinking) our way through Barcelona, here are our recommended spots. The list is long…13 tapas restaurants, 2 rooftop bars, and one chocolate shop.

What are Tapas?

Tapas are small, savory dishes. They can be eaten alone or several can be ordered together as a meal. Patatas bravas, fried potatoes served with mayonnaise and spicy tomato puree, is the most commonly ordered tapas in Barcelona (and it’s delicious!). One of these small plates cost between €3-€6, although some seafood or fish dishes can cost considerably more.

Drinks are usually ordered along with the meal. Popular drinks include cava, Spain’s sparkling white wine, or vermouth. Wine is cheap here, averaging €3 per glass.

Tim and I typically ordered cava or wine along with three to four tapas per meal. This was more than enough for the two of us and these small plates filled us up much more than we were expecting them to. On average, one of these meals cost €30.

Part of Spanish culture is to go tapas hopping, also called tapear. If you plan on doing this, order only one or two tapas per restaurant, as these small dishes are deceptive…they can fill you up fast!

Dining in Barcelona

Barcelonans operate on a later schedule than most places we visited. Breakfast can be served as late as 12:30 pm, lunch does not start until 1 pm, and many dinner restaurants do not open until at least 7 pm. Peak hours for dinner are 8 pm to 10 pm.

It took Tim and I several days to get adjusted to this schedule. The trick is taking a short siesta midday, in between lunch and dinner.

Tapas Restaurants in Barcelona

El Nacional

This was the first tapas restaurant we tried. Located on Passeig de Gracia, one block north of Plaça Catalunya, El Nacional is huge. This one large restaurant houses several smaller restaurants, each offering a different culinary adventure. We ate at La Taperia, dining on patatas bravas, calamari, and Bomba de la Barconeta. Everything was fantastic. Tim and I also drank vermouth for the first time. It’s good but we quickly developed a preference for cava.

El Nacional Barcelona

El Nacional Barcelona tapas

Calamari

Nearest Metro: Passeig de Gracia
Hours: 12 pm – 2 am
Visit the El Nacional website here.
(+34) 935 185 053

Pinotxo Bar

Pinotxo Bar is legendary in Barcelona. It is located in Mercat de la Boqueria, the main market in central Barcelona. This tapas bar is the most popular in the market and always busy from open to close.

Pinotxo Bar

With only 14 seats at the bar, be prepared to wait, sometimes for quite awhile. There is no menu but the staff will make recommendations. We dined on seafood, clams, anchovies, and fresh fish, washing it all down with cava. It’s quite an experience, elbowing your way into this small bar, eating some of the best food we had in Barcelona, all to the smiles of Juanito, the man who owns the restaurant. If you want a unique, tasty experience while in Barcelona, put Pinotxo Bar at the top of your list.

Nearest metro: Liceu
Hours: 7 am – 4 pm, closed Sunday

Clams

El Quim de la Boqueria

This small tapas bar is also located inside of Mercat de la Boqueria. El Quim is located in the center of the market, just look for the colorful chairs. On the menu was more seafood…the sardines were delicious as was the sautéed asparagus.

Nearest metro: Liceu
Hours: 7 am – 4 pm, closed Sunday and Monday

El Quim de la Boqueria

Patatas Bravas

Cerveceria Catalana

The food here is so good that we ate here twice. At one time, this restaurant was a favorite of the locals. Now it seems that travelers have gotten the word, as there were lots of tourists lined up outside, waiting for seats. They do not take reservations here at Cerveceria Catalana, so expect to wait. If you are here during the busiest time of the day, from 8 pm – 10 pm, expect to wait up to 2 hours for a table. Don’t feel like waiting that long? Come earlier in the day. But make sure you try this place…this is another great spot for seafood.

Nearest metro: Diagonal
Hours: 8 am – 1:30 am, opens at 9 am Saturday and Sunday

Cerverceria Catalana

Sol Soler

Sol Soler is my favorite tapas bar in Barcelona. This was recommended to us by a fellow traveler. Sol Soler is located in Vila de Gracia, a neighborhood off of the tourist trail. The menu is small, the food is superb, and they serve the best carrot cake, EVER!

Nearest metro: Fontana
Hours: 11 am – 2:30 am
(+34) 931 729 975

Sol Soler Tapas

Best carrot cake ever

Bodega Biarritz 1881

For tapas heavy on meat and cheese, this is your place. It’s heavier fare than most other tapas restaurants we visited, but we loved it here. Small, warm, and very cozy, this is a popular spot in Barcelona. This is another tapas restaurant without a menu. When it is your turn to order, you will walk down the bar, picking out the tapas that look good, and they will be brought to your table. Our favorite was the spinach and cheese pastry…it was so good we went back for seconds.

Bodega Biarritz 1881 is located in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. Opening time is 5:30 pm. After 7 pm, expect to wait for a table.

Nearest metro: Liceu
Hours: 5 pm – 11 pm, closed Tuesdays
(+34) 618 677 927

Bodega Biarritz 1881

Bodega Biarritz tapas

Ziryab Fusion Tapas Bar

For something a little bit different, consider Ziryab. This fusion tapas bar blends typical Spanish tapas with Middle Eastern flavors. We dined on the combo-mezze platter, which came with hummus, Halloumi cheese, olives, bacon dates, and an assortment of dips. If you want to order the most unique looking tapas they offer, try the marinated hanging brochette.

Ziryab Fusion Tapas Bar is located in the Gothic Quarter very close to Santa Maria del Mar.

Nearest metro: Jaume I
Hours: 13:00 – 16:30 & 18:00 – 23:30
(+34) 932 681 774

Ziryab Barcelona

Ziryab Fusion Tapas

Ziryab Fusion Barcelona

Bodega 1900

Bodega 1900 is a tapas bar and vermuteria. This restaurant is the vision of Albert Adria, a man famous for owning cutting edge restaurants throughout Barcelona.

This was Tim’s favorite tapas bar in Barcelona. The anchovies, which Tim loves, were the best he ever had. The dishes here are more expensive than the other tapas bars on our list, but it is worth it if you are in the neighborhood.

Nearest Metro: Poble Sec
Hours: 1 pm – 4 pm, 7 pm – 10:30 pm, closed Sunday and Monday
Visit their website here.
(+34) 933 252 659

Bodega 1900

Tim in Bodega 1900

Cera 23

Cera 23 offers not only tapas but also full course meals. It is located in the Raval neighborhood, so it is a bit off the main tourist trail, probably a good thing. Cera 23 specializes in fusion Mediterranean cuisine, with dishes of octopus, ceviche, black rice and seafood, beef cheeks, and slow cooked lamb.

A reservation is recommended, although if you get here right at opening time, you may be able to squeeze into a spot at the bar.

Nearest Metro: Sant Antoni
Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday 7 – 11:00 pm; Thursday through Monday 1 pm – 4 pm & 7 – 11:00 pm
Visit their website here.
(+34) 934 420 808

Cera 23

Restaurante Arume

Arume is located right around the corner from Cera 23. This restaurant specializes in contemporary Galician cuisine and has a menu similar to Cera 23.

It was here that we had the best cocktails while in Barcelona. Yes, we broke out of our cava kick and tried the gourmet cocktails here. It is worth visiting Arume if cocktails are your thing.

Reservations are highly recommended. We were able to get a seat at the bar since we arrived just before opening time.

Nearest Metro: Sant Antoni
Visit their website here.
Hours: Monday through Thursday 7 pm – 11:30 pm, Friday through Saturday 1 to 3:30 pm and 7 to 11:30 pm
(+34) 933 154 872

Arume

Bosc de les Fades Café

This slightly cheesy restaurant is worth it if you are visiting Barcelona with kids. This restaurant is similar to Rainforest Café in the USA on a much smaller scale with a better drink menu.

Nearest Metro:  Drassanes
Hours: 10 am – 1 am; opens at 11 am Saturday and Sunday

Bosc de les Fades

Blavis

Unfortunately, we never had a meal here. A week prior to traveling to Barcelona, I contacted the restaurant and learned that they were booked solid for four weeks!

This tiny restaurant gets rave reviews. Delicious food at a low cost in a friendly, intimate atmosphere is what attracts people here. We are sorry we missed it, but we have something to look forward to on a future visit to Barcelona.

Nearest Metro: Pl. Molina
Hours: 7 – 10:30 pm; closed Sunday and Monday
(+34) 935 182 005

Tickets Bar

This is the second restaurant that we did not visit. But we tried. Tim and I tried our usual tactic of arriving right at opening time to get a seat at the bar. That did not work here. In fact, like Blavis, we were told that they were booked solid for several weeks.

Why is this restaurant so popular? This restaurant made the list as one of the Top 50 restaurants in the world. It is a culinary adventure in the world of tapas, the brainchild of chef Albert Adria. If you cannot get a table here, try Bodega 1900 just across the street, a yummy consolation prize if you cannot get in to Tickets Bar.

Nearest Metro: Poble Sec
Hours: 7 pm – 10:30 pm Tuesday through Friday; Saturday 1 – 3 pm and 7 – 10:30 pm
(+34) 932 924 253
Visit their website here.

Tickets Bar

Rooftop Bars in Barcelona

Alaire Terrace Bar

For views over Passieg de Gracia and La Pedrera (Casa Mila) this is your place. Alaire Terrace Bar is located on the rooftop of Hotel Condes de Barcelona. This is a great place to unwind after a day of sightseeing with some of the best views of Casa Mila.

Nearest Metro: Diagonal

Alstair Terrace

360 Terrace

For 360 views over Barcelona, this bar has got you covered. From here, you can look out over all the major sites, including Sagrada Familia, the church spires dotting the horizon, and Sagrat Cor located up on Mount Tibidabo. While we were here, we had excellent views of the approaching thunderstorm. When it rains, there is very little shelter, which had us fleeing back inside of the hotel. On a dry night 360 Terrace is awesome.

360 Terrace is located on the top of Hotel Barcelo in the Raval neighborhood.

Nearest Metro: Liceu or Sant Antoni

Barcelona Rooftop Bar

360 Terrace Barcelona

Finally, Dessert

Our final recommendation is for Casa Amatller, the place to buy the best chocolate in Barcelona. Inside of Casa Amatller, next to Casa Batllo, is the Chocolate Amatller shop. Buy some chocolate to bring home or order from the small café. Tim and I loved the melted chocolate served with bread for dipping. So, so good!!

Chocolate Amatller


 

So, have you been to Barcelona? What are your favorite tapas restaurants? Let our readers know by commenting below.

Planning a trip to Spain? Read all of our articles in our Spain Destination Guide.

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Comments 2

  1. To me, tapas are nothing more than a stick-up. A classical trick, to give something like “cheap” for 6eur and then you need to spend 30eur to have a descent meal. For 30eur, one could taste some of the best world chefs and not some Spanish gipsy street food as that is exactly what this is. And of course it tastes wonderful to a tourist who spends days running around. Give such tourist a horse poop and he will gladly eat it!

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