Barcelona is the most eclectic, vibrant, youthful yet historically trendy city in North-Eastern Spain. That in and of itself is reason enough to spend time here, but if you’re looking to visit for a tasty gastronomic experience, there are a few wine bars you should stop at to get your palate wet when you first arrive.
Today, we’ll cover a range of wine-focused eateries, tapas bars, and upscale restaurants. Spanning from Barcelona’s ancient Gothic Quarter to Las Ramblas, the Eixample, Gracia, and Born neighborhoods and beyond.
If you’re looking to set the bar high when you first arrive in Barcelona, a stop at this legendary tapas bar is a must. Located on the corner of Rambla de Catalunya and Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Ciudad Condal is positioned in the heart of the trendy Eixample neighborhood. While they’re best known for their seafood tapas, virtually every dish served here is deliciously well thought-out. Be sure to try the Cod with Honey, the Streak with Fois Gras, the Artichoke Omlette, Prawns and Iberian Ham plates. The Sangria is excellent, though I typically opt for a glass of Rioja.
Menus are available in both English and Spanish, and both indoor and outdoor seating is available. The interior of Ciudad Comdal is upbeat and vibrant, and there is usually a 30-60 minute wait time at peak hours, so plan accordingly.
Step into the Gracia neighborhood of Barcelona. Aside from having an awesome name, La Viblioteca (or, “wine library”) offers a cozy atmosphere, extensive wine list (focusing on Catalonia), delightful tapas and cheeses. In fact, the cheese list is broad and quirky, so we suggest speaking with your server to pair some custom selections with wine. Also try their carpaccio, salmon and mango along with the fresh avocado and tuna.
This fusion restaurant won’t disappoint and the service is excellent, but be sure to book a reservation (even for bar seating) ahead of time.
Located in El Born, Vila Viniteca is a humble wine shop and wine bar, frequented by mostly locals. It’s worth a stop if you’re looking for wine insight from experts along with great meat and cheese selections. It’s also a market, so feel free to take some jamon Iberico or serrano back to your room and pair it with a bottle of Priorat red. Vila Viniteca is a small place, but you’ll leave here with a memorable experience and new knowledge of Catalonian wine.
Bar del Pla
This popular stop is a favorite among locals and travelers alike near the heart of El Born. Bar del Pla offers an affordable range of Catalan-style tapas plates and very nice house Cava. Be sure to try the tuna tartar and squid croquettes — done with the ink included. Remember, this place is popular due to some recent press mentions, so try to visit during off-hours for the best experience and attention.
La Xula Taperia
The cute yet elegant ambiance of La Xula Taperia in Gracia is very inviting. This is a true Spanish/Catalan-focused taperia, serving up traditional dishes from the region as well from further South. There is also a bit of Japanese influence noticeable when you order seafood, with dishes done in a sushi-type presentation. Menus are available in both English and Spanish. The servers are highly attentive and are happy to help with food and wine pairings.
My F*cking Restaurant
First off, do not be put off by the name. The food here is much more tasteful. Everything from the selection of raw oysters to the chicken croquettes are worth exploring. Staff will encourage you to order food by selecting fixed-price 3, 4 or 5 courses plates. Not a bad strategy so you know what you’re spending while choosing food based on your palate preference. The service is excellent and the wine list is substantial. Bar seating and tables are both available and reservations are encouraged.
La Vinya del Senor
For a beautiful setting, a French stylistic twist, and a wine list that boasts over 350 ever-changing options — you can’t miss La Vinya del Senor. Located in the El Born neighborhood (known for its trendy food scene and narrow streets) right in front of the Santa Maria Del Mar Church in a charming square, La Vinya del Senor offers both indoor and outdoor seating.
Depending on what you’re in the mood for, start with a Cava, drink a local Catalan red and then finish with a Fino Sherry. While this wine bar is better known for…the wine — the Catalonian Cheese Samplers and cured ham dishes are worth well-worth a try. As are the grilled vegetables, bocadillas, tuna with almonds and pan con tomate.
Heading back to Eixample, this noteworthy restaurant is worth visiting if you’re planning on ordering at least one bottle of wine. Monvinic has an extensive wine cellar, reportedly boasting over 3000 bottles. The menu and wine list is controlled by an iPad at your table, and you can drill down to specific countries and ultimately wine regions when selecting wines by the bottle. Wines are available from unique such as Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and beyond. We chose a stainless steel-fermented Ribera del Duero red, which paired nicely with the Poulet. They also offer pre-selected custom-pairing options.
OneOcean Club Barcelona
The upscale OneOcean Club in the Port of Barcelona is one of our favorite stops for a seaside lunch or brunch. It’s best known for its seafood, but the menu spans from classic Mediterranean dishes to European and Spanish fusion. Be sure to try the sea urchin and razor clam plates.
Visitors can opt to have a drink at the OneOcean Bar if you’re looking for a more casual experience or sit at the restaurant overlooking the marina. What impressed us most here was the wine list, which is dominated by Spanish selections, although additional options from boutique and prestigious producers from around the world are also offered. Reservations for table seating are required.