Barcelona Has Some Of The World’s Best Bars—Here’s Where To Go Now

The vibrant Spanish city topped the World’s 50 Best Bars list two years in a row.

The all-wood bar at Paradiso (Courtesy Paradiso)

Two years ago, the world’s best bar was unveiled. And it wasn’t a chic London hotel bar or a trendy New York hot spot that took top honors: it was Paradiso, a tiny, Mad Hatter-ish bar in Barcelona’s Born district, marking the first time a bar outside New York or London won the accolade. In 2023, Barcelona continued to dominate the rankings. This time, the world’s best drinkery was declared to be Sips—a slickly scientific bar in the city’s center.

All that high praise has definitely raised the bar for Barcelona’s hospitality scene. Michelin-starred eateries are aplenty, each offering its own take on tasting menus and local cuisine. Good bars are equally in abundance, found from the Born up to the Passage de Gràcia. So where should you go to sample Barcelona’s hottest food and drink destinations? Here are five essential bars and restaurants to try now.


The Pera +Pera + Pera at Sips is served in a beeswax pear. (Courtesy Sips)

Sips is less a cocktail bar and more a modernist experience— appropriate in a city where Antoni Gaudi, Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali all nurtured their artistic creativity. There’s no bar, per se, there’s just an island in the center of the bar where mixologists work with scientific precision to make your drinks.

All employ forward-thinking techniques, like an espresso martini with over-whipped foam, so it reaches out of the glass in stiff peaks. A daiquiri arrives in two parts, via hand-turned ice machine and a pipette full of sherry. Other drinks are served via bubble gum or in molds of hands. The entire space is seating-room only so it’s never overly crowded and always dark and sultry. Consider it a bucket list date spot.


A caviar course at Caelis (Courtesy Caelis)

While the dining room at this just-opened Michelin-star restaurant on the second floor of The Ohla Barcelona hotel is cozy, the move is to book a reservation at the chef’s counter. Here, a dozen courses in a kaleidoscope of colors will be passed straight from the kitchen to your seat. Dishes are French-influenced and focused on Spanish ingredients, like egg yolk tarts with caviar and whipped sea bass and trout roe in a bowl made of ice.


The alien dining room at Enigma. (Courtesy Enigma)

One of famed El Bulli chef Albert Adrià’s newest projects is the delightfully odd Enigma, a tasting menu-only spot in an otherworldly venue. The entire space feels as if you’re suspended in a cloud, from the slick, silver finishes to the lunar lighting. Tasting menus are always 25 courses and rotate frequently. While all of this may sound a bit stuffy, the underlying message of the concept is pure whimsy: spherical olives (a la the original ElBulli), mezcal shots served tableside, and clouds of corn and caviar.

Hotel Majestic

A potato and egg dish at Hotel Majestic is covered in a crown of truffles. (Courtesy Hotel Majestic)

The iconic neoclassical hotel has been a Passeig de Gracia institution for over 100 years, and hosted the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Josephine Baker. Recently, the hotel’s food program was overhauled and amplified to match the majesty of the majestic. On the second floor SOLC restaurant, weekend brunches are a lavish affair, with tiered trays of oysters and mussels and a full buffet of fresh French- and Catalan-style pastries. Wines are often made locally in collaboration with the revered Cava houses just a short drive from the property.


Paradiso Express cocktail at Paradiso in Barcelona
The Paradiso express is served in an actual train. (Courtesy Paradiso)

Despite what the name may suggest, there are few speakeasies these days that remain a secret. Paradiso isn’t one of them — pull up to the bar (the best in the world in 2022, according to World’s 50 Best) and there’s a lengthy line snaking down the block, with thirsty guests passing the time at a patio out front.

The wait is worth it. Slip past the sandwich shop exterior and into the tropical bar where the menu is quirky and full of seasonal delights. The house martini is infused with fennel, oregano, and mustard seeds and served tableside in a personal bottle of Tanqueray. There’s also more curious drinks like the Tesla: a Caipirinha riff made with Gardeum electric liqueur Tanqueray 10, and Trois Rivieres rum, with a string of literal electricity lighting up the drink. Talk about catching a buzz.