Vermouth: the happiest hour

Discover the bars where siphon and snacks are practically a religion

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Vermouth hour has never fallen out of fashion in Barcelona, but in recent years the tradition of gathering with friends to share an afternoon aperitif, and the usual side dishes, has garnered a new generation of devotees and plenty of proprietors only too happy to accommodate. Time Out brings you the modern, as well as the classic, temples of vermouth.

Don't see your favourite vermouth spot in the list? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Bodegueta Cal Pep

  • Critics choice

You don’t have to go down to Barceloneta for good fish tapas. On the corner of Sants market, the tiny bar Bodegueta de Cal Pep offers a range of marine snacks that you just can’t refuse: sea ​​snails, crab, razor clams, goose barnacles, dried tuna and other delicacies such as peperini (peppers stuffed with anchovies or cheese) and Torta del Casar soft cheese. Àngel has kept alive the spirit of this place, which opened 20 years ago, while adapting it to modern times. For gourmets of the aperitif.

  1. Canalejas, 12, Sants-Montjuïc, 08028
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Bar Seco

This bar belongs to the Slow Food movement – they use local, sustainable produce to make the dishes for a menu that is quite short but more than sufficient to satisfy hungry bellies. Their bio-patatas bravas are rightly renowned. As is the outdoor terrace, just in front of the Montjuïc air-raid shelter.

  1. Pg. de Montjuïc, 74, Poble-sec, 08004
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Quimet i Quimet

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Packed to the rafters with dusty bottles of wine, this classic but minuscule bar makes up for in tapas what it lacks in space. The specialities are 'conservas' (shellfish preserved in tins), which aren't always to non-Spanish tastes, but the 'montaditos' (sculpted tapas served on bread) are spectacular. Try salmon sashimi with cream cheese, honey and soy, or cod, passata and black olive pâté. Get there early for any chance of a surface to put your drink on.

  1. Poeta Cabanyes, 25, Poble-sec, 08004
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Bar Mingus

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Critics choice

The Mingus is just as much of a rarity among the tourist bars in the Gothic quarter as the black jazz musician Charles Mingus was, a man who dared to play a white man’s instrument back in the day. Compared to all the plastic tapas in the surrounding bars, the Mingus produces tasty meatballs and an amazing ensaladilla rusa. And there’s great beer on tap.

  1. Ataülf, 6, Gòtic, 08002
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Casa Mariol Wine Bar

At the Casa Mariol Wine Bar, which is part of the bodega of the same name, you'll have the chance to get to know Suau, which is an version of a drink (a blend of soda and coffee) that was popular in the Ribera de l'Ebre region decades ago. You can also taste cask wines from the Ebre, accompanied by a nice 'clotxa' (bread stuffed with herring, onions, tomatoes and garlic) and then top it all off with delicious cakes from Batea (a town also in the Ebre).

  1. Rosselló, 442, Eixample Dret, 08025
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Morro Fi

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

For some time now, the Morro Fi blog has been considered an essential website for those who aspire to keeping their stomachs happy. These one-time explorers of anchovy and secallona havens have set up their own oasis. Working in a tiny space, Marcel serves the aperitifs that he has always wished he could have found in bars. Marcel’s draught beers hide a secret that only you can see if you pay close attention to the hands of this man who is known as the Rimbaud of the beer tap. Two fingers of poetic justice, that’s what I find in each glass.

  1. Consell de Cent, 171 , Eixample Esquerre, 08015
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Tarannà

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Critics choice

This, the most austere of the bars in Sant Antoni, offers a strict diet of good coffee, even better cakes and sandwiches, delicious creams and fruit juices.

  1. Viladomat, 23, Sant Antoni, 08015
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Lolita

  • Critics choice

When Albert Adrià left his tapas bar Inopia, his partner Joan Martínez turned it into the Lolita tapas bar. Safe to say, everything changes, and yet it stays the same. This crowded bar serves eggplant with cane molasses, all kinds of edible delights with the vermouth and delicious treats such as squid croquettes and chicken strips in breadcrumbs.

  1. Tamarit, 104, Eixample Esquerre, 08015
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Bar Calders

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

For all Pere Calders fans – God has heard your prayers. The cul-de-sac named after the writer has recently become home to one of the loveliest spots in Sant Antoni. They have books by the Catalan author, the draught beer flows freely and there’s a selection of tapas that sends shivers of pleasure through the district. Obviously, the best thing to try is the vermouth. They stock four brands, but if you want to try a Priorat, then you should go for the one from Falset. Incidentally, the outdoor terrace is one of the district’s best kept secrets: You’ll just keep coming back.

  1. Parlament, 25, Eixample, 08015
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Es Xibiu

  • Price band: 1/4

The friends who launched Red Rocket Bar have also got a pintxos bar going in C/Blai: Es Xibiu benefits by having a Mallorcan in co-owner Bel, as well as a selection of pintxos (similar to tapas, mounted on small pieces of bread) with an unbeatable value for money and a dish of the day. Be sure to try the Mallorcan speciality drink, palo amb sifó. Saturdays at lunchtime mean vermouth hour with music spun by the best rock 'n' soul DJs on the national scene.

  1. Blai, 48, 08004
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La Pepita

  • Price band: 1/4

You won’t find anyone called Pepita behind the counter or at the bar. But you will find Sofia and Andreu, the owners of this place with unusually long operating hours. Eat when you want: breakfast, lunch (special menus available at €8-€12), snacks and dinner, where the star turns are the 'pepitas', inspired by the famous pepito pork cuts, from the classic loin to some surprising creations. La Pepita is also a bar with a predilection for gin and tonics (they’ll make you a half-measure for €4) and their house vermouth, made up of gin, orange and soda.

  1. Còrsega, 343, Gràcia, 08037
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La Tieta

Chickpeas with prawns, tasty potato omelette, mushrooms with garlic and parsley, amazing olives – the problem is knowing where to start. La Tieta is just a place with a marble bar that offers good wine, bottles of vermouth and an endless flow of draught beer. You won’t find any classics on the wine list – this week they’re in love with Mallorcan wine, and next week they’re crazy about Galician wine. There’s nothing unusual here, no secret, just good traditional food made from fresh ingredients and with skill and enthusiasm.

  1. Blai, 1, Poble-sec, 08004
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Bar Papitu

  • Critics choice

In the midst of the leafy garden formed by the farmers’ market next to the Boqueria, Papitu is an ideal bar for a snack, surrounded by the hollering of vendors, the squeaking of fruit trolleys and the general din. Its terrace takes up most of the square, while the bar itself sums up Papitu’s minimalist charm: a small kiosk where they serve good beer on tap and excellent croquettes and squid. While you sip at your vermouth (accompanied by a dish of anchovies), you might wonder how this little miracle can all come out of a bar less than one metre in length. Barcelona Neorealism with tourists and anchovies.

  1. Plaça de Sant Galderic, El Raval, 08001
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Bodega 1900

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Albert Adrià provides the brains behind this new spot, and his restaurant Tickets is just across the road. You know that with an Adrià at the helm in the kitchen, it's an innovative cuisine they're serving up, even though they try to be true to the flavours that dominated in local food from the early 20th century: the smoked, the salted, the grilled and the pickled. It's a pleasing trip to the past without leaving behind the modern mindset for the 21st-century palate.

  1. Tamarit, 91
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Bodega L'Avi Manel

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The main feature of the Bodega L’Avi Manel is a large mural of grape harvests, in the same brown tones as the wine from Gandesa. The property was built in 1960, and the proprietors have managed to highlight the new while still showing their love for the old. As you walk in, you can't help but notice the giant barrels on your right; they're full of wines from the Penedès, Rioja and Priorat regions. (They also offer various brands of Catalan cavas.) To your left are barrels of sweet wines, and dusty bottles (among them Pujol rum for making 'café cremat'), and the latest names in beer. The snack menu runs the gamut from traditional vermouth accompaniments to a bit more modern tasts such as hummus with anchovies and vegetable fajitas. The clientele is equally varied.

  1. Consell de Cent, 416, Eixample Dret, 08009
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Bar Electricitat

With its warm, neighbourhood feel, this bodega is one of the great vermouth classics in town. Aside from the house vermouth, it also features some of the city's best meat-and-potato bombas, tender potato omelettes, and a Russian salad that will make a fan out of anyone.

  1. Sant Carles, 15, Barceloneta, 08003
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La Plata

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Also known locally as ‘Los Pescaditos’ for their delicious, freshly-fried fish. They serve Perucchi vermouth, one of the oldest brands in Catalonia. A Sunday aperitif here will make you feel like a king.

  1. Mercè, 28, Ciutat Vella, 08002
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Mitja Vida

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Fans of sayings and stuffed olives, the Morro Fi locals (blog and bar), there's a new spot for you in Mitja Vida. Much bigger than its predecessor, Mitja Vida has set itself up in Sant Gervasi, right near Plaça de Molina. Around a stainless steel bar, a row of stools and a hunger-inducing counter where they serve up 'mojama' (filleted salt-cured tuna), anchovies, calamares and herring. These are simple things, but done extremely well – the exquisite austerity of a good anchovy and the constant homage to the type of classic bar this town has always known.

  1. Brusi, 39
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El Xampanyet

The eponymous bubbly is actually a pretty low-grade cava, if truth be told, but a drinkable enough accompaniment to the house tapa; a saucer of Cantabrian anchovies. Lined with coloured tiles, barrels and antique curios, the bar chiefly functions as a little slice of Barcelona history, and has been in the hands of the same family since the 1930s.

  1. Montcada, 22, Born, 08003
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Els Sortidors del Parlament

  • Rated as: 3/5

Lovers of good wine and tapas will be happy here: they offer a stunning selection of wines from around the world, with a good range of wines from Catalonia, all at shop prices and with a corkage charge of €4. They also have six different beers on tap. Propped against a barrel, you can enjoy a drink with selected cured meats and tinned products, and unusual tapas such as the quail egg omelette with black truffle oil.

  1. Parlament, 51, Eixample Esquerre, 08015
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Users say

1 comments
Valeria
Valeria

Les faltó la cala del vermut en la calle magdalenes, todo un clásico!

Top 100 bars in Barcelona

Whether you're in search of a tapas bar or on a quest for the best patatas bravas, if your tipple is wine, beer or vermouth, find what you're hunting for in our selection of the 100 best bars in Barcelona. And for the teetotals, we've also rounded up the best coffee houses and tea rooms. To the bar!