If you're the type who thinks of comfort before all else, leave those tight jeans in the shop and settle in to some Barcelona bars that will help you feel cosy and relaxed. Whether you fancy a drink with your sweetheart or with friends, if you're after a craft beer, a cup of tea or a place where you can tantalise your taste buds with creative cocktails, this group of bars offers all that, plus the bonus of a soft and sumptuous sofa area. Why not flop down and sink into the cushions on your next night out?
Until the early 20th century, a city dairy farm ('vaquería', where urbanites would go to get fresh milk) stood on this site. But times change, and it’s now a Scandi-inspired café with an excellent design. They serve all kinds of food for breakfast (including different scrambled egg dishes), and afternoon snacks such as home-made cakes and tempting sandwiches. There’s also a dish of the day that’s worth a try, while on Saturday and Sunday they serve brunch. To sum up, whenever you go, you could find yourself staying the whole day.
We've found he perfect hideaway to take your better half and skip supper, if you know what we mean. Oaxaca is an oasis for lovers and dating couples in need of that little extra push. Warm, sensual, exquisitely furnished, moderately exotic, it begs you to claim one of the most secluded brown leather sofas and let the waiter light the candle. The cocktail menu is a sinful delight from the first entry to the last. While you let the drink, the Mexican décor and the music – also Mexican – from the jukebox take effect, you can always complete the process of stirring up your hormones with the best-kept secret of the house: oysters in a green 'aguachile' sauce. They work as the perfect complement to the alcoholic onslaught.
Simple and warm. Pura Vida’s mix of Latin American and European influences offers a soothing, relaxing environment. The omnipresent white fits perfectly with the warmth of the wood fittings and parquet floors. It’s a welcoming space inside a classic Born building, a clean sweep of somewhere you can imagine was previously pretty unappealing. It has three rooms – one with a marble bar (window with a street view included); an inner room with comfy sofas and cushions; and last but not least, the pièce de résistance for when you want a break from the human race, a mezzanine with panoramic views of the bar. An excellent choice for couples wanting to snuggle down.
Oma is a charming place, with wood dominating the decor and natural light flooding in from the windows. High ceilings. All kinds of vintage chairs. Exposed brick walls. A retro sofa or two. A bicycle hanging on the wall, purely for decoration. It's the perfect setting for what's on the menu. If you want a drink, choose from fresh juices, quality coffee and craft beer from various taps. If you're feeling peckish, try an out-of-this-world home-made cake, or the lemon pie, which will have you dropping to your knees in thanks. But if you're really hungry, try Oma's brunch. It's the cure to any hangover or start to any great day. The Nebraska beef hamburger is a sensation. The eggs are impressive. The burrata, the ceviche...
Using a bit of reverse psychology ('No llegiu' means 'Don't read' in Catalan), journalist Xavier Vidal invites you to this small bookshop in Poblenou. It's especially ideal for those who like to read a page or two of a book before committing to it. To make your experience even better, No Llegiu offers several comfy sofas and coffee (which is free for those who do buy a book). Also, they host book clubs where you can chat with other readers and authors, with a bit of wine tasting on the side.
The signature cocktails at Collage are pure artistic imagination. Their own delicious concoctions – as well as the classics – are the result of the creative blood running through the veins of bartenders who know exactly what they're doing. And the decor complements the drinks wonderfully. As soon as you walk in, you see the bar made of old tiles, and upstairs, the jewel in Collage's crown: a lounge area with vintage furniture, a 19th-century piano and leather sofas. Small art exhibitions are often held in this exquisitely decorated space.
This is an amazing golden space, one where you wouldn't be surprised to find Scaramanga drinking an Old Fashioned or see Vesper Lynd winking at the bartender. With vintage sofas, a wooden bar, and liquid gold as the official colour, the exquisite decor makes the superb cocktails at Solange taste even better. You can, of course, enjoy classic cocktails and they'll be delicious (and come without any unnecessary flowery adornment). What a Bloody Mary! What a gin fizz! However, if you're feeling adventurous, talk to the bartender and he'll come up with a new mix just for you.
What's great about this bar (where you're completely immersed in the spirit of the Gràcia neighbourhood) is that it feels more like someone's living room than a conventional bar. Get there early if you want a good spot on a comfy sofa, and then spend the rest of the night ordering daiquiris.
When you walk through the door of the Garage Beer Co you know you're in a different kind of craft brewery. The bar resembles a garage – industrial, deep, high, greyish – although this sensation is broken up by the high tables and bar stools around the place. The granite bar is an ideal refuge for those reluctant to head into the belly of this modern-day tavern. There's also a lounge filled with retro sofas. However, if you do make it to the back of the establishment, you'll find the jewel in the crown: a small factory where the Garage Beer Co staff make their own beer.
This colourful tea shop is a great place to plop yourself down on the sofa and and lose track of time. The walls are mini exhibition areas for young artists to hang their paintings, while at the tables they serve exotic teas from around the world, taking you on a journey that could very well start in Tibet and end up in Morocco. While you're at it, you can also take tokes from a 'nargile', the popular Arab pipes also known as hookahs. If tea's not your thing, or the weather outside is calling for something cooler to drink, we recommend sampling their popular juices or milkshakes.
When you head into Cosmo, you don’t know whether to sit on a sky-blue sofa, relax into a purple armchair, or prop yourself against a bar stool covered with the same material as the menu. The white walls are pristine, the ceilings are high, and someone went to the trouble of painting the refrigeration pipes a blood red. Their scribbled chalkboard offers nachos and hummus. This café and art gallery is a quiet place to read a book or to drink a juice made of three different fruits plus ginger while shamelessly thumbing through the latest issue of your favourite interior design magazine.
Music lovers should have the address to Vinilo tattooed on their hand for when they're in need of good sounds but their memories have started to fail them. Dark, with crisp, aged wood and rock notes engraved with blood into the walls, this is the bar for musos who prefer to listen to their favourite hits in the old-school style. The staff here love vinyl and quality bands. The huge blue gramophone that adorns the bar is where visitors pay their respects to the way things used to be. And if this bar sounds right up your street but you're not quite convinced about making the trip to the Gràcia neighbourhood, know this – there are countless sofas. You may never want to leave.
A life lived horizontally is much more pleasant than one lived vertically. This is a well-known fact at 33/45, where customers really do follow the path of least resistance. In this bar, there are always people sprawled out on the endless number of sofas and retro armchairs. It's the perfect spot to chat all night with friends or enjoy a great view of the busy street outside. Unlike some other bars with recycled furniture, this one has style – it feels a bit like a trendy furnishings store.