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Vermouth route: Ciutat Vella

Discover a truly authentic Barcelona tradition with this walking tour of the Ciutat Vella neighbourhood's vermouth bars

Irene Fernández

In Ciutat Vella, you’ll find perplexed gaggles of visitors contemplating slices of moixama as if it were the remains a mythological beast, pinned and mounted on a a cocktail stick. And it’s true, an aperitif here means braving the crowds, but we can’t let this discourage us from visiting temples like Bar del Pla (Montcada, 2; closed Mon), where they pride themselves on creamy draft beer, wines by the glass, and creative tapas. Or, at the other extreme, the simplicity and austerity of Bar La Plata (Mercè, 28; closed Sun), a matchbox of a bar where you’ll sometimes find Ferran Adrià himself enjoying their fried anchovies and trademark tomato, onion and arbequina olive salad. And if you have the stamina to seek out a refuge in the busiest part of the Gòtic, La Caladel Vermut (Copons, 2 and Magdalenes, 6) has first-rate 'seitons' (white vinegar–cured anchovies) and finely sliced ham.

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