From backstreet dives to beachfront beauties, here are my favourite places to drink vermouth in Barcelona.
There’s nothing more hip in Barcelona than sipping on vermouth and nibbling on tapas with your friends, or fer el vermut as the locals call it. It’s become a ritual, an essential part of life here in the Catalan capital. La hora del vermut – the time for vermouth – starts around midday and is traditionally enjoyed as a pre-lunch aperitif, but in reality we sip on it at all hours. It’s seen quite a renaissance over the last couple of years and you can now order vermouth almost anywhere in the city.
The following bars, however, are what my friends and I consider to be the best vermouth bars in Barcelona. These are the places we love and visit most.
Vermouth Sipping Top Tips:
- Don’t order Martini vermouth in Barcelona; that’s a big no-no (because not only is it mass-produced, but it’s also Italian).
- Always order ‘vermut de la casa’ (house vermouth), and if they don’t have a house vermouth, order Vermut Yzaguirre, which is high quality and made nearby in Tarragona.
- Order red vermouth (vermut rojo) or black vermouth (vermut negro) as they call it in Catalan, not white vermouth (vermut blanco).
- Remove the ice and don’t use sifón (a sort of soda water that weakens the flavour).
1. Colibrí (Raval)
Nestled away on the cosmopolitan carnival that is Carrer Riera Alta, this gorgeous little bar is brought to life with vintage Martini posters, antique mirrors and chandeliers that look like they were salvaged from the Titanic. The culinary offerings are singularly Mediterranean, with an excellent selection of tapas and wines and an even more impressive selection of gin, vodka and, of course, vermouth. Just don’t dare ask for sangria – or any of these other cliches!
Address: Carrer de la Riera Alta, 33, Raval
Metro: Sant Antoni (Purple Line)
2. Carmelitas Vermuteria (Raval)
This stunning tapas bar/restaurant is housed in an old nuns’ convent in the ever-trendy cultural melting pot of the Raval. The urban chic styling reminds me of Shoreditch in East London but it also has a sort of Paris sophistication that I really like. But most importantly, of course, the vermut de la casa is exceptional – strong and sweet. And I recommend ordering a bowl of their hearty patas bravas to get the appetite going.
Address: Carrer del Dr. Dou, 1, Raval
Metro: Liceu (Green Line)
3. Gran Bodega Saltó (Poblesec)
A regular haunt for a bohemian mix of heavily tattooed regulars and vermouth-sipping locals who come to ‘tocar las palmas’ and dance to the live rumba rhythms. It’s situated at the top of the ultra-hip Carrer Blai, which is now one of the city’s hottest tapas/pincho bar hopping streets. Order vermouth and a bowl of olives before touring your way back down this vibrant street.
Address: Carrer Blesa (the top end of Carrer Blai), 36, Poblesec
Metro: Paral-lel (Green or Purple Line)
4. Bodega Armando (Raval)
The pungent smells of olives and old wood fill your senses as you step through the door and find Armando’s beaming smile. The proudest bar owner in Raval, he dazzles with a waltz on light feet, prepping lavish lowballs of vermouth and slithers of fuet and cheese. Propped up at the bar with giant newspapers and bottomless bowls of juicy fat olives are his biggest fans: the good ol’ boys with their slicked-back hair and herringbone jackets who spend their days and nights here. I suggest you do the same.
Address: Carrer Bisbe Laguarda 4, Raval
Metro: Sant Antoni (Purple Line)
5. La Confitería (Paral-lel / Raval)
Just a few steps away from Paral-lel metro stop and within stumbling distance to the hipster-havens of Parlament street and Sant Antoni, this sweet shop turned cocktail bar is the perfect meeting spot.
Inside and out, the intricate carpentry, opulent chandeliers and gilded mirrors have remained untouched since it opened in 1912 and, in my humble opinion, it’s now one of the most beautiful bars in Barcelona. Read what else I had to say about it here.
Address: La Confitería, Carrer de Sant Pau, 128, Raval
Metro: Paral-lel (Green or Purple Line)
6. Bar Calders (Parlament Street, Sant Antoni)
This is where I like to go on my bike when the sun’s shining. There’s a cycle track that takes you straight there and a little place where you can lock your bike right next to the bar. Go with a friend or go alone and sit in the shade of the trees. Sip on a few glasses of the good stuff. Read a book. Eavesdrop. Shoot the breeze.
Address: Carrer del Parlament, 25, Sant Antoni
Metro: Poble Sec (Green Line)
7. Jai-ca (Barceloneta – Near the Beach)
Noisy, brash and with service that leaves a lot to be desired, it’s sometimes difficult to see why Jai-ca bar is one of the most popular tapas bars in Barceloneta. But then you taste the thick wedges of tortilla and lemon-drizzled calamaris and it all makes sense. Puff out your chest, shout your order over the bar and elbow your way to a table out front.
Address: Carrer de Ginebra, 13, Barceloneta
Metro: Barceloneta (Yellow Line)
8. Bodega Ca’l Pep (Gracia)
Arguably the most authentic bodega bar in Barcleona, Ca’l Pep hasn’t changed for the best part of a century. It’s packed with dusty old wine barrels and age-stained posters and more often than not it’s overflowing with boozed up old-timers who appear to be spending their retirements here with their friends, talking about the good ol’ days. And they’ll be glad to tell you all about it too, if you’ll let them.
Address: Carrer Verdi, 141, Gracia
Metro: Lesseps (Green Line)
9. La Vermutería del Tano (Gracia)
Warm and familiar, with a mix of sun-soaked locals propped up at the bar and groups of friends sitting at heavy marble and iron tables. Antique clocks and wooden wine barrels grace the walls and vintage posters hang where they have hung since they were new. Everyone seems to know each other, shaking hands and adding to the jovial soundtrack with crescendos of “Hola guapo, que tal?!” and “Adeu! Fins demà!” And the vermouth de la casa is excellent. See what else I had to say about it here.
Address: Carrer Joan Blanques, 17, Gracia
Metro: Joanic (Yellow Line)
10. Bormuth (El Borne)
Overlooking the glorious Mercat del Born and surrounded by an enviable array of restaurants, cafes, burger joints, fashion boutiques and cocktail bars, Bormuth (Borne + Vermouth = Bormuth) epitomises the old-meets-new elegance that attracts Barcelona’s beautiful people to this trendy barrio in their droves. Sip on vermouth, people watch and nibble on a selection of delicious tapas dishes (I love the huevos estrellados). This is what la hora del vermut is all about.
Address: Plaça Comercial, 1, El Borne
Metro: Jaume I (Yellow Line)
More Excellent Vermouth Bars in Barcelona
- Bar Leo (Carrer de Sant Carles, 34, Barceloneta – Metro Barceloneta)
- Vermut i a la Gàbia (Placa d’Osca, 7, Sants – Metro Placa de Sants)
- Federal Cafe (Carrer Parlament, 39, Sant Antoni – Metro Paral·lel or Universitat)
- Casa Mariol (Carrer Rosselló, 442, Sagrada Familia – Metro Sagrada Familia)
- Bodega Cala del Vermut (Carrer de les Magdalenes, 6, Gotico – Metro Urquinaona or Jaume I)
- Bar Seco (Pg. de Montjuïc, 74, Poble-sec – Metro Paral·lel)
- Bar Electricitat (Carrer de Sant Carles, 15, Barceloneta – Metro Barceloneta)
- La Pepita (Carrer de Còrsega, 343, Gracia/Eixample – Metro Diagonal)
- Morro Fi (Carrer del Consell de Cent, 171, Sant Antoni – Metro Urgell)