Coffee Guide Barcelona: Specialty Coffee
Coffee is everywhere in Barcelona. It’s not limited to cafes either. Every bar and restaurant serves it. Good coffee? Great coffee? That took a while to catch on but I can say with confidence that it has. Craft, artisanal, third wave, single-origin, locally roasted coffee to rival any metropolis.
To order as the locals do, familiarize yourself with the four coffee formats. A solo is a single espresso shot in a small cup. Cortado is a solo with a dash of milk. Café con leche is a milky coffee. Not as large as a latte in a glass, closer to a cappuccino but without the foam. Usually, they will bring over an espresso shot in a warmed cup and then pour the milk in at the table. Ask for a cappuccino and they will know what you are talking about but will still serve you a café con leche and shake some cocoa on top. Lastly, you have an Americano, a tall black coffee.
Insider Tip: Torrefacto, what is it? And why does it want to make a hole in your stomach lining? Coffee Guide Barcelona
Torrefacto is a method of roasting inferior Robusta coffee beans with sugar to give the beans a darker colour, a stronger ‘flavour’ (although this flavour can be of burnt tires) and to increase their shelf life. It’s a practice that started in the 1920s when José Comez Tejedor, founder of Cafes La Estrella, saw Mexican miners employing the practice to keep their coffee from going rancid. This proved useful during the austere time of the civil war. Torrefacto is still very much around today, which is why you routinely spot people dumping 2 packets of sugar in their cortado.
I want Craft Coffee, where can I get it in Barcelona?
When I first moved here, almost 7 years ago options for single-origin beans roasted here in the city and served with fresh milk were largely non-existent. I celebrated each new opening. Now, there are almost 40 addresses around the city. Without taking into account all the brunch and healthy eating places that are a reliable source of a well-made coffee. Lucky you, you have plenty of options to stay caffeinated!
Coffee Guide Barcelona: Eixample
Auto Rosellon – C/ del Rosselló, 182, 08008. () This space conjures up Michael Cain circa Italian job. I think it’s to do with the colour and tilt of the bar.
Galeria Cosmo – C/ d’Enric Granados, 3, 08007. (galeriacosmo.com) A coffee shop, slash art space, slash workspace. Coffee cups are emblazoned with the shop mascot, a 4 eyed creature with a halo.
Fargo – C/ de la Marina, 288, 08025. (facebook.com/fargocafe) Tucked in behind the likes of KFC and Burger King that have the prime spots in front of Sagrada Familia is Fargo. A small shop that uses Placid Roasters, a French-based roaster.
Hidden Cafe – C/ Constança Esquina Déu i Mata, 08029. (facebook.com/hiddencafebarcelona) Technically, this is in Les Corts, just behind the large L’illa Diagonal shopping centre but I am sneaking it in here. Good for not only coffee but a range of matcha drinks.
La Cava Cakery – Passeig de Sant Joan, 111, 08037. (www.lacavacakery.com) The trick, if you are trying to be good, is not to look directly at the cupcakes. Once you do, the battle is all but lost. They advertise Cava but I’m partial to their coffee.
Morrow Coffee – Av. Gran Vía de les Corts Catalanes 403. (facebook.com/morrowcoffeeroasters) Two blocks down from Plaça Espanya. Morrow Coffee is light-filled, bright space with black cogs standing in for art on the wall. They roast their own beans.
News & Coffee – Passeo Sant Joan, 17. (instagram.com/newsandcoffee.eu) The first in the city. A kiosk selling unusual magazines and own brand roast coffee.
Oma Bistró– C/ del Consell de Cent, 227, 08011. (facebook.com/OMABistro) Primarily a brunch space with mismatched furniture and a deep leather sofa. Oma is a good bet for coffee in the area.
People Love Coffee– Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 511, 08015. (instagram.com/peoplelove.coffee) Formerly Orïon coffee shop. On a busy thoroughfare. This spot will give you some respite from it. Plywood banquettes for you to slot yourself into with a cup of coffee.
Roast Club Cafe – C/ de València, 143, 08011. (facebook.com/roastclubcafe) A small shop with a distinctive red and white striped awning. Perch at the bar on a Tolix stool or get your coffee to go.
Robot House – C/ Provença 316. (robot-house.onebigrobot.com)Much more than coffee. This large, well-lit coffee shop is the physical incarnation of One Big Robot visual communication agency. Both task themselves with creativity for social good. And – the coffee is good while the chef ran the El Bulli lab.
Satan’s Coffee in Casa Bonay – Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 700, 08010. (satanscoffee.com) Satan’s signature strong brew is available here along with breakfast pots, sandwiches and sweet treats. Added bonus that if you do need WIFI, which Satan’s refuses to provide as part of their branding, you can take your coffee into the gorgeous green lobby of Casa Bonay.
Satan’s Coffee in Llibreria La Central – C/ Mallorca, 237. 08008 Eixample.
Three Marks Coffee – C/ d’Ausiàs Marc, 151, 08013. (threemarkscoffee.com) This coffee shop is owned by three men named Mark and it is on a street called Marc. A two-floored space with green Formica chairs, blue trays and gold spoons.
Coffee Guide Barcelona: El Born
Cafés El Magnifico – C/ de l’Argenteria, 64, 08003 (www.cafeselmagnifico.com) This is a fourth generations roaster. Salvador Sans began buying green coffee beans and roasting them in this shop when he took over from his father. His daughter Claudia is taking over the reins. This isn’t a trendy place. It’s one of the best coffee shops in town with heaps of integrity. Take away except for the two benches outside.
Funky Bakers – Passeig del Born, 10, 08003. (facebook.com/funkybakers) A fun corner deli shop that serves coffee from El Magnifico roasters.
Hush Hush – C/ del Fonollar, 4, 08003. (hush-hush.cat) This grey and yellow hued cafe has much coveted seats on the quiet pedestrian square it faces.
La Masala Cafe – C/ d’En Mònec, 6, 08003. (instagram.com/la_masala_cafe) The kind of coffee shop that has an antique map on a distressed stone wall. She’s local and he’s from Tibet. Coffee comes from El Magnifico roasters. No WiFi. Just be present and enjoy your coffee.
Mag by El Magnifico – C/ de Grunyí, 10, 08003. (facebook.com/magbyelmagnifico) An elegant coffee shop with comfortable seating and low lighting opened Fridays and weekends only. From Cafes El Magnifico.
Nømad Coffee Lab & Shop – Passatge Sert, 12, 08003. (nomadcoffee.es) Nordic in styling, an austere place with a futuristic coffee machine lit up in white neon. There is a coffee degustation menu on offer. Or you can order a la carte. Coffee is very serious with these folk.
The Alchemist – C/ del Comerç, 18, 08003.
Coffee Guide Barcelona: El Raval
Bar Central – C/ d’Elisabets, 6, 08001. (instagram.com/barcentral.barcelona) Next to Llibreria La Central, on the grounds of a former priest’s home. The priest has since departed heavenward. The courtyard has been filled with plants courtesy of Estudio Sauvage, making this coffee shop feel like an oasis in the heart of the Raval.
Caravelle – C/ del Pintor Fortuny, 31, 08001. (www.caravelle.es) Much more than just a coffee shop. Caravelle makes everything from their brioche buns to their hot sauce. Excellent coffee over here and I particularly love their thick-lipped cups.
Dalston Coffee – C/ de les Ramelleres, 16, 08001. (www.dalstoncoffee.com) The smallest coffee shop in Barcelona. Not more than a doorway. The coffee here is well balanced while packing a one-two caffeine punch that will keep you buzzing for the day.
Departure Coffee – C/ de la Verge, 1, 08001. (facebook.com/departurecoffee) A large door, the kind you would expect would lead you into a barn, leans open. A large D painted on. Inside, you can pull up a chair to a bar that has been fashioned out of an antique printing press.
Hey Studio – C/ del Dr. Dou, 4, 08001 (heystudio.es) graphic design studio that opened a striking shop. It has a small coffee bar decked out in primary colours.
Lukumás – C/ de Valldonzella, 36, 08001. (facebook.com/lukumas) This is a doughnut shop, Thessaloniki style – which is a solid style to adopt. I find a black coffee with a well-made doughnut to be one of the finest pairings there is out there. Perhaps I was a New York policeperson in a former life?
Nomad Everyday – C/ de Joaquín Costa, 26, 08001. (nomadcoffee.es) Nomad Everyday is across from a halal butcher, on a street that is fantastic for hard to find ingredients. There are benches against two walls and a bar in the middle.
Coffee Guide Barcelona: El Gotico
Federal Cafe – Passatge de la Pau, 11, 08002. (www.federalcafe.es/barcelona-gotic) Space first, coffee second. The coffee is good but the large space on this quiet hard to find passage feels like a find.
Satan’s Coffee – C/ de l’Arc de Sant Ramon del Call, 11, 08022. (satanscoffee.com) Barcelona’s original edgy coffee shop. The clue is in the name. And the many NO’S. “No Bullshit, No WIFI, No Decaf, No Vanilla, No fun for children, Fuck Yelp, Fuck Tripadvisor.” Despite the warnings, service is quite friendly. Unless you order a decaf in which case they are unbearable.
Coffee Guide Barcelona: Gràcia
Bermont Coffee – C/ del Torrent de l’Olla, 137, 08012.(facebook.com/bermontcoffee) Understated and peaceful coffee shop.
Bond Cafe –C/ de l’Avenir, 44, 08021. (facebook.com/Bond-Cafe) As in James. Shaken not stirred. Be prepared for black and white photos of Sean Connery. Formerly, Animal Coffee.
Onna Coffee – C/ de Santa Teresa, 1, 08012. (facebook.com/onnacoffee/) Opened by Anahí who bought beans green from Costa Rica and roasted them in Barcelona. She’s moved on but Onna continues to serve a good cup of coffee.
Lukumás Doughnuts – C/ del Torrent de l’Olla, 169, 08012. (facebook.com/lukumas) I always have time for this shop. A sugar-glazed lukuma (greek for doughnut) and a black coffee with a dash of milk. Yes.
Sabio Infante – C/ del Torrent de l’Olla, 39, 08012. (facebook.com/sabioinfantebcn) A brunch, all-day dining destination above all. You can come in here for a takeaway or a cup of coffee in a turquoise cup.
SlowMov – C/ de Luis Antúnez, 18, 08006. (slowmov.com) A special coffee shop with a lot of thought given to everything they do. They work with well-sourced, fair-trade beans. The shop is charming and the couple behind the brand delightful.
Syra Coffee –
Coffee Guide Barcelona: Poble Nou & that bit above Ciutadella park
Cafetería Industrial – C/ de Pallars, 154, 08005. (instagram.com/cafeteriaindustrial/) A cafe inspired by industrial spaces. The shop is an even split between white tiles and bright yellow paint.
Cake Man Bakery – C/ Amistat, 18. (facebook.com/thecakemanbakerybcn) A cake shop first and coffee shop second.
Espai Joliu – C/ de Badajoz, 95, 08005. (facebook.com/espaijoliu) This darling cafe was the first in the city to combine plant lifestyle with coffee, inspiring others to do similar things.
Little Fern – C/ de Pere IV, 168, 08005. (littleferncafe.com) As you would expect from a cafe run by a New Zealander, the coffee is exceptional. So are most things on the menu. And the house blend Chai.
Nomad Roasters Home – C/ de Pujades, 95, 08005. (nomadcoffee.es) The headquarters of Nomad Roasters. A large roaster is visible through glass windows as are sacks of beans, stacked high.
Orval Coffee – C/ de Buenaventura Muñoz, 31, 08018. (www.whereplantsmeet.coffee) A beacon in an otherwise short on coffee shops area. Orval continues where sister coffee shop Espai Joliu left off, coffee and plants. Plants and coffee. As lovely as the original.
Skye Coffee – C/ de Pamplona, 88, 08018. (facebook.com/skyecoffeeco) Coffee sold out of an iconic Citroen Truck in an enormous warehouse in Poble Nou.
Syra Coffee – C/ de Pujades, 100, 08005. (syra.coffee) Take two of the original shop in Gracia. This location is larger.
Coffee Guide Barcelona: Poble Sec / Sant Antoni
Cafe Cometa – C/ del Parlament, 20, 08015. (cafecometa.com) From the same family as Orïon and Cosmo, Cometa delivers a quirky space with local artwork on the walls.
Federal Cafe –C/ del Parlament, 39, 08015. (www.federalcafe.es) One of the first to do all day food with good coffee and offer a pretty space to idle sometimes in. They have a second location in El Gotico, one in Madrid and another shop in Girona.
Manso’s Cafe– C/ de Manso, 1, 08015. (facebook.com/mansoscafe) A Nordic cafe that is known for a killer cardamom bun, the kind with the large sugar crumbs all over. Make sure you order one with your coffee.