A Local’s Pick of 14 of the Best Cafes in Barcelona
Our guide to cafes in Barcelona will help coffee lovers hunt down the best coffee in Barcelona.
Perhaps the hardest thing is lining up Spanish and Italian terminology.
A cortado is not exactly a cappuccino and a café con leche is not exactly a latte, but you can normally get what you want in the end.
The good news is there is a well-established espresso culture, and even the most humble cafes will have a decent coffee machine.
And alongside these traditional coffee shops, the city, which has largely resisted some of the bigger American coffee shop chains, has got into the specialty coffee scene in a big way in recent years.
Below are some of my favorite cafes in the city – something old, something new, a sneaky mention for a tea shop and one for the view.
SlowMov is a cafe and a roastery concept store in the heart of Gràcia. They use the same branding, coffee beans and roast profiles as the Parisian Coutume Café, but the roasting is done locally.
Their single origin coffee (filter coffee) is excellent and their coffees are presented with care and craft.
You can choose your beans and brewing method from a menu and the knowledgeable staff are happy to guide you through the process, or even give you talks on the coffees.
Where: Carrer de Luis Antúnez, 18
Satan’s Coffee Corner
Satan’s Coffee Corner has two locations in the city: one on Gran Via and the other a stone’s throw from Barcelona Cathedral.
Since 2012, this coffee shop has made its name with its exceptional specialty coffee, notably their blends of Right Side Coffee, but they also serve unusual food.
A traditional Japanese breakfast, with omelette, miso soup, rise and spinach is not something you will find in just any Barcelona cafe!
For the less adventurous, the donuts are killer too.
Where: Gran Via 700 and L’Arc de Sant Ramon del Call 11,
Three Marks Coffee
Half a dozen blocks downtown from La Sagrada Familia, Three Marks Coffee is another specialty coffee shop that combines minimalist décor with amazing coffee.
On a corner, it’s a bright area where you can enjoy both freshly roasted coffee and healthy food.
There are two espressos on offer, from Honduras and Africa, and like Nomad both are prepared in a La Marzocco.
The menu has a vast array of options including espressos, kalita, batch brew, and filtered coffee There are also cold coffee options such as iced latte, cold brew and matcha latte.
There’s some good food on offer, including mortadella sandwiches (two of the “Marks” are actually Marcos!).
I also recommend the high quality breakfast menu options including porridge, as well as naughtier snacks including cinnamon buns.
In the upstairs area there are a selection of books related to coffee and a nice working space if you want to take advantage of the free wifi.
Where: Carrer d’Ausiàs Marc, 151
Nomad Coffee Roasters
Nomad has three shops in Barcelona. There’s a roastery, Roaster’s Home, near Llacuna metro and the Nomad Coffee Lab and Shop, ensconced in the cool and tranquility of a Barri Gòtic courtyard.
The cafe is almost icily minimalist but the welcome and the Guatemalan espresso served from the La Marzocco Linea machine are as warm as you will find.
This place also has a real educational element, with the staff keen to show off and teach about their art.
Where: Carrer de Pujades, 95 and Passatge Sert, 12
Cafés El Magnifico
Cafés El Magnifico is an attractive hole-in-the-wall place that opened in 1989.
Despite the name, this site is a little bit of everything, wholesaler, retailer and cafe, blended into one.
Talking of blends, a number of single-origin and exceptional blends are on sale, including cold fusion and shakerato.
Where: Carrer de l’Argenteria, 64
A few doors down is Café Federal. Just as reputable for its food as for its coffee, I’d especially recommend Café Federal for French toast and Eggs Benedict.
Clean, colorful and modern in style, there is brunch-style benching outside to perch on if you want to combine coffee-drinking with people-watching.
In terms of the coffee, it’s a place where I am often tempted by the iced options, so if you are missing that non-traditional option from back home, it’s a great choice.
Where: Carrer del Parlament, 39
In the heart of the happening Sant Antoni neighborhood, Café Cometa is a great spot for a coffee, juice or brunch.
Clearly Scandinavian in inspiration, the cafe’s minimalist décor is punctured by the huge map of Denmark.
Freshly-made sandwiches are a big draw here too, but my favorite thing is the chai latte, among the best I have had in Barcelona.
Where: Carrer del Parlament, 20
El Bar de la Central
A hundred meters or so from La Rambla is this unexpectedly airy and relaxed cafe, one of my favorite retreats in El Raval.
The cafe belonging to La Central bookshop, it has an unbeatable location in the gardens outside the Casa de la Misericordia.
In front of the old House of Mercy, solace of a different kind is now served to locals and tourists alike: respite away from the hordes, peace and quiet away from the hullabaloo and great coffee and food!
The main patio’s palm trees and olive trees provide welcome shade, and breakfast is served from 9am.
Artisanal ice creams are also alluring, with a mix of both traditional flavors and novel ideas: flotaors are ice cream floats served either in soft drinks or alcohol, as the mood takes you.
Where: Elisabets, 6El Raval
Something different now: a coffee truck in the middle of a shared space Poblenou, Skye Coffee is typically ramshackle in style but has won a reputation for potent specialty coffee and punchy cortados and cappuccinos.
While this Citroen van may have seen better days, the Aeropress machine is definitely top of the range.
Espacio 88 makes for an interesting setting too; its high-vaulted ceilings give it a scrubbed-clean industrial vibe.
Where: Espacio 88, Carrer de Pamplona 88
Espai Joliu is a great example of the growing trend of hybrid shops in Barcelona. This is a plant concept store and cafe share the same space!
Stylistically, we are talking “artful neglect” with its unvarnished wooden counter and walls which look as untouched as any in Poblenou.
Yet the presence of light and plants gives the cafe an unmistakably welcoming character.
Orval (Carrer de Buenaventura Muñoz, 31), which owner and founder Lucía López dubs “Espai Joliu’s evil twin” retains its sibling’s high plant quota, but is an entirely more conventional space with plain benches and a mottled floor.
In both sites, high-quality coffee meets tasty snacks, including pistachio cake and the now-traditional hipster offering of avocado on toast.
Where: Carrer de Badajoz, 95
Café de L’Opera
One of the most historic and best cafes in Barcelona, Cafe de l’Òpera opened its doors in 1929.
From the outside, it looks like many other quaint hole-in-the-wall places you find in the city center, but a quick look inside reveals a classical interior that transports you back across the decades, and helps you to imagine the waves of upheaval this cafe has stood witness to.
Where: La Rambla, 74
A Casa Portuguesa
For a little taste of Portugal, this stylish cafe in Gràcia is hard to beat.
Technically, it’s a takeout place, which means they serve coffee in paper cups and you might have trouble finding a space around the single communal table, but it’s worth the effort.
I am a sucker for a pastel de Belem, and these are the best I have had outside of Lisbon.
The coffee too is good, honest espresso, and for foodies there are lots of Portuguese specialties on sale.
With a record player and magazines slung around, it has a genuine, relaxed vibe.
Where: Gràcia Oro, 8
El Corte Inglés
This is strictly for the view, but what a view. Well worth a quick coffee.
On the top floor of Corté Inglés (Plaça de Catalunya, 14) is a cafe which has a huge panoramic window taking in Barcelona’s most iconic square, La Sagrada Familia, Tibidabo and Montjuïc.
Food here is pricey, but there is good-quality produce on offer if you want to make a meal of it.
And finally, a honorable mention for a tea house. Caj Chai was one of my first discoveries in Barcelona and it remains a place I take visitors to.
Tucked away on a typically romantic street in Barri Gòtic, you have the choice of sitting outside in the fresh air or indoors in the kookily designed interior.
A number of chais, yogis, matchas and ice teas are available along with Eastern and Middle Eastern-influenced snacks.
Where: Carrer de Salomó Ben Adret 12
I hope you get to find some of my favorite cafes in Barcelona on your visit and maybe even discover a few of your own!