Words by Cat Ingledow
Mecanic Cafe, Gracia
The petit café can be found on the corner of a little square in the Gothic Quarter. The area’s neoclassical architecture plays host to the contemporary aesthetic of this delightfully devilish café. The café’s constantly revolving roster of brews, as well as the unexpected Japanese influence on the menu, ensures that the café defies any preconceptions one may have about this modern coffeehouse. It is an original café designed to house Barcelona’s true originals. Opt to try the duck sandwich; it is culinary perfection.
CARRER DE L’ARC DE SANT RAMON DEL CALL, 11, 08002 BARCELONA, €
Caravelle has rightfully earned its reputation as Barcelona’s finest brunch spot. Situated in the heart of Raval, the airy café is positioned at the epicentre of Barcelona’s youth culture. The café’s abundance of natural light, as well as its mellow background playlist, ensure a relaxing atmosphere, making it the perfect location to settle in for a long, lazy Sunday brunch.
The Moroccan-styled eggs paired with a refreshing, homemade mimosa is the ultimate cure to a midday hangover. The staff are extremely friendly, and the customers are always satisfied. I would recommend trying the Veggie burger; myth would have it that it is Barcelona’s finest.
CARRER DEL PINTOR FORTUNY, 31, 08001 BARCELONA, €€
La Masala Cafe
This café is an oasis of tranquility, a calming corner of cosiness tidily tucked away in one of El Born’s side alleys. It is run by a wonderfully welcoming couple who you’ll find working there every day. There exists a real sense of community here
There are no airs or pretences, just a charmingly wholesome café with a delicious, affordable selection of homemade vegetarian meals and a strict no wi-fi rule. The Nomad coffee is guaranteed goodness. For something a little more alternative, the masala chai is the best I have found in Barcelona thus far.
CARRER D’EN MÒNEC, 6, 08003 BARCELONA, €
In the centre of this large café is a vintage door press that has been given a new lease of life as a central island from which the customers drink their coffee. The innovative interior sets the tone for the eccentric ambience of this café. The cafe’s walls are decorated with an ever-evolving exhibition of artwork from local artists.
On some days, one will find a display of intricate illustrations whilst at other times, sprawling canvases are spread across the walls. The café is quiet and spacious; a great place to catch up on some work. It is perched right at the top of Raval and is a neighbour to an assortment of concept stores and independent galleries that are worth exploring
CARRER DE LA VERGE, 1, 08001 BARCELONA,€
I find few things more irresistible then a bookshop café so, naturally enough, I found myself gravitating towards the LAIE library café. It is a space in which you can enjoy an Americano and a brownie from the bookshop’s balcony whilst watching as the curious customers drift in and out burdened by their pristine, new books.
It is a great space to work as the Balcony Café remains quiet and peaceful. If, however, you desire a more sociable experience then there is a charming, expansive dining area with a tranquil sun terrace.
CARRER DE PAU CLARIS, 85, 08010 BARCELONA, €
This utterly enchanting plant shop-meets-café is unlike any other. Upon entry, you are greeted by the lush greenery of plants straddling the walls, tables and chairs. An impeccably-curated display of art and design magazines is laid out on the table amongst the vegetation.
As you venture further inwards, through the jungle of cacti, you will discover ethereal little café. There is a long table at which you will find creative types working on their ‘freelance work’ and little tables with customers intimately chatting away over their homemade cakes. It is a must-visit café in Barcelona..
CARRER DE BADAJOZ, 95, 08005 BARCELONA, €
A café, a bookshop and an exhibition space all located in one large, airy warehouse in Gracia. This is the place to go if you are looking to get your creative juices flowing, you will find yourself surrounded by stacks of beautifully bound Coffee table books and alternative magazines, it is almost impossible not to feel inspired. Drift into the exhibition room to see what new, exciting art is on display.
CARRER VERNTALLAT, 30, 08024, BARCELONA, €
The walls of this quirky café have been decorated with a scattering of illustrations and word art that gives the place its wholesome charm. The cafe’s pastel colour scheme and Scandinavian style interiors make it a fun and unique place to go and enjoy a relaxing lunch with friends. The price is highly reasonable, and the sandwiches are sublime, I would particularly recommend trying their bikini sandwich.
CARRER DEL PARLAMENT, 20, 08015 BARCELONA, SPAIN, €
Hush Hush Cafe
This secret little café is set against the backdrop of one of El Born’s beautiful squares. The staff are incredibly friendly proven by the constant stream of ‘regulars’ that pop in and out throughout the day, as well as the cafe’s background soundtrack of lively laughter. It is a great place to go and work during the day, with perfectly sized tables to position a laptop on.
As the evening begins to take over, customers can migrate to the sun-drenched terrace where they can reward themselves with sangria and tapas.
CARRER DEL FONOLLAR, 4, 08003 BARCELONA, SPAIN, €€
It has been claimed more than once that this sweet café in Gracia serves the very best coffee in all of Barcelona. This comes as no surprise given the expertise of its Costa Rican owner whose single-origin coffee is sourced from her native country and roasted at the café’s roastery in Barcelona.
The cafe is authentically local, proven by the adoring messages from residents that fill the café’s guests’ book. Stop off here for your morning shot of caffeine before exploring all the wonders that the neighbourhood has to offer.
CARRER DE SANTA TERESA, 1, 08012 BARCELONA, SPAIN, €