How to Eat and Drink Your Way Through Barcelona in a Day

Sleep in, enjoy midday cocktail hour, eat paella and drink vermouth at lunch, get tapas for dinner and end your day dancing.
 

Bodega 1900, photo by Margaret Stepien

There’s a rhythm to even the laziest day in Barcelona. Do as the locals do and follow in the eating and drinking flow of the day.

12 Noon: Cocktail Hour

Photo by Margaret Stepien

This cocktail hour, known as la hora del vermut in Spanish, begins at midday. Look for a bar specializing in vermouth. This herbaceous fortified wine is served on the rocks or with soda water. Enjoy it with a snack of olives, Iberian ham and the deliciously simple tomato-rubbed bread, pa amb tomàquet.

Try: Cu-Cut Gastronòmica Taverna for its house-made vermouth and lively taverna ambiance.

2 p.m.: Lunch

Photo by Margaret Stepien

Lunch is the biggest meal of the day. Make your way to a seaside resto for sharing plates of patatas bravas, calamares a la romana and tortilla española, followed by paella or a whole grilled fish. Down your main with a crisp local rosé, such as Petit Caus Rosado.

Try: Xiringuito Escribà for the Sea and Mountain paella, tossed with lobster, ribs, chicken, mussels and cuttlefish.

6 p.m.: Cocktail Hour (Again)

Photo by Margaret Stepien

Cocktail hour, take two, calls for a gin and tonic, Spanish-style. It’s served in a chilled balloon glass with a carefully matched mixer and botanical garnish. Fun fact: Spaniards consume the most gin per capita and their free-poured G&Ts are nothing short of stellar.

Try: La Confitería, located in a former sweets shop, for its art-deco interiors.

9 p.m.: Dinner

Photo by Margaret Stepien

Dinnertime is in full swing. Stay light on your feet with an array of small plates—croquetas, manchego cheese and razor clams. Pair your tapas with a well-chilled Fino (sherry). And don’t shy away from the melt-on-the-tongue anchovies.

Try: Bodega 1900 for regional specialties by Albert Adrià.

1 a.m.: Discoteca

Photo courtesy CDLC

Secure an early spot at a discoteca. Nightclubs stay open until 6 a.m., but get packed after the bars close at 3 a.m. Many of the biggest clubs are at the beach, which is handy for watching the sun come up. If you manage to make it that long, congratulations: You’re an honourary Catalan.

Try: CDLC for its deep house music Saturdays and Dom Pérignon bottle service.

[This story appears in the April 2019 issue of WestJet Magazine]

Email: