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Cafè de la Opèra

There's no grandeur like faded grandeur

Cafè de la Opèra

It may not look like much from the outside, but this is one of the landmarks of Barcelona. Various incarnations of after-theatre cafés lived here until 1929, when the current establishment remodeled it in a florid style that was weirdly out-of-date even then.

The Cafè is a survivor. It managed to stay open every day through the Civil War, despite the occasional Anarchist attack, and it struggled on in the years of privation that followed it. Very little has changed in the decades since. But despite the black-tie waiters, it's not at all posh, and it can be great fun. Breakfasts, teas, snacks, tapas and sandwiches are on offer. There are cakes and chocolates (they make their own), not to mention a huge selection of wines and spirits, including 4,500 bottles of whisky. These are all on display as an enormous Bottle Museum. Literary tertulias and groups of music lovers meet here. Everyone wears t-shirts; this is Barcelona after all.

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Ramblas 74

metro: Liceu

+34 93 317 75 85

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Image by Cafè de la Opèra