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Bars, Cafés & Tapas

An introduction to a movable feast

BCN tapas bar

It's rare to find yourself more than a minute away from a bar or café in the centre of Barcelona, and it's rare to find a Barcelonan of any age or sex who hasn't popped in one at least once a day to their local for a quick breakfast or aperitif.

Note that almost all cafés served drinks and almost all bars serve coffee; cafés are generally more likely to have terraces or indoor seating. If you sit outside, you'll usually be expected to pay when served; standing at the bar, you usually pay when you leave.

Opening hours

While cafés general stay open all day, bars tend to have their own whims; many do not open until 3pm or even later, and stay open late. Note that even if bars officially close at 2 or 3am, but if the ambience is good the owner will close the door and let the party continue inside.

Coffee and Tea

The coffee is good and available nearly everywhere. Order it in a variety of ways:

  • Café: an espresso
  • Café americano: black, more diluted coffee
  • Café cortado or tallat: with a dash of milk
  • Café con leche or cafè amb llet: with more milk
  • Café a carajillo: an expresso with a dollop of brandy or rum (great on cold days)
  • Descafeinado: decaffeinated
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Food and Drink

Nightlife & Performance

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by frank müller