In your usual urban haunt, you’ll no doubt have every decent coffee supplier hardwired into your memory. Mapped out through years of trial and flat white error, it’s the only way to appease the synapses when the caffeine jitters start. But what about snuffling out the best coffee shops in Barcelona? A cheeky city break doesn’t allow time for nuanced tasting sessions and listening out for word on the street murmurs … But before your nerves start to jangle with caffeine FOMO, worry not. Barcelona’s streets are paved with coffee shops to more than satisfy your daily needs. Because, when you’ve graduated from the Starbucks secret menu, only expertly sourced single origin coffees, arabica blends, iced lattes, cold brews, or a cortado, will do. Coffee in Barcelona can be as simple as grabbing something to go – from the right place, of course. To settling in for a good long chat with some expert roasters who’ll talk you through every step, from soil to cup.
The Milk and Coffee
For grind aficionados, is there anything more speculative than an opportunist brew from a mobile coffee vendor? Hedge your bets by keeping an eye out around Barcelona for Miguel, Núria and their pedal powered, blue Velopresso. They might be brewing on the fly, but the passion, care and bean selection shows in their coffees. Expect service with a smile, latte art and there are even some homemade baked goods stowed away in their cart.
For Experimental Types
Nomad Coffee Lab
If the thought of someone meddling with your americano fills you with caffeine induced rage, perhaps give Nomad a swerve? These bean grinders are renowned for their speciality coffees. But at their lab? Anything goes. Drop by to tinker with your favourite recipe, bend the coffee rules and take a walk on the wild side of espresso. Don’t expect to find any food – or even a grain of sugar. Very much a place to pick out the hint of blueberry in the bean – rather than splurge on mocha syrups.
Nomad have quite the line-up of coffee shops in Barcelona. Recognising that how you like your coffee is a very diverse and controversial issue, they’ve popped up a few venues. Step into the Nomad universe at Nomad Every Day – where the menu won’t bring you out in a cold sweat or, for the real deal, hit up Roasters’ Home. See the roastery at work, buy some beans, book yourself on a coffee course or chat it up with their experts. There’s not much they don’t know about their beans.
For A Speciality Blend
Cafés El Magnifico
The coffee tampering Nomad bunch are in the running for best coffee in Barcelona, but they’ll need to wrestle the title from the pioneers of Barcelona’s coffee culture. Cafés El Magnifico is everything Nomad isn’t. Old school cool definitely plays a part in the appeal here. Plus, Magnifico’s experts plough their way through hundreds of coffee samples every year – to make sure your caffeine fix is on point. Spare a thought for their tattered, jangling, buzz-addled nerves. There’s not much you can’t get here – stock up in the shop, if your Barcelona budget can handle it.
The not-so-hidden secret to Cafés El Magnifico success? Precision. Watch closely and you’ll see them weigh every espresso scoop before it hits the machine. If you like your cappuccino served with a nice sit down, don’t miss Mag by El Magnifico. Just round the corner from Cafés El Magnifico petite, but perfectly formed, shop.
Neo Coffee House
Certain coffee shops in Barcelona have very strict rules. And while we can understand purists refusing to switch out dairy for plant-based milks, it risks leaving a vegan in Barcelona seriously under caffeinated. Pop along to Neo and you’ll have no such problem. 100% vegan and a zero waster enterprise, their speciality coffees take this above your basic vegan cafe offering. Clean line decor, with a hint of industrial makes a very ‘grammable backdrop for the brunch you’re bound to be tempted by.
For A Digital Detox
A city break is no time for a digital cleanse. But everyone needs to switch off every now and then. Which is why the no WiFi approach at Granja Petitbo is the perfect answer. Yes, the vintage decor has a whiff of shabby chic about it – but it’s well played. It feels welcoming rather than a tactical ploy to lure a certain type of customer. But, you’re here for the coffee. Which, happily, is excellent. Granja Petitbo is more of a breakfast, brunch Barcelona favourite rather than a coffee shop – but while you’re here, you may as well indulge.
Satan’s Coffee Co
As we’ve already mentioned, coffee shops in Barcelona like their rules. And none more so than Satan’s Coffee Co. If the no WiFi at Granja Petitbo felt a little restrictive, Satan’s house rules might not be for you. Decaf, syrups, speciality milks and pushchairs are among the many things the owner has no time for. Essentially, a coffee purist’s haven. But with no bells and whistles, you have to hope the coffee can pass muster. And, boy does it. Could we label it the best coffee in Barcelona? Quite possibly.
Satan’s been busy. Busy enough to open two coffee shops. Our pick is the Gotico branch. The other’s an upscale offering within the Casa Bonay hotel. Which is great if you happen to be passing, but the uniquely Satan’s vibe can only be found in Gotico.
For Art Lovers
Never has a beverage enabled so much multi-tasking. And at Departure Coffee you can add cultural highs to complement your caffeine buzz and fervent social media posting. An ever-changing art gallery, the wall hangings switch to something new roughly twice a month. Elsewhere the sparkling colour palette discourse could be a ruse to distract from the coffee. Not so here. The beans are supplied by local roasters, Slow Mov, and you can choose from speciality picks to matcha latte and cold brew treats.
To Grab and Go
Very much a ‘swish by, and you’ll miss it’ spot in Raval. Behind a wooden door on the Carrer de las Rameller, there’s a petite spot quietly serving some of the best coffees in Barcelona. Although it’s little more than a kiosk, it’s worth dropping by. Yes, you’ll struggle to find a spot to perch – but the coffee menu’s extensive enough to please all. The cortado’s a good shout if you’re looking to switch to something a little more regional than a standard flat white.
Just a brief stroll away (head south along the Carrer d’an Xucla) you’ll find the Chök bakery. A perfect pairing to Dalston’s brews. The things they can do with a couple of donuts, some ganache and an Oreo cookie are, frankly, unspeakable.
Prefer the even finer things in life? Take a look at our guide to the best Michelin restaurants in the city.
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