Talk about a tough life.
I was commissioned to write a couple of pieces on the best coffee in Barcelona and the best vegetarian or vegan tapas.
Of course, the hard part was narrowing it down.
As a cafe latte addict – or should I say, aficionado – the coffee places are covered.
On the tapas side of things, traditional classics like patatas bravas and pimientos de padron, are on the list, as well as some novel twists like roasted eggplant with honey, and artichokes with walnut salsa.
Here’s a sample of the coffee piece:
Best coffee in Barcelona
Can’t quite function without inhaling the aroma of roasted coffee beans?
Whether it’s brewed on your kitchen stove or enjoyed with friends and colleagues at your local cafe or bakery, a piping hot cup of coffee is the perfect wake-up call to start the day.
Here are 10 popular cafeterias located in the inner city barrios of Barcelona.
Ask for almond, rice, soy, oat or almond milk as an alternative and most of, if not all these cafes should be able to provide a decent alternative to cow milk.
Many of them are not just cafeterias with owners that know good coffee.
They also roast their own coffee and sell it direct or wholesale, or work with selected roasters according to their own strict standards.
The list is a testament to the cosmopolitan city’s power to attract the best of the best, with contenders from all corners of the globe, as well as award-winning baristas born and bred in Catalonia.
1. El Magnifico
Carrer de l’Argenteria, 64, El Born 08003.
Monday – Saturday: 10:00am-20:00pm
Traditional. Classic. Maestros.
You may feel intimidated by the aura of confidence with which your coffee is made and served.
The Italian grandmaster of coffee retains its hold as one of the best coffeehouses in Barcelona. Despite only making coffees for takeaway, the roasters and baristas of El Magnifico live up to their name.
Found in the backstreets of El Born, you may need to fight to order a coffee. There’s no space to sit down, and those with a knack for elbow manoeuvring may need to test their talent.
But like all good things in life, it’s worth the wait.
Appreciate the aroma, taste and temperature of strong espressos or a smooth cappuccino.
And don’t be fooled by their old-school look. They make and serve Aeropress, pour-over, filter as well as espresso-made coffees. Traditional coffees are on offer alongside innovative blends.
Roaster’s Home at Carrer de Pujades, 95, Poble Nou, 08018.
Monday-Friday: 9:00am – 17:00pm
Cøffee Lab at Passatge Sert, 12, El Born, 08003.
Monday-Friday: 8.30am – 17.30pm
Joaquin Coster 26, El Raval 08001.
Monday-Friday: 8:30am – 18:30pm.
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00am-19:00pm
Is coffee-making an art or a science?
I’m inclined to think both, after watching the barista at Nomad distill coffee in a finely-wrought process.
For hardcore aficionados of coffee, a visit to Nomad is a must.
You’ll appreciate your cafe latte even more after seeing the dedication and skill involved in making it.
Even for novices, it’s hard not to be impressed by the technical precision required to get the process just so. All stores offer oat milk for vegan customers, so there’s no need to hold back.
It’s also a roaster and supplies to other cafeterias, brews its own coffee “beer” in specially branded Nomad cold coffee brew, and has a roasting showroom to demonstrate the process to the public.
Owner Jordi Mestre won the National Barista Championship of Spain back to back, in 2012 and 2013. It’s no surprise then, that Nomad was born.
His latest project is in Raval, which he likes to call a “liquid dessert shop” – a delectable mix of coffee, tea and chocolate combined in coffee slushies and affogatos amongst other sweet surprises. There’s still a nitro drinks bar for those that just require caffeine to get their high.
In Poble Nou and Born, filter-brews are just one of Nomad’s specialities, served cold or hot. And if you can’t decide, just buy one of their bottles of cold brew or a bag of beans and try them at home.
The friendly owners are also keen to have a chat with patrons, learn about different cultures and educate the curious about the technique of roasting and brewing a perfect cup of coffee.
3. Onna Coffee
Carrer de Santa Teresa 1, Gracia 08012
Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 19:30pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:00am – 19:30pm
Onna Cafe is a hidden treasure in the lower end of Gracia. Run by Anahi Paez, discover a cosy oasis where digital nomads, mothers and toddlers and hipsters come to drink coffee, enjoy a slice of cake and a bit of gossip.
Enjoy the steaming shot of a full-brewed espresso, a milder and milky cappuccino or one of the newcomers, the moderate and smoother flat white.
The cafeteria boasts a Dalla Corte dc pro, Hario v60, Chemex and an Aeropress. In general, the cafe neither subscribes to the Barcelonian-trend of full-strength coffee nor the new fashion for subtlety, but prefers a medium roast flavor.
This isn’t Anahi’s first venture however.
While still a teen, her passion for coffee was born early on and she opened a cafe in her native Costa Rica at just seventeen years of age.
After migrating to Spain, she continues her dedication to Costan Rican coffee by transporting high-quality beans to Onna’s Cafe.
The promotion of superior Costan Rican coffee producers is evident in other areas of the business. She operates a roastery in Poble Nou and distributes green beans wholesale to other cafes in the country and Europe.