7 of the best specialty coffee places in Barcelona

7 of the best specialty coffee places in Barcelona

It’s no secret that coffee in Spain generally sucks. What baffles me is how is this possible in a country whose population drinks coffee like water!?

Back in 2014, when I was living and studying in Sevilla, I used to have my daily 3-4 cups of coffee at a small bar nearby where the university was. I loved that place because one cafe con leche (coffee with milk) was 50 eurocents. Yes, you read that right. 50 eurocents. 0,50 euros. It had enough milk to make the coffee seem good and let’s be honest, I was a student and my coffee expectations weren’t that high. And really, considering its prices, it was a quite OK coffee. I drank worse coffees in fancier places around Spain for more than 1,50 euro so go figure.

Even the one we were buying to make ourselves at home was disappointing. We didn’t have many options in the local supermarkets so we got to quickly try them all but every time I still had to add a lot of milk and cinnamon to make them tasty.

A quest for finding the best coffee spots in Barcelona

When I moved in Barcelona at the beginning of June this year I imagined things will be much better in such a hip city – WRONG! Same shitty coffee almost everywhere. Drinkable, but in the way you were gulping it quickly just to get over it asap.

I didn’t want to accept it. I was in Barcelona after all! My expectations were sky-high. So I started researching cafes that offered specialty coffee. And it turned out there are quite a lot of such places in Barcelona – you just have to search for them specifically.

This became my quest for the following months: find the best coffee spots in the mesmerising city of Barcelona.

So.. which are my favourite 7 cafes in Barcelona?

Now, to get things straight from the very beginning: I’m not a coffee expert. I didn’t take any related courses, nor do I have any idea how to make a heart in a perfect milk foam. I’m a simple coffee lover and I like my coffees creamy, with milk and preferably coming in litres. My taste has been educated in time, through a lot of trial and error and a few coffees that tasted like mud water (not that I ever tasted mud water but I imagine that’s how bad it should be), but there is still so, so much to learn.

This selection is only my humble opinion and reflects solely my experiences. If you have other favourite coffee spots in Barcelona, leave a comment below – maybe I’ll get to test them too and enlarge this list.

Also, please note I always have flat white (a type of cafe con leche = coffee with milk) or cortado (still coffee with milk, but less milk than cafe con leche).

So, if you’re wondering where you can drink a really great coffee in Barcelona, without any further ado, I present to you:

1. Onna Coffee

Onna is my absolute number one coffee spot in Barcelona. The coffee here is divine. The milk foam is so creamy it’s surreal. And it retains it’s creaminess until the very last drop! Plus the staff were always welcoming and knowledgeable about their products. The place is not very pretentious, but it’s cute – not sure if this matters anyway, considering HOW GOOD THEIR COFFEE IS! Sorry for that but I lost it for a second. Oh, before I forget – and you’ll hate me for this –  the cakes are Heaven-sent. Try the chocolate one #noregrets.

2. Espai Joliu

It took us around one hour to get here (it’s located in Poble Nou) from where we were living but it was so worth it! Besides the delicious coffee, the place is a complete joy for the eyes: a former industrial building turned coffee place. Maybe I’m a bit biased because I have a thing for old spaces that are given a new life, but still –  the makeover is very pleasant. I mean, really, they have a ton of tiny cactuses and other plants welcoming you with their sweet greenery right at the entrance – what could you ask for more?

Bonus points for the awesome cakes too!

3. Citizen Cafe

This one is next to Placa Urquinaona which means it wasn’t the easiest to reach from our place. So each time we were going (because we did become regulars) we were planning to spend more time and get some work done as well. Which meant we had quite a few brunches here – the sandwiches are so tasty, not to mention the fresh juices. And the yummy cakes. And the nice staff.  And the delicious coffee, duh!

4. Bicioci Bike Cafe

I owe this discovery to my friend Cristina (thank you again, if you happen to read this!) who came up with the idea to meet here one day.

This place is Italian. Does it need more explanation? The coffee is great, the cakes are amazing (the price is also delicious: there’s a combo of coffee + cake at around 3,5 euro if I recall well, in a certain timeframe). Guys, but the food.. the pasta… ok, I’ll stop. I’m diverting (note to self: don’t write articles on an empty stomach).

5. Hammock Juice Station

This is another discovery owned to a friend (thank you, Michelle!). Yes, you can just stay in a hammock and sip from an awesome coffee. And have some avocado or peanut butter toast – yum, yum, yum!

The name doesn’t suggest this place as a good coffee spot but I was pleasantly surprised to see how good their coffee was!

6. Satan’s Coffee Corner

Should I bet you already heard of this one? It’s quite known and makes it on most top cafes lists – being right in the Gothic Quarters helps its huge popularity. Honestly, I was expecting it to be overrated like most touristy, central places, but I’m glad it wasn’t.

The coffee really is great and the smell of sweet food was killing me! I promise I didn’t eat anything this time, but I was crying inside while the chef (?! not sure he was literally a chef) was rolling a piece of cake in hot melting butter right next to me.

7. Bermont

Stopped by real quick here while stumbling on the street with our luggage on the way to the metro station (heading to Palafrugell). We noticed this place many times as we were leaving pretty nearby, but it was closed all the time (Spanish summer holiday + they were doing some makeovers), so we actually got to try it one or two days after they finally opened again at the end of September.

It’s a small, clean space with a simple but appealing design. And yes, the coffee was all worth the trouble of dragging the luggage on a detour to get here. Bonus points for the cute red cups; I always fall for the little details!

Looking back at this article I realise I should have titled it “Top 7 awesome places with delicious coffee AND great food in Barcelona”. What can I say, I can’t stay tough in front of a mouth-watering chocolate cake or a freshly toasted bacon sandwich.

Do you have other favourite coffee spots in Barcelona? Let me know in the comments below!

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10 thoughts on “7 of the best specialty coffee places in Barcelona”

  • Yes, when I went to Spain I thought it was strange that great coffee was rare considering the proximity of Italy! And these treats look sooooo good!!

    • Ohh, Italy is really killing it in terms of coffee! Don’t remember ever drinking a bad coffee there. Also Portugal seemed quite ok too! I don’t get what’s going wrong in Spain ?

  • Ok I totally wish I saw this before I went to Barcelona last month, because I totally agree with you – good coffee was hard to find there! Well, now I know, so I am definitely going to save this guide for next time I’m over there!

  • Sounds and LOOKS sooooo good! Seriously, you got me so hungry reading this! I will definitely bookmark it for when we’ll visit Barcelona. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  • Beautiful photos! I love the texture of the various tables and trays! I am obsessed with the small details in food photos and I love when restaurants provide nice surfaces and backgrounds, they complement so well with the food!

    • Haha, I totally get you! You can’t believe how few people actually think about all these details when creating a bar/ cafe/ restaurant/ etc and they’re so important not just for photos but for having a complete pleasant experience 😀

  • To be honest, I didn’t find anything special about the coffee in Spain. What I noticed was people putting sugar on it like it was the end of the world. Maybe they do not care that much about the coffee because people are after something sweet. But, I am glad the good coffee wave has arrived to Barcelona. Those places look so beautiful!

    • Oh, that’s true, I forgot about the sugar part! Now that you mentioned it I remember I saw plenty of people adding tons of it to their coffee. Hope more places in Spain will move on from serving horrible coffee 🙂

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