If there’s one thing that living in the Catalan capital makes you do, it’s hunting for the best cafes in Barcelona! As I always say, there’s living in a bustling city, and there’s living in Barcelona.
One of my favorite places to get away from it all? A great cafe. And understandably, there are plenty in the city.
Throughout the year I spent living in Barcelona, I tried and tested a lot of different cafes. I searched for the best spots to work and write in, the best cafes for people-watching, and the hidden gems that allowed me to escape the hectic metropolis.
So, in the name of great research, here are the best Barcelona cafes (and the best Barcelona coffee shops) to give you that little slice of respite before you get back to exploring this amazing city.
- Very best cafes in Barcelona, Spain
- 1. Laie Librería-Café
- 2. Nomad Coffee Lab
- 3. Torradors Bon Mercat Llibreteria
- 4. Maison Coffee
- 5. Little Fern Cafe
- 6. Hidden Coffee Roasters
- 7. La Nena Xocolateria
- 8. La Fourmi
- 9. Ugot Bruncherie
- 10. Hidden Cafe
- 11. SlowMov
- 12. Federal Cafe
- Conclusion on Barcelona’s Cafes
- FAQ on Barcelona’s Cafes
Very best cafes in Barcelona, Spain
1. Laie Librería-Café
I wanted to start this list with a cafe and bookstore. After all, what better way to unwind than with a great book? Don’t worry, you only need one hand to refresh your Instagram page and see how many people have liked your selfie outside the Sagrada Familia…
With 300 square meters reserved exclusively for books, Laie in Pau Claris is reminiscent of the Beast’s utterly mammoth library; if Belle also enjoyed steaming up milk for her Cortada to sip on the side.
At the top of Laie, you can find a cafe with a covered terrace. This little spot is great for unwinding with friends and debriefing on your day in the city so far. Given it’s so close to Plaça Catalunya, you can pop in as you explore some of Barcelona’s old town.
While Laie is a bookstore with a cafe inside, I couldn’t not mention it on my list of best cafes in Barcelona. After all, it was where I first started writing blogs about my time in the city… and look at me now!
2. Nomad Coffee Lab
I will always stand by the idea that walking around Barcelona is the best way to get to know the city. However, I’m under no false pretenses that the Catalonian capital is absolutely ginormous. The ultimate fuel for a city self-walking tour? Coffee.
For the best coffee in Barcelona, head to Nomad Coffee Lab in El Born. Caffeine heads have long since raved about this place for the overall quality of the beans – and the top-notch baristas that earn their salary roasting them.
It’s always super busy here, because well, word travels fast. Especially when that word rhymes with toffee.
If you’re taking your self-guided city tour at a leisurely pace, Nomad’s flat white or nitro cold brew is a firm favorite. However, if you’ve spent the previous night exploring the best of Barcelona’s cocktail bars, a filter coffee or an espresso will be your best bet for recharging.
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3. Torradors Bon Mercat Llibreteria
A local’s favorite situated in the middle of the Gothic Quarter, how Torradors Bon Mercat Llibreteria still manages to keep their drink’s prices so low is a mystery to us all.
However, as much as this cafe is a favored local haunt, they certainly know how to cater to tourists. Swap your milk for oat milk, make your hot drink iced, or even ask for XXL sizes if you can’t think of anything worse than not having a coffee in your hand.
Given the location of this spot, Torradors Bon Mercat Llibreteria is more a place to grab a coffee to-go, before getting lost in the city’s numerous medieval alleys. But, if you want to truly blend in with the Catalans, try a quick espresso at the bar.
Remember, you’re supposed to like the taste of a raw coffee shot.
4. Maison Coffee
If you’re looking for a hot drink in Barcelona to showcase on your socials, Maison Coffee is your answer.
The menu is a perfect example of what would happen if an extremely caffeinated Willy Wonka went into business with a Catalan real estate broker. I’m talking fresh Korean Yuja tea with yuzu-grapefruit and honey, your photo made into edible latte art, and matcha lattes with Jasmin.
And that’s before we even get started on the homemade cakes and pastries…
This one’s a little further out, located by the city’s hospital. However, if there’s one coffee shop that’s worth the walk on this list, it’s this.
5. Little Fern Cafe
With a name like Little Fern Café, you can only guess what this cute spot looks like. Chances are you won’t come across it unless you go looking as it’s located on a not-too-busy street in Poble Nou. Despite its quiet location, it still draws in a big crowd.
While the cafe’s decor is pretty paired down (I’m talking big windows and bright spaces with a few touches of green), the food and drinks go the opposite direction.
Not only do they offer delicious healthy breakfasts and mouthwatering brunches, but Little Fern Café is also a haven for those with dietary requirements. Vegans, vegetarians, and even coeliacs – look no further!
Once you’ve chosen your food, why not wash down the cafe’s tasty grub with cold-pressed juices and smoothies, breakfast cocktails and mocktails, or even a charcoal latte?
6. Hidden Coffee Roasters
Another great spot for coffee snobs, sorry – people who appreciate great coffee. Hidden Coffee Roasters in El Born is the perfect little spot for a grab-and-go caffeine hit, and a slice of something sweet to go with it.
Choose between two top-quality roasts for your espresso – adding just a small charge of €0.20 if you want oat milk – and sit down on one of the cafe’s counter seats… before immediately getting up again to ogle at the mouthwatering selection of small cakes, chunky cookies, and filled sandwiches.
Hidden Coffee Roasters is a contender for the best coffee shop in Barcelona, especially if you turn your nose up at bitter coffee.
With free wifi, there’s no excuse to pop in for an oat milk flat white while you do another quick Google search for the best rooftop bars in Barcelona.
7. La Nena Xocolateria
There are a few things you need to do before leaving Barcelona. One of them is having churros con chocolate.
If you’ve never tried churros before, you need to try these Spanish-style fried doughnuts stat. They’re without a doubt one of the best foods to try in Barcelona! Introducing: La Nena Xocolateria.
You can find this adorable cafe just off Plaça de la Revolució in Barcelona’s Gracia district, and La Nena is known for being the best at all things sweet.
In particular, mouth-watering mugs of steaming hot chocolate. But this isn’t like normal hot chocolate. Spanish hot chocolate is thick and sweet; sort of what you think drinking a whole bar of melted chocolate would be like.
Order your chocolate caliente with your chosen sweet poison – cookies, sweet pastries, or churros – and watch in awe as tons of Catalan children join you in dipping these doughnut-style treats into thick gooey chocolate.
It’s the ultimate after-school snack. And you didn’t even need to go to class.
8. La Fourmi
Sticking to the Gracia neighborhood (one of the best places to stay in Barcelona), La Fourmi is a great cafe to enjoy at all hours of the day.
Grab a well-made café con leche in the front vintage-style section of La Fourmi after a few hours exploring one of Barcelona’s less touristy districts. If you want to see how the Catalans live, Gracia is the perfect spot.
If you don’t fancy getting stuck into the Barcelona nightlife for another day on the trot, why not sit at one of the big tables at the back of La Fourmi, and wash down one of their own artisan craft beers?
Afterward, don’t forget to take a stroll around the neighborhood to check out some live music in Gracia’s many big open squares. Trust me, it’s something you can’t miss while exploring Spain!
Last but not least, La Fourmi does some pretty reasonably priced brunch specials. Brunch isn’t a massive thing in Barcelona yet, but it’s slowly making its way over. If you can convince your friends to get on the brunch train, La Fourmi is a great option.
9. Ugot Bruncherie
One place that certainly does do brunch in Barcelona is Ugot Bruncherie. What better thing to ask for with a pot of steaming tea?
The majority of the menu at Ugot Bruncherie has a Middle Eastern flair. I’m talking about five different kinds of shakshuka, including vegan shakshuka and green shakshuka. This dish comes with two eggs in a sizzling pan of creamed leeks and chards, fresh ricotta cheese, and hot chili peppers. YUM.
Aside from the great brunch options at Ugot Bruncherie, this brilliant cafe flavors list of specialty coffees all served in cute vintage cups. Not to mention charming cocktails and delicious Spritz.
One last thing to note is the homemade cakes. On Saturdays and Sundays, they bake delicious one-off cheesecakes… only announcing the flavors on Instagram that same morning.
Ugot Bruncherie is walk-in only, so be prepared to wait a little. However, it’s 100% worth it just to see their crazy flamingo wallpaper.
10. Hidden Cafe
While not hard to find (Hidden Cafe is located in the Les Corts neighborhood of Barcelona), the trickiest part of entering this cafe is the doorknob.
Once you’ve mastered the art of inserting your index finger into the slot and gently pulling down, you’ll be greeted with some hot drink options to die for.
What makes hot drinks so darn good? The owners of Hidden Cafe do their research. The team regularly frequents coffee farms to understand every little detail of the harvesting process and ensure their beans are of the same high quality.
They also sell their own delicious coffee beans across the city in various smaller coffee spots – a surefire way to know these guys make great coffee.
As well as knock-out-the-park coffee, Hidden Cafe is also in the big leagues of matcha making. How could they not be after going directly to Japan to buy their matcha straight from the producers?
If you’re a big fan of the stuff, don’t miss their Hojicha latte, a Japanese green tea that’s pretty unforgettable, really.
For lack of a better word, SlowMov is a total hipster coffee shop. But in the best way possible.
Officially, SlowMov is known for its high-quality and locally sourced specialty coffee; their Giesen Roaster is the source of some of the best espresso-based beverages in Barcelona, a popular favorite being SlowMov’s cortado.
Unofficially, I like to think SlowMov is known for its insanely knowledgeable baristas who make the cafe feel like the Apple Genius bar – but for coffee.
The baristas here are so good at their job, that I reckon they would be able to answer pretty much any coffee-related question. The best part is, that they’re always up for answering the weirdest and wackiest queries that come out of your mouth.
Put simply, SlowMov is one of the best coffee shops in Barcelona if you like being served by someone equally enthused by the coffee bean life.
Not to mention, the owners regularly open up their behind-the-scenes coffee-making workshop to ththe e public so you can taste a wide variety of the best seasonal coffees from around the world – without getting on another flight.
12. Federal Cafe
Last but certainly not least is Federal Cafe. Some would say I’ve saved the best until last.
I’ve got so many fond memories of catching up with friends over a plate of Federal’s Australian-inspired brunch – which, knowing me, was likely their baked eggs with feta and chorizo. Depending on what happened the night before, decimating either a freshly-made smoothie or roughly four cups of tea.
While Federal is a mecca for Macbook workers, or friends intent on overanalyzing every last detail of a text sent by someone also navigating Barcelona’s dating pool, this cafe is also a great little spot for just taking a breather.
Federal is usually pretty busy so you might have to wait a little outside, however, I’ll hand on heart tell you that this cafe is worth it.
In short, Federal was 100% one of my absolute favorite spots in the city and also shares the same name as my favorite cafe in Manchester, now… which I’m beginning to think is the universe’s way of telling me something.
Overseas branches, what’s that?
Conclusion on Barcelona’s Cafes
The Barcelona cafe scene is arguably just as wild as the city’s nightlife. I’m not joking.
And to continue with this metaphor, there is truly something for everyone in Barcelona’s cafe culture.
Want to guzzle down a cortado made from beans so great they’re also being sold to other coffee establishments in the city? Have you ever wondered about the recipe flexibility of Shakshuka and other popular brunch items?
Or even dreamt about being that girl drinking a pot of tea surrounded by books hidden slightly away but not so slightly that a gorgeous stranger could catch your eye?
Well, Barcelona’s for you.
FAQ on Barcelona’s Cafes
The majority of coffee in Barcelona is espresso-based. For brewed coffee or other specialty brews, you need to try one of the more artisan coffee shops around the city.
Barcelona’s espresso is called a ‘Café Solo.’ For a double espresso, you need to order ‘Un Café Doble.’ If you want a simple black coffee, you should ask for a ‘Café Americano.’ But remember, if you want milk with it, ask for ‘con leche’.
Barcelona has great coffee options in every part of the city. There are tons of coffee shops known for their top-quality roasts and top-notch baristas.
Spain has always been known for coffee – and Barcelona is no exception. While the city now offers a variety of different coffees, the go-to for most Catalan locals has always been a simple ‘café con leche’ or a ‘cortado.’
While they do have iced coffee in Barcelona, café con hielo isn’t as big in Spain as it is in other countries. However, you’ll likely find lots of people drinking iced coffee in the summer.
There are plenty of cafes and spaces where you can sit and read in Barcelona. Laie Librería-Café is a great bookstore with a cafe inside, while Parc de La Ciutadella and Barcelona’s various beaches make great outdoor spots to lose yourself in some new chapters.