A coffee renaissance of sorts is occurring throughout Barcelona as it tries to catch up with the rest of the world and cultivate a richer coffee culture. Yet, the city is doing much more than catching up. Coffee trucks, coffee corners, coffee labs, and coffee bars are all part of an original, inventive proposal to set Barcelona apart and make it an idyllic coffee destination. Here are some of our favourite trendsetters that are riding the third wave of coffee movement.
1Carrer de l'Argenteria 64, 08003 Barcelona
Think of El Magnifico as the father of Barcelona’s coffee culture. Or, perhaps, grandfather, given that the shop has been open since 1919. This family business is the source of coffee for many stores and restaurants in the city due to their wide variety of beans (over 40 options) and, above all, the premium quality of coffee. A visit to this small, unpretentious take-away joint in the Born will encourage you to learn more about coffee as these connoisseurs will enthusiastically explain to you where today’s crop originates from and what brewing methods they prefer. It only takes a sip to realise that the name really doesn’t lie: this coffee is just magnifico.
2Passatge Sert 12, 08003 Barcelona
If El Magnifico is the father of the coffee community, then Nømad is the cool, hip son. Recognised by many (including Vogue) as a pioneer of the third wave of coffee in the city, this coffee lab is responsible for introducing many to the rich magic of specialty coffee. This shop directs all of its efforts in roasting top-tier cafe to the numerous places it provides its beans. Visit their dynamic store for your daily coffee fix and perhaps a few lessons on coffee making.
3Passeig Sant Joan 13, 08010 Barcelona
The "Good Coffee Here" sign at the entrance does not lie: this tiny coffee corner located inside a gourmet mini market is indeed a box full of surprises. Bernat, the owner, is a true believer of the specialty coffee concept. His extensive knowledge comes from years of working as a barista in Australia. The quality is among the best you will find in Barcelona and evidence of Bernat’s passion for coffee. He uses beans exclusively from El Salvador, pours 20 grams of coffee instead of the usual 18, and will probably advise you to drink it without sugar. “I won’t be mad if you do put sugar, though,¨ he assures. For a hot summer’s day, get a smooth, refreshing cold brew and hang around for an afternoon break.
4Carrer de Pamplona 88, 08018 Barcelona
Coffee on wheels has never looked (or tasted) this good. While Barcelona’s food truck culture continues to grow slowly but surely, this “coffee truck” has already captivated many with its unconventional yet attractive proposal. Mounted in a revamped 1972 Citroën van, this sleek mobile shop serves its customers high-quality coffee and tea. Don’t worry about chasing the van around the city because it has set up shop at a very spacious location in Poblenou where you can enjoy free wifi around a stylish industrial ambience.
5Passatge Sant Benet 69, 08003 Barcelona
A two-minute walk from Arc de Triomf, this coffee shop is ran by La Marzocco, the acclaimed Italian espresso machine company. This flagship store is the first of its kind and although it doubles as a showroom for these renowned machines, it is smartly designed as a collaborative working space with wide communal tables, cosy environment, and free wi-fi to help you pass time. The two-story establishment is dedicated to upholding La Marzocco’s reputation by serving new crops of premium beans every month. Ask for a rewards card and after nine visits, get a free coffee and become a regular. Not a bad deal.
6Carrer de Santa Teresa 1, 08012 Barcelona
This charming Gràcia coffee shop has earned recognition for its profound commitment to specialty coffee in Barcelona. Anahí Paez, owner, has a close relationship with the coffee growing community from her homeland, Costa Rica, which ensures that the production practices are fair and the coffee quality is always at its best. Its walls, plastered with information about types of coffee and the brewing process, are further evidence that this is amongst the best coffee you’ll find in the city. Onna also offers a short, sweet and healthy menu, and a refreshingly warm service of baristas always open to have a conversation.
7Carrer de l'Arc de Sant Ramon del Call 11, 08002 Barcelona
Originally conceptualised as a take-away coffee window, Satan’s has fully fleshed out into a trendy coffee corner in the Barri Gòtic. Tucked away deep in the alleyways of the neighborhood, this lax spot offers a much coveted break from the mid-day tourist chaos. Its cool pastel colours, large windows and minimalist light-wood decor conjures up a very casual atmosphere. After all, Satan’s proudly announces its no wifi, no decaf rules to guarantee that you focus instead on the rich quality of its coffee roasted by Right Side.
8Carrer de Manso 1, 08015 Barcelona
No place will make you feel as much as home as this humble café located just two steps away from the Poble Sec station. Inspired by Scandinavian cafes, Manso’s puts hospitality at the top of the list and it shows. Perhaps it is the modest, comfy couches and futons that make this two-story spot ideal to beat the dreadful afternoon slump. But, it is their homemade Nordic pastries that will make you into a regular. Pair a sweet and soft cinnamon roll with a cup of brewed Nømad coffee and if you need more caffeinated fuel, get a refill for just €1.
We gushed plenty about this Sant Antoni spot back when it opened its doors in 2010. Yes, their menu is full of delightful choices such as the juicy burgers and the innovative toast-based creations for the morning crowd. But their bold and sweet coffee is reason enough to frequent this large and airy open-space restaurant. On the ground floor, a large communal table adorned by fresh flowers will immediately beg you to stay. Its lesser-known rooftop terrace, however, will make you hang out for hours as you lounge about in one of the bright yellow chairs and sip on freshly roasted Arabica coffee from El Magnifico.
10Carrer de Bailèn 11, 08010 Barcelona
Previously occupied La Cherry, this coffee bar has embraced the startup lifestyle by setting up shop at MOB (Made in Barcelona), a coworking space. “I wanted to continue the same inviting atmosphere for both MOB workers and outside customers,¨ said Laura, owner of the shop. Their coffee selection is exceptional (their beans are from Nømad) but their natural juices, smoothies, and salads are the popular items. Order a homemade cookie from the owner’s mother’s recipe and spend a productive afternoon in this clean-cut warehouse. You might even be able to see the curious creations of the industrial 3D printer located at the entrance.