Photo by Francesca Biacchessi
1. Café Born
The high oak-beam ceilings and streetside tables of Café Born are irresistible for indulging in a lazy Sunday brunch. Painted in light, bright colours, this airy café is the perfect place to catch up on the news, reviews and supplements online. The café’s cakes and brownies are sticky and delicious, and for wanna-be art collectors there’s a regular rotation of available-to-buy paintings on the wall.
Café Born: Plaça Comercial 10; 8.30am–1am weekdays; 8.30am–3am Fri & Sat.
2. Que bo
It’s surprising to find Wi-Fi in Que bo, which really seems more like a sandwich stop than somewhere to get stuck into surfing. But for hungry workers it’s the perfect place to both eat and surf. The snacks on offer range from hot bocadillos to generous helpings of patatas bravas, and their steak sandwiches are hearty enough to feed an army. There are only a few tables, so the best time to go is during the quieter afternoon hours.
Que bo: Carrer de la Fusteria s/n (opposite Post Office); 8am–1am weekdays & Sat; Sundays 8am–8pm.
Behind a huge Gothic-arched red door lies this vast, red-lit and smoky haunt. The best thing about Candela is that it’s licensed, and it’s a great place to head for a late afternoon caña to while away an hour with some essential Wikapedia-ing (who knew that French bulldogs were first bred by English lacemakers?). Popular, but not too popular, there will usually be a vacant marble-topped table and possibly a plug-socket too. They also offer a restaurant menú del día for those with a penchant for the working lunch.
Candela: Hospital 48; 9am–2.30am; closed Sundays.
4. La Clandestina
This cosy café with brick walls, paintings from local artists and an extensive tea menu is a magnet for laptop users. As well as a row of dainty tables-for-two, there’s a handful of sofas and antique-style leather chairs, perfect for lounging on with a pot of Darjeeling, or relaxing with an afternoon shisha pipe. The staff is friendly and the music chilled out, making it an ideal environment in which to get work done.
La Clandestina: Viladecols 2 bis; 10am–10pm weekdays; 10am–midnight Fri & Sat.
5. Bar Seco
Nestled in the heart of Poble Sec near Montjuïc, this eclectic café and bar attracts all sorts. Uniformed workers squeeze up next to the metal-topped bar to sink a lunch-time beer and diners make the most of the sunshine on the wonky hillside terrace tables, whilst laptop users stand with their computers perched on narrow high tables. The vibe is bustling, and well-suited to grabbing a glance at e-mails over a small copa. There’s also poetry nights on Tuesdays, with readings from local poets.
Bar Seco: Passeig de Montjuïc 74; 9am –1am weekdays; 9am–2am Fri & Sat; closed part of August.