Barcelona’s Best Beachfront Bars and Restaurants
It is almost impossible to envisage Barcelona without its thriving beach scene, so much is it a part of life in the city. Tourists and locals alike flock to the 4.2km stretch of beaches (a result of intensive planning investment in the lead up to and following the 1992 Olympic Games), just minutes from the city centre. With fine dining, casual bites, surf shack chiringuitos and swanky nightlife all lined up side by side before the lapping waves, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
(A word of warning – do not be tempted by certain touristy eateries lining the buzzing Joan de Borbó whilst en route to la playa. If they are displaying photos of their food and European flag bunting, you may find yourself outnumbered by rowdy Stag parties as opposed to cultured Catalans, and come perilously close to the ultimate sin of a microwaved paella.)
Instead, head for one of the following lovely establishments…
70s inspired Maka Maka Beach Burger Café was born in Barceloneta in 2012. The highly successful brainchild of Amsterdam-based housemates Steef (architect and cocktail aficionado) and Andrea (self confessed “conceptual madman”), Maka Maka serves up great food to locals and in-the-know visitors in a super laid back marina-side environment. Expect no nonsense comfort food, fruity (strong) cocktails and oodles of beautiful people swaying to a hipster vibe. Maka Maka means “intimate friend” in Hawaiian, which pretty much sums up this jolly, convivial watering hole.
Passeig Joan de Borbó 76
+34 93 221 35 20
Bestial is a Mediterranean oasis tucked beneath Frank O Gehry’s enormous glittering bronze fish sculpture. Picture teak decking raised just high enough to catch a breeze, handsome waiters weaving between gnarly olive tree branches (a la Soho Beach House @ Miami Beach) and gently flickering storm lanterns beneath swaying palm trees. More laid back than its glamorous lounge bar neighbours, Bestial serves up neatly executed Italian dishes – what could be nicer than spaghetti a la vongole to a soundtrack of rolling waves?
C/Ramon Trias Fargas 2
+34 93 224 04 07
Though not strictly a beachside hangout, this chic cocktail bar on the roof of the Museum of Catalan History is nautical nonetheless. With fabulous sweeping views of the recently revamped OneOcean Marina, and the industrial port beyond, Per Sagardi sits at the intersection between land and sea in Barcelona. From the museum’s entrance hall, head to the 4th floor then hang left. Recline with a Cuban-inspired cocktail (or three) shaken not stirred by the resident Bacardi team, watching ships sail in and out of the port – heaven.
Palau de Mar Plaça de Pau Vila 3
Do not be put off by the rather unfortunate moniker – this Latin American inspired café serves classic dishes from Peru, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina With “keen-wah” abound and freshly whizzed smoothies, this colourful little gem is an ideal shady pitstop after a refreshing dip or rollerblading session along the promenade.
Passeig Joan Borbó Comte Barceló 66
+34 93 224 11 53
This nook of a beach bar in Barceloneta is perfect for a quick bite and a gossip – with tiny mismatched tables and a welcoming atmosphere. Unpretentious and easygoing, they serve up Italian tramezzini (the godfather of the sandwich world) piled high with shredded mozzarella buffala. Wash down with a refreshing Aperol Spritz – the house speciality, alongside Barcelona’s young and hip.
C/Grau i Torras 59
+34 691 236 802
Treat your inner Kardashian to a sumptuous Mezze feast served on a golden sharing platter, whilst basking on a crimson lounge-bed. With Oriental and Asian inspired bites and a zen Buddha-bar-esque soundtrack, this is one of THE people-watching vantage points along this glittering stretch of coast.
Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta 32
+34 93 224 04 70
Much ado has been made of the recently opened OneOcean Club, hailed as the city’s hottest venue in 2015. Quite rightly so – this is one for a treat, but you’ll have to cosy up to a member to snag a much-coveted invitation to the fashionable hotspot. Chef César Guillén’s exceptional food is a treat for the senses – enjoy delicious modern twists on traditional Catalan dishes whilst overlooking the stunning marina. Their beautiful blue-tiled bar was inspired by the ocean and Antoni Gaudí’s infamous landmarks, and the terrace boasts views to die for.
Moll de la Barceloneta 1
+34 93 484 23 15
El Xiringuito Escribà
Little sister of infamous Barcelona institution patisserie Escribà, El Xiringuito Escribà whips up the perfect storm of fresh seafood, warm hospitality and picture-perfect views. Make a beeline for the squid ink-dyed black rice and mountains of perfectly seasoned shellfish paella. Be sure to book!
Avenida del Litoral 42
+34 93 221 07 29
Boo Beach Club
The frugally titled Boo is the closest you can get to dining at sea without leaving the shore – this ritzy beach club adorning a formerly unremarkable pier was designed to replicate an art deco ship. The terrace is a year-round suntrap – gaze rapturously at the panoramic vista, or rent an exclusive hammock and drift into a peaceful siesta. A landlubber’s paradise!
C/Playa Nova de Mar Bella
+34 93 225 01 00
Enjoy a sustainable supper at Xavier Pellicer’s Barraca, serving up ethically caught fish and seafood with homegrown veggies a stone’s throw from the shore (literally – you could technically skim them without leaving the table – as long as you’re on the right side of the floor to ceiling windows!). One of the latest buzzing additions to Barceloneta’s increasingly hip array of culinary offerings, they even have a great range of natural wines (environmentally friendly + hangover reducing)!
Passeig Maritim Barceloneta 1
+34 93 224 12 53
This upmarket chiringuito-style beach restaurant guarantees an instant on-holiday feeling. Sip on a guava iced tea cocktail, toes in the sand and wile away the afternoon to a laid-back House beat. They serve delicious salads including a tangy peach number with creamy warm goat’s cheese and handfuls of leafy greens sprinkled with seasonal berries.
Passeig Mare Nostrum 19-21
+34 93 295 28 19
A dreamy slice of California in ‘our Barceloneta’, this lifestyle and cocktail hotspot is a hipster mecca paying homage to all things surf-culture. They frequently broadcast live surfing championships and host a variety of brand launch events. The team also organises group paddle surfing, “SHB Insane Training” workout sessions (!!) as well as a jogging club and surf school.
Be transported to Venice Beach with a delicious early morning granola-and-flat-white combo, or come back later on for zingy cocktails served with a side of laid-back surfer cool on their gorgeously appointed terraza.
C/Almirall Aixada 22
+34 93 250 70 23
Cornelia & Co
For those who love the simple pleasure of a beach picnic in glorious sunshine, but hate the rigmarole and subsequently hellish sticky Tupperware. Cornelia & Co are the picnic professionals conquering Barcelona one wicker basket at a time. For a small (ergo hefty) fee, a crack team of picnic experts will put together a beautifully packaged, scrumptious feast all ready to devour in an alfresco location of your choosing.
This isn’t your average egg and cress sarnie in tin foil – expect treats ranging from American style brunch (think fluffy pancakes and crispy bacon), Mediterranean Tapas and even a “Vin, Foie & Fromage” option. Oui, S’il Vous Plait. Though perhaps prohibitive for your average Saturday, Cornelia & Co’s divine boxes are great for celebrating a special occasion – hassle (and tupperware) free!
+34 93 272 39 56
“Headin’ Out of Town”
Just a hop, skip and a jump from the Ciudad Condal lie some of Catalonia’s most breath-taking coastal regions. If you fancy escaping Barcelona for a mini-adventure, we’ve got some beachfront gems up our sleeve for you.
‘Be Water’, Cabrera de Mar
Set within the Club Nautic at Cabrera de Mar (a long stretch of golden sand and crystal clear water), Be Water is a recently opened oasis on the Maresme Coast. A billowing white canopy ripples overhead in the seasonably warm breeze, as patrons lounge on comfy beds or enormous bean bags – think whitewashed wood, bursts of turquoise, Moroccan lanterns, Balinese parasols and a relaxed barefoot vibe. They do a fabulous ever-changing set menu with tempting fresh dishes including tasty calamars a la planxa and Bacalla al romesco. A favourite haunt of LFStyle Editor Carrie Frais, Be Water epitomises a chilled out afternoon by the sea surrounded by food, family and friends.
Club Nàutic Cabrera de Mar
Cabrera de Mar
+34 93 754 17 48
Les Terrazes del Mar, Mataro
Tucked just back from Mataro’s long straight stretch of coast, Les Terrazes del Mar is a fantastic hideaway of a terrace bar and restaurant with sensational views. This gorgeous Ibiza-style hidden gem has a sunny rooftop terrace with squishy sofas and pretty overhanging lanterns – with a super menu, perfect for an easy-going Sunday luncheon among pals to the gentle rhythm of live jazz.
C/Veinad de Mata 58
+34 93 176 73 19
Little sister of the aforementioned Barraca, the most recent addition to the Woki Tribe group is utterly lovely and very popular indeed. Set right into the undulating sand-dunes, the terrace is a fantastic suntrap for watching the comings and goings of the beach and serves up possibly the freshest seafood in the area. The group make sure to serve up sustainable, organic and where possible, homegrown ingredients from their very own gardens – and the mouth-watering results very much reflect this refreshing, green ethos!
C/Ribera de Sant Pere 17
+34 638 265 261
No list of beachfront bars and restuarants could possibly be complete with out El Chiringuito – titled thus because it was indeed the very first beach bar of its kind in all of the land. Sitting unobtrusively on this spot since it was first opened in 1913 by Captain Calafell, it has seen many great artists, poets and thinkers come and go and truly forms part of the local landscape. Grab a morning coffee and watch the town come to life as the sun heats up, or try any combination of flavoursome tapas dishes – served with a sprinkle of heritage.
Passeig de la Ribera s/n
+34 93 894 75 96