Barcelona: where to eat, drink, stay and shop

The Catalan capital mixes tapas bars and Gaudí with craft brews and curios.

La Rambla


Chef Enric López's Latin American and South East Asian heritage inspires the chic interiors and fusion menu of Artte, featuring dishes such as squid dressed with its ink and teamed with mango chutney, and slow-cooked crab in a chilli bisque. Diners chat among themselves using the vintage telephones on each table, and, come night-time, take in live jazz and DJ sets in the neon-lit room.
Carrer de Muntaner, 83c,
Cometa Pla
Healthy and sophisticated, the menus here are based on market-fresh produce and biodynamic wines – an unusual combination in Barcelona. Chef Giuseppe Padula uses organic, seasonal ingredients in dishes such as Tatin de cebolla, in which the crunch of roasted onion is a surprise contrast with burrata foam. Waiters are happy to pour a few options from a changing wine list to help you pick.
Carrer del Cometa, 5,
La Tere Gastrobar
Start with vermouth and tapas in the low-lit front bar, then settle in the whitewashed dining room, with lofty ceiling and minimalist décor. Chef José Viñals pairs anchovies with lime mayonnaise and wasabi, tuna tataki with kimchi, and grilled octopus with paprika-dusted potatoes.
Carrer de Riego, 25,


Barna-Brew, set on a hip Sant Antoni street, reflects the city's current obsession with craft beer (Carrer del Parlament, 45). Owner Alex Lazarowicz teams Belgian-style beers with a Catalan tapas menu in a venue featuring distressed walls, vintage furniture and an onsite brewery. A crisp Pils Parlament goes well with a Moreneta veal burger.
For good coffee and baked goods, head to Syra Coffee (Carrer de la Mare de Déu dels Desamparats, 8).


Art Deco features meet sharp contemporary design at this glamorous 91-room hotel. The rooftop pool and the lounge, Azimuth, have impressive views, and the bright, spacious rooms are hung with art inspired by the city. The central location combined with smart service and in-house eateries makes this one of the city's hottest places to stay.
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 621,


Housed in an old bullfighting venue, Las Arenas (Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 373-385) stocks hundreds of Spanish fashion brands. Pause for lunch on the rooftop with 360-degree city views. Boutique It Reminds Me of Something (Carrer dels Sagristans, 9) showcases the work of emerging artists in jewellery, homewares, gifts, visual art and furniture.
Las Arenas


Explore Antoni Gaudí's 1880s Casa Vicens, his first house commission and the most recent of the city's modernist buildings opened to the public (Carrer de les Carolines, 20).


Cathay Pacific is boosting its service to Barcelona, and will fly four times a week from select Australian cities via Hong Kong from 1 July.
Edited extract from Barcelona Precincts by Ben Holbrook (Hardie Grant Travel, hbk, $39.99).