/ The Barcelona Guide
Barcelona — By thebarcelonaguide on November 8, 2009 at 6:57 am

The Old Dude Cafe and Others. Eating and Drinking in BCN

Cafe Culture is an important part of the Barcelona lifestyle. Whether visiting or living in the city, you will ultimately spend a good many hours in cafes for coffees, beers, snacks, and restroom breaks. Cafes are key in the morning to read the paper and in the evening to shoot the breeze. It is therefore not surprising that there exist many a variety of cafes in the city to fit everyone taste.

Cafe del Borne. By Regina Winkle-Bryan

Cafe del Borne. By Regina Winkle-Bryan

The Posh Cafe : here you will find overpriced mini sandwiches and people wearing brand-names in prominent locations. Expect to pay more for your beer or coffee. Located in up-town, La Eixample, and some areas of El Borne.

The Local Dive: These places are non-descript holes-in-the-walls and can be hit or miss. Sometimes you will get a Local Dive that serves up great coffees and fresh croissants, but most of the time the pastries seem day-old and the coffee is not stellar. On the bright side, these Local Dives are cheap! Located everywhere.

The Busy Bar: These places are serious about coffee. It’s the sort of cafe where you can opt to sit at the bar or at a table and you will pay more if you sit at the table. Here pastries are lined up in cases and you simply point to get what you want, throw back an espresso shot and get on with your day. These Busy Bars have always seemed Italian to me in style. The perk here is that you will not have to wait forever. Located in the center of town, where people are in a rush.

The ‘Old Dude’ Cafe: You will know this cafe immediately because it is filled with old men. Well, old guys and video poker machines. Here you will find the local male population drinking beers at 10am and discussing the latest in sports and barrio happenings. I do not recommend eating at one of these places, but having a drink in one could be entertaining. Located everywhere.

Cool Cafe: Here you will find the city’s hip crowd drinking cappuccinos and perusing the cafe’s collection of heady or arty magazines. Chill-out  music plays in the background and the waitress has attitude and maybe a tattoo. She’s not really a waitress after all, but a singer-songwriter waiting for her big break. Located in many zones, but especially in the Eixample and Gothic.

The ‘I have nothing to do but spend all my time in cafes’, Cafe: These cafes are popular with tourists and locals alike, and really with anyone who has time on their hands. Located throughout the city, these cafes are filled with lots of people reading the paper, writing in journals, filling out postcards, or simply starting into space drinking one cafe con leche after another.

Gourmet Cafe: One of my faves, these cafes offer delicious snacks to go with their coffee and beer selection. Usually at these fine establishments the coffee is also of high caliber. When I am feeling blue, I head to one of these cafes and get myself a good cup of Joe and a slice of something chocolate. Located in the center, Gothic, Eixample.

Ladies Cafe: Like the Old Dude cafe, but just for the ladies. You’ll know these spots because they have a feminine feel and are packed with women in sharp outfits eating bite-sized muffins around 11am. Generally, these cafes are classier than the Old Dude cafes and do not offer video-poker. Located in up-town.

With so many cafes to choose from it can be hard to know which ones are the best. As long as you stay off La Rambla, most any cafe should be fine. This week though, my Cafe vote goes to Cafe Del Borne. Combining elements from the above Cool, Gourmet, and ‘I have Nothing to do..’ Cafes, Cafe del Borne is a winner.


Cafe Del Borne

Placa Comercial 10

08003, Barcelona

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