Until recently, the vermouth or “vermut” was the type of drink you’d see old men in Barcelona drinking in the local bar; cigarette in one hand and newspaper in the other. Then, the hipsters came along and this, along with beards and bicycles, also got trendy. Fancy jumping on the bandwagon? We list some of the best places to get vermouths in Barcelona.
Best vermouth bars in Barcelona
Vermut i Sifó (c/Bilbao 18, Poblenou)
Vermut i Sifó is a another bar dedicated to the art of enjoying a vermouth and aperitivo. It’s decked out in archetypical Barcelona hipster style, with blonde wood tables, colourful Mexican tiles and lucite green everywhere. We tried a house vermouth, vermouth without alcohol and the vermut i sifó potato chips with a special sauce, which all together came to a reasonable € 6.90. The vermouth came with complete with olive and pipettes of a flavoursome, mildly sweet substance, which made for a stylish, unique touch. We think the sauce on the potato chips contained vermouth and orange, but may never find out. For warm days, there’s a terrace outside, which leads onto a grassy pedestrian area of the Carrer Bilbao. Remarkably friendly waiting staff.
Bar Calders (c/Parlament 25, Sant Antoni)
When Poble Sec got trendy, c/Parlament was one of the first streets to go. Off this street, you’ll find Bar Calders, a cosy establishment with a pleasant buzz to it. You’ll find plenty of typical Catalan things like vermouth, marble tables and patatas bravas, but the vibe is far from traditional and is fuses the art nouveau style with Mexican, colours and food and drink. As well as the standard house vermouth (€1.80), we tried a “Vermut de Falset”, a slightly sweeter version with a touch of orange juice – delicious. Inside the bar is small and fills up quickly, but with a bit of luck you’ll get here in time to grab a space on the outdoor terrace that faces onto Passatge Calders (Calders Passage), the famous Catalan poet the bar and street are named after.
Relatively new on the scene, this bar in fashionable Gràcia is a homage to the vermouth and vermouth alone. Although it does sell other drinks, you’ll see the vast majority of the clientele with olive stick in one hand, glass in other while they sip on one of the various types of vermouth sold here. The decoration is impeccable – a nod to the Art Nouveau movement Barcelona is famous for – but not too OTT, and on a Saturday afternoon the bar is full of some of Barcelona’s brightest young things. The downside? La Vermu has been very successful, yet is a little on the small side – when we visited, we were constantly falling over each other (and not just because of the vermouth).
Senyor Vermut (c/Provença 85, Eixample)
Probably my favourite on the list, I discovered Senyor Vermut when I was on my way back from a salsa class. Set in the otherwise unremarkable part of Eixample close to Hospital Clinic, Senyor Vermut offers vermut, Italian Aperol spritz (spritzes?) and a variety of delicious typical tapas to go with it. In particular, I recommend the banderillas (cocktail sticks with pickles), tortilla and the rather spicy patatas bravas. Senyor Vermut is quite trendy and does get full on weekends, so arrive early to get there before the crowds of people trying to wear off their hangover from the night before do.
Torre Rosa (c/Francesc Tàrrega 22, El Congrés i els Indians – Sant Andreu)
Tucked away in the residential neighbourhood of El Congrés, there’s no way you’d stumble on Torre Rosa unless you actually knew it was there (or, like us, live closeby). Meaning the palm-tree filled garden of this hundred-year-old Indian mansion remains pretty peaceful despite the salsa music that’s on in the background and the range of cocktails on offer. Torre Rosa has special opening hours for a “vermutet” (from 12-4 on weekends and holidays), where as well as a “vermouth cocktail”, you can order all types of nibbles to go with it.
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