Top 10 pubs in Barcelona
1. The George Payne (Plaça d’Urquinaona, 5, 08010 Barcelona)
If you go to Dublin, or any major Irish city, and are taken by a local to one of their favourite pubs, it would probably look a lot like this. You will have fun here! An imposing, impressive interior with 2 floors and 3 bars, karaoke, great food, great deals, and a steady influx of young people from all over the world looking to party. If you really want to get messed up, try the ‘Blackout Tray’, which definitely does what it says on the tin!
2. Penny Banger (Carrer Ample, 35, 08002 Barcelona)
Stylish, central, lively, with consistently great music. This comes in at a very close second, with possibly the best pint of Guinness you will taste in Barcelona. When you walk into Penny Banger, the first impression you get is of classiness, with candlelit tables and impressive murals on the walls. The proprietors are a lovely Irish / English couple who take pride in what they do. A perfect spot for over 30s in Barcelona looking to get the night going.
3. The Michael Collins (Plaça de la Sagrada Família, 4, 08013 Barcelona)
A truly quintessential Irish pub which is something like walking into a time machine. The layout and decor are beautifully traditional, and the food is a true taste of Ireland. If you can, get in there for a roast on a Sunday, enjoy a few pints, then walk out and marvel at the architectural genius that is the posthumous work-in-progress of Antoni Gaudí: ‘La Sagrada Família’.
4. McCarthy’s Bar (Via Laietana, 44, 08003 Barcelona)
Located between the Gothic Quarter and El Born, McCarthy’s is a great spot full of interesting characters from all walks of life, and more importantly, the go to pub for fight fans if you happen to be looking to catch the boxing (or any sports). Good guinness, and a lively atmosphere, in a great location. Worth a look!
5. Flaherty’s Irish Pub Barcelona (Plaza Joaquim Xirau, s/n, 08002 Barcelona)
Directly beside ‘Las Ramblas’, big, with a large outdoor terrace, pool table, big screens, and plenty of generous drinks offers, Flaherty’s is first stop for many a fresh arrival in the city looking for a place to get the party going. Their food is also delicious- the Sunday roast, whiskey chicken, and gourmet burgers are all highly recommended.
6. The Wild Rover Barcelona (Carrer de Santa Mònica, 2, 08001 Barcelona)
Some of the best service you will find anywhere in Barcelona! (Something which, truth be told, can be somewhat hard to find in the city at the best of times). Even the bouncers are friendly! What really makes this place is their live music, and their burgers. Slap bang in the centre of the city, and very near some of the best clubs. Not a bad choice of boozer!
7. Scobies Irish Pub (Ronda de la Universitat, 8, 08007 Barcelona)
A trendy spot right by Plaza Catalunya in the city centre, which is where the blue airport leaves you. So, if you want to go for a pint as soon as you’ve arrived, this could be a good bet! Highly professional, well-trained staff and generally good atmosphere. The music is good, and the decor is modern and stylish. Perfect for pre-drinks before a night on the town!
8. The Black Horse (Carrer de l’Allada-Vermell, 16, 08003 Barcelona)
A cosy, friendly little place with true English pub character and a great selection of beers and ciders. This pub is located in the heart of ‘El Born’: part of the old city and home to such attractions as the Picasso Museum, El Palau de la Música (Barcelona’s most prestigious concert hall), and the ‘Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar’- the cathedral upon which Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafón based his famous novel ‘Cathedral of the Sea’.
9. Craft (Carrer Paradís, 4, 08002 Barcelona)
A list of the top pubs in Barcelona would not be complete without something for the craft beer connoisseurs. Located in the heart of the gothic quarter, beside the ‘Palau de la Generalitat’, this place is an interesting combination of an Irish style pub, offering ‘pinchos’ (tapas), and a selection of some of the best craft beers you will find in Barcelona, both local and international. Downstairs they frequently put on open mic and comedy nights. Worth a look!
10. Dunne’s Irish Bar and Restaurant (Via Laietana, 19, 08003 Barcelona)
A solid choice, in a decent location, with everything you would want from an Irish pub. Great food, great atmosphere, and a great place to watch the football. The service is friendly, fast and professional. They have a nice terrace out the back, from which you can enjoy the sun and the medieval architecture of the ‘Barrio Gótico’.
Pubs to avoid (like the plague):
1. The Fastnet
For a pub that brands itself as a ‘real Irish pub’, the irony here is that if this pub were actually in Ireland, it would immediately be shut down by Health and Safety for its atrocious disregard for general hygiene and basic cleanliness. Overpriced, watered down drinks- the list goes on. If you are looking for a perfect example of what Guinness should never taste like, by all means, pay a visit to this abomination of an establishment. If you’re really lucky, you might even get to meet the proprietor, “Shane”- a real life version of British sitcom ‘Black Books’ protagonist Bernard Black, who genuinely hates his customers and staff in seemingly equal measure. Irish pubs are famous for ‘the craic’, but this place is about as much craic as the holocaust while listening to Coldplay after going through a messy divorce.
For a premises with so much potential, it is a real shame what has been done with this place. An old man’s boozer where you walk in and are likely to be the only person there- and the staff seem to wish that you had never arrived. The location is down a very dodgy street in El Raval- the epicentre of pickpocketing in Barcelona. Give this one a miss.