Tapas and drinking in Barcelona (Part 2) – Cava bars in Barcelona

The Catalan Cava is Catalonia’s very own take on the French champagne using the same production method but with grapes typical of the Catalan wine region. This fruity, sparkly sophisticated treat dates from the second half of the 19th century, when winemaker Josep Raventós travelled through Europe to promote the still wines of his Codorníu winery. His visits to the Champagne region sparked an interest in the potential of a Spanish version, using the same Champagne production methods.

Early versions were called champán or xampany (in Catalan) after Champagne; however this practice ended when EU awarded Champagne the Protected Geographical Status. Catalan winemakers then adopted the name Cava after the Catalan word for cellar, where the wines were traditionally stored.

In Spain, a toast is not a toast without Cava, so naturally during holidays this sparkling wine is really popular. However fun-loving residents of Barcelona do not need a special occasion to enjoy this bubbly treat, so all year round they can be found tucking in a glass of cava in Xampanyeries or Cava bars hidden in the city’s narrow streets.  A traditional Cava bar normally closes at 23h00 so make sure you get there before 21h00 to grab a quick bite and a glass of Cava. Tapas often take the form of small, tasty sandwiches, bocadillos.

Our favourite Cava Bars:

Can Paixano or La Champanyeria

This bar leads the pack with the tastiest sandwiches and the cheapest ruby red cava. Located in the heart of Barcelona at the beginning of the Barceloneta neighborhood, this bar is usually packed with international clientele, so you will have to force yourself through the crowd of locals, students and tourists to get your drink and sandwich. Being squeezed and squashed is part of the experience in this bar, but you will most definitely return – the Cava is excellent and is combined with an array of tasty food. For example, the Ruby Red Cava is served with sandwiches stuffed with jamón Serrano, fish, or mouth watering freshly grilled sausages and steaks topped with melted camembert, or goat cheese. This is a great place to meet with your friends, get in the perfect mood party and disappear into Barcelona’s vibrant night life.

C/De la Reina Cristina 7


El Xampanyet

This is another, a bit classier Cava shrine, with superb Cava, simple yet delicious tapas, unbeatable service, and typical Modernist décor. Do like the locals do and order a butifarra (Catalan sausage) on a crusty roll and wash it down with a glass of Cava. A great place, especially if you like the old part of the city and the Picasso Museum.

C/Montcada 22



El Rincón del Cava

On a tight budget? No worries, in the heart of Poble Sec most tapas cost less than 3€.  In the Rincón del Cava they serve half-priced portions, so you can sample before feasting on mussels, stuffed peppers, cheeses, chorizo and all the usual suspects of the traditional tapas. A bottle of pink cava will cost you just 3, 95€, or the good stuff (cava brut) for only 6, 30€. No music, just TV and laughter, and a photo with the owners’ analog camera as a souvenir from your visit to this cava bar.

C/ de Blasco de Garay, 53  


Blogger: Lubi

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