This is an absolute gem of a traditional Barcelona cafe, serving food and drink all day in the most charming art nouveau surroundings where you can rub shoulders with the locals reading the complimentary newspapers. The staff are unfailingly polite, even when the tourists have had a few too many of the wonderful Martinez brandy (7 euros a shot) and are getting rowdy... Delicious breakfast food, fabulous fresh orange juice squeezed before your eyes, and later a good range of traditional tapas and simple dishes. Proper alcoholic sangria served indoors or out. Favourite - a huge glass of the Cava sangria.
Las Ramblas, opposite the Liceu theatre
Excellent and unusual vegetarian food and good local wine, served by friendly staff in congenial surroundings. The staff speak English, and are very friendly.
C. Sant Antoni 52, Raval. Phone: 93 441 64 11. Website (in English): www.sesamo-bcn.com. 10 minutes walk from La Rambla, nearest metro Sant Antoni.
Discreetly hidden away in a quiet backstreet is this cultural centre and lounge club built into an old warehouse.
They publish an online magazine, screen films and run a funk, soul, hip-hop and rare groove session at Apolo. During summer 2006 it proved the ideal venue for Spain vs France in the World Cup. Don't lose heart as you head up Calle Fontrodona, it is there and the cava is at knock down prices.
Calle Fontrodona 33; Metro: Parallel L3; www.maumaunderground.com
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