From June to October, ephemeral beach huts bloom all along the beach. In Barcelona they are called xiringuitos, and in Spanish chiringuitos.
The food is of course simpler than in a restaurant but you will find tapas, sandwiches, mixed salads, cocktails and other drinks.
These bars are certainly more expensive than their counterparts in the city centre, but you are also paying for the setting. And that is definitely worth it! After all, this is where you will really feel on holiday…
- Warning! The staff change a lot so service can be variable./badlist]
The most colourful: La guingueta
Foodie tip: Starred chef Carles Abellan is in charge at La Guingueta. Although even if that means nothing to you, the decoration of the hut is very appealing, with motifs of all shapes in all colours and natural materials. For me it is the most beautiful xiringuito in Barcelona.
Here you can have breakfast (croissants, toast with jam, yoghurt with muesli…) or choose from a wide range of sandwiches and hamburgers. Having tried the jamón ibérico, I strongly recommend it!
The tapas are numerous: patatas bravas, tortilla, prawns, small salad, jamón ibérico, squid, nachos, paella. And all of the ingredients are fresh and locally sourced.
- Another great thing about La Guingueta is the handmade ice cream made from natural ingredients by the famous Rocambolesc, based in Girona
The original, fresh smoothies are to die for. I recommend the “refrescante” (refreshing) made from melon, apple, lemon and mint. All of the drinks’ names suggest something: relax, anti-hangover, digestion, aphrodisiac, slimming, etc.
But you can also be sure of finding more traditional alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
When? Every day of the Summer from 9am to midnight
How much? €15-30 per person
Why? For the high-quality fresh products
Where? Barceloneta Beach
The most gastronomical:La Guingueta del Escribà
A magnificent setting
After the magnificent hundred-year old Escriba patisserie, and the restaurant specialising in paella and seafood here is the beach hut. And what a hut! Shells, bleached wood and wicker baskets make for a very considered decor that works particularly well.
An explosion of flavours
The dishes are a hit! I melted with pleasure tasting the smoked salmon and cod tartare with wasabi mayonnaise, salmon eggs, capers and salad.
The tapas are just as tempting with ceviche, seafood guacamole (guacamole accompanied by mussels in escabeche with corn cakes) grilled prawns, bloody mary mussels…
Be careful not to go too crazy, as it all adds up quickly!
When? In Summer, from Monday to Friday from 10am to midnight
How much? €20-40 per person
Why? For its fish and seafood
Where? Bogatell beach at the bottom of Escribà restaurant, which is not directly on the beach)
The most chic: Salt beach club
Salt Beach Club is an extension of hotel W , one of the chicest hotels in the city. It therefore offers a great moment of relaxation in an elegant setting, as well as a panoramic view of the Barcelona coast that you won’t find in any other xiringuito in the city…
The price is suitably high, and you should expect to pay around 8 euros for a glass of sangria and 12-13 euros for a cocktail. For snacks there are sandwiches, gourmet burgers and a signature salad.
It is not the fullest of menus but the atmosphere is extremely pleasant at Salt Beach Club. At the week-end DJs provide an extra buzz from late afternoon until the end of the night.
- April: 1pm to 5pm from Sunday to Thursday, 1pm-midnight on Fridays and Saturdays
- May-September: 1pm to 1am every day
€20-40 per person
Why? For the view of the bay
Where? Sant Sebastià beach (just by hotel W)
The most varied: Blue
Just by La Guingueta, Blue is beautifully decorated with a maritime theme. The staff are friendly and the menu is original.
Breakfast, aperitifs, salads, tapas, burgers, hot or cold sandwiches accompanied by a large range of drinks, are all on offer. I chose the fruit salad with raspberry vinaigrette accompanied by caramelised goat’s cheese: a surprising but very tasty mixture.
When? Summer, every day from 9am to midnight
How much? €15-25 per person
Why? For its varied menu
Where? Barceloneta beach
The cheapest: Amalur
The xiringuitos are not cheap, but luckily some are cheaper than others. Amalur is one of these, with a caesar salad costing around 9 euros. I tried the baby leaf spinach, cherry tomato, nuts and parmesan salad, which was very good indeed!
Although it isn’t the most carefully decorated of the xiringuitos it is still extremely pleasant to sit under its many palm trees. Like Blue, Amalur is owned by ONA group, and many of the xiringuitos offer the same menu at the same prices, including the ONA Beach bar on Barceloneta beach.
When? Summer, every day from 9am to 2am
How much? €10-20 per person
Why? For good value
Where? Nova Icària beach
Bonus: 2 relaxed huts beside the beach
The xiringuitos do have the unique advantage of being located directly on the beach. However, there are cafés and bars right near the beach with such a relaxed holiday atmosphere that they are just as good…
- Top tip: They’re cheaper than the xiringuitos!
The Surf House is a restaurant/bar/café that we love for it’s pretty terrace, it’s salvage decor, Californian vibe and its fresh, healthy food.
When? Monday to Thursday: 12pm to 9pm, Friday to Saturday: 11am to midnight, Sunday 11am to 10pm
How much? €10-15 per person
Why? For its relaxed atmosphere and fresh products
Where? Carrer Amirall Aixada 22
Beach Garden is a little bit secret as it’s hidden behind a lot of vegetation, but here you’ll find cactus in pots, a thatched roof over the bar and a super relaxed atmosphere! You can even lie down on one of the large sofas hidden in the corner.
Beers are around 3 euros (compared to 4-5 euros in the xiringuitos) and the tapas are generous. However, try La Guingueta for fruit juices, as they are much more expensive at Beach Garden.
When? Summer every day from 10am to 2am
How much? €10-15 per person
Why? For the colourful and plant-filled decor.
Where? Plaça del Mar (at the bottom of the Club de Natació Atletic de Barcelona)