Terraces on the Plaça George Orwell: a lively and festive place to relax
Article updated 17 January, 2019.
Barcelona's terraces are a great place to relax all year round, and there are plenty to be found on the Plaça George Orwell, in the city centre but away from the tourist crowds. Fear not, Big Brother won't pinch your food...
All year round, any self-respecting resident of Barcelona will dream of enjoying a coffee, a caña (draught beer) or a glass of vermouth, perhaps accompanied by a few tapas, on a sunny terrace.
Mere minutes from the tourist-packed terraces of Las Ramblas and the Plaça Reial, you’ll find the Plaça George Orwell, home to a number of great restaurants and plenty of terraces. This small, triangular “square” offers a lively but charming atmosphere both day and night.
A spot of history: bad trips and top tips
Plaça George Orwell is named after the author of “1984”, who lived in Barcelona from 1936 to 1937. Somewhat ironically, the square is now monitored by 24-hour CCTV…
The plaça is easily recognised by the surrealist statue, by Leandre Cristòfol, which was erected in the centre in 1991. It’s known as Plaça del Tripi in reference both to the work of art and to its sordid past as a centre for the sale and consumption of hard drugs. The trafickers left in the early 2000s, but the name stuck – tripi refers to parygoers suffering the effects of LSD.
Nowadays, the square is a pleasant meeting point for both locals and visitors, fuelled by beer and tapas.
A feast for the senses
From the appetising scents coming from the kitchens to the colourful façades (and fabulous opporunities for people-watching), the laughter of children and the strumming of guitars, there’s something for all the senses here!
Here’s a selection of our favourite addresses to help you decide where to look first.
The “insider” one: Oviso
From the outside, Oviso looks like any other bar, but step inside and you’ll discover multi-coloured murals and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
- The menu includes savoury and sweet crepes, piadinas (a sort of Italian pancake), sandwiches, omelettes, burgers, cheese and meat boards, tarts and cakes… plenty of choice!
- The daily special costs just €6.50 and includes a starter, main course and dessert.
- Drinks-wise, you’ll find a range of wines at €2 a glass, vermouth and homemade sangria, a range of cocktails and a selection of craft beers from around the world.
Where? Carrer d’Arai, 5
When? Monday to Sunday, 10am – 2.30am (until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays)
How much? Around €10 for a full meal
Why? For the great choice of food and drinks and for the unbeatable prices
The green one: Vegetalia
At Vegetalia, everything is healthy, eco-friendly and home-made!
This vegetarian café-restaurant stands out for its colourful terrace and fruit-print tablecloths.
- The fresh smoothies are fabulous – and you get to choose your own ingredients! If you’re after something warm, there’s also a decent selection of teas.
- The daily menu (starter, main, dessert, bread and a drink) will set you back around €10, and is available from Monday to Friday, 11am – 4pm. At the weekend, there’s an exciting menu featuring things such as vegetable and mozzarella fajitas, spiced hummus, creamy brie, salads, muesli and yogurts, fresh fruit, apple strudel and toast – all for only €10!
- Don’t miss the deliciosu homemade cakes, on display in the window.
They also grow all their own products in their garden… and yes, it’s all organic!
Where? Carrer dels Escudellers, 54
When? Monday to Sunday, 11am – midnight.
How much? €10 for lunch or brunch.
Why? For 100% healthy, budget-friendly food!
The Jekyll-and-Hyde one: Bahia
Bahia has two very different sides, one of which only comes out after dark…
- During the daytime, if you’re looking for a peaceful terrace with no unnecessary frills, Bahia is the bar for you!
- The beer is cool, the patatas bravas are tasty, and the pinchos (small slices of bread with a variety of toppings) are all at €1. Perfect for a savoury mid-afternoon snack, or for an aperitif with friends.
- After nightfall, head inside and join the regulars to dance the night away – the music includes a great selection of rock, blues, funk and soul. Unforgettable!
Where? Carrer dels Escudellers, 46
When? Monday to Sunday, 12pm – 3am.
How much? Aperitifs from €3.
Why? For simplicity and great music.
The exotic one: Dionisos
Dionisos is a chain of Greek restaurants which you’ll find all over Barcelona. The food is budget-friendly and of excellent quality.
- Dionisos offers copious and tasty lunch menus for €7 -8. A great idea if you’re nearby!
- The menu includes a whole range of tasty mediterranean dishes, including taramasalata, hummus and aubergine dips, alongside moussaka, salads and filled pitas.
- The staff are friendly and approachable.
Where? Carrer Arai, 3
When? Monday to Sunday, 1pm – 4pm and 8pm – midnight (open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays).
How much? From €4.50
Why? For a voyage of culinary discovery.
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