Family-run vermuteria in central Barcelona with a hole-in-the-wall sister bar (standing room only) just a few doors down. All are crammed with memorabilia and vintage bits and bobs to gaze at while sipping a glass of the good stuff. Both of the bars can get busy at times, but the mezzanined place on the corner at c/Copons is your best bet for scoring a table.
The star attraction here really is the home-made vermut, served with an olive, slice of lemon and an antique water sifon to dilute to taste (or to ensure things don’t get too wobbly too quickly) – you can even buy a bottle of the good stuff to take home for a meagre €5.50. Contrary to its image in Anglo Saxon countries (Martini, winos), vermouth is a popular traditional drink in Spain – make sure you ask for either vermut casero or vermut del grifo.
Also worth a go are the varied tapas available – the bombas were among the best tapas we have tried and the morcilla and chorizo dishes deserve at least a nomination for best supporting tapa. If you are after a lighter bite, the vermouth-dipped olives are also worth a whirl.
2 glasses of vermut – €4.50
Bombas – €4.50
Patatas bravas – €3.25
Total – €12.50
The chef has evidently sold his soul to attain crunchy/gooey perfection for his bombas. The vermut is also a real highlight, and Cala del Vermut is perfectly positioned for a strategic tapas break in the city centre.
Not so sure
At times can get flooded by groups of tourists on ‘tapas tours’ – don’t expect the staff to be thrilled. The smaller bar especially can get very busy in the evening.
Cala del Vermut
- c/Copons, 2, Barcelona, nearest Metro: Jaume I or Urquinaona
- Tel: 0034 933 179 623
- Opening hours: 1300 -1600h and 1800 to 2300h, closed Sunday evening.
Bonus: Barcelona Vermouth City