A Guide to Barcelona for Primavera Sound by Shane McCauley
Heading to Barcelona for Primavera Sound? Check out photographer Shane McCauley’s rad city guide for places to eat, drink and hang before and after the festival.
In my mind Bar Canete is the definitive place to eat in Barcelona for authentic Catalan cuisine. They do a multi course pre-fixe menu with exceptional service and decor that tastefully strides the line between modern and vintage. The stand out dish the last time I was there was a black garlic soup with black truffle shavings, however the menu changes seasonally.
Carrer de la Unió, 17, 08001 Barcelona, Spain | +34 932 70 34 58
Tucked way off the tourist path in a corner of Poble Sec is a tiny cozy Italian spot called Xemei. The place is run by twins Max and Stefano (Xemei is the word for “twins” in the Venetian dialect), and they cook up food inspired by their home town of Venice. The place is a little pricey but they have a reputation for cooking up what is considered to be the best Italian eats in all of Barcelona. Expect a lot of seafood leaning dishes such as their signature Nero Sepia made with squid ink.
Paseo de la Exposicion, 85, 08004 Barcelona, Spain | +34 935 53 51 40
This is Barcelona’s open air market in La Rambla. This place has tons of seafood and jamon spots, along with fresh fruit and juice and any kind of Spanish meat or produce you can think of really. It’s often overrun by tourists due to its location, but it’s definitely worth a walk through.
If you are vegetarian-inclined like me, Teresa Carles probably has the best vegetarian menu in Barcelona. Fresh, healthy and seasonal are the mantras here. There is a great juice bar and they serve breakfast as well. They also recently opened a “flexitarian” restaurant with fish options called Flax and Kale.
Carrer de Jovellanos, 2, 08001 Barcelona, Spain | +34 933 17 18 29
As far as I can tell, this is the largest club in Barcelona. It’s massive with several floors often offering up several genres of dance music and usually tays open until the morning in typical Spanish tradition.
Carrer Almogàvers, 122, 08018 Barcelona, Spain | +34 933 20 82 00
Old dancehall in Barcelona with old chandeliers and great music almost every night of the week.
Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 113, 08004 Barcelona, Spain | +34 934 41 40 01
Perhaps the best metal bar in the world. My first time here, someone put on Slayer’s “Reigning Blood” on the jukebox and the bartender baptized three patrons with Campari and there was much head banging.
Carrer de les Tàpies, 21, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Skate and grunge bar! YES! They play 90s hits and have old skate videos projected on the walls on repeat. There isn’t much more I need to say.
Carrer dels Tallers, 68, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Prior to the speakeasy craze, Marsella was sort of that, but not really on purpose. It’s hard to find, in a not so great neighborhood, and the main thing to get here is/was Absinthe (before you could get it in any liquor store in America) which gave it an edge of mystery. The owner is known for being short and rude and not nice to anyone. He doesn’t have to be because the place is almost always packed and his attitude is somehow part of the fun of going here. It’s supposedly the oldest operating bar in Barcelona, and it has a cozy rustic feel to it. Still one of my favorite spots in this city.
Carrer de Sant Pau, 65, 08001 Barcelona, Spain | +34 934 42 72 63
This is the city beach in Barcelona. All the locals come here and yes, it’s often a topless beach. You can drink on the beach and there is often someone coming around with a cooler of Estrellas almost non stop. There are also Thai ladies roaming the beach giving 5 euro beach massages. All these reasons and more make Barceloneta a great place.
Parc Guell is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Barcelona, so expect a lot of people. It’s the brain child of the city’s favorite son, Antoni Gaudi who was one of the most inventive architects of all time. It’s free to the public and it’s a nice place to walk around and check out some beautiful architecture and great views of the city.
Carrer d'Olot, s/n, 08024 Barcelona, Spain | +34 902 20 03 02
I could have a great time just wandering these neighborhoods for hours. The narrow streets and old stone buildings and shops make Barcelona one of Europe’s most beautiful cities to get lost in.
Shane McCauley is a photographer and lives in Los Angeles. Follow his travels and photos here: https://www.instagram.com/shanemccauley