Since 1998 Maumau has been a Barcelona staple. This chic and swanky cocktail lounge specializes in serving premium gin and vodka labels with over 35 options of gin and 20 different types of vodka. The bar also boasts 16 various tonic mixes, all of the highest quality. Situated in the up and coming neighborhood of Poble Sec, Maumau is easy to get to on foot or via the green or purple metro lines. Not only does it boast amazing liquors and quality drinks, but since 2002 the bar began promoting it's Boogie Junkies night which features, funk, soul and rare groove which is also held at Marula Cafe in the Gothic Quarter.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: Large open space with a warehouse decor and an authentic Poble Sec vibe
Sam's expert tip: They're open late on weekends but close earlier during the week
If you're into cocktails in a small, classy bar, then Gimlet is your next stop. A local watering hole, for businessmen and those 'in the know', Gimlet serves a mean martini and has an extremely diverse selection of liquors including high quality vodka, gin and digestifs. Located in the trendy Born neighborhood, Gimlet is right off Passeig Del Born and in the heart of the city's thriving nightlife scene. With Pitin bar just around the corner and Nose Cafe across from Born Bar, it's one of the best places in the city to spend an evening. Gimlet has about 6 bar stools so be prepared to stand if you arrive later than 10pm, as it's always packed.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: A trendy, fun bar, small and intimate just off Passeig Del Born
Sam's expert tip: Ask for their weekend special
One of Barcelona's oldest and most recognized cocktail bars, Dry Martini actually 'clock's the number of Martinis served. The lounge is full of large armchairs, benches, and couches all dimly lit and served by bar tenders who have worked for the bar for years. They have their martinis down to a science with the owner and founder, Javier de las Muelas, often giving classes and lectures about the art of cocktail making. What started as Gimlet bar in 1978, has now become one of the chicest and trendiest places to grab a drink in Barcelona. Be sure to ask for a seat at the back, away from the noise.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: The ideal place for professional post work works, especially for happy hour
Sam's expert tip: The after work watering hole for posh Catalans and those in the know. Get great deals between 5-7pm.
One of the funnest gay bars in the city, no matter what day of the week it is, this place is always packed. A small, rustic and unassuming locale, Penultimo is always a sure bet for a great night out with trendy people, good vibes and great drinks. The music varies from soul and funk to Latin and reggae, and DJ Marta is sure to keep you guessing at which tune will be played next. This is primarily a bar, however on weekends especially it turns into a club and as it's fairly small you'll often find yourself dancing 'very' closely to the person next to you.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: A Raval classic, especially if you're gay or want to be in the gay scene.
Sam's expert tip: Go early and ask for their specially priced signature cocktail (they don't make them when it gets too busy)
This chic nightclub serves a varying choice of music, including hip-hop, jazz and Latin beats. The venue is split level with a dance club downstairs and live Spanish music upstairs. Most nights the place (downstairs) kicks off with live music and then later transforms into trendy and lively club. If you're looking to dance until the sun comes up, then Jamboree is a great choice. Situated in Plaza Reial in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, right off La Rambla, it's surrounded by plenty of other bars and clubs, all with a variety of music. Most places don't charge admission and if they do it includes a drink.
An elegant, boutique wine shop, smack in the city center with a diverse and eclectic mix of Spanish as well as international wines. Check out their very cheap Catas (wine tastings) every Friday evening, where you can also order a bit of pica pica (food) with your vino. Spain's wines are world-renowned, from the Rioja to Ribera Del Duero to the Penedes regions, there is never a shortage of delicious wines from which to choose and this quaint wine shop has an excellent selection in a chic yet unassuming atmosphere. Be sure to ask for a private wine tasting or to join a group every day after 6pm.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: Quaint, wine bar with a great happy hour and food combo
Sam's expert tip: They often have food & drink specials early in the evenings (they open at 5pm)
Excellent wine bar in the heart of the city, La Vinya Del Senyor gives way onto the beautiful Santa Maria Del Mar Church and has a wide range of national and international wines. They also have a few snacks including delicious cheeses and olives and a great outdoor patio. Their upstairs is small with a few tables but it overlooks the church and all of the people eating at its doorstep. Be sure to check out their patio during the summer as it sits directly in front of the Church steps and is a nice way to spend an afternoon.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: Great selection of wine in the city's charming Born neighborhood
Sam's expert tip: Ask for their selection of Malbec wines
You can't get more authentically Barcelona than Quimet Quimet. Delicious tapas served in a tiny locale where you have to push your way to the counter in order to be heard. Once you're served however, you'll realize that it was definitely worth the 'struggle'. Mouth watering, cheese, wine and cavier dishes make this a rustic yet somehow classy joint. Located in Poble Sec, the city's fastest up and coming neighborhood, once you're finished dining and drinking at Quimet Quimet, take a short stroll to 41 Degrees (Ferran Adria's newest creation) for late night cocktails, surrounded by trendy people and delicious, innovative drinks.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: Authentic Barcelona tapas in a lesser known, 'hole-in-the-wall' locale in Poble Sec
Sam's expert tip: Great Happy Hour specials on the weekends
A relaxed and stylie, primarily girl cocktail bar and pub, amBar is still equally welcoming to gays and straights. They have comfy couches, low-key music and a free pool table, providing for an inviting atmosphere and a nice way to kick off the evening in the heart of the Eixample neighborhood. Their happy hour deals vary daily, with a vast selection of innovative drinks including vodka mixes, martini specials as well as cheap beer. This is an excellent place to start the evening with a few affordable beverages before continuing the evening with dinner and dancing at one of the trendy bars/clubs right around the corner.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: Charming bar in one of the city's undiscovered areas
Sam's expert tip: Be sure to try their signature cocktails (on the menu)
Romantic, intimate and cozy, this dimly lit wine and tapas bar is tucked away on one of the Gothic Quarters' many side streets. Ideal for dates or a few drinks with friends, it's owned by a Canadian and the service is top notch and so is the food. The bar has a great selection of comfy couches and tables and ideal for groups of friends who want a large space with little interruption. Andu's wine list is also quite extensive and includes dessert wines as well as a few international bottles. Their food is limited to tapas but their cheese plate is quite yummy.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: Authentic, charming bar in the heart of the Gothic Quarter with a great happy hour
Sam's expert tip: Ask for their happy hour specials which change daily