|Irish Bar in Barcelona|
Everyone's favourite - an Irish bar!
The mystery of Irish Bars in Barcelona. How is it that they're everywhere, are they all actually Irish? what's the point of an Irish pub when you can go to an authentic Spanish bar? All these questions and more answered here for you!
There are over 20 Irish bars in Barcelona alone, and no, they are not all Irish-owned. When I came to Barcelona I was adamant that I wouldn't set a foot in an Irish pub, I didn't really see the point and was insistent on localizing myself as much as possible. But then something strange happened. I went into one and now I can't seem to stop! That's not to say that Irish pubs are my preferred hang-out spots but they do feature in my agenda, sad but true. I think you'll find it's hard not to get addicted to the familiar feel of them. They are basically a cure for homesickness, a friendly place to watch some sport and an easy place to meet speakers of your language. However saying this there are definitely some that I like more than others, and here they are:
|The Fastnet Irish Bar in Barcelona|
The Fastnet Irish bar
Passeig Juan de Borbon, 22
Metro: Barceloneta, (Yellow Line, L4), 10 minutes walk Daily 12:00 noon - 02:00
This one is actually Irish-owned and is one of my favourite pubs. Mainly because of the location, it has an outside terrace to watch people go by, and with views inside to the TV screen, it is the perfect place for a cold pint of Guinness after a long hard day sunning yourself.
The staff are friendly and mostly English or Irish, and the customers are a varied bunch, however a lot of the regulars are boat people who have made Fastnet their second home. It is the kind of place where I would happily sit at the bar alone and read the paper (they usually have a selection), and be sure that someone would say hi.
The food is quite good, there's an all day breakfast which includes Heinz baked beans. As well as burgers, lasagna and all the rest. Food is served from 12:00 noon - 16:00 and then from 19:00 - 23:00.
P. Flaherty Irish Bar
Plaza Joaquim Xirau
Metro: Drassanes, (Green Line, L3)
Daily 10:00 - 00:00 midnight
Website: P. Flaherty Irish Bar in Barcelona
This Irish bar is actually part of an Irish-owned chain of pubs round Spain. They are popular mostly because of their impressive menu which is available all day until midnight and includes favourites such as Irish breakfasts, burgers, nachos and Irish stew as well as a good selection of baguettes and a few more adventurous things. At the moment they have 3 screens (TV and projector) showing all the sport you could want and they tell me that there will be a pool table and a darts board installed soon. It's big but still retains that friendly pub feel. It's nicely done up and the staff are friendly. In fact the only real problem with this pub is finding a seat, especially because, due to it's size, it is popular with weekend stag parties and the like.
They also have live music a few times a week so check their website, and there is a happy hour everyday 20:00 - 22:00 when you can get a bottle of Estrella beer for €1.00, which is a bargain as the rest of the time the drinks are rather expensive. It has a nice little terrace and is a good meeting point for travellers (and the occasional local). If you go to the tourist info then there are mini cards you can get which will make you eligible for a free shooter. Site visitor's feedback on the Flaherty's Irish Bar.
Metro: Liceu, (Green Line, L3) 5 minutes walk.
A small and popular Irish bar on this busy street just off Las Ramblas. Its size is made up for by several outside tables which are on the busy street leading to Plaça Reial. Two TVs show all the games and the dark wood décor is lovely and makes the pub feel cosy. I spoke to Jimmy, an Englishman on holiday who had stumbled across My Bar and was watching the game. He liked it and felt it was "more Irish" than some of the other bars he'd been to, however he wasn't impressed with the prices, a pint is €4.80, a spirit + mixer €6.00. Irish bars are on the whole are quite expensive though so these prices aren't outrageous. However I don't think there's any way you would find a local in this bar.
Also along Calle Ferran are 3 more Irish pubs:
Molly's Fair City is directly opposite and has cocktail nights Wednesday - Sunday 22:00 - 02:30
Temple Bar is next to My Bar and gets half the customers.
O'Hara's is up the street at no. 18. Large pub, cool and dark and serves pints of sangria for €3.95
Kennedy Irish Sailing Club
Moll Mestral 26-27-28, Port Olímpic
Metro: Ciutadella Villa Olimpic, (Yellow Line, L4)
A good Irish Bar but away from the heart of Barcelona centre, close to the famous Hotel Arts. Opened in October 2000 it has become popular for its lovely terrace over looking the harbour, and its nights of live music which start around 00:30 and ranges from reggae to pop covers. Check the website for the music. Beautifully decorated with a globe mural on the ceiling, the pub has all what you would expect on tap, including the prerequisite Guinness, Murphy's and Strongbow. Due to its location on the expensive Olympic party strip it can get a bit too full some evenings so arrive early if you want a good seat.
The Irish bars reviewed are my favourites and all have something which makes them special, but you will undoubtedly stumble across many more. Personally I would urge you not to spend all your time in Irish bars as you would miss out on so much of the diverse culture of Barcelona. However to watch the game, or for a quick drink, well there's nothing like a touch of home to help you relax.