Chiringuito. Meaning ‘beach bar’; a key word in Barcelona. Barceloneta – Barcelona’s main beach – is full of them. They range from W Hotel chic (Wet Bar), to surfer-style rustic, to just plain grungy. Yes, they are touristy. But the locals love them too – you just need to find the right one.
And we definitely did.
Gallito, which fits into the rustic surfer style category (with a trendy touch), was one of our favourite finds in Barcelona. It’s on the far ‘W Hotel side’ of the beach, underneath the sail that is the W (and which you can’t miss). Gallito has that laid back feel to it, where when you walk in (it’s partly outside and partly inside), that holiday feeling hits you just that little bit harder. And when the rosé arrives that feeling is only accentuated (I recommend the house rosé at €22 a bottle – it’s that lovely pale pink colour).
Gallito is unpretentious. Its large shaded terrace is spilling with plants, and pastel-coloured materials slung over awnings tangled with grapevines. They serve large fresh salads, plates of nachos with homemade guacamole (portions are small), melt in the mouth croquettes and whatever drink you want. Inside there are huge sofas to lounge on, low tables, colourful cushions. There’s music but it’s not too loud. It just puts you in the mood for a drink. It’s as far from Nikki Beach as you’ll get, and I love them for it.
This is really the place to head to after you’ve had enough sun, when your skin feels salty and your face feels warm. It’s the perfect 5pm place, when you’re craving the day’s first drink. Where you can slowly unwind if you want, or get the party started. Where you can watch the sun set, and let the time slip by as you discuss plans for the evening. We had some of our best times at Gallito that weekend, and I’d go back in a heartbeat.
Side note: we did try out the neighbouring Pez Vela chiringuito, as it’s the newest addition underneath the W Hotel. But while the interiors were slick, we found it lacking the atmosphere and the buzz that Gallito had. Pez Vela is perhaps a good lunch place, while Gallito is better for lounging and chilling.
Paseo Mare Nostrum, 19 -21,