Paradiso, a speakeasy cocktail bar hidden behind the refrigerator door of a pastrami shop in Barcelona, Spain, has been chosen as the World’s Best Bar for 20221. When I found out about Paradiso during my most recent trip to Barcelona, there was no way I wasn’t going. After all, you can’t possibly pass up the opportunity to visit when you discover the best cocktail bar in Barcelona is also the best in the world!
1 Source: https://www.worlds50bestbars.com/the-list/paradiso.html
But with accolades like “best bar in the world,” don’t think you can just roll right on in. Seating is limited, and you need to make sure you claim a reservation. If you want to ensure you don’t miss out on experiencing the best cocktail bar in Barcelona, keep reading!
How to Enter The Best Cocktail Bar in Barcelona
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How to Find Paradiso: The Best Bar in the World
Paradiso is located at Carrer de Rera Palau, 4, 08003 Barcelona, in the El Born neighborhood. When you approach it, there is a large sign on the outside of the building, so it’s relatively easy to find. From the outside, it looks like an unsuspecting pastrami shop.
Even if you didn’t know about the speakeasy within Paradiso, there are a couple things that may clue you in. First, naming a pastrami shop “Paradiso” isn’t really fitting. Second, there will likely be a line outside the door, with a QR code on a sign near the front.
Now you’re intrigued, aren’t you? People don’t line up over cold cut meat. Either this is about to be the best pastrami sandwich of your life, or something else is going on here. You Google, and you realize what Paradiso is really all about. You excitedly hop in line, only to find that they are full for the day. So how do you get in?
How to Enter Paradiso Bar
Step 1: Scan the QR Code Outside
At the time of this post, Paradiso opens daily at 3:00 PM and closes at 2:00 AM. There is a sign with a QR code that the staff will set outside around this time. The best way for you to guarantee that you get in is to scan the QR code as soon as they open. You are then able to then select the time of day that you want to come back.
- Pro Tip: You have to scan the QR code to enter Paradiso on the day that you want to go. For example, if you are planning on trying to get in tomorrow evening, you can’t scan the QR code today. You have to wait until tomorrow to scan the code and get on the reservation list.
If you’re down with drinking at 3:00 in the afternoon (and nobody’s judging you, because you’re on vacation!), you can hop right in line when they open! Keep in mind, you still have to scan the QR code regardless.
Step 2. Check Your WhatsApp for a Text Message from Paradiso
After you scan the QR code, you will receive a text via WhatsApp that tells you your estimated wait time to get inside. This is your confirmation text.
Once your seat is ready, you will receive a second text telling you to come back to the bar. Once you get this text, you must return within 10 minutes, or else your spot will be given to someone else!
Step 3: Welcome to Paradiso!
After you get your second text, the hostess is ready to let you in! When you come back, there may be a line, but it will be people who have already received their text telling them their table is ready. In other words, it should move quickly!
When it’s your turn to go in, the hostess will show you to the “refrigerator door” that is actually the entrance. Once you open it, you are greeted by another employee who will show you to your seat, along with a chorus of lively and energetic bartenders welcoming you inside!
The Paradiso Experience
I have zero shame in telling you that I visited Paradiso twice while I was in Barcelona. During my first visit, I thought the cocktails were so good and the bartenders were so fun that I came back the next day!
As you can imagine, I tried my fair share of drinks. I even made friends at the bar and we tried each other’s drinks! (And for those of you who audibly gasped, remember that alcohol kills germs.)
What Makes Paradiso So Great?
Literally EVERYTHING. **drops mic** Oh, wait. You wanted specifics…
The Drinks at Paradiso
I haven’t been to every bar in the world, but I am still going to tell you that you will never find a cocktail menu with ingredients as unique as you can find here. And I don’t mean just a couple of cocktails. I mean every cocktail has at least one ingredient that will have you scratching your head.
White truffle honey, fennel and oregano, oyster leaves, mushrooms, yuzu, seaweed…these are just some of the ingredients you’ll find in the various cocktails! And you’ll love them. Promise.
The Presentation of the Cocktails
Another thing that is so cool about Paradiso is the cocktail presentation. A cocktail called The Voyage is served in a spaceship. The Paradiso Express is served in a train. Legacy is a smoked cocktail served in a storybook. Some of the drinks even light up!
The way you taste the cocktails is also important. Some of them come with a small bite of food (for example, a wafer or a truffle) that you are supposed to eat before you take your first sip in order to intensify the notes of the drink. For another cocktail, they spray your hands with a scented oil that you have to inhale before you try it!
The Paradiso Bartenders
As great as the drinks are here, the highlight of the experience is arguably the bartenders. The bartenders are SO much fun! They enthusiastically welcome you as soon as you walk in, and they make sure you have a great time from start to finish.
The bartenders also explain every single cocktail they make once they serve it to you, including what it’s made with, how you’re supposed to drink it, and anything else that you may want to know about your uniquely crafted beverage. It is clear how passionate they are about what they do!
To watch a reel/video about my experience at Paradiso, including how the bartenders present some of the drinks, check out my Instagram page!
Paradiso Bar Aesthetics
Paradiso is described as a “Dali-esque” curved wooden bar that leads back into somewhat of a sexy tropical oasis with pink flowers and palm tree inspired decor on the ceiling. You definitely get speakeasy vibes when you enter!
I sat at the bar both times that I came here, and IMO, it’s the best seat in the house. You get to watch the bartenders make all of the drinks, and it’s SO much fun to talk to them and the other people sitting around you!
My Favorite Paradiso Cocktails (for 2023)
- Disclaimer: Paradiso changes their menu yearly, so the cocktails listed here may not be available
If you are an avid reader of this blog, you know I am all about a good spicy margarita. Tequila is my favorite spirit! However, my favorite Paradiso drinks were the Great Gatsby and the Evolution Negroni, which are both made with whiskey/bourbon. The Great Gatsby is smoked, which gives it a powerful flavor, and the Evolution Negroni comes with a cinnamon wafer that compliments the taste of the bourbon.
- Fun Fact: Although I like tequila more now, 21-year-old Gina was definitely a whiskey girl! It’s not every day that you’re served good cocktails AND nostalgia…
Other Paradiso Cocktails I Tried
In addition to my favorite 2 drinks mentioned above, I also tried The Cloud, Copper, Voyage, Kriptonite, and Supercool Martini. I even asked one of the bartenders to create a tequila drink for me that wasn’t on the menu. (Challenge accepted, and challenge won!)
Out of the drinks listed in this section, I liked Kriptonite best! It comes in a glass illuminated by a bluish-purple light. Once the bartender pours the drink inside, the glass turns neon green!
Want More Barcelona Tips?
Barcelona is my favorite city and one that I love recommending people to visit. Between the food, architecture, bars & nightlife, and plethora of things to do, it’s hard not to find something you’ll love. For a full 3 day itinerary for this popular Spanish city, check out my other blog post: “The Perfect Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary (For Your First Visit!)”