Paradiso ("Paradise") seems like an odd name for a pastrami shop, which is your first clue that there's more than meets the eye here.
Step through the faux freezer door and enter a warm, inviting space with friendly bartenders serving a wide selection of artfully crafted cocktails.
In 2018, Paradiso bar was ranked #37 on the World's Best Bars list.
Giacomo Giannotti, the winner of the 2014 World Class Best Bartender in Spain, is the man behind the accolades.
At my invitation, we met up outside Paradiso, located in the trendy El Born neighborhood, a few minutes before 7 pm one night.
As two of the first customer inside, we took our seats in the center of the bar.
The bartender stationed in front of us was friendly and fine with me taking photos.
I'm sure he's used to it given he works at one of the best bars in one of the most visited cities in the world, but it's still appreciated.
Shannon and I began perusing the menu as more customers streamed in behind us.
Paradiso Bar Cocktails
For my first drink, I ordered the floral Lavande (€11, $10), which consists of:
Meanwhile, Shannon chose the more delicate Cleopatra (€10, $11) made of:
- Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto
- Kombucha of hibiscus
- Lychee and rhubarb bitter
Both cocktails were colorful and garnished with fresh herbs. They were also easy to drink!
Mine included a paper straw, something I'm happy to see more of for environmental reasons, though I must admit the feel of plastic on the lips is a noticeably better experience.
See also: The Best Bars in Copenhagen
As we sat and sipped our first drinks, I was enamored with the bartending going on in front of us.
Mini torches were being used to burn things. A drink was served in a monkey's head.
For my second drink, I chose something a little more dramatic.
The Mediterranean Treasure (€13, $12) is served in a real seashell nestled in a box, which when opened, releases a puff of smoked Mediterranean herbs.
The cocktail is made of:
- Ketel One vodka (one of my favs)
- Fino sherry macerated with oyster leaves
- Agave Honey
- Egg white
There's no subtle way to drink it, which is part of the fun.
I thoroughly enjoyed slurping from the shell and everything about my experience at Paradiso.
After I finished drink number two, Shannon and I left to get duck, pork, and vegetarian dumplings at nearby Mosquito Tapas (also recommended).
Need to Know
- Address: c. Rera Palau, 4 (El Born), Barcelona
- Hours: Daily, 7 pm – 2:30 am
- Dress: None