Hard Rock Cafe

★★ : €€€€
Plaça Catalunya, 21
Metro Catalunya L1, L2, L3, FGC
Probably the single most popular meeting point in Barcelona, due to its privileged position at the top of the Ramblas in Plaça Catalunya, this temple to all that is tacky and tawdry is an acceptable place to wait outside, but for god's sake don't go in, whatever you do! The atmosphere is unpleasant and makes the average Yates' Wine Lodge seem like the height of chic. There are far too many tellies covering every inch of wall and ceiling and they all seem to be continually showing either Twisted Sister or Quiet Riot music videos (which is fair enough, considering the name of the bar). It's noisy, packed with gormless wonders and exudes a soul-destroying plastic chain pub vibe. I suppose it's a notch up from McDonalds, but then, at least with McDonalds you can get in and out a lot quicker. On the plus side, the food is quite decent, if rather basic, and with it being an American establishment, the portions are gigantic. Also, they have a cunningly hi-tech system for making you wait for a table. As the restaurant is usually packed, you're given a remote-control style gadget which you take with you to the bar. You can then relax and enjoy a pint in comfort, knowing that you'll be buzzed when there's a table available. However, once that giddying technological fun is over, eating and drinking here is quite a depressing experience. Unless you're an American hair band fanatic hankering after some prime ribs, avoid this bar – you can do so much better than this!


Ciro said...

I think Paul's been a bit harsh on the bar, it's not that bad. The main bad thing about the whole place can be the waiters complaining the whole time you're in the way if you're not lucky enough to find a seat and, believe me, they do. The music is great, maybe if you come from any village lost in the middle of Texas hearing ZZ Top's "give me all your loving" is not what you look for when going abroad (maybe you don't know what "abroad" means if you're from Texas, but that's besides the point), but if you're from any (continental) european city, this kind of music might be a breath of fresh air.

DrinkBCN said...

Some good points there Ciro. It's a tough one this. I sometimes go there but only for the authentic American cuisine which to be fair is good value and if you leave this place still hungry you might wanna take a secondary look at your dietary habits! Not a place I'd recommend BUT perhaps more liked by tourists than locals!

Paul said...

Having recently paid my latest annual visit to this place, I sadly have no reason to change my original opinion that it sucks. Overpriced, claustrophobic and tacky, its only redeeming features are the food and the picture of Freddie Mercury in the gents.

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