Barcelona Wine Bar Review – Spanish Tapas and Wine Downtown

Published by Angie. Last Updated on March 12, 2024.

Disclaimer: We were hosted for this experience. Our site uses demographic data, email opt-ins, display advertising, and affiliate links. Please check out our Terms and Conditions. Pricing, operating hours, or menus may have changed since our initial visit and may not be reflected in subsequent updates. Please confirm these directly with any business or attraction prior to visiting.

Barcelona Wine Bar is a new addition to the downtown Pittsburgh drinking and dining scene offering small plates and a huge selection of wine by the glass. Although it's a national chain, we absolutely love the concept of Barcelona Wine Bar- snacking our way through a meal and sampling Spanish and South American wines is our idea of a great night out.

Occupying the former Sharp Edge space on Penn Ave., Barcelona Wine Bar has completed a stunning reservation of the space; the decor suggests the kind of high end wine bar you might find in a much larger city. A long bar with sleek pendant lights runs the length of the space, with large, comfy booths beside the bar, and an adjacent room offers a larger dining space with tables.

Both the food and wine menus here are pretty extensive- it took us a while to take it all in and make decisions, as we truly wanted to order some of everything!

Barcelona Wine Bar Shines at Wine and Tapas

Barcelona Wine Bar Pittsburgh

The wine menu is unique in that it features primarily Spanish and South American wines (which are somewhat hard to come by in Pittsburgh). We love that the wines by the glass are offered in 3 oz. or 6 oz. portions, meaning that you can easily try several different wines without a full glass commitment. We also love trying uncommon grapes, so we appreciate that the menu also offers several options in that regard.

Wine at Barcelona Wine Bar

But the drink menu doesn't stop with wine – there are quite a few interesting cocktail options, a gin and tonic menu, and sangrias.

We had the chance to try their white sangria from a porron during a convivial experience that unfolded while we were there. It's something the bar does on a somewhat regular basis later at night on the weekends once everyone is loosened up and a few drinks in. One of the bartenders travels with a porron full of sangria from table to table, standing on top of the tables and bar. The porron is held high above a willing participant's mouth and sangria is poured in slowly from above. Of course, we naturally had to participate in the experience – it was quite fun and only a little messy.

Spanish tapas

The food is no after thought here; dozens of traditional Spanish tapas and creative small plates are on offer. We also learned that although Barcelona Wine Bar is a national chain, they give the executive chef at each location the freedom to develop a few unique dishes only available in that spot.

There is an extensive charcuterie and cheese menu, where you can pick as many as you like to create your own mixed board. As for tapas, you'll find the likes of albondigas (spiced meatballs in tomato sauce), croquetas (fried ham and cheese fritters), mussels, grilled octopus, boquerones (anchovies), potato tortilla, and more – there are literally dozens and dozens of small plates on offer.

Gambas tapas

Some of our favorites were the sweet-tangy eggplant caponata, the chorizo with sweet and sour figs in a balsamic reduction, and the creamy labneh with tahini and sumac. The crispy patatas bravas with their spicy salsa brava and rich garlic aioli were another hit.

There are also large plates on offer like chicken, fish, and different types of paella. We opted for the paella mariscos full of shrimp, clams, mussels, and calamari. We thought the dish could have used a little more seasoning, but we loved the extremely crispy socarrat layer of rice at the bottom of the paella pan.

Paella Mariscos at Barcelona Wine Bar in Pittsburgh

Whatever you do, save room for dessert – and get the olive oil cake. This was one of the most decadent desserts we've had in recent memory: it was fruity and floral from the olive oil, and the cake was so creamy and moist it melted in our mouths. The touch of flaky sea salt on top gave just the right balance to the subtle sweetness of the cake.

Dessert Wine and Olive Oil Cake

We absolutely love Barcelona Wine Bar, and judging by how crowded it has been since opening, Pittsburghers in general are quickly coming to love it, too. We are always down for more spots around town to enjoy a great glass of wine with some well-executed, delicious small plates.

Barcelona Wine Bar is located at 922 Penn Avenue in the Cultural District. We were guests of Barcelona Wine Bar for this review. As always, all opinions are our own.

Leave a Comment