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Arts & culture

Coffee, Books, and Cuteness at Babèlia

Written by Alise

Casually walking down Carrer de Villarroel en Barcelona’s trendy Sant Antoni neighborhood one day, I spotted across the street a sign that read, “Books and Coffee.” Instantly intrigued, given that those are two of my favorite things in life, I jaywalked across the street, too impatient to see what this “books and coffee” thing was about to walk all the way to the crosswalk. As I neared the entrance- its outdoor space consisting of a cute cushioned bench, a wood table, and chalkboard walls filled with Catalan words that I didn’t know at the time such as “llibres,” “tallers,” and “infusions,”-, I discovered that its name was Babèlia.

The Space

babelia cafe

I entered and discovered that the “books” portion of the sign refers to the entirety of one wall that has become a bookshelf. There are books in numerous languages– Catalan, Spanish, English, French, and German, amongst others-, as well as various categories, such as poetry, theater, children’s books, and philosophy. The books are for sale and range in price from 2-8€; they can also be borrowed for the duration of your stay in the café (as long as you put it back before you leave).

The opposing wall is a cool exposed brick that features a rotating lineup of photography and art, cutely clipped onto a piece of string that traverses the entirety of the wall. Although the café is not particularly huge, there is plenty of seating available and even a small sofa near the entrance. Furthermore, Babèlia Café offers wifi and a plethora of outlets to charge your laptop, making it an ideal space to get some work done.

The Menu

The fun doesn’t stop there. The menu itself is glorious and contains a variety of beverages as well as food babelia teaoptions. I love the selection of teas and “infusions” (herbal/caffeine-free teas) that they offer- I usually order the cinnamon and vanilla mix or the green jasmine tea. The food is tasty as well; highlights include the several different types of sandwiches they sell, all named after famous authors such as Dickens and Baudelaire. For a lighter snack, I like to indulge in the Babelia Toast, which is a comfortingly delicious toast consisting of butter, cinnamon, and powdered sugar.

Book Club & More

babelia concert

To deepen your involvement, you can even attend their English book club on Mondays at 7:30 P.M. Selected books have included Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and The Love of a Good Woman by Alice Munro.

Babèlia is located on Carrer Villarroel 27, near Urgell Metro (red line 1) or Sant Antoni (purple line 2). Monday-Friday they are open 9:00 A.M.-9:00 P.M., and on Saturdays they are open 10:00 A.M.-2:00 P.M. and then 5:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. They are closed Sundays.

Coffee, Books, and Cuteness at Babèlia
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About the author

Alise

Alise is a spoken word poet, writer, and a dance and yoga enthusiast living in Barcelona.

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