On a recent trip to Albir, Spain, we spent a lot of time in sidewalk cafes. Part of the Spanish culture, enjoying a coffee and a bocadilla (baguette sandwich) at a cafe at least once a day is done by most of the population, including Albir’s vast number of tourists.One particularly popular cafe is Universal Lounge Bar situated in the center of town. Universal Lounge Bar, unlike its name suggests, really isn’t much of a bar or a lounge, but is more of a trendy cafe and restaurant incredibly popular with Norwegian and British tourists and expats.
Where is Universal Lounge Bar? – Easy to find, Universal Lounge Bar is located on the main street in Albir, directly opposite the large Chinese sell-everything stores, and two doors down from the parking lot where Albir’s Sunday market is held.
What’s So Special About Universal Lounge Bar? – When we first arrived in Albir, we were fascinated by how permanently packed Universal Lounge Bar was. From when it opened early every morning until it closed around 8:30pm, the cafe was jammed with Norwegian expats and British tourists, all vying for one of the tables out on the large outdoor patio. By the time our second week in Albir arrived, we decided we must stop off at the cafe to check out this phenomena and see for ourselves why.
We chose a weekday morning to first try out Universal Lounge Bar as on Sundays, when Albir’s new market was open, there wasn’t a chance of getting a patio table at all. So, on Tuesday morning while walking by, we saw a vacant table and took our chance.
Opening the menu, we were confronted with a huge choice of drinks, snacks and meals. The coffee menu itself included about 15 different varieties of coffee. On top of that, if we were eating, we had a choice of sandwiches, salads, spaghetti, omelette dishes, Spanish cuisine, Norwegian cuisine and a few bits of British fare thrown in as well. Prices were incredibly cheap, for what looked like large helpings of food, making it already obvious why Universal Lounge Bar was such a winner.
As we’d eaten only an hour before, we decided on three cafe con leches (the Spanish version of lattes but smaller and a much stronger coffee taste). I also ordered a slice of apple pie and cream, as the Spanish version of apple pie is more delicious than anything you’ve ever tasted so to heck with the calories.
Our waitress arrived quickly, the order was taken and three cafe con leches and a slice of apple pie, piled up with cream, was delivered to our table in about three minutes.
The cafe con leches (made with illy coffee) were the best we’d tasted anywhere in Albir. Strong, but not too strong, and served in trendy illy cups, we went ahead and ordered three more immediately. They really were that good.
My apple pie was excellent (the second best I’d eaten on my trip to Albir) and, from just that tasting, I’d already decided I’d be eating here again before our vacation was over.
Prices at Universal Lounge Bar – Although quite an inexpensive town already, with many cafes offering cheap deals on cafe con leches and cake, Universal Lounge Bar turned out to be the cheapest cafe we ate at our entire vacation. Coffees were only 1 euro 30 cents ($1.72) and, with a special for coffee and apple pie at only 3 euros 50 cents ($4.70), my order was a great deal too.
With prices like this, it was easy to see why Universal Lounge Bar was crowded every single day. Obviously by folks who loved the cool atmosphere, comfortable patio and superb food and drink for dirt cheap prices.
If you’d like to check out Universal Lounge Bar in Albir, Spain, you’ll find them on the internet here and don’t forget to look at their enormous menu online, as well as some cute photos of the cafe.
They’re located at Avenida Del Albir n°68, Complejo Alpisol, bajo, 03581 El Albir.
Universal Lounge Bar’s Website