6 restaurants worth visiting

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Barcelona has long been one of the best gastronomic cities in the world. Colourful, passionate, artistic and full of flavor, the city loves to have fun. And this good time very often rhymes with good food, whether it’s immigrant cuisine, a standing tapas bar or a three Michelin star. (The city’s restaurants, in fact, hold a collective 27 stars.)

For a long time, the scene was dominated by the Adrìa empire, in particular Tickets. But since the fall of this empire (a victim of covid), something interesting has happened. There is more oxygen for everyone. Admittedly, the competition remains fierce. My host – a culinary ambassador who has lived in Barcelona for several years – told me that in addition to the famous monuments of Gaudí and works of art by Picasso, the city has more than 10,000 restaurants.

No one could ever try them all, so what follows is more of a snapshot – impressions based on suggestions from trusted locals and a foodie whirlwind weekend – than a sort of definitive guide. But taken together, they provide a window into the gastronomic heart of the city. And a good reason to plan a trip soon.

Casual classics

This is Spain, after all, so a stop at a tapas bar is practically obligatory. It’s laid back, lively and a great way to try lots of flavors without the formality or time commitment of a tasting menu – or a non-intrusive dining experience when you’re traveling alone and just want to eat something. from singles to bar.

Bar Canete

Three generations of the same family have raced for decades this historic place (and some servers seem to have been around just as long), where the official motto is “F*ck your diet”. (They don’t bother with the asterisk.) It’s a place for comfort food and classics, with a lengthy menu that spans traditions like fried artichokes and hand-cut bellota cured ham. , mixed dishes such as parmesan green beans and seasonal tomatoes. with tuna and anchovies, and healthy dishes like aged beef steak with foie gras and truffle sauce.

Bar del Pla

Another narrow tapas spot, Bar del Pla advertises itself as a place for people who “like to eat out but don’t always feel like going to a restaurant”. Instead, it has a cozy bar where it’s easy to strike up conversations with the people around you, and also enjoy delicious seasonal small plates like smoked sardines, sliced ​​mushrooms with strawberries and wasabi, squid ink croquettes and crispy oxtail with liver. fat. The four (!) sommeliers select wines from all over the world, with a particular focus on natural and biodynamic wines.

rising stars

There’s definitely something exciting about feeling like you’re one of the first people to discover a secret. Sometimes it’s a place that has only recently opened and clearly has potential, while other times it’s a restaurant that has done its job quietly under the radar, perhaps in a neighborhood” more avant-garde” and without much pomp and white tablecloth circumstance.

Succulent

Before the opening by chef Antonio Romero Succulent, in a run-down corner of Rambla Raval, six years ago, he passed through some of the best cuisines in Spain: elBulli, Arzak and Akelarre. He has developed a particular fondness for broths and sauces, and most dishes are designed to be drunk and savored. (As well as the English “succulent,” the name refers to the Catalan “sucar lent,” to soak slowly.) That doesn’t mean it’s too dependent on technique. Instead, it always puts flavor first, serving Spanish and Mediterranean dishes (and also a particularly delicious, if divisive, red shrimp ceviche with avocado). Although the menu changes often, other recent standouts have included cuttlefish and Iberian pork cheek tartare (replaces sea urchin for table-side pescatarian – delicious) with almond milk and caviar, and steak tartare on bone marrow. It’s already in the Michelin guide, a favorite to soon earn a star and, at just €55 and €75 for tasting menus, surely one of the best bargains in town.

shido

A few things usually come to mind when thinking about food in Barcelona: creative fine dining or old-fashioned Spanish tapas. But that ignores the fact that the city is deeply multicultural and has a whole variety of food scenes. One of them is Japanese. And since the end of 2021, it’s an exceptional new player, one that is still a little secret. Shido’s chef, Saulo Meireles, hails from Brazil (a country itself known for its exceptional sushi) but he brings an artisanal Japanese twist to excellent fresh produce and a touch of Mediterranean influences. On the menu, dishes like huge oysters with shiso mojo, razor clams with miso, wontons and nigiri (classic and extravagant, like the one with hedgehog and shiso in tempura), maki, uramaki and excellent sashimi.

Superstar Gastronomy

Barcelona has no shortage of unique restaurants, with chefs pushing the boundaries of creativity and even rethinking what a restaurant is and can be. Only a very committed foodie (or travel journalist) would attempt more than one per weekend, but either is worth it.

Cocina Hermanos Torres

Well-known brothers Sergio and Javier Torres have done what seemed impossible. They translated the feeling of being in the family kitchen of their childhood into a gastronomic experience it is more than worthy of its two Michelin stars. They basically transformed their restaurant inside out, with the kitchen – albeit a kitchen with attractive lighting and a generally inviting vibe – as the main room. Tables surround three cooking stations in the center, inviting that old cliché about the connections between food and theater. The cuisine is both creative and playful, a tribute to Spanish tradition and childhood memories, embellished with international influences and avant-garde magic. Examples: the moqueca of mussels with prawns, king crab, saffron and noodles, cleverly presented on a cherry red plate (and subtitled “Barcelona, ​​Brazil” on the menu), and the Fuentes onion, dried parmesan and melanosporum truffles ( “From our father’s garden”).

lasarte

Martin Berasategui holds more Michelin stars (12) than any other chef in Spain, and three of them can be found in this hushed, subtly gilded temple of gastronomy in the luxurious Monument Hotel on Paseo de Gracia. Chef de cuisine Paolo Casagrande executes an upscale tasting menu that mixes Berasategui’s signature classics with his own innovative creations unique to lasarte. Things start with a bright pink oyster that has been marinated in hibiscus and served with white garlic and purple shiso granita. What follows is exquisite with squid tartare with runny egg yolk and kaffir broth, and red shrimp soup with tomato, celery and green apple. Pastry chef Xavi Donnay won the Best Chef Awards 2020 in his category, so the desserts are just as special, and Joan Carles Ibáñez is one of those charismatic front men who make everything easy, because his team skilfully manages the choreography muffled with a three-star culinary experience.

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