Barcelona restaurant recommendations
January 16, 2020 6:41 AM   Subscribe

My wife and I are going to Barcelona in early March. We've got the sightseeing stuff well in hand, but would like some restaurant recommendations, especially for at least one higher-end place. I am sure we will get our fill of tapas, paella, and other typical Spanish/Catalonian stuff for tourists, so I want to know what are some of the better places in the city for fine dining. Doesn't have to be El Bulli level, but we do want at least one memorable dining experience. I am a VERY adventurous eater (my wife less so, but usually game to try things).
posted by briank to Travel & Transportation around Barcelona, Spain (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I'd recommend Disfrutar. As it happens they are El Bulli alums. The food at Disfrutar and its sister restaurant Compartir in Cadaques (the latter being my partner's favorite restaurant) are not just Michelin-pretty but also oh so flavorful.
posted by vacapinta at 6:55 AM on January 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

we ate at disfrutar a couple years ago and i couldnt second vacapinta any more enthusiastically. we went to the sagrada familia in the morning and took a nice walk to our lunch at disfrutar which lasted approximately 6ish hours, including the coffees on the serene patio in the back - might have been one of my lifes better days thus far. the food is super fun but not weird weird, the presentations are so fun (my wife took amazing pictures - another benefit of going for lunch was the bright beautiful dining room with the windows to the back). servers were very professional but fun and overall it was the exact right kind of not-stuffy but still high end. we drank some amazing wine with our lengthy lunch and, because its spain, it was really gently priced (you could spend more also, for sure).
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 6:59 AM on January 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

to clarify my comment on re-read - the wine was very reasonable given how good and interesting it was. the overall meal was Not Cheap. my comment on the wine was just that it would shock me to see a place in NYC with a tasting menu priced like Disfrutar's with interesting sub-50 dollar bottles on their list, which we had no issue with anywhere in spain.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 7:40 AM on January 16, 2020

Teresa Carles is on the cutting edge of the vegetarian side of Spanish cuisine (and she's been around for ages). Her sit-down restaurant is choice, and the fricandó (which I think they stylize as "freak & do") is one of the best dishes I've had in the city.

It's much more causal, but I go to the BarCeloneta sangria bar every time I'm in town and looking for an easy beach day. The tapas is great, and the array of low-to-no alcohol beachy sangris and mixed drinks is phenomenal. Mmm, just writing this has me thinking about their cinnamony orange/sherry sangria.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 9:24 AM on January 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

This isn't quite in the high-end dining side of things, but please don't miss calçots. You will be there right around the season. I believe I went here. It is in fact a very simple thing to eat, but the flavors and the way they come together is indescribable, and the cultural significance is huge. If you are staying in a more local neighborhood—I was in Gracia—there may even be calçotadas happening, which I didn't attend but would be amazing too—it seemed like they would be held by the local churches as a fundraiser and would take over one of those teeny-tiny squares.

So amazing.
posted by Stilling Still Dreaming at 9:30 AM on January 16, 2020 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Stilling Still Dreaming - calcots have been mentioned in some of the YouTube videos I've watched, but thank you very much for the heads-up. Will look for them on menus and check event listings for any calçotadas.
posted by briank at 9:41 AM on January 16, 2020

Last summer, I used Jose Andres' Guide to Barcelona and added a Devour Tour to round out my dining in Spain.
posted by jennstra at 11:07 AM on January 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

For calçots, check out the slow food market they do at the Tres Chimeneas park on Saturday afternoons. Or you can enjoy a bit of walking in the collserola park and go to one of the macia restaurants there, Can Borell or Can Jane are nice.

Goliard in Gracia is nice, quite traditional and good quality food and wine. If you want octopus, Can Lamapazas (There are two in the city) is nice. Or also for Galician food, there is O'Retorno (and O'Retorniño and O'Retorniño 2 if it's full...).
posted by gregjones at 1:38 AM on January 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

A few years ago I had one of the best meals of my life at Tickets. It is another of the Adrià (El Bulli) restaurants. Reservations were challenging to obtain at the time, but that may no longer be the case. It has an unusual, informal concept and lots of interesting tapas.
posted by nobodyyouknow at 4:15 PM on January 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

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