Spanish cuisine, especially tapas, is popular worldwide: ingredients are organic and fresh, and products such as meat and vegetables are almost always bought from local markets. We focus on Spain’s two most popular destinations, Madrid and Barcelona, and explore the top places to eat out in each city. Both are renowned for their great food; Madrid is more traditionally Spanish – being the political and financial centre of Spain – and offers the Spanish staples of bread, cheese and ham at almost every restaurant around, while typical food in Barcelona involves more fish due to its location.
Set in a traditional tavern, the Bahía Taberna‘s menu is inspired by the development of haute cuisine. Its team have lived and worked in many different countries including England, France and Australia, gaining the culinary knowledge of many different cultures. The result is a unique menu that combines the concepts of the latest artistic and gastronomic dishes.
Bahía Taberna, Calle Bahía de Palma, 9, Madrid +34 91 747 69 44
Dedicated to Spanish and Mediterranean tapas, Alcaravea Gaztambide prides itself on using local produce for its menu. With its impressive and modern interior, it is very popular for big groups providing two sittings, one at 9pm and one at 11pm, in tradition with the late eating habits of the Spaniards. Booking in advance is recommended.
Alcaravea Gaztambide, Calle Gaztambide, 56, Madrid +34 91 283 80 05
Opened in 1986, El Celler de Can Roca started life as a small family business in a working class neighborhood in Catalonia. It is still run by three brothers of the family – Joan the head chef, Jordi head pastry chef and Josep the sommelier. The cuisine has developed beyond simple Catalonian recipes to embrace cutting edge techniques. The restaurant has been awarded three Michelin stars, and has previously been named as the best restaurant in the world.
Boqueria Market is a great way to find many exciting ingredients and to sample the local produce. One of the most popular markets in Barcelona, this is the best place to find locals sharing the latest recipes and food ideas. Boqueria is said to have started as a travelling market, placed in the Ramblas of Barcelona. La Rambla acquired growing importance as a pedestrian lane and the market’s location attracts large numbers of passers-by and local residents.
Con Gracia’s cuisine is based on Mediterranean flavors combined with some Asian influence. The chef, Paul Treacy, regularly visits the Boqueria Market and uses fresh ingredients to create two impressive menus. There is also a surprise menu where the chef bases the dishes on your ideal tastes.
Cera 23 is a Gastro-pub style restaurant which serves Mediterranean cuisine. They specialise in seafood, with their prawn and octopus dishes being extremely popular. They are especially known for their blackberry mojitos. Despite its small size, the restaurant accommodates large groups but advanced booking is recommended.