Fresh peas, almonds and garlic flower | Courtesy of Cinc Sentits
One of Barcelona’s most modern neighborhoods, the word ‘eixample‘ literally means ‘extension’ and refers to how the area expanded from the traditional city center. While the center is characterized by Gothic architecture and narrow streets, Eixample stands in stark contrast to it, with its carefully designed grid system. Unsurprisingly perhaps, some of Barcelona‘s most modern (and highly acclaimed) restaurants are located in Eixample. Here’s our guide to the best places to dine out in this modernist neighborhood.
Coffee Shop, Restaurant, Tea , $$$
Alan in the kitchen | Courtesy of La Esquina
La Esquina is not your typical Barcelona restaurant. Diners can expect to enjoy original dishes based on local, seasonal ingredients, and the firm belief that good quality produce should be treated with respect. The menu changes regularly so there is always something new and exciting to look forward to.
Guests at Mont Bar can expect to be seated around the convivial bar area (although tables are available) but the food in this popular eatery exceeds what most might expect from a bar in other parts of the world. The selection of small dishes from which diners can choose are a reflection of the variety and quality of products available in the region.
The food at Embat is both classic and traditional. Enjoy some of Catalonia’s most authentic cuisine in a stylish, modern but minimalist décor; which leaves the diner to focus on what really matters; the food. The dishes are reasonably priced and the venue is very popular with locals.
By far one of Barcelona’s most original and unique venues, El Nacional is in fact four restaurants in one. Diners can choose between La Brasería (where you can enjoy some of the best beef in town, grilled in front of you), La Llotja (serving freshly caught fish and seafood), La Tapería (you guessed it – tapas take center stage), and La Paradeta (a deli-style casual restaurant). The venue apparently used to be a car garage but has been transformed into one of the most stunning sites in town.
Bar Mut brings the tapas experience to a whole new level. Although some classic dishes are featured, diners may also expect some innovative creations and original twists. The staff will help guests decide what to choose depending on what they are in the mood for, and are always happy to explain the dishes when asked (and find the perfect combinations to suit). The venue is welcoming and usually boasts a lively but relaxed atmosphere.
Located in the sumptuous Palace Hotel, Caelis boasts a Michelin star awarded to it under the lead of head chef, Romain Fornell. The classic French touch is clearly present, but with a definitive modern twist. For the full experience we recommend trying the tasting menu, sure to satisfy your tastebuds and captivate your imagination.
The eponymous restaurant of the popular Grupo Tragaluz, this stylish venue offers traditional Catalan food updated to suit the times. Expect white tablecloths and professional service, perfect for a swift mid-week lunch between shops, or a sophisticated dinner in the city center.
Bardot is somewhat reminiscent of a French bistro. The food is mainly Mediterranean, but includes the local classics such as huevos estrellados con jamón (the popular local take on fried eggs) and also features international classics like a hamburger, tagliatelle and fillet steak. The décor is modern and playful and for those who prefer it, there is a large bar area at which dinners can choose to eat. In warmer weather, booking a spot on the coveted terrace is highly recommendable.
Cinc Sentis is the perfect destination for anyone who doesn’t like having to choose. This one-Michelin-star restaurant specializes in the fine art of the tasting menu, and there are typically two to choose from and there is no à la carte option. The guiding philosophy of Cinc Sentits is to use only the best-quality products, which are mostly supplied by local Catalan artisans.
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Miu is one of the city’s best Japanese restaurants where diners can expect to find traditional dishes such as sushi, but with a distinctive Mediterranean twist. The venue is stylish and modern, subtly blending Japanese and European design, with a vibrant and friendly atmosphere. For those who like to engage fully with their dinning experience, ask to be seated at the bar and watch the chefs at work. Tucked away from the main street, this hidden gem is well worth the find.