Barcelona is Spain’s great visual feast, with a parade of square-shaped, terracotta-roofed buildings broken by the occasional right-angle-averse Gaudí structure or the untamed sprawl of the Old Town. Verdant hills encroach on the city on three sides, while the Mediterranean hems it in on the other. As such, it’s a compelling sight, making these great rooftop restaurants ideal for combining great Catalonian dining with remarkable views.
This classy rooftop option from the Claris Hotel, in the Eixample neighbourhood, combines an open-air pool area with a plant-infused terrace covered by a glass roof, taking the power out of the sun and diffusing beautiful, gentle light over the white-linen-topped tables and blue rugs. The fine-dining options include a variety of à la carte dishes, such as the hake in artichoke cream and the baby octopus, while the tapas offerings are equally inventive, such as the Galician octopus in a kimchi mayonnaise.
Perhaps the least arresting view on this list of rooftop restaurants is that of the Pulitzer Terrace, but that’s amply made up for by the energetic festival vibe laid down by live bands and DJs. Lying where La Rambla meets Plaça de Catalunya, this place is at its liveliest on weekends. The menu has much in common with the Pulitzer’s laid-back atmosphere, offering light bites – think croquetas, nachos, Iberian ham and cheese boards – and a selection of kebabs and burgers from the barbecue.
Celebrated Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio brings his native cuisine – by way of a Parisian education at Le Cordon Bleu – to the streets of central Barcelona at Terrat. The restaurant sits atop the roof of the Mandarin Oriental and offers Peruvian-style ceviche while also fusing Japanese sensibilities into dishes such as the tiradito nikkei (a cut of red tuna prepared sashimi-style and served with mango and crispy quinoa).
Upscale dining with a ninth-storey view doesn’t get much better than the aptly named Mood Rooftop Bar at the One Barcelona. From the bar, sip on some sangria with views of the Sagrada Família, or head farther into the terrace for à la carte dining. The avocado roll with blue lobster and coconut sauce is a must-try. Each dish is presented as a little work of art.
Close to the waterfront, overlooking the boats bobbing in Marina Port Vell, is this charming, rustic-chic restaurant, with a menu created by Michelin-star chef Marc Gascons. Cocktails are available throughout the day, including the eponymous Serras Punch – made with hibiscus syrup, peach liqueur and Jamaican rum – and strawberry mint julep. The menu is no less decadent, with highlights being the charcoal-grilled bream with creamy gnocchi, and grilled pigeon breast over rice.
You’ll find one of the best rooftop dining experiences in Barcelona, offering top-notch panoramic views, at Soho House. In an 18th-century building on the shorefront of the Gothic Quarter, the restaurant offers a menu that’s far more modern, with poke bowls alongside the traditional tapas offerings of ensaladilla rusa (Russian potato salad), calamari fritti (fried calamari) and fried artichokes. You can take your sangria with cava or red wine here.
This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Rebecca Wilkinson.