Get ’em while they’re hot! Check out this selection of the most exciting new openings and the coolest dining spots to visit if you’re heading to Barcelona
Restaurant, Spanish, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
This year vegetarian cuisine
has enjoyed sustained popularity in Barcelona, and a number of chefs have delivered top-quality menus based around local, seasonal vegetables. Perhaps nowhere else has this been as successful than at Céleri, where chef Xavier Pellicer has been awarded a Michelin star for his sophisticated vegetarian cuisine. The dishes are made with organic produce and come in three options: one vegan, one vegetarian and one using animal proteins. Despite its star, the prices at Céleri have remained affordable and incredibly good value. Be sure to book ahead.
Restaurant, Spanish, Vegetarian, $$$
Another restaurant offering an innovative menu based around vegetables is 4Amb5 Mujades – but this is by no means a vegetarian restaurant. Instead the concept here is to give vegetables centre stage, with the addition of animal protein to round off certain dishes. The kitchen has its own orchard, located just a few kilometres outside Barcelona, as well as a grow room in the back of the restaurant, which you can visit on request. There are vegetarian options and the tasting menu can be adapted for vegetarians too.
Restaurant, Spanish, Mediterranean, $$$
Once upon a time Albert Raurich, who had been chef de cuisine
at elBulli – voted world’s best restaurant five years in a row – decided to set up his own restaurant in the heart of Barcelona’s El Raval
. Dos Pallilos
– meaning ‘two sticks’ – soon earned a Michelin star for its innovative Catalan–Asian fusion food. Fast forward a few years, and Raurich has turned his hand to opening an exclusively Mediterranean restaurant: Dos Pebrots. The menu revisits classic recipes and old-age flavours, but with all the technical skill and sophistication you would expect from someone who spent ten years at elBulli.
Gresca Wine Bar
Gresca was one of the first of a new era of restaurants in Barcelona, in which talented young chefs opted to open casual eateries with all of the quality of high-end dining, but none of the fuss. Last year Gresca opened a wine bar, and extended its offering by acquiring the building next door and turning the restaurant into a large U-shaped space. Choose from a menu of dishes reminiscent of a French bistro but with a decidedly Catalan soul
, and don’t forget to ask the sommelier for a recommendation – the wine list is impressive. Amateurs of offal rejoice: the menu regularly features some less common cuts.
Bellavista del Jardín del Norte
Restaurant, North American, Contemporary, South American, European, Asian, $$$
It’s no secret that part of the hype over this new restaurant lies in its association with one of the world’s most popular football players: Lionel Messi
. The concept at Bellavista del Jardín del Norte is to recreate the atmosphere and feel of a village from anywhere in the world. The space is divided into easily recognisable themes – the news stand, the cinema, the water fountain – while the menu is wholly international:, including dishes from Japan, the USA, India, Argentina and Spain.
Restaurant, Spanish, Contemporary, $$$
This cozy eatery opened its doors last year in the Les Corts neighbourhood
, an area often overlooked by tourists and the less adventurous, but home to a number of spots very worthy of a visit. The menu at l’Alegria is comfortingly short, with a handful of regular dishes and a few specials. One of the most striking things about the restaurant is that there no waiters per se:
rather the chefs take it in turns to serve their dishes, with the exception of the sommelier, who is always on hand for a recommendation. The dishes are innovative and exciting, but without any gratuitous fantasy: flavours are balanced, presentation enhances not distracts, and the technique is impressive.
Restaurant, Restaurant with Rooms, Spanish, Contemporary, $$$
Last but certainly not least, for a taste of Barcelona fine dining
at its best, check out the city’s only three-Michelin-star restaurant, Lasarte. After 10 years on the Barcelona restaurant scene, the team at Lasarte were finally awarded the holy trinity of gastronomic recognition last year, after undergoing a full renovation to modernise the space. This one of the most coveted tables in Barcelona, and the experience is unlikely to be one you’ll forget any time soon if you’re a fan of sophisticated contemporary cuisine.