After your intense working days at the GSMA Mobile World Congress, you'll want to take a breather in a good restaurant to recharge your batteries with a fortifying meal. We've selected nine different spots where you can get quality seafood, an Argentinian grill right on Montjuïc, signature tapas, cuisine you can pair with craft beer, and more. All are under the guidance of top chefs and all are very near the Plaça de Espanya venue of the congress. And all take online bookings!
Escairón is particularly remarkable for its Galician 'entrecot' (sirloin steak) and 'caldo gallego' (Galician broth). Jorge and Pilar make you feel at home, while the clientele are mostly regulars. Aside from the entrecot, main dishes include barbecue, stews, and especially the eponymous dessert, Escairón (crème caramel with a kind of nougat ice cream). Unforgettable fried potatoes accompany the meat dishes. This is the perfect place to delight your palate with the very best of Galician cuisine and fresh, quality market fare at reasonable prices and with excellent service.
El Cañota is a Galicia-inspired seafood tapas bar, and it comes with a pedigree. It's the younger brother of the renowned Rías de Galicia, one of the greatest Galician restaurants in the city and the country. El Cañota serves traditional dishes: fried fish and seafood, patatas bravas, Galician octopus, ensaladilla rusa, draught beer and wine. All of it is top-quality, and served in a laid-back venue that's perfect for a celebratory meal, or for dinner after taking in a show at the Teatre Lliure, Mercat de les Flors or BTM, which are all nearby.
C/Blai has becomeone of the main arteries of Poble-sec's dining scene, where you'll find an eclectic range of eateries with a focus on the pleasures of the palate as a common link. This classic tea room has an Andalusian decor with an Arabic touch. It's quiet, friendly and relaxed. They also carry traditional Arabic sweet pastries to round out their selection of teas, which themselves aren't exactly extravagant, but they are indeed very well made.
Manel and Daniel have opened another bodega like the one their family used to run next to the Monumental bullring. The menu does not include the dishes of the day, but once you’re at the bar you can try trotters, capipota, pigs’ cheeks or tripe with chickpeas and chorizo. They also sell cask wine.
A place to enjoy the best cuisine, paired (or accompanied) with a unique selection of beers from around the world. Far from being a common brewery, MonDoré differs by offering a three-stop dining experience. At the first stop, you can quench your thirst tasting beers from around the world. The next stop is at the MonDoré menu. With the aim of promoting the Mediterranean spirit of tasting an sharing food, MonDoré proposes exquisite dishes, presented in small portions, including some of the best croquettes in the city. The last stop is at the Gin & Cocktail Room upstairs. Salud!
There are many residents of Barcelona who would be at a loss to find a decent place to eat in Hostafrancs, and if they were to walk past Cucut they would be none the wiser. There is nothing to distinguish it from a thousand other neighbourhood bars with a terrace, but when you try their tapas you realise this is not the case. They serve dishes like carpaccio of cod and wines from Rueda, tripe prepared as only a grandmother can, washed down with a glass of Rioja, and all at reasonable prices. If you don’t like Cucut, you must be very hard to please.
La Foixarda, located on Montjuïc, near the MNAC, is the brasserie restaurant of the Municipal Riding School. Mediterranean cuisine, Argentinian barbecue for meat lovers, and lunches featuring Catalan calçots (similar to leeks, served grilled with meats and other side dishes) held indoors or outdoors on the terrace overlooking the equestrian centre court where you can dine on natural products in a natural environment. It's an inviting place, and ideal to take the kids to get close to the horses found a few metres from the terrace or to take in the equestrian show.
Now that all French restaurants in Barcelona are tending towards the bistro style, this classic venue has gone in the opposite direction: they focus on seasonal fare, with complex stews, creamy sauces and well-made pastry. Some examples: cream of Puy lentils with roasted almonds, or kidneys with three blends of mustard.
In Mumbai, the word 'bembì' is used to talk about the navel, the nexus of union between mother and child. The restaurant Bembì is a nexus of union between Indian cooking and Barcelona, and they've managed to bring a slice of their country to the pavement in Consell de Cent. Relaxed and cosy, this restaurant is perfect for surprising your date with a tasting menu – a senses-stimulating parade of 100 percent Indian recipes with touches of creativity and maximum-quality products. Every bite is like a ride on a flying carpet: magic.
Restaurant-braseria and cocktail bar. A good place to enjoy charcoal-barbecued specialities from Mediterranean cuisine, as well as dishes influenced more by international cuisine. The kitchen is open noon to midnight, cocktails until 2am, all year round. The restaurant offers you a great snapshot of the port of Barcelona. A wonderful setting from which to enjoy a great view of the sea.
Il Giardinetto is frequented not only by those with great palates who know quality when they taste it, but also by romantics as well as those nostalgic for a Barcelona of days gone by. Recently the place has been slapped with a makeover to modern it up a bit to accompany the excellent work the kitchen staff has always done and continues to do. Chef Jesus leads the team with his Italian cuisine, and notable fresh pastas that are made by hand daily. There is also, of course, a range of pleasing dishes created by young chef Sergio “Chiqui” Millet. One offering that’s not always on the menu (so do ask) is the paglia e fieno tagliolini al pomodoro, which many an Italian restaurant would love to be able to prepare and present with fanfare.
Under the cover of a modest tapas bar, Suculent is an eatery where you can order a superlative oxtail, tenderized and cooked slowly, that will make you fall to your knees and raise your arms to the heavens. It's a difficult dish to find, even in places that advertise traditional cuisine, so if you want to give it a try, this is the place to get stuck in. And just to be sure, we're not talking about meat from a bull or ox: it’s from our friend the cow, and so it's always on the menu. If that doesn't strike your fancy, try the Maldonado Iberian pork rib, the mother of all pigs' trotters, or black pudding meatballs with cuttlefish – the star of the show and the restaurant’s proudest offering, aside from the tapas. On Sundays they serve up rice with seafood or meat and live flamenco.
Gastón Acurio, the Ferran Adrià of South America and the driving force behind Peru's culinary revolution, has set up shop in Barcelona. Tanta is an excellent setting for introducing quality Peruvian cuisine to the city. An avant-garde interpretation of Peruvian cuisine, though not without the traditional formulas. You know the ones: ceviche, tiraditos, causa and pisco sour.
It's definitely worth spending some time in this place which is a breed somewhere between a vegetarian restaurant and a jazz club, if there is such a thing. On the restaurant side, there's a brief and inviting menu featuring wild mushroom fideuás (fine noodles), and croquettes stuffed with mushrooms or broad beans with mint; while the jazz part comes in the form of frequent live shows from top acts, with the occasional classical concert taking the stage. They also host book readings, poetry recitals and other cultural happenings; there's something going on every week. Have a look at their wine list while you're there as well – it boasts more than 70 bottles.
The eponymous seven doors open on to as many dining salons, all kitted out in elegant 19th-century décor. Long-aproned waiters bring regional dishes, served in vast portions, including a stewy fish zarzuela with half a lobster, a different paella daily (shellfish, for example, or rabbit and snails), a wide array of fresh seafood, and heavier dishes such as herbed black-bean stew with pork sausage, and orujo sorbet to finish. Reservations are available only for certain tables; otherwise, get there early.
Alex Suñé, a young experienced veteran of the kitchen, has opened his own business. Mil921, he says, offers traditional Catalan cuisine which makes the occasional nod to Japan. And so tataki with lyophilised soy rubs shoulders with cod confit in coal oil. They also make a remarkable steak tartar.
The atmosphere and the taste of an authentic Catalan country house. That's what you will find at the renovated Casa Jordi. While keeping the spirit and cuisine that made the place so visited by good palates, the restaurant has made a delicious and interesting twist thanks to its new owner, Lluís Cortines. Taking advantage of his valuable experiences at Reno and Botafumeiro, he managed to combine traditional cuisine, for which Casa Jordi is well known, with an adaptation to modern times. Better presented dishes tempting your eyes and, most of all, measured doses and a reduction of its most heavy aspects, with less fats and carbohydrates.
The young chef Jordi Esteve’s style is based on quality and creativity, and underpinned with tradition. How about some scallops with truffle and fish foam? And save room for dessert, as Esteve's coconut-infused creations, which he came up with when looking for a dish that 'gives the feeling of sitting near a wood fire to stave off a winter's chill'. In more good news for everyone, there's also a menu for coeliacs.