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.
Albert Adrià's second eatery in Barcelona is a 'Nikkei' restaurant – a cuisine that was born in Peru out of the mix of indigenous cooking and Japanese immigration. Adrià has run Nikkei cooking through his own filter to come up with surprising dishes, such as a fusion of maki and Peruvian 'causa' of smoked mackerel, or salmon nigiri with yellow capsicum sauce. In Czech, 'pakta' means 'together'.
Albert Adrià provides the brains behind this new spot, and his restaurant Tickets is just across the road. You know that with an Adrià at the helm in the kitchen, it's an innovative cuisine they're serving up, even though they try to be true to the flavours that dominated in local food from the early 20th century: the smoked, the salted, the grilled and the pickled. It's a pleasing trip to the past without leaving behind the modern mindset for the 21st-century palate.
The Colombo twins (‘xemei’ means ‘twins’ in Venetian) have bewitched the most demanding fans of Italian cuisine, especially that of their Venice, their hometown. Theirs is a lovely trattoria with a very warm and friendly bohemian atmosphere. Dive in to the best of Venetian cuisine, starting with fegato alla veneta (Venetian-style liver), followed by black spaghetti (it's because of the squid ink, of course).
The Adrià brothers have triumphed again with this ambitious Barcelona-based round-up of their philosophy of tapas. With four different sections – seafood, the grill, sweet treats, and little inventive surprises – you'll get 'El Bulli' versions of all tapas from all over Spain. Squid in its ink with almond paste or grilled watermelon are just a couple examples. And the Tickets cocktail bar, 41, offers a nightly tasting menu which is as close as you'll get to El Bulli.
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.
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 sat at the bar you can try trotters, capipota, pigs’ cheeks or tripe with chickpeas and chorizo. They also sell cask wine.