Restaurants with three stars
Martín Berasategui’s embassy at the Condes de Barcelona hotel has become one of the essential restaurants not only in the city but in all of Catalonia and Spain, where people flock to marvel at the chef's creativity. The sampling menu is a treat that everyone should have the chance to enjoy, at least once in a lifetime, and if possible, once a year. Such excellence has earned the Lasarte the top prize in the restaurant world, and since November 2016 the restaurant has been the first in Barcelona to boast three Michelin stars. In addition to Berasategui, the man responsible for the day-to-day operations is Italian chef Paolo Casagrande. His elegance and creativity are seen in dishes such as apple millefeuille, foie gras, and European eel, and the surprising aesthetic of the dishes never surpasses the combination of amazing flavours.
In 2017, Jordi Cruz won a third Michelin star for Àbac, confirming his restaurant once again as the essential haute cuisine establishment in Barcelona. He reached such heights by creating cuisine filled with expertise and sophistication. Take, for example, the egg with asparagus. Sounds simple enough, but Cruz has done a number on the egg that is something out of an R&D think tank. First the yolk is cooked at 62°C, then cured in salt water to give it just the exact subtle touch of salt. Served with white asparagus, a divinely thin slice of Serrano ham and a spoonful of caviar, it's nothing less than spectacular.
Restaurants with two stars
With El Bulli closed, what its former chefs Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas offer in Distrutar is pure expert and emotional cooking that's a reminder of the mothership. The dishes are incredibly imaginative and made with tremendous precision, such as, for example, the famous macaroni à la carbonara made with ham jelly. Here you'll find an explosion of the senses carried out at the perfect speed.
Raül Balam, son of Carme Ruscalleda, earned his second Michelin star in 2013 with this leading hotel restaurant. Like the original in Sant Pau, the concept is impeccable, innovative – and very Catalan – cuisine. On the menu you'll find dishes such as the veal 'fricandó' (beef fillet with mushrooms) with Scotch bonnet mushrooms and the Maresme shrimp with glazed tomato petals, a vegetable medley and toasted pine nuts.
The Torres brothers’ rise in popularity and fame has not in any way changed their philosophy that so many customers – and the good folks from the Michelin guide – fell in love with during their time with the now-defunct Dos Cielos. The twins pride themselves on cooking 'through memories', with their cusine based on family recipes and made with seasonal garden-fresh products and using contemporary techniques. Their youngest creation in Barcelona came out strong, with haute cuisine on the tables, showing off the passion the chefs have for fresh raw materials.
Chef Paco Pérez has earned two Michelin stars (2010 and 2013) for his Enoteca. No longer is it just another restaurant in the Hotel Arts, but a heavyweight in Barcelona in its own right. Pérez can also be proud of the two stars he's earned for his Miramar restaurant in the Catalan city of Llançà. Few chefs can translate the flavour of the sea into haute cuisine the way he does, and his craft speaks to the imagination.
Restaurants with one star
For over 40 years they've been turning acts as simple as peeling an orange into culinary art. This is a restaurant where true gourmet food lovers should dine – their truffles are peerless, while the service sets the standard for Spanish haute cuisine. They've more recently updated their menu under the direction of young Basque chef Sergio Humada, a prodigy with imagination to spare.
Albert Raurich creatively demonstrates the close links between Asian and Spanish tapas, and does so at such a high level of quality and innovation that he earned Dos Palillos its first Michelin star. The restaurant is a perfect fusion of a blue-collar bar and haute-cuisine Asian restaurant, a place where there are no tables and where, if they don’t have the time, they’re not going to serve you wine. But consider this: part of the Michelin star is always based on service, so the fact that they still got one speaks volumes about their phenomenal Asian tapas.
It's an understatement to say their Michelin star is well-deserved. Everything on the menu is out of this world, but the nigiris really steal the show: they come directly from the hands of chef Hideki Matsuhisa, and arrive on your plate with no change in temperature. And they practically melt in your mouth. It's a ceremony where everything is done with precision and control: the cut of the fish, the amount of rice, and the texture. An absolute must for any lover of Japanese cuisine.
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. The reward for all his hard work is a shiny Michelin star.
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–style versions of tapas from all around Spain. Squid in its ink with almond paste or grilled watermelon are just a couple examples. Dishes such as crunchy octopus with kimchi mayonnaise or an air baguette with 'rubia galega' steak are already part of Barcelona's haute-cuisine gastronomic heritage. Dining here means a trip through Ferran and Albert Adrià's culinary wisdom, emphasizing the playful nature of eating.
The eatery that Albert Adrià opened in Barcelona after Tickets and 41º 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'. The creativity and excellence at Pakta was rewarded with a Michelin star in 2014.