From the outside, it's a bit difficult to imagine that behind the façade of a bar in the no-man's land that is Barcelona's Zona Franca neighbourhood stands one of the best restaurants in the city, but there you go. First opened as a 'granja' (dairy store) and delicatessen in 1974, Granja Elena was transformed over time into a gourmet restaurant using the best products to create their haute cuisine, starting with the base provided by matriarch Olga and carried even further by the second generation, her children Borja, Guillermo and Patricia Serra.
The menu features hearty dishes with a strong Basque influence – Borja worked in the region under Hilario Arbelaitz, one of his teachers – and above all genius and creativity that see them going beyond tradition yet still preserving its spirit, and always with purpose and gourmet raw materials. So you'll find hake with asparragus juice, amontillado sherry and clams; as well as San Esteban canelloni with truffle bechamel sauce. If you can't decide, and you're an unyielding carnivore, they serve up one of the best 'capipota' (pork head and trotters meat) dishes you'll ever eat. You can also start your day off with a superlative breakfast at Granja Elena – they're open at 7am.