The best restaurants in Barcelona for signature cuisine
Chef Paco Pérez earned two Michelin stars for Enoteca – no longer is it just another restaurant in the Hotel Arts, but a heavyweight in Barcelona in its own right. Few chefs can translate the flavour of the sea into haute cuisine the way he does, and his art speaks to the imagination and recalls the swell of the sea. The heights Enoteca's 'espardenyes' (Mediterranean sea cucumbers) have hit make them deserving of their own chapter in Catalan avant-garde cuisine, and their rice dishes will satisfy the biggest food snobs and Catalan cooking fundamentalists alike. Surrendering to their fragrant rice with lobster is the best way to pay tribute.
Albert Raurich creatively demonstrates the close links between Asian and Spanish tapas, and at such a high level of quality and innovation that it earned the restaurant its first Michelin star. Dos Palillos 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 come along to pour your 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.
Jordi Cruz has regained Àbac’s second Michelin star, making his restaurant once again 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.
Dos Cielos offers high-level cuisine, produced by the twins Javier and Sergio Torres, on the top floor of the hotel Melià Barcelona Sky. Very original cuisine with flavours from distant countries, including dishes like cream of Amazonian roots with sagu caviar, yet you'll still find creations based on recipes from closer to home, like the suckling pig with pumpkin chutney and a touch of fresh citrus and flowers. They've got three very well-deserved Michelin stars to their name, and while you dine you get one of the most incredible views of Barcelona there is.
For 13 years Alkimia operated from C/Indústria, 79, and after a year in the works, Jordi Vilà and Sonia Profitós reopened their restaurant in the Fábrica Moritz. On Indústria it was a good spot for getting to know the basic concept of a modern Barcelona restaurant, but for the reopening, from the first floor where the Mortiz family once lived, Vilà made a surprising announcement of the great offerings they'll have in a minimal space. 'Six tables for 18 people. We all know what they say about gastro restaurants not being profitable. If it's not profitable, why make it bigger? We'll make it better,' he said. In fact, their move to the former flat in Sant Antoni wasn't about expanding (though they do have a fantastic open kitchen) but rather about redefining.
Manairó is not just a great place to eat well and experience high-quality gastronomy, it's also the laboratory where Jordi Herrera, a part-chef part-inventor eccentric, carries out his experiments with special equipment toget the best out of his concoctions. There's his grill with spikes tocook the food on the inside, and a device which uses centrifugal force to reducethe loss of moisture in cooking. This is science in the service of art.
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.
Jordi Cruz has taken Angle from Bages to C/Aragó. Like he says, it's a garden-variety restaurant with a Michelin star, meaning you can have a set lunch menu that gives you great value for money with high-quality cuisine. They use good local produce, like roasted guinea fowl with foie gras, and Eastern touches as well. Examples of Cruz's imagination and undisputed creativity include lemon fish ceviche with grated cucumber and cherries.
The Roca brothers have reinvented their Michelin-starred Barcelona restaurant. It used to be Moo, and now it's Roca Moo: with the kitchen now in the main room, chef Rafa Panatieri has fewer barriers between the cooking and serving spaces so he can finish dishes right at the table before your eyes. There's also a bar where you can see how they prepare the house specialities, which are their own interpretation of Catalan cooking. In addition to the menu, you can choose between two tasting menus with pairings: the Los Clásicos and the Joan Roca menu. And weekdays at lunchtime you can try their third tasting menu, the Menú Moo, for around €50.
Rafa Penya has become an undisputed leader in the world of gastronomy, a daring chef with enormous creativity, yet his dishes are still consistently recognisable and delectable. Take the octopus with 'butifarra negra' (black sausage), for example. Or the ginger squab. Or the mouth-watering omelette made with herbs and wrapped with a paper-thin slice of Catalan bacon. No longer is Gresca a small restaurant with minimal equipment, and since it's grown in size as well, you can now eat at the bar, with a view of the kitchen, and enjoy the show that features a strong foundation and a French spirit.