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Torre d'Alta Mar
Torre d'Alta Mar

The most romantic restaurants in Barcelona

Dining in any of these romantic Barcelona restaurants is a sure way to that special someone's heart

By Marcelo Aparicio, Pau Arenós, Ricard Martín and Manel Guirado
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When you're looking for a restaurant in Barcelona where you can do some serious wooing, look no further. Let us show you that the way to your special someone's heart is through his or her stomach, and a bit of mood lighting can't hurt either.

RECOMMENDED: Barcelona restaurants with Michelin stars

Romantic restaurants

Winter Garden
© Bernard Tartinville

Winter Garden

Restaurants Catalan Dreta de l'Eixample

The Winter Garden restaurant at the El Palace hotel lives up to any expectations you might have when you enter one of the great hotels in Barcelona. The exclusivity is in the views as well as in the kitchen. The restaurant boasts spectacular 360-degree views of Barcelona, and  you get to choose between two tasting menus (November to April) with an air of French haute cuisine that are perfect for trying a bit of everything along with wine pairings. In the warmer months (April to October), the Jardín Diana garden is transformed into an urban oasis. The hotel's top floor offers signature tapas and Mediterranean cuisine, a selection of cocktails and good music with DJ sessions. Year round, this is an idyllic space away from the noise of the city streets, with one of the best panoramic views in town.

Casa Xica
© Ivan Giménez

Casa Xica

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Fusion El Poble-sec

There's a saying in Spanish that translates roughly to 'Small house, big heart', and the owners of Casa Xica (which means Small House in Catalan), Marc and Raquel must have very big hearts indeed. The easiest way to describe what they do is to call it fusion cooking. But that term has become so overused, and in their case it's more of a compilation of tastes they've learned in faraway lands with their own touch added to tempt even the fussiest of diners. Take, for example, the tabbouleh: it's delicious, healthy, made from local ingredients and enhanced with fish practically taken right from the sea. Casa Xica provides that little push you might need on your date to make the all-important first move.

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a restaurant

Restaurants Haute cuisine

Catalan chef Alain Guiard, with French roots and education, calls his restaurant 'playful, straightforward and affordable dining option in a five-star Relais Chateaux hotel'. The restaurant, which overlooks one of Barcelona's loveliest squares, is pure magic. The brilliance of the dishes allows for them to be mixed and matched with anarchy. The medium-sized portions are made for sharing, though you might not want to: the egg with parmentier, smoked eel, carbonara foam and tobiko is something you'll want all for yourself. Guiard shows off his strengths with a series of seafood and shellfish dishes, such as a sea bass ragout, cockles and mussels with orange and coconut, which is both a classic dish and at the same time a type of hot ceviche. The crunchy potato tacos with crab, sour cream and caviar are unforgettable.

CASA ANGELA
© Anna Jimenez Roig

Casa Àngela

Restaurants Catalan Sagrada Família

Most of us think about eating by the sea to get a really authentic paella in Barcelona. So it might surprise you to know that when you're talking about Casa Àngela, you can get the real thing in the vicinity of the Sagrada Família. Here rice dishes reign: they've got eight on the menu and all are powerful and tasty. Also in their repertoire is a selection of classic tapas that will satisfy tourists looking for something near Gaudí's cathedral as well as locals looking for quality: garlic prawns, 'patatas bravas', croquettes and cod fritters. The owners say they want to be in there among the top rice dishes and tapas to try in Barcelona, adding that they cook everything from scratch with quality products, and they don't overcharge customers. And a tapas bar and rice speciality restaurant in the Sagrada Família neighbourhood can also be a great place for a date: you'll find phenomenal views of the Sagrada Família itself in intimate and cosy surrounds. 

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Wagokoro

Restaurants Sant Gervasi - Galvany

Kenia Nakamura and Anna Peray go hand in hand in this welcoming space where 'kaiseki' rules. This Japanese cooking concept varies throughout the year depending on the season and you’ll find the essence of the product on every plate. The pair have developed a harmonious menu, one that is thoughtful, aesthetic, ceremonial, and stripped of any pretentions. It’s not only a gastronomic project but a life project. 

El Pla
©Bet-Sabe Ribas

El Pla

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Catalan Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera

Passing by El Pla you'll see that it's a romantic spot by definition. As you make your way amid the dark and narrow streets of the Barri Gòtic, the scene is being set for your arrival into this restaurant with exquisite low light and an informal yet elegant decor that pairs perfectly with the cuisine. The wines and desserts also go well with the starters and mains, and they're outstanding. El Pla has been open for two decades now, and the work of chef Andrew Smith has lifted it to an especially sweet spot, with dishes charged with flavour and creativity, like the grilled carrot carpaccio withelderflower and horseradish.

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Le Cucine Mandarosso

Restaurants Italian Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera

It's great for lunch, sure, but dinner at Le Cucine Mandarosso with a friend or family member might be a bit strange. Because the ambience emanates an intangible intimate and cosy quality that's just right for a romantic date. It's all subtle, casual, with retro furniture, and products and books on the shelves that line the walls. Plus the Italian cuisine itself raises the bar on sensuality. If your dinner date still isn't clear on your intentions, Le Cucine will help you out in that capacity. A word of warning (or advice): the burrata cheese can make you lose all your inhibitions.

Torre d'Alta Mar

Restaurants Mediterranean La Barceloneta

In the game of seduction and coupling, the element of surprise and a certain blast of excitement can mark a turning point in a relationship. You could meet your partner at the door wearing just sexy underwear and a rose between your teeth. But inviting your sweetheart to a restaurant inside the tower of a funicular could win you even more points, given that it's a frivolous whimsy of sorts in itself. This is when you're ready to bring out all the heavy artillery to say: 'I'm starving, but I'll sell a kidney for you to have a stunning meal.'

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Bar Veraz
© Irene Fernández

Bar Veraz

Restaurants Haute cuisine

You'll find Catalan cuisine prepared more with a focus on ingredients and seasonality than on sticking to the letter of a recipe. For example, the 'fricandó' is thin slices of stewed veal stuffed with Jerusalem artichoke, with a creamy sauce of 'rossinyols' (chanterelle mushrooms) and a picada that's much more than just your typical garlic and parsley. Another memorable dish is one that may seem basic, but it's prepared with the accuracy of sniper: sweet potato with feta cheese. You get the sweetness of autumn with the fresh acidity of the Mediterranean, combined with a savoury sauce of caramelised vinegar and hazelnuts. Wow. They've also set out to revolutionise the vermouth hour a bit – the mussels with bacon wake up your mouth and throat – and at any time of the day you'll find excellent Roman-style pizzas (a crispy and light crust that's fermented for three days) and a pasta of the day, like an incredible meeting of the traditional Catalan galet shell pasta and the traditional Sardinian culurgione stuffed pasta – a burst of freshness, basil and more-ish sauce.

Rilke

Restaurants Haute cuisine Dreta de l'Eixample

The Grup Confitería have reopened the old Beltxenea (a Basque restaurant that once stood on the same spot and closed in 2012) and renamed it Rilke. Decadent romanticism sticks to the place like syphilis to Baudelaire: it's a stately building that dates back to the early 20th century, boasting an imperial dining room with views of the interior courtyard that's presided over by a Venus de Milo, a fountain with lions, and exquisitely dense vegetation. You sit down with a glass of burgundy, sigh, and have the feeling that any minute a character out of 'Madame Bovary' will appear. If the person you're wooing has goth or ethereal leanings, ask for a table in front of the garden and recite Baudelaire's 'A Carcass' to them. And what the hell, if they're not a goth or a weirdo, the amazing dishes that come out of Rafa Peña's kitchen will win them over nonetheless.

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Osmosis

Restaurants Mediterranean Eixample

Over the years, Osmosis has established itself as a place for affordable, creative and excellent cuisine – a fine-tuned machine when it comes to set menus made with immaculate products. Osmosis is among the ‘bistronomics’ restaurants that popped up around the city a few years back. A fairly minimalist interior where all the focus is on good food and service, and at reasonable prices. Osmosis is a laid-back place with lots of little nooks and crannies and private rooms for small groups or couples. The lunchtime menu is perfect for closing a deal without subsequent indigestion, and for romantic dinners.

Celler Can Recasens

Restaurants Sant Martí

More than a decade back, an old neighbourhood pork shop transformed into this eatery with a modernist aesthetic, old photos on the walls and small, softly lit spaces. After a good dinner of select cured meats, cheeses, fondue, salad, and plenty of wine, you'll only be able to think of one way to burn off all those calories. They've got dishes that can raise the dead, so you know Recasens will spark more than one flame.

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Marea Alta
© Maria Dias

Marea Alta

Restaurants Seafood El Raval

For the views alone, Marea Alta has become practically a first-class tourist attraction. Up on the 24th floor of the Colón building, diners get a sensational, unprecedented 360-degree view of the city. They also take a panoramic view of the marine products they use, with what director Enrique Valentín calls 'a simple and at the same time difficult idea': high-quality fish and seafood from the best suppliers from around Spain and served raw, smoked, marinated and grilled. Shellfish is a known aphrodisiac; add to that some great views and the object of your desire will be yours, whether it's someone you want to get to know better or you're rekindling the fire with your longtime love.

Fragments Cafè

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Mediterranean Les Corts

This is one of the few Barcelona Noucentisme (early-20th-century Catalan movement that started as a reaction against Modernisme) buildings where you’re welcome all day. Fragments Cafè owes its good taste, perfectionism, and knowledge to Ricardo Feriche and Juliet Pomés, who spend a lot of time searching for spaces where people can relax and enjoy themselves.  In this spirit they set up this delightful place, perfect for bon vivants, where their lighting work stands out – with the warmth of the natural light by day and the just-the-right tone at night. 

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Indochine Ly Leap

Restaurants South Asian Eixample

A frenzy of Asia-inspired tapas, in which Ly Leap shows off his expertise with spices, citrus and aromatic herbs. This place is crazy: a thousand square metres of jungle, where the tables are tiny islands suspended above water, with fish and everything.

Meneghina

Restaurants Italian Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera

This lovely Italian restaurant offers home cooking and top-quality pasta. Worth a visit for starters like fresh burrata, or tasty pasta: linguine with cherry tomatoes and basil, or papardelle with ragout, for example. The doll's house dining room with double tables makes for an ideal setting for a romantic date. Especially if your idea of romance is out of 'Amélie' or inside a doll's house.

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