You can't really get to know an area without tasting its food and drinking its wine – two things you won't have any trouble doing on the Costa Brava. There's such a wide variety of dining options – lunch or dinner, outdoor seating or inside a castle, with a view or a cosy ambience. So we've come up with a selection that will help you choose the perfect place where you can eat fresh seafood, perfectly cooked meats and seasonal vegetables; sip local wines; and leave satisfied and well within your budget.
Created by three former El Bulli chefs, Mateu Casañas, Eduard Xatruch and Oriol Castro, this restaurant specialises in modern cooking characterised by fare that is meant to be put in the middle of the table and shared ('compartir' means to share in Catalan), and based on traditional favourites such as rice dishes and fresh fish. The restaurant is right in the centre of Cadaqués and has a huge outdoor terrace as well as apartments for rent.
Chef Rafa Peña (of Barcelona restaurant Gresca) has led the way on a style of urban cooking in Barcelona, but is also an adviser to this environmentally friendly hotel in the Girona version of Tuscany. You’ll find top-quality organic ingredients from both the land and sea of the Empordà region, all used in haute cuisine recipes. They only use material they’ve produced themselves or that comes direct from producers – they know this area like the back of their hand.
The Empordà has the sea and the mountains ('mar i muntanya' in Catalan), and its cooking does too. In the woodiest part of the Alt Empordà, among rolling hills and reservoirs, you’ll find this place that is popular for group meals and celebrations, and has a positive price-quality correlation. Ideal for carnivores with a big appetite: there’s meat, a lot of it – pork, duck, steak, etc. – either cooked with other ingredients or plain on the grill.
Dining in the tower of a castle with a built-in casino has an undeniable 19th-century glamour about it. And the food served up in the restaurant of El Castell is no let-down: it has an individual style – exquisite presentation of its dishes – and is equidistant between traditional French and Catalan cuisines, making it an ideal place for a special occasion with friends or family. In the summer, they organise gastronomic cycles.
Located in the former premises of the emblematic Can Barris restaurant (now transferred to the town of Campllong), Vicus creates signature cuisine based on traditional Catalan recipes and using seasonal products. Its speciality are rice dishes created using locally grown grains from the paddies of nearby Pals. As well as à la carte, you can choose between the lunchtime set menu, the rice menu or the tasting menu. They also organise dinners that pair the food with Empordà wines.
A simple family restaurant where you can enjoy creative cuisine that plays with traditional recipes, transforming them with the use of original and imaginative special touches. They have a daily set lunch menu and a seasonal menu – both based on local products. In addition, they have dishes suitable for coeliacs and vegetarians. A place to eat well at a more-than-reasonable price.