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Photograph: Courtesy Álvaro Fernández

The 20 best restaurants in Spain

From Andalucia to Asturias, our editors traverse the country to track down once-in-a-lifetime meals at Spain’s very best restaurants.

Written by
Time Out Spain editors

Over the past few decades, the reputation of Spanish cooking has gone from tapas-and-sangria clichés to gastronomic world domination. Nowadays, Spanish chefs and restaurants are regularly named among the best on the planet, and the country’s extreme diversity and high quality of ingredients gives it a natural leg-up when it comes to packing flavours onto a plate. (Oh, and the wine’s not bad either.) These locations are where it all comes together at its best: the places across the whole of Spain where you’re guaranteed an unforgettable meal. From north to south, coast to coast and city to country, these are simply the 20 best restaurants in Spain – as chosen by our expert local editors. All that’s left to say is ¡buen provecho!

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The best restaurants in Spain


This intimate, light-filled riverside spot seats just 25 people, but if you get a chance to pull up a chair, jump at it. Chef Álvaro Garrido is an absolute master of seasonal ingredients and flavour.


Singlehandedly putting Jaén on Spain’s gastronomic map, Bagá is an essential destination: a small dining room dedicated to reinterpreting local products, with plenty of surprising-but-harmonious combinations along the way.



Young chef Vicky Sevilla has converted a fifteenth-century stable into a truly great restaurant. Her veg-heavy take on affordable haute cuisine is firmly plugged into the land that surrounds the ancient town of Sagunto, just north of Valencia.


It’s worth a trip to the Basque coast just to eat Aitor Arregi’s turbot, cooked to perfection on the traditional parilla grill. And while you’re here, don’t miss the kokotxas: fish stew made from the tender throats of fish.



The sea has shaped the history of Cádiz, and it remains the biggest influence at the city’s best restaurant. Seafood sausages, salt-water cooking, seaweed desserts, fish-skin latticework: there isn’t another restaurant like it.


Rafa Zafra is one of the world’s great seafood chefs, cooking the finest fish in a thousand ways – fried, steamed, grilled, salted and stuffed – and always to millimetre precision. Make sure you leave room for the egg flan: it’ll be the best you’ve ever had.



The Chamberí neighbourhood of Madrid is known for top-end dining, but Lakasa trumps everyone one of its esteemed neighbours. Proprietor César Martín is a a true chef’s chef, famous for his sensibility, knowledge of produce, and sense of balance and seasonality.


Whatever the market brings, that’s what they cook at this backstreet spot in Málaga’s old town. Sit back and go with it: the stews are legendary and the Russian salad storied.



A veritable maestro of raw fish, chef Ugo Chan wields his knives to stitch together Japanese cuisine with cañí – Spanish Gypsy – influences. 



A gang of three former sous-chefs from Elbulli – the legendary Catalan restaurant that inspired practically every Michelin wannabe of the last 20 years – opened Disfrutar in 2014. It has got bigger and better each year, pushing boundaries with every new tasting menu. 


Equidistant from Barcelona and Girona, the rustic Can Jubany serves an elevated take on the cuisine of Catalonia’s heartland, made by a cook – Nandu Jubany – who has become one of the most popular and beloved kitchen personalities in Spain. 


San Sebastián

Run by the same family since the late nineteenth century, Arzak has evolved from a roadside tavern into a three Michelin-star extravaganza focused on the more avant-garde side of Basque cooking.


Farm-to-table doesn’t come much more direct than at this spot in the heart of Catalonia. Pretty much everything on the menu (cattle, eggs, most of the vegetables) has been born and raised on the land you can see through the windows of the farmhouse dining room. The pork here is pretty much the best in the world.



It’s widely known in Barcelona’s food circles that Gresca is the city’s most historically underrated restaurant when it comes to the Michelin guides. Head to the main restaurant for the tasting menu of classic Spanish cooking, or the next-door bar for top-drawer tapas and natural wines.


The oldest restaurant in Bilbao, opened in 1878, combines an impeccable array of northern Spanish produce with a light but effective creative touch.


Chef Vicente Cabal elevates the already extraordinary quality of produce from Asturias and the rest of northern Spain. His restaurant is the best place on earth to try the hearty and delicious Asturian fabada (bean stew).


Santiago de Compostela

With a reputation forged in culinary temples such as El Celler de Can Roca and Mugaritz, Lucía Freitas has won herself a well-deserved Michelin star by applying her creativity to a radical ‘0km cuisine’: many of the vegetables she serves come from her own garden.


Located in an old palace in the beautiful Baztán valley, this is a popular restaurant in the area for celebrations. If you’re passing through this part of Navarre, it’s an essential stop to taste the great classics of Spanish cuisine at an extremely reasonable price.

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