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Barcelona, ​​Mecca of Gluttony: Here are 10 addresses not to be missed

ToAt the beginning of the 2000’s, Barcelona has been the center of the global explosion of Catalan cuisine, with the beginning of a unique gastronomic movement led by visionary chefs who have catapulted Catalan cuisine into the world. Two decades later, the Catalan capital has 19 restaurants with 29 Michelin stars and 6 restaurants that hold the Bib Gourmand award, in addition to 45 places that have obtained the suns of the Repsol Guide and therefore remains the undisputed center for living the culinary heritage and fully enjoying Catalan cuisine, with a complex and very rich DNA that skilfully mixes tradition, but also cultural, historical and artistic elements.

Here are 10 addresses to experience Barcelona’s gastronomic revolution.

Disfrutar, the third best restaurant in the world

Disfruitar.  Photo: Joan Valera Barcelona, ​​mecca of gastronomy: here are 10 addresses not to be missed

Disfruitar. Photo: Joan Valera

For lovers of signature cuisine, the Disfrutar it is certainly an essential step. In the 2022 ranking established by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, the Disfrutar of the trio of chefs Mateu Casañas, Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch climbed on the third step of the podium among the best restaurants in the world. This is just the latest in a series of top food guide awards that have taken place every year since it opened in 2014, including 2 Michelin stars and a total of 5 Repsol Guide suns. According to the Macarfi Guide, Disfrutar has been the best restaurant in Barcelona for 4 consecutive years.

Dining at Disfrutar is a unique experience: avant-garde cuisine, where the dishes stand out for their great identity, resolutely Mediterranean. A restaurant with a bold, fun and modern cuisine that seeks taste as the protagonist.

Where is it in the city:
Disfrutar – C. de Villarroel 163

A 233-year-old restaurant and a 202-year-old bar

Can Culleretes.  Photo: Facebook Barcelona, ​​a mecca for gastronomy: here are 10 addresses not to be missed

Can Culleretes. Picture: Facebook

Barcelona is a city where history is omnipresent, even in terms of gastronomy. To try it, you have to go Can Culleretes, the oldest restaurant in townlocated in the Gothic quarter, inaugurated in 1789. Or in the Ciutat Vella the fixed stop is the Bar Marsella, the oldest in Barcelona. Frequented by artists and bohemians, it has kept its atmosphere of yesteryear intact: wooden shelves with bottles with faded labels, high ceilings, dim lights and mirrors on the walls. Advice on what to drink? Strictly Absinthe.

Where they are in the city:
Can Culleretes – Carrer d’en Quintana 5
Marseille – Carrer de Sant Pau 65

Real traditional cuisine

The oldest cookbook of Catalan cuisine, El Llibre de Sent Sovi dates back to the 14th century and although, obviously, the cuisine has evolved, its essence has remained the same and there is no better place to discover it than Barcelona, ​​where you can taste the real recipes and discover a particularity in each different restaurant.

At Gaig Barcelona, ​​managed by Carles Gaig, some of the best cannelloni in town are prepared; in Can Ramonet, in Barceloneta, you can taste the Bomba de la Barceloneta, a large potato croquette stuffed with meat with a spicy touch; while at La Habana restaurant, in Raval, you cannot miss the fricandó, one of the most emblematic stews of Catalan cuisine, recognized as the favorite dish of Catalans in 2021.

Where they are in the city:
Gaig Barcelona – Carrer de la Nau Santa Maria 5
Can Ramonet – Carrer de la Maquinista 17
Havana – Lleo 1

La Boquería

For those who like to go to the source of recipes and see with their own eyes where the raw materials used by restaurants in Barcelona come from or what the locals actually eat, you can visit the 39 fresh produce markets dispersed in the neighborhoods of the city.

La Boqueria.  Photo: Vicente Zambrano Gonza´lez Barcelona, ​​gastronomic mecca: here are 10 places not to be missed

La Boqueria. Photo: Vicente Zambrano González

The best known and most spectacular market is certainly the Market of Sant Josep de la Boqueriaborn in the 13th century as a street market on the Ramblas and named the best market in the world in 2017. Colorful and rich in variety, it is one of the most characteristic places in the city where you can both buy typical products and taste them on the spot, eating under the large iron arches, in the middle of a thousand scents, for an unconventional lunch.

Where is it in the city:
La Boquería – La Rambla 91

Architecture and design in the kitchen

4Gats Barcelona, ​​mecca of gastronomy: here are 10 addresses not to be missed

4gats

Barcelona is the queen of the variety of architectural styles and this element is also reflected in its restaurants. Obviously, modernism cannot be missing in the restoration, as in the restaurant i 4Gats, located on the ground floor of Casa Martì, modernist building by architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch. Picasso loved it, so much so that his first exhibition was organized there. We then move on to 60’s atmosphere of Flash-Flash, a place specializing in all types of tortillas (more than 70 can be tasted). Tourists are welcomed against a backdrop of black and white design with touches of red, a simple architecture that seems to emerge directly from 1969, the year of its inauguration. On the walls, giant posters of the architect’s wife, Karin, posed as a photographer.

Where they are in the city:
4Gats – Carrer de Montsió 3
Flash-Flash – Carrer de la Granada del Penedès 25

Vermouth on the terrace

Barcelona is not only restaurants, but also aperitifs. And what better than enjoy a good Vermouth on one of the many terraces in the city? The tradition of Vermouth, rooted throughout the country, involves a ritual: a good glass of red Vermouth, sipped with fries or patatas bravas with spicy sauce, olives and marinated anchovies, always with a special sauce. And one of the most popular addresses to enjoy this ritual is Grand Hotel Central Sky Bar. It is one of the most beautiful terraces in Barcelona, ​​with an infinity pool and a magnificent view of the city. The decor is simple and minimalist, and the environment is very relaxing despite the large number of people gathering to enjoy a Vermouth con vistas.

Many of the best red vermouths come from Reus, near Tarragona, and there’s no better way to discover them than by sitting on a terrace or visiting the traditional cellars of Barcelona.

Where is it in the city:
Sky Bar – Via Laietana 30

Fusion cuisine

the fusion cuisine of Dos Palillos Barcelona, ​​a mecca for gluttony: here are 10 addresses not to be missed

the fusion cuisine of Dos Palillos

The know-how of Catalan chefs lies in maintaining a deep attachment to culinary tradition without closing in on the global trends that make Barcelona a cosmopolitan city. Thus are born fusion restaurants for those who like to experiment, which transport the Catalan gastronomic heritage to new lands. For example, the fusion cuisine of Dos Palillos which combines Asian and Spanish culture, tapas with sake, with a common denominator: chopsticks. The Orientals use them as cutlery to collect small portions of food; in Spain, in bars, the toothpick is the tapa king. So Dos Palillos recommends the “two stick menu”, a tasting of the best of both cultures.

Where is it in the city:
Dos Palillos – Carrer d’Elisabets 9

The fish auction

In a city as modern and cosmopolitan as Barcelona, ​​you can still find many traditional food-related activities. One of them, the most interesting, is based in the fishermen’s district. Although the city has one of the most important ports in southern Europe, there are still hidden corners of the big shops and where time seems to stand still. Like the fishermen’s quarter, where the famous very fresh fish auction, so that restaurants in the city can buy the raw material for their dishes. Everyone will be able to watch and see with their own eyes what they will taste for lunch in succulent recipes.

The sustainable market

The central idea that the only possible future is a sustainable future has long permeated the Barcelona food model. The city has indeed launched the first wholesale market for organic fresh produce in Europe, called Biomarketin 2021, when Barcelona was the world capital ofPower source sustainable. This is part of the food strategy based on local products and zero kilometer products, also widely applied in food markets, where stalls that favor local production are identified by the Comerç Verd (green trade) labels, as well as in restaurants that favor local production, they work with local suppliers.

Gastronomic events

A city experiencing a culinary revolution cannot fail to organize events that can celebrate it. In Barcelona, ​​the gastronomic agenda is full of interesting events that bring together thousands of visitors around food and cuisine. In the second half of the year not to be missed are the Market of Markets, celebrated in the fall, when the city’s markets take to the streets with stalls and tastings; the Fira Àpat, in October, the trade fair for food products in Catalonia, where producers can present their products to shops, restaurants, hotels, wine bars, distributors and tourists every year. Or even the Earth Marketorganized on Saturday by Slow Food Barcelona.

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