Barcelona is home to an array of fantastic restaurants, covering every possible cuisine. Below are three of the best luxury restaurants in the city that focus particularly on the Spanish and Catalan cuisines. They are the perfect destinations for any visitor who wants to experience delicious Spanish food, cooked by some of the best chefs in the world.
Did you miss out on the ElBulli experience? Then you must visit Tickets during your stay in Barcelona. A truly unique gastronomic encounter, Tickets is the newest venture of the visionary Adrià brothers, the founders of ElBulli restaurant. With its dazzling and fairy tale-like interior, Tickets has left behind the Michelin star formality and has created a much more playful atmosphere. Carnival awnings hang above you and rows of bright theatre lights greet you at the entrance. The food itself reflects this fun atmosphere, serving up classic Spanish tapas with the usual Adrià twists: ‘air baguettes’ filled with Iberico ham, liquid ravioli and tiny stuffed airbags of Manchego cheese and hazelnut oil. Other excellent dishes not to be missed include the tuna belly and the famous ‘marinated olives’ of ElBulli.
Of course, an Adrià restaurant is never going to be easy to get in to. If you want to land a table here, you will need to go online exactly sixty days before your preferred date to make your reservation. If you do miss out on a reservation, the Adrià brothers also own the distinguished 41° cocktail bar next door, which also needs to be booked well in advance. Opened in 2011, the slick and sophisticated neighbour of Tickets has an impressive selection of cocktails. But even more outstanding is the ‘snacks menu’, which includes many of the ElBulli classics such as Parmesan ice cream and pistachios in a delicate lattice of yogurt. With just sixteen people dining in this dimly lit bar, it is a much more intimate experience than Tickets but it still brings the Adrià fun through its food and drinks. Both Tickets and 41° are a must-do in Barcelona.
Moments - Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Moments, with two Michelin stars and various other awards, is a stylish and contemporary restaurant found in the Mandarin Oriental hotel. The vision of Carme Ruscalleda and her son Raül Balam, Moments serves up classic Catalan dishes with a modern touch. Ruscalleda, one of the country’s most famous chefs, now has seven Michelin stars under her belt. Her exclusive menu utilises traditional recipes and seasonal produce to create truly outstanding results. The restaurant offers both an a la carte menu as well as a tasting menu – five appetisers, five main courses, five cheeses, two desserts and two small confectionaries to finish.
The food here is astonishingly delicious, with several of the dishes on the menu being true surprises: a portion of cheese and quince once tasted turns out to be a triangle of parsnip accompanied with a tomato jelly, a lamb chop is actually a small slice of monkfish with a spiced apple foam. Every mouthful is a surprising and delightful experience. The puddings are also very unique such as corn ice cream paired with dark chocolate and caramelised peanuts. If you are looking for a modern gastronomic experience, Moments, with it’s contemporary and gilded interior, is the perfect place for you.
Roca Moo - Hotel Omm
After ten years of Hotel Omm’s restaurant Moo, the Roca brothers decided it was time for a change. Roca Moo replaces the one Michelin star restaurant with a fresher, more modern restaurant. Joan, Jordi and Josep Roca, owners of the famous El Celler de Can Roca restaurant in Girona, offer a spectacular a la carte menu as well as two tasting menus and an impressive wine menu to match. The menu is a reimaging of many classic Catalan dishes such as sea bass with artichoke and truffles, and crayfish with curry and rose essences. The amuse bouch selection is also particularly impressive, including dehydrated potato skin with a light mayonnaise – a delicious take on the tapas staple patatas bravas.
The modern menu is reflected in the tasteful design of the restaurant. There is both table and counter seating – the counter providing views in to the kitchen where you can see head chef Juan Pretel at work. Along one side of the restaurant there is a birch tree garden, echoing the birch tree atrium in the Roca’s Girona restaurant. The restaurant has a cosmopolitan atmosphere that can also be found in next-door’s Roca Bar. Separated by a large bookcase from Roca Moo, this small bar, also owned by the Roca brothers, has a slightly more casual atmosphere. The menu includes traditional tapas, shared plates, Iberian ham sandwiches and oysters. Both Roca Bar and Roca Moo are essential destinations in Barcelona to try delicious, modern Catalan cooking.