Food & Wine

Barcelona, city of stars

The Catalan capital has 24 restaurants distinguished by the Michelin Guide, showing how the gastronomy sector is key for attracting international attention

Top restaurants are one of Barcelona’s main attractions as the city positions itself as a foremost place in the world to come and eat
Michelin stars:
the third-best restaurant in the world, Disfrutar
three-star restaurants:
Cocina Hermanos Torres, Àbac and Lasarte

Barcelona has 24 restaurants with at least one Michelin star. Only Madrid gets anywhere near that number and they are the cities with the largest number of highest category restaurants in Spain. Three of these restaurants in the Catalan capital boast what is considered the highest distinction in the world of cuisine: three Michelin stars. They are Cocina Hermanos Torres, in the Les Corts neighbourhood, run by the Barcelona-born brothers Sergio and Javier Torres, Lasarte, located on Carrer Mallorca next to Passeig de Gràcia, run by Basque chef Martín Berasategui and Italian-born Paolo Casagrande, and Àbac, run by television celebrity chef Jordi Cruz, located on Avinguda Tibidabo.

Barcelona also has what the World’s 50 Best Restaurants organisation ranks as the third best restaurant in the world: Disfrutar, on Carrer Villarroel, which has two Michelin stars and is run by three chefs who worked at Ferran Adrià’s legendary El Bulli: Oriol Castro, Mateu Casañas and Eduard Xatruch.

Apart from Disfrutar, the Catalan capital boasts four other restaurants with two Michelin stars: Cinc Sentits, Angle, Moments and L’Enoteca. Those with a single Michelin star are Atempo, Aürt, Oria, Caelis, Alkimia, Hisop, Dos Palillos, Hofmann, Koy Shunka, Via Veneto , Xerta and Lluerna. We can add five other establishments that were all awarded their first Michelin star in a ceremony held in November in Toledo. These are Aleia, which is the restaurant of the Casa Fuster hotel, Enigma on Carrer Sepúlveda, Mont Bar on Carrer Diputació, Come on Avinguda Mistral, and Slow & Low on Carrer Borrell.

These haute cuisine restaurants are one of Barcelona’s great attractions as the city steadily positions itself as one of the foremost places in the world to come and eat.

There are also other quality restaurants in the city that despite not having a star are run by top chefs, such as Compartir on Carrer València, which is run by the same chefs as Disfrutar (who also have another Compartir restaurant in Cadaqués on the Costa Brava).

Another star chef, Romain Fornell, a Frenchman who has lived in Barcelona for over 25 years, is due to open a new top-end restaurant this spring: Azul Rooftop Barceloneta, an establishment of 1,200 square metres with spectacular views of the port that will replace the Blue Spot on the top floor of the Ocean building, on Passeig Joan de Borbó. This new project is another in Barcelona under the French chef’s Goût Rouge brand, along with Caelis – his one Michelin star restaurant on Via Laietana – Casa Tejada, Tejada Mar, Rooftop Hola Barcelona, Cafè Turó, La Plassohla and Le Grand Café Rouge. Fornell also manages the well-known Hostal de la Gavina and Taverna del Mar in S’Agaró on the Costa Brava.

Affordable Michelins

Yet the Michelin Guide not only awards stars signifying high quality, excellence, innovation and exceptional customer service to restaurants that are considered among the best restaurants in the world. Since 1955, the guide has also included restaurants that offer quality food at prices that can be as low as 35 euros for a meal.

There are eight of these in the Catalan capital: Nairod on Carrer Aribau, which specialises in game meat, Berbena on Carrer Minerva, which serves Mediterranean cuisine, Cruix on Carrer Entença, which is hailed for its rice dishes, Avenir on Carrer Avenir, Baló on Carrer Déu i Mata, La Mundana on Carrer Vallespir, Saó on Carrer Cesare Cantú, and Vivanda on Carrer Major de Sarrià.

Attracting tourists

The Barcelona Tourism consortium, which last year launched an international campaign to attract tourists based on the excellence of the city’s cuisine, announced at the Fitur tourism fair held in Madrid in January that the campaign would be expanded under the slogan, ’The gastronomic revolution lives on in Barcelona’. The consortium has plans to launch campaigns around the world that focus on the city’s best food and chefs. Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca and chef Carlota Claver of La Gormanda are sponsoring the initiative and they highlight the role of gastronomy as the ultimate expression of a destination’s tradition and identity. The two chefs spoke in the fair in Madrid of the excellence that Catalan and Barcelona cuisine offers today and they praised the “resurgence of traditional cuisine through a new generation of chefs, which reinforces the values surrounding our identity”.

Barcelona is among the best cities in the world in part thanks to its cuisine. This was confirmed in this year’s the World’s Best Cities ranking, by the Resonance consultancy, which ranked Barcelona sixth place on its top ten, while the UK’s Telegraph newspaper ranked Barcelona number one.

Feature Food

Michelin gala back in Barcelona

In March it was announced that Barcelona has been chosen to host this year’s edition of the Michelin Guide award ceremony and the presentation of the 2024 guide of restaurants recognised in Spain. The event, which will be held on November 28 in front of 700 guests at Barcelona’s Fòrum venue, will highlight the high level of gastronomy in the Catalan capital, which is the city in Spain with the most Michelin starred restaurants. That no doubt played a major role in the decision to host the event in Barcelona, which currently has 24 restaurants with a Michelin star, six of which were added at last year’s gala event held in Toledo.

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