Whether you’re well versed in the world of petit fours and pea foam reductions, or just enjoy a deliciously decadent meal every now and then, Barcelona’s Michelin star restaurants will not disappoint. From three star wizardry, to no less deserving of your Euros, one star wonders, the city isn’t short on gourmet dining options. And there in lies the tastiest of problems. Where to lay your napkin? In Barcelona, you’ll be short on one of two things. Time. Or, not to be too indelicate, money. Happily, we’ve set out solutions for both below. With options ranging from one to three stars – plus a cheeky little extra morsel for anyone wanting to stray from star territory. Everywhere on our list treats their ingredients like royalty. With only the finest ingredients gracing the plates of our round up of Michelin star restaurants, your Barcelona foodie trip is going to be 90% decision making and 10% eating.
Restaurante Lasarte ***
Precision, presentation and a coral emulsion. These are the stand-out moments at Lasarte. Set in the opulent Monument Hotel, Restaurante Lasarte is the pick of Michelin star restaurants in Barcelona. Cocktails are shaken at your table, dishes and drinks are presented in suitably flamboyant ways and service is exemplary. But what about the food? Chef Martín Berasategui certainly didn’t get those three stars by serving up some lukewarm tapas. When people say he’s a man with a gastronomic vision, they really mean it. Your setting? Well, dare we say it? It’s a little … predictable for this level of restaurant. But the pristine and crisp white tablecloths and minimal – but upscale, decor keeps your eyes firmly on your expertly presented plates. Navigating the a la carte menu might be daunting – for fear of food envy. No matter. The tasting menu takes you on a gourmet adventure you’ll not forget in a hurry.
Angle Barcelona **
We’re going to be a smidge controversial. Angle is the sister restaurant to the three star Abac, who you’ll notice isn’t on our list. Far be it from us to question the Michelin judges, but Angle’s the better dining experience in our opinion. Everything from the lighting – which gives an intimate feeling to your table, to the service, dishes and drinks sets Angle apart. Chef Jordi Cruz offers two tasting menus – and at just another €25, it’s worth forking out for the €135 Gran Angle Menu. This definitely isn’t a fast food joint. Linger is the word du jour, and linger you will over dishes such as skewered sardine with aioli sauce, black garlic charcoal bread and grilled eggplant or the heavenly raspberry meringues with beetroot, yogurt with lime kaffir ice cream.
Vegans in Barcelona may want to give Angle a miss. But then, you’ll see veal and foie gras on almost all the Michelin star restaurants in Barcelona. Ethical qualms aside for a second, it would be refreshing to see some clever, visionary, plant-based gastro-dishes gracing the menus.
If you’ve ever felt a little… intimidated, by the highbrow stylings of some Michelin-starred Barcelona restaurants, book a table at Enoteca. Bright, airy and modern (without quite tipping into stark territory). You’ll even espy Nutella nestled in the dessert section. Of course, the gourmands at Enoteca won’t present you with a jar full and a cheery bon appetite. No, here the spread forms part of their pear with hazelnut, carrot cake and Nutella course. Still, it’s nice to see a familiar face. Even if it is on a €190 tasting menu. And steep as that may sound, your money is buying you a thoughtfully composed journey through a medley of Mediterranean flavours. If a lengthy, but elegant and seasonal farm-to-table romp isn’t tempting you, we can highly recommend the ‘seabass between the sea and the forest’. Down to earth Nutella lovers they may be, but Enoteca can’t resist a little menu word play. And we love them all the more for it.
Hoja Santa *
When someone labels their restaurant portfolio as a gastronomic amusement park, it always pays to be wary. Unless it’s chef Albert Adrià. Along with the Iglesias brothers – a name drop if ever there was one, they’ve been taking over a corner of Barcelona. With five restaurants – four of which have 1 Michelin star, you’ll dine well at all venues. But Mexican themed, hacienda-inspired Hoja Santa is our pick. And, this definitely isn’t a few cheeky burritos at Las Iguanas. The definitely chilled decor could fool you into thinking you’d set foot in the most stylish coffee shop in Barcelona – instead you’re about to sample the best Mexican food in the city. Yes, you’ll see tacos and tostadas on the menu – but they’ll be unlike any others you’ve eaten before. To keep the south of the border vibe on track, we’ve not a bad word to say about Hoja Santa’s margaritas.
Let’s surprise precisely no one when we say, Michelin restaurants in Barcelona are expensive. And Caelis is in good company with its €135 tasting menu. BUT – and we’ve used a big one for a reason… Caelis also serve a smashing little lunch menu Wednesday to Saturday. Add in their vegetarian tasting menu – a elusive and rare sight in Barcelona’s Michelin star fleet, and frankly, we’re smitten. French chef Romain Fornell has really put in the effort to make his elegant restaurant accessible to everyone. That said, the macaroni “surf and turf”, with lobster and artichokes from the celebration menu is really something. If your city break budget is feeling the pinch – you’ll not miss out. The lunch menu we mentioned? It changes weekly, so we can’t recommend a specific dish – other than to say, at €42 per person, it’s a steal.
Michelin purists – look away now. We’re about to stray from starred restaurants and recommend something from the Bib Gourmand selection. Which is to say you’re still going to get great, flavoursome food, but the prices are a little less heart-stopping. In Barcelona, our pick is Vivanda. Firstly, your setting is a renovated home in a tucked away residential area and the patrons are almost exclusively local. No doubt enticed in by the traditional Catalan cooking. Nab a seat on the terrace if you can – though the interior is equally charming. The menu does feature a little tapas, because, well – we’re in Spain after all. But this isn’t a spot to grab a quick bite and flee to a bar. You’re here for an hour or two. But Vivanda’s patatas bravas rival any we’ve sampled elsewhere. The only thing stopping us labelling it as a hidden gem is the fact it’s front and centre in the Bib Gourmand recommendations. Shame really – as that makes booking essential.
Michelin eating is at its priciest when you’re going for the full tasting menu experience. Yes. it’s the best way to sample the chef’s stunning creations. But it’s also the fastest way to deplete your travel fund. It’s always worth checking to see if the restaurant offers a fixed price smaller menu – like the one at Caelis. Other Michelin restaurants in Barcelona, such as Xerta Restaurant offer this and it can be a slightly more palatable way to enjoy gourmet dining.
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