Catalonia, Valencia, and the Costa Blanca Restaurants

Catalonia's eateries are deservedly famous. Girona’s Celler de Can Roca was voted the best restaurant in the world in 2015 in the annual critics’ poll conducted by British magazine Restaurant, and a host of other first-rate establishments continue to offer inspiring fine dining in Catalonia, which began in the hinterlands at the legendary Hotel Empordà. You needn’t go to an internationally acclaimed restaurant, however, to dine well. Superstar chef Ferran Adrià of the former foodie paradise elBulli dines regularly at dives in Roses, where straight-up fresh fish is the day-in, day-out attraction. Northern Catalonia's Empordà region is known not only for seafood, but also for a rich assortment of inland and upland products. Beef from Girona's verdant pastureland is prized throughout Catalonia, while wild mushrooms from the Pyrenees and game from the Alberes range offer seasonal depth and breadth to menus across the region. From a simple beachside paella or llobarro (sea bass) at a chiringuito (shack) with tables on the sand, to the splendor of a meal at El Celler de Can Roca, playing culinary hopscotch through Catalonia is a good way to organize a tour.

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  • 1. Casa Anita

    $$$$

    Simple, fresh, and generous dishes are the draw at this informal little eatery, an institution in Cadaqués. Tables are shared, and there is no menu;...Read More

  • 2. El Celler de Can Roca

    $$$$

    Holder of three Michelin stars since 2009, El Celler de Can Roca, helmed by the Roca brothers—Joan, Josep, and Jordi—is a life-changing culinary experience. Its...Read More

  • 3. El Motel

    $$$$

    Just 1½ km (1 mile) north of town, this restaurant—housed within a rather nondescript hotel—has been hailed as the birthplace of modern Catalan cuisine and...Read More

  • 4. Restaurant Pont Vell

    $$$$

    Book in advance for a table on the romantic riverfront terrace and you’ll be rewarded with exceptional views of Besalu’s medieval bridge. The prix-fixe menu...Read More

  • 5. Cal Ros

    $$$$

    Tucked under the arcades just behind the north end of Plaça de la Llibertat, this restaurant combines ancient stone arches with crisp, contemporary furnishings and...Read More

  • 6. Compartir

    $$$$

    The word "compartir" means “to share” and this excellent restaurant bases its menu on a small-plate sharing approach that has been taken to another level...Read More

  • 7. La Cuina de Can Simon

    $$$$

    Elegantly rustic, this restaurant beside Tossa de Mar's medieval walls serves classical Catalan cuisine from the sea, including lobster rice, and the mountains, such as...Read More

  • 8. La Sucursal

    $$$$ | El Carmen

    This thoroughly modern but comfortable restaurant in the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern is likely to put a serious dent in your budget, but it's unlikely...Read More

  • 9. Nou Manolín

    $$$$

    An Alicante institution, this inviting exposed-brick and wood-lined restaurant is very popular with locals, who come for the excellent-value tapas, market produce, and freshly caught...Read More

  • 10. Restaurant Can Rafa

    $$$$

    With picture-perfect views of the Cadaqués seafront, this restaurant’s terrace is always packed. Check the chalkboard for the day’s offerings, which overwhelmingly focus on local...Read More

  • 11. Villa Mas

    $$$$

    Set in a Moderniste villa with a lovely turn-of-the-20th-century zinc bar, this restaurant serves typical Catalan and seasonal Mediterranean dishes like arròs a la cassola...Read More

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