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. El Cable

    $$

    There’s almost always a line outside this old-school, family-owned tapas bar, a local favorite since its founding in 1940. If you can’t get a table,...Read More

  • 2. Bocam

    $$

    This stylish restaurant, just around the corner from the Dalí Theatre-Museum, focuses on seasonal Empordà ingredients from the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean. Look for classic...Read More

  • 3. Can Segura

    $$

    Half a block in from the beach at Sant Feliu de Guixols, this restaurant serves house-cooked seafood and upland specialties. The pimientos de piquillos rellenos...Read More

  • 4. El Buen Comer

    $$

    On the edge of the old town, this relaxed bi-level restaurant serves enticing dishes in plentiful portions. Downstairs, indulge in tapas and simpler dishes, or...Read More

  • 5. La Riuà

    $$

    A favorite of Valencia's well connected and well-to-do since 1982, this family-run restaurant a few steps from the Plaza de la Reina specializes in seafood...Read More

  • 6. Maribel Arroceria

    $$

    So tasty is the paella here that even Valencianos regularly travel out of the city to Maribel Arroceria, off the main drag in El Palmar....Read More

  • 7. Mimolet

    $$

    Contemporary architecture and cuisine in the old part of Girona make for interesting dining at this sleek, streamlined restaurant. Grilled eel and pepper rice and...Read More

  • 8. Oustau de Altea

    $$ | Casco Antiguo

    In one of the prettiest corners of Altea's old town, this eatery was formerly a cloister and a school. Today the dining room and terrace...Read More

  • 9. Les Voltes

    $$

    Built into the vaults of the Roman Circus, this unique spot serves a hearty cuisine within one of the oldest sites in Europe. You'll find...Read More

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