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Next time you are in Barcelona, remember about the impressive amount of inspiring restaurants here! The competition among the chefs, designers and architects in this city presents us with amazing restaurant design projects to enjoy.
Passeig de Gràcia, 24 Bis, 08007 Barcelona
Lazaró Rosa Violán has designed numerous Barcelona restaurants and hotels, but his signature, more-is-more style, reaches its zenith in El Nacional. He converted an old Art Deco garage tucked away down a laneway off Passeig de Gràcia into a spectacular dining destination with five distinct restaurants and four bars, covering tapas, fresh seafood, pasta and cocktails.
Carrer de Villarroel, 163, 08036 Barcelona
El Equipo Creativo is a local design studio known to install imaginative references to location and cuisine in all their restaurant projects. Disfrutar (which means ‘Enjoy’) is headed by three young, award-winning chefs, who create surprising, artfully presented Modern Mediterranean dishes. The boldly colored tiles of the casual front area pay homage to local Spanish bars and the traditional Mercat del Niñot (situated directly opposite Disfrutar), while the main dining room recalls a Balearic terrace with white ‘garden’ furniture and textured ceramic walls – relaxing contemporary interior design.
Avinguda Diagonal, 537, 08029 Barcelona, Spain
One of the most detailed and decorative bars in Barcelona, Kahala oozes tropical flavor and immediately heightens your Hawaiian hunger. Cocktails are fruity or fiery and often come in smoking volcanoes for sharing or in colorful glasses flaunting star fruits. Waiters are dressed in floral shirts, and tribal masks cover the walls to really make you feel like you’re in paradise. Here, the coconuts are calling you, so lose yourself in the Hawaiian tropics of Kahala Tiki bar.
Carrer d’Enric Granados, 86, 08008 Barcelona
Also by El Equipo Creativo, Bellavista del Jardin del Norte is a tapas restaurant that aims to recreate the atmosphere of a Spanish village during a local fiesta. Bursts of hanging flowers at the front entrance set the scene for an imaginative journey that takes patrons through charming, child-like spaces inspired by a bakery, newspaper stand, local bar and main square, complete with a church bell.
Passatge de la Concepció, 5, 08008 Barcelona
With several impressive restaurants in the city, the Tragaluz Group is synonymous with fine dining in Barcelona in sophisticated spaces. Their eponymous, flagship, split-level restaurant has lost none of its appeal since opening in in 1991, and is still considered one of the best for updated ‘market cuisine’ (local dishes using seasonal produce). Most of the artwork inside is by Mariscal, one of the city’s famous creative talents.
Carrer de Tuset, 19, 08006 Barcelona, Spain
Step back in time and marvel at one of the most exciting and revolutionary decades in history with this 1920s-inspired bar. Think glitter, jazz, burlesque, cocktails and all things Fitzgerald, and you have Gatsby Barcelona, a restaurant-bar-club inspired by one of the most alluring fictional characters. The venue mimics the bedazzling and phenomenal parties thrown by the Great Gatsby where glamour is in the architecture, décor, food and, of course, people. Gatsby Barcelona is the new place to be seen, so be sure to bring your best dress and dancing shoes!
Carrer de Mallorca, 275, 08008 Barcelona
The latest project from the young gastro entrepreneurs behind Bar Muy Buenas, Rilke has revived an off-the-radar Basque restaurant in the posh Eixample district. The Barcelona restaurant is sited inside a romantic first-floor apartment, where diners can experience the haute cuisine of famed chef Rafa Peña, before retiring to the rear terrace-garden for coffee amid potted palms and early 19th-century statuary.
Ronda de Sant Antoni, 41, 08011 Barcelona
Chef Jordi Vila is considered one of the leading lights of ‘New Catalan Cuisine’ and Alkimia reflects his unorthodox, handcrafted approach with a menu that is largely fish-based. The design practice External Reference and Alkimia’s creative director Chu Ur restored many of the original details of this apartment dating from 1864 (such as the mosaic flooring and decorative ceiling) and created an aquatic scene with art installations, bespoke furniture and surfaces inspired by the textures of sea creatures – a modern interior design example.
Carrer de Joaquín Costa, 56, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Named after the Californian rehab and detox center, Betty Ford’s bar is one of Barcelona’s most talked-about bars. The cool brick interior and mid-century vibe elude sophistication and class, attracting an array of people regularly. While known for a wide collection of original cocktails, Betty Ford’s frequently tops burger joint lists in Barcelona and provides vegetarian options in its range. The bar does not pay homage to the USA’s First Lady in detail, yet the atmosphere oozes cosmopolitan class to set the American theme.
Avinguda Diagonal, 423, 08008 Barcelona
Visiting La Dama is like being a member of a very posh private club, or dropping by the home of a rich aunt, who happens to be an excellent cook. An ornate, hand-carved staircase leads to an elegant early 19th-century apartment filled with bentwood chairs, plush sofas and a decadent cocktail bar.
Carrer de la Granada del Penedès, 25, 08006 Barcelona
So faultless is the vintage décor inside this omelette and hamburger diner that most people think it’s a reproduction. It’s not, but rather a genuine period icon. The model for Twiggy-style murals on the walls was the wife of Leopoldo Pomés, a renowned photographer who created Flash Flash (along with architect Alfonso Milá) in order to bring some ‘international’ sophistication and late-night eats to mid-century restaurants in Barcelona.
Av. del Paraŀlel, 164, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
Home to one of the most celebrated chefs in the world, Ferran Adria, Tickets is an innovative modern restaurant that offers the most original and creative culinary skills in its spectacular tapas range, with exclusive dishes such as avocado and crab cannelloni and manchego air puffs. The running theme of entertainment transcends from its fantastic gastronomy to its décor, with a circus and theatre-inspired appearance. A ticket booth, red velvet rope, and a large circus tent set the lively atmosphere to make the experience entertaining and unique. Be sure to book a table far in advance (a few months), as this is a really popular place!
Carrer de Pau Claris, 167, 08037 Barcelona
Interior designer Jaime Beriestain has signed off several hotels in Barcelona. But to see his eclectic style, you only need to visit this chic café. Vintage armchairs rendered in jewel-coloured velvet, contemporary artwork, and lots of fresh flowers (there is a divine glass-enclosed floral display at the rear of the dining room) are the designer’s trademarks. After eating, you can shop for these and other lifestyle goodies at Beriestain Concept Store, which is adjacent to the café.
Carrer de Balmes, 24, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Leveraging competition for the best burger bar in Barcelona, Peggy Sue’s offers a different experience by providing a charismatic mid-century restaurant themed venue with high-quality food. The pink walls, neon lights, salon-style chairs and range of milkshakes encapsulates the vibe of the hit musical Grease. Sitting in the diner allows you to dream of the Pink Ladies hanging out by the bar or Danny and Sandy busting a move to ‘Summer Lovin’. Revel in American high school innocence whilst wolfing down delicious grub in this 50s and 60s-themed diner!
Carrer de Sepúlveda, 38-40, 08015 Barcelona
Superstar chef Albert Adrià’s futuristic restaurant is from RCR, the Pritzker-prize winning Catalan architecture studio known for avant-garde works that fuse with nature. In this case, they have transformed a ground floor of a formulaic apartment block into a high tech underwater cave, with rippling Perspex surfaces, puffs of pliable mesh, transparent furniture that resembles cut blocks of ice and surreal lighting effects.
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