Gastronomy in Catalunya

Many years ago I was invited to an event in Amsterdam, Tastemotion to experience the gastronomy of Costa Brava. It was an amazing event for all senses. From the Vermouth-bonbon being the appetizer to a special version of backed apple from Girona. Fantastic dishes from the region with great wines from the wine region of Costa Brava, Empordà!

In this region you will find numerous Michelin-starred restaurants. Famous are the Roca brothers with their three Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca to the top of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list on no less than two occasions. It is quite hard to book a table but you can also try their icecream at their Rocambolesc ice cream parlour.

But everywhere in Catalunya you can eat very well. Good restaurants in every price range and many offer a daily menu that might amaze you if you look at price and quality of the dishes. 

World's best 50 restaurants

In June  the list of the World's best 50 restaurants was announced during a special ceremony in Valencia. Number one is Central in Lima, Peru but number 2 is Disfrutar in Barcelona!

Chefs Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas launched Disfrutar with a clear identity – to create food that surprises and delights in equal measure, using modern technique and pristine ingredients that challenge traditional preconceptions of fine dining. 

The trio met working at Best of the World restaurant El Bulli between 1996 and 1998 and, after the legendary restaurant closed in 2011, they joined forces to progress their creativity and push boundaries in food.

The jury's verdict was: Far-reaching technique, original thinking and ground-breaking flavours!

Next to Disfrutar also Enigma in Barcelona features the top 100 and  with 3 restaurants in Spain in the top 4 this says a lot about Spanish cuisine!

elBullirestaurante and elBulli1846

The legendary elBulli restaurant was created by Ferran Adrià and Juli Soler in Roses. In 1990 the restaurant received their second Michelin star and in 1995 it was the first restaurant in Spain receiving 19 points by GaultMillau. In 1997 the third Michelin star was obtained. 

El Bulli placed the Costa Brava on the gastronomic map and it became an international gastronomic destination. In 2011 the restaurant was closed but in the historic building where once the restaurant was housed you now can visit the museum that reflects on knowledge, innovation and the history of elBulli: elBulli1846. You can book your ticket online.

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Quality trademarks

In Catalunya you will find many products that are awarded the official European label of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). Both are awarded to typical products that originate from a region which gives them a specific character and an inimitable flavour.

You will find these products in almost every region. Typical Catalan products with the official Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) label are rice from the Ebro delta, different varieties of oil, Reus hazelnuts, Lleida pears, butter and cheese from L'Alt Urgell and La Cerdanya, beans from Ganxet and Santa Pau.

Products with the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) classification include: the Terres de l'Ebre clementines, Prades potatoes, Valls spring onions, Agramunt turrón, veal from the Pyrenees, artisan bread, Vic sausage, Prat chicken and Girona apples.

Try these products while visiting Catalunya. Some are just available in some season and there are also festivals or special routes. Like 'calçots' spring onions during the first months of the year.

Want to discover Catalan gastronomy? Visit our page with our wine & gastronomy packages!