These days Barcelona's dining scene is as diverse as the people that flock here. But if for those looking to really soak up the culture there are a handful of reputable restaurants that maintain the traditions and cusines of old Catalonia.
No visit to Spain is complete without the obligatory Paella night, but at Can Solé you’ll have a night like no other. A little more upmarket than most (there can’t be many places that provide reading glasses with the menus?). The restaurant specialises in two customs: paella – in various forms and what they call ‘grandmother’s spoon food’ – risottos, chickpea hotpots, stews etc. Wonderful comfort food. restaurantcansole.com
Botafumeiro is one of Barcelona’s top seafood restaurants. Each dish served is the result of painstaking work. Every morning Chef and Owner Moncho Neira selects the best catch, creating specialties that combine freshness and tradition of the best of Mediterranean and Cantabrian cuisines. He believes that when the raw material is the best to start with, the only thing a chef needs to do is use the right amount of heat and seasoning to bring out all its flavour and aroma.www.botafumeiro.es
Situated in the Raval district, Ca l'Isidre is a family restaurant founded in 1970. Their cuisine is based on premium products, blending traditional Catalan and Mediterranean recipes. Owners and chefs Nuria and Isidre create a different daily menu with their selection of products from the Boqueria market and the best local producers every morning. The decoration is sober and rustic but rich in pieces by great masters such as Dalí, Tàpies and Chillida that reflect the artistic spirit of the restaurant. www.calisidre.com
Petit Comité sums up the essence of Catalan cuisine with contemporary presentation and the best local, seasonal products, upon which the Michelin-starred Chef Nandu Jubany, the forefather of the slow cooking concept, bases his cuisine. He has brought back traditional Catalan dishes and reinterpreted them with an impeccable approach and lots of talent. The restaurant merges the warm setting of a traditional Catalan building farmhouse with contemporary interior design for a truly unique feel. www.petitcomite.cat
Dating back to 1836, everyone from Lou Reed, Charlton Heston and Woody Allen have graced the tables of Set Portes and their names are inscribed on the backs of the chairs on which they sat. The food is excellent, specialising in old Catalan recipes that have been little-updated in over 100 years. www.7portes.com
The second oldest restaurant in Spain, Can Culleretes has been here since 1786 and is strict about keeping it’s history alive. Made up of three dining rooms, each of them hung with ancient oil paintings, photographs and historic documents of old Barcelona. Serving up simple, traditional dishes at really good prices this is the place to go to experience real Catalan culture. culleretes.com