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. Hostal Restaurant Sa Rascassa

    $$$

    Dine on fresh seafood, grilled meats, and pasta on the tranquil, tree-shaded patio or inside the rustic-chic dining room. From here, it’s a short stroll...Read More

  • 2. La Seu

    $$$

    Under co-owners Fede and Diana Cervera and chef Xicu Ramón, this distinguished restaurant in the center of town continues to reinvent and deconstruct traditional Valencian...Read More

  • 3. 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

  • 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. Hotel Restaurant Sant Pol

    $$$

    This casual restaurant with a beachfront terrace serves fresh seafood and rice dishes, plus an affordable three-course lunch menu (€16.50)....Read More

  • 6. La Pepica

    $$$

    Locals regard this bustling, informal restaurant, on the promenade at El Cabanyal beach, as the best in town for seafood paella. Founded in 1898, the...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 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. El Torreón de Paula

    $$$ | Casco Antiguo

    This pleasant little restaurant specializes in the cuisine of Castile–Léon, especially lamb and suckling pig roasted on a spit in the asador (wood-fired oven), and...Read More

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