5 modernist restaurants you need to check out (including some by Gaudi)
Did you know there is a Gaudi restaurant in Barcelona? (actually two)
Barcelona keeps a few modernist restaurants from the early 1900’s. The city was experiencing a golden period in those times, and the Art Nouveau architecture, locally called “Modernisme”, flourished. During daytime, you are likely to explore the Gaudi sites and other modernist buildings in the Eixample district. Actually our Eixample Tour includes some of this modernist restaurants and cafés!
So in the evenings, why not continuing to enjoy that old-fashioned and decadent atmosphere of by dinning in one of our marvelous art nouveau venues? The Brooks were total Modernism fans, and they asked me for some recommendations. Do you want to know where I sent them? Today, I’ll share with you my favorite ones.
Here our favorite modernist restaurants for an unforgettable dinner in Barcelona:
Casa Calvet. Gaudi was the rock-star architect of the last century. In 1899 he was still young when the Calvet family asked him to build an apartment building. The family would be living in the second floor (main floor in those times), and the street level will be reserved for the offices of the family business. Nowadays the building is privately own and not open to the public. However, the street level has become a wonderful fine restaurant where you can enjoy beautiful Catalan cuisine surrounded by the furniture Gaudi designed – The restaurant Casa Calvet is the “Gaudi restaurant” no Gaudi fan should miss!
Els Quatre Gats. The famous Chat Noir café in Paris inspired a Barcelona bohemian guy to open a venue in town where the local artists could gather up. It was too bohemian for Gaudi’s taste, but it was frequented by other personalities of the time, including a very young Picasso, who used to hang up there, exhibited some of his drawings (you can see copies hanging in the walls), and even designed the cover of the restaurant menu. Despite being closed for over 70 years, it reopened a few decades ago preserving the old original decoration. The food is just correct, but you go there for the ambiance! And at night they have live piano music.
Hotel España. Our next choice is around the corner of la Rambla, in this gorgeous modernist building that has been recently restored to become a modern hotel. It was built in 1903 by Domènech i Muntaner (who had been a teacher of Gaudi in college, later on they became competitors). In their dinning room, mosaic mermaids and fish look at you from the walls. Deliciously beautiful! This modernist restaurant is now run by Martin Berasategui, one of the top Spanish chefs and personal friend of the owners of the hotel.
La Dama. If you are planning a romantic evening to charm your sweet heart (and you don’t mind spending some good money to do that…), this restaurant is what you are looking for! The entrance hall of the building could perfectly rival with the wildest Gaudi, but with a magical touch of elegance. SORRY THIS RESTAURANT HAS CLOSED.
Casa Alfonso. If you are looking instead for an informal tapas night, then you better head to this bar not far from Plaça Catalunya, famous for their beautiful ham and cold cuts, and the great bread of their sandwiches. It’s currently run by the Alfonso García, 3rd generation of “Alfonso” in the family (Alfonso Jr Jr?).
But wait! What about the second Gaudi restaurant? Share this post to discover where is it!
El Cafè de la Pedrera. The mezzanine of Casa Mila (also called La Pedrera) has been transformed into a bistrot offering elaborated Catalan cuisine – the second Gaudi restaurant in town! The food choices are limited, but the quality is nice, plus you get the unique opportunity to dine under the twisted ceilings designed by Gaudi and his assistant Jujol. Make sure to check out if there is any event going on or a package available: you might get to visit La Pedrera by Night before dinner, or dine enjoying some live music, depending on the day.
Have you ever been in one of these venues? Go to the comments below and tell us: which of this modernist restaurants sounds like the dream evening plan for you?