Our favorite Montserrat restaurants for you
The monastery of Montserrat is the most visited destination outside of Barcelona for a day trip. It has all the advantages: it’s less than 1 hour ride (by car, by train it’s longer), it offers great scenery and nature, it’s got an interesting history and the boys choir adds a musical touch to the excursions.
The problem comes when it’s time to eat. Montserrat in the morning is crowded with visitors and pilgrims. Staying for lunch offers the opportunity to enjoy it when it’s less busy. And if you are staying overnight, you’ll need dinner options as well. So let me share with you the best places to eat.
Here is where to eat in Montserrat
Self-services in the Monastery area
There are three food courts in the Monastery area. The most popular is the canteen in front of the cremallera rack train station. It’s a huge space divided in three sections: a bakery / food store, a gift shop and the cafeteria. It serves coffee, sandwiches and bakeries all day long, and very simple (not very exciting) reheated dishes for lunch. Vegetarians won’t find the options very satisfying…
There’s also a café that has been recently remodeled further up, in the small plaza where many hiking paths start. It’s a smaller place, but it’s cozier and my personal choice for a pick-me-up.
Finally, by the bus parking there’s a building overlooking the valley. In its street level there’s a café and a gift shop. And in its lower levels there’s a self-service with more elaborated options than in the canteen I discussed before, and an à la carte restaurant often used by large groups. Being sort of hidden, they are only open when the main cafeteria needs reinforcement. They’ve been closed during the covid pandemic.
The Abad Cisneros Hotel
There’s a 3-star hotel by the monastery, often used by wedding guests and people on retreats. Tour guides know that its cafeteria is the quietest place for a coffee break once they’ve given free time to their large groups.
But the hotel also features a restaurant serving food to its guests and visitors having booked the table in advance.
Monistrol de Montserrat restaurants
If you came by train, another option can be taking the rack train all the way down to the Monistrol station. Very close to it there’s Can Ibars, serving decent traditional Catalan food. Bonus if you can book in advance and ask for a table in the balcony overlooking the mountain!
Or you might want to cross the bridge to reach the main village area. In the narrow Bo-Bo arched plaza there’s Braseria El Racó, serving more elaborated Catalan food. La Rectoria in St. Pere street is also a lovely option. But our favorite is BO2, serving Catalan and international food with a creative touch. They also have paella and fideua. All these restaurants are a mere 10 minutes walk from the station.
If you came by car, Cal Jepet is a wonderful option for Catalan food in a very authentic setting. It’s a small cozy masia farmhouse restaurant 20-25 minutes drive from the Monastery, run by a local lady. The food is fantastic. Just be warned that they are slow and the meal can easily take a couple of hours. Just relax and enjoy the food and the conversation.
Warning: Googlemaps suggests the Camí de la Calsina to get there. Sure it’s 3 minutes faster, but the road is one narrow lane and pavement isn’t very smooth. Take the BP-1103 road for a less adventurous ride.
La Vinya Nova
This other option is 30 minutes drive from the Monastery, and located in the other side of the Mountain. So you’ll get to see a different view of the rocky cliffs. The ride is easy, but the last 5 minutes are on an uneven dusty path across the woods and the olive tree fields. You’ll soon see a large masia farmhouse in the distance: that’s la Vinya Nova.
This restaurant is a must during calçots season. It’s huge, with lots of dinning rooms spread around the different areas of the farm ensemble. Many of them, with their own fireplace lit up during the winter. You’ll find here good countryside Catalan food. It’s also a very authentic experience! Kids will be delighted to discover the ponies, the henhouses and the small playground to the left of the farmhouse.
AND BONUS! What about a lovely picnic?
Organizing a picnic in Montserrat
There are picnic tables in the rooftop of the building by the bus parking, as well as by the Sant Joan Funicular station. Or you might just want to stop for a picnic half way of a hike. Make sure to bring from home a knife that cuts and a spread knife. Plus your picnic basics: mantelpiece, napkins, dishes and glasses.
At the bakery in front of the rack train station you can buy some good countryside bread “pa de pages”, as well as cold cuts: jamón, salsichón, chorizo… For more adventurous choices, look for sobrasada spread or tupí cheese. You can also get here local wines and liquors. And for dessert, a “coca” sweet bread, a box of carquinyolis biscotti and a bar of “a la pedra” chocolate. Hop over the cafeteria for coffee to go.
Next head to the Montserrat farmer’s market to get assorted homemade cheeses, fresh local tomatoes and a few servings of “mel i mató”, the local dessert cottage cheese topped with honey. You have now all the ingredients for a wonderful local picnic in Montserrat!
What are your favorite restaurants in Montserrat?
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