While we were chatting with Pepe Raventós of Raventós i Blanc to get his Thoughts on Taste, we took the opportunity to ask for his culinary recommendations in and around Barcelona, in his native Catalonia. Here’s what he told us.
I encourage everybody to come and visit Catalonia. I think Barcelona is a wonderful city, which you already know. But what you may not know is that around Barcelona, between one and three hours’ drive, there are wonderful places to discover.
I think in Barcelona, now, it’s unmissable to go to the Boqueria Market, and have a gastronomic experience at Quimet & Quimet, for example. Go early so it’s not too crazy and too crowded.
I think you have to go to see Salva at La Perla, up on Montjuic mountain. He cooks so traditional, so authentic. If you go a step up, maybe fancy but not too fancy, and still very young and progressive, I think Rafa at Gresca is cooking very, very well.
Just to mention a few more… I really encourage people to travel outside Barcelona. Drive an hour and a half, and there’s paradise. For example, go to a village called Cambrils, where they’re still bringing the best fish out of the water on a daily basis Monday through Saturday, and go to my friend Juan at Can Bosch to eat fish in a traditional way.
Go to Castell de Gimenelles and stay overnight in the most authentic rustic hotel, one hour’s drive away from Barcelona, in the middle of a vineyard, and the food is amazing.
Go to Emporda, a little village Ullastret, there’s this restaurant called Iberic; the family’s been cooking there forever. The grandmother is cooking, and they will give you the more solid countryside experience with great wines and little glasses.
Go to the most undiscovered place called Can Po, in the Pyranees Mountains—most amazing lunch ever for $30 per person with Catalan wines.
Go to Cadaques village and eat at Cap de Creus Lighthouse. There’s a passionate Englishman who fell in love with the place and went to live there, and he cooks local fish with curry. It is amazing. It’s called Far del Cap de Creus. Cap de Creus is the most Eastern point of the Peninsula Iberica.