If there was ever any doubt about the Costa Brava as a top foodie destination that all changed when Ferran Adria’s El Bullí was repeatedly voted the ‘Best Restaurant in the World’.
This wasn’t just a one-off blip. The Costa Brava and Barcelona now have one of the highest concentrations of Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain. But that’s not to say that the only great restaurants round here are of the fine dining variety. There’s no shortage of other top class eateries which are often just as good, even without the tyre firm’s rosette. I personally love traditional Catalan food with its hearty, rustic dishes like butifarra and white beans and roast chicken and chips with aioli.
One of the things that’s different about eating in the Costa Brava compared to bigger Spanish cities is that you won’t necessarily find a huge choice of different international styles round here. Having said that, many menus will feature international dishes like steaks and freshly cooked fish and if you (or your children) are desperate for some pasta, a lot of menus will often feature canellonis or spaghetti.
The exception to that rule is that you will find pizzerias in most of the more popular towns. There are also individual exceptions like Restaurant Xado in Palafrugell which specialises in Moroccan tagines and couscous as well as Catalan staples.
The other thing worth mentioning is that unlike many other parts of Spain, restaurants do tend to close earlier here in the evenings. You still won’t find many places opening before 8pm but they do tend to close around 10.30pm. Whereas in Barcelona, Madrid or Seville you could happily roll up for dinner at 10pm and find yourself queuing for a seat, here you’ll find the kitchens about to close, so the best time to arrive is usually between 8-8.30 and 9pm.