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These are 2017’s 10 best fine dining restaurants in Spain

Looking for somewhere special to eat in Spain, but can't decide where? That should be easier after review site TripAdvisor published the 2017 Travellers' Choice ranking of Spain's best fine dining restaurants. The ranking is based on reviews by hundreds of diners, so without further ado...

These are 2017's 10 best fine dining restaurants in Spain

10. ReComiendo (Cordoba)

Chef Periko Ortega's restaurant in southern Spain is a break from the traditional food that dominates Cordoba, and it’s surprisingly affordable too. Tasting menus range from 15 euros a head to 60. The a la carte is also reasonable.

 

Saliendo

A post shared by Periko Ortega (@recomiendopower) on Oct 14, 2017 at 1:26pm PDT

9. DiverXO (Madrid)

Three Michelin Star chef Dabiz Muñoz knows how to put on a show, and it comes at a cost (between 195 and 250 euros), as well as a wait. Tables at his DiverXO – one of the most popular restaurants in the Spanish capital – are booked up until May, so if you want to go next year it's a good idea to reserve now.

8. DSTAGE (Madrid)

Also in high demand is Diego Guerrero’s Dstage, where the first available table for two as of October 2017 is for January 2018. Tasting menus start at 90 euros.

 

#Dstage Hay gente que cocina bien, y luego está @diegoguerrero

A post shared by @chemart on Oct 18, 2017 at 3:32pm PDT

7. Uma (Barcelona)

Every meal is unique at Barcelona's UMA, just off Passeig de Gràcia, where there's no fixed menu and the food changes according to the fresh ingredients available that day. There are only five tables, and demand is high. 

 

Antes y después…

A post shared by UMA, espacio gastronómico (@espaciouma) on Apr 23, 2017 at 1:19am PDT

6. La Vieja Bodega (Casalarreina)

The small town of Casalarreina in La Rioja has a culinary jewel in the form of La Vieja Bodega, which focuses on traditional fare. They're big on wine, too, which is unsurprising considering the location.

 

Bombón de foie. Pequeños bocados, grandes placeres. #foie #aperitivos #tapas #lunch #smallbites #catering #celebraciones

A post shared by Restaurante La Vieja Bodega (@la_vieja_bodega) on Jun 20, 2017 at 8:43am PDT

5. Disfrutar (Barcelona)

There's no shortage of fancy restaurants in Barcelona's dense l’Eixample, but according to Tripadvisor users, Disfrutar is one of the best of the bunch. Three of the people behind the eatery worked at Ferran Adrià’s legendary El Bulli, considered the best restaurant in the world before it closed in 2011.

 

Cabeza de salmón con acedera #disfrutarbarcelona #restaurant #food #salmon

A post shared by Disfrutar (@disfrutarbcn) on Sep 29, 2017 at 11:38am PDT

4. Es Caló Restaurant (Formentera)

Based on the stunning Formentera scenery alone, Es Caló Restaurant is already a winner, and access to top class seafood helps its cause. Considering this place is judged to be the fourth best fine dining restaurant in Spain, an average of 60 euros a head is a steal.

 

Langosta frita para ocho #escalo #restaurante #Formentera #langosta #lobsters #marisco #langostafrita #caldereta

A post shared by ES CALÓ RESTAURANT (@restaurant_escalo) on Jun 24, 2016 at 6:31am PDT

3. Azurmendi (Larrabetzu)

Tucked up in the Basque country near Bilbao is ultra-stylish Azurmendi, and if the food tastes as good as it looks, it should be something special.

2. El Celler de Can Roca (Girona)

It's no surprise that Girona’s by now well-known El Celler de Can Roca makes the list, with the Roca brothers’ eatery ranked the best restaurant in the world on several occasions. Top tip: if you can stand the 11 month wait, ask about their special vegetarian menu.

1. Restaurante Martin Berasategui (Lasarte)

Top spot goes to Restaurante Martin Berasategui in Lasarte-Oria in the Basque Country. If you can afford to part with between 145 and 245 euros, you can enjoy the talents of a chef who has the rare honour of simultaneously being behind two different three Michelin Star restaurants. The second is Restaurante Lasarte in Barcelona. Impressively, the chef is also behind the M.B. restaurant on Tenerife, which has two Michelin Stars. 

Desayunar con “garrote” es importantísimo para afrontar la jornada del día. #AlimentaLaEducacion @zercaylejos

A post shared by Martin Berasategui (@martinberasategui) on Aug 30, 2017 at 5:07am PDT

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FOOD & DRINK

The best vegan and vegetarian Spanish dishes

These are two words that don’t often go together – vegetarian and Spanish, as most vegetarians and vegans will only know too well, however, it may come as a surprise to discover that there are a few Spanish dishes that naturally do not contain any meat or fish.

The best vegan and vegetarian Spanish dishes

Whether you live in Spain or you frequently travel here, if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan you’ll know that finding traditional Spanish dishes can be tricky. But if you don’t want to have to eat international food all the time, you will discover that there are several meat and fish-free dishes that are Spanish classics. 

Espinacas con garbanzos

A dish traditionally found in southern Spain in Andalusia, this is essentially exactly how it’s translated – spinach with chickpeas. The dish has a long history dating all the way back to the Moors, who ruled southern Spain for almost 800 years. Completely vegan, the spinach and chickpeas are made into a type of stew with herbs and spices like paprika and cumin. Often pine nuts and raisins are added to the mix too.

READ ALSO: What did the Moors ever do for us?’ How Spain was shaped by Muslim rule

Spinach and chickpeas is a classic Andalusian dish. Photo: Xemenendura / Wikimedia Commons
 

Escalivada

A classic vegan dish from Catalonia, escalivada is a mix of slow-roasted vegetables, usually onions, peppers and aubergines. It can be eaten as a type of topping for large toasts called torradas and can sometimes have goat’s cheese melted on the top.

Calçots with romesco sauce

Another much-loved Catalan vegetarian dish is calçots with romesco sauce. Calçots are like a cross between a spring onion and a leek and are only available in the winter or early spring seasons. They’re typically grilled over an open fire until blackened. You must then remove the burnt exterior with a pair of gloves before dipping them in the romesco sauce. The sauce is a concoction made from toasted almonds and hazelnuts, tomatoes, garlic, toasted bread, olive oil, vinegar and dried ñora peppers. They can be a bit messy to eat, so restaurants will often give you a bib to wear too. 

READ ALSO – Recipe: How to make, eat and enjoy calçots

Try some calçots at a traditional calçotada. Photo: Esme Fox
 

Gazpacho

A dish that many are familiar with, this cold soup is traditionally from Andalusia, although it’s likely you’ll find it all over Spain in the summertime. It’s made from blended tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, bread, olive oil and garlic. 

Gazpacho is a cold tomato soup. Photo: Ирина Кудрявцева / Pixabay

Paella de verduras

Ordering paella in Spain can be tricky for vegans and vegetarians because the most traditional either contain seafood or rabbit, chicken snails and butter beans, like the ones from Valencia. Many places, however, now offer a paella de verduras, featuring only vegetables. Restaurants will use whatever is in season, whether that’s artichokes, green beans, peppers, asparagus, mushrooms or courgettes. The only difficult part is that many places will only do paellas for two or more people, so you have to hope your companions are willing to eat the vegan version too. 

A vegetable paella is completely vegan. Photo: Corophoto / Pixabay
 

Berenjenas con miel

This simple tapas dish translates as aubergines with honey and is essentially deep-fried aubergines usually dipped in bread crumbs or battered and then drizzled with molasses or treacle which is actually miel de caña, not the type of honey from bees. Although you can find it in many places in Spain, it’s typically from Andalusia and is very popular in Granada and surrounding areas.

A plate of berenjenas con miel is always a veggie favourite. Photo: Esme Fox
 

Patatas a lo pobre

Poor man’s potatoes might not sound very appetising, but this dish of fried sliced potatoes with onions, peppers and garlic is actually delicious. Again you’ll find it mostly in Andalusia, particularly in the Alpujarras mountains, just south of Granada.

Try some patatas a lo pobre in the Alpujarras. Photo: pxhere

Pisto

Similar to the French ratatouille, pisto is a stew made from cubes of aubergines, onions, peppers, courgettes and tomatoes. It comes from the region of Castilla-La Mancha and is often served with a fried egg on top. To make it vegan, simply ask for it without the egg.

Pisto is similar to the French ratatouille but is often served with an egg. Photo: Arnaud 25 / WikiCommons
 

Ajo blanco

This white garlic soup is a tasty combination of almonds, garlic, olive oil, bread and white wine or sherry vinegar. It comes from the areas around Málaga and Cádiz and like gazpacho is served cold. It’s sometimes served topped with grapes too. 

Ajo blanco is often served with grapes. Photo: cyclonebill / WikiCommons

Croquetas de boletus, ceps or espinacas

Croquetas are a favourite tapas dish throughout the country, and while many of them are filled with jamón (ham) or even squid ink, there are several vegetarian varieties too. Unfortunately, they are not vegan because they’re made with bechamel sauce, which contains dairy. The bechamel is mixed with various flavours and then covered in breadcrumbs before being deep-fried. Vegetarian varieties come in varieties such as boletus or ceps (types of mushrooms), espinacas (spinach) or cabrales cheese – a blue cheese from Asturias. 

READ ALSO – MAP: How well do you know your Spanish cheeses?

Try croquetas filled with spinach, mushrooms or cheese. Photo: Ralf Gervink / Pixabay

Salmorejo

Salmorejo is a cold soup similar to gazpacho, but it’s much thicker and creamier. It’s typically made from just four main ingredients – tomatoes, bread, olive oil and garlic. You can find it all over Andalusia, but it’s actually from Córdoba. Often it’s topped with ham and boiled egg, so simply ask for it sin jamón y huevo for it to be vegan. 

Ask for your salmorejo sin jamón for it to be vegetarian. Photo:Javier Lastras / Wikimedia Commons

Tortilla de patatas

One of the two only non-vegan dishes on our list is the classic tortilla de patatas, which you can find all over Spain and is definitely a meal you can rely on if all else fails. It is of course made from eggs and potatoes, but Spain is very divided on whether you should add onions or not. The Local is firmly on the onion side! 

Do you like your tortilla with or without onion? Photo: Luis MGB / Pixabay
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