While all the food we had in Barcelona was really good, two restaurants stood out to me as places I would definitely return to. Both are located in the Barri Gotic and were within easy walking distance of our hotel (Catalonia Catedral, click here to read my review).
The first, 4 Gats (Els Quatre Gats), is mentioned in guide books as a good place to go, but receives mixed reviews on Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc. When we asked the helpful folks at our hotel’s front desk for recommendations, this was one of the places they said we should try…so we did. I can only base this review off of my personal experience at 4 Gats, and it was a great experience in every way. Open since 1897, the restaurant is in a beautiful building down a quiet little side street.
A lot of the popularity of 4 Gats is due to the fact that, at a young age, Picasso became a regular patron and even held his first exhibition in the main dining room. The cover page of the menu is an illustration made by Picasso himself. Old pictures and newspaper clippings that adorn the walls perpetuate the feeling that history is all around you.
The menu was not extensive, but everything we selected ended up being really good. We started off with a plate of manchego cheese, bread and some healthy green stuff that was taking up valuable space that could have (should have!) been occupied by more manchego cheese.
I adore manchego cheese and you absolutely should have it at least once a day when you are in Spain. Even if you are lactose intolerant, it’s well worth the consequences (note: I am not lactose intolerant, so I really have no idea what those consequences are…I just know I love manchego).
On to the main course, which, for me, was an absolutely delicious monkfish stew with potatoes:
My mom had the cod ratatouille, which she also loved:
And for my aunt, the special of the day, which was some sort of shellfish stew (sorry I don’t have the actual name!):
Service was prompt and friendly. I have read complaints about the staff being rude and uncaring, but that was not what we experienced at all. About halfway through dinner, a pianist came in and entertained us with beautiful music that really added to the overall experience.
If you’ve been reading my previous posts, you know that I consider it a travesty to leave a restaurant that you have enjoyed eating at without having dessert. Therefore, I did the sensible thing ended my meal with an absolutely mouth-watering vanilla mousse with toffee:
My mom and aunt shared (fools!) a delicious chocolate “cake”:
When we were finishing our desserts, the waiter brought us out a complimentary bottle of champagne. Not sure why…but we lingered a bit longer and enjoyed it. There seemed to be a mix of tourists and Spaniards dining when we were here, and prices were a little on the high side.
Again, based on some reviews I read, it seems like dining at 4 Gats was not a great experience for everyone – but it certainly was for us. Have you dined here? What did you think…thumbs up or thumbs down? Let me know in the comments below!
In my next post coming on Wednesday, I’ll tell you about my favorite dining experience in Barcelona at Restaurante Arcano. Be sure to come back to see more pictures that will make you drool!
Carrer de Montsió, 3, Barcelona
+34 933 024 140
Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m