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With verdant countryside, a breathtaking coastline and historic towns and castilles, Catalonia has a wealth of landscapes for cyclists to explore. Best of all, this rugged region produces some of the most delicious food in all of Spain. Here are our favourite restaurants for travellers on two wheels to stop at and dine after a day on the trails.
Entre Dos Mons, Palamós
Perched in Costa Brava’s most painstakingly preserved fishing village, Entre Dos Mons is one of the region’s most up-and-coming eateries. Featured in the Michelin Guide 2018, this unassuming little restaurant certainly lives up to its reputation. The cuisine is a fusion of Catalan and the chef’s native Peruvian influences, with ingredients that don’t travel far to end up on the plate.
Exposed stone walls and shelves laden with wine bottles make up the rustic interior. It’s a carnivore’s paradise, with a menu that features plenty of meat and fish in unusual combinations. Meaty dishes might be Ibérico pork with parsnip, salsify and Terrós del Mas Alba cheese or monkfish with glazed endives. The house set menu features lamb chops with apple and black pudding, alongside salted foie gras and a warm Asian oyster. It’s a steal at €60 for ten exquisite courses and perfect way to round off a day on the bike.
A champion of Empordanese cuisine, the aptly named Emporium in Salvador Dali’s home town of Figueres is awash with accolades. It holds a Michelin star, as well as awards from La Real Academia de Gastronomía and the Castelló d'Empúries city council. The dining room is intimate, seating only 18, in simple but chic surroundings.
It’s the food, which changes with the seasons, that shines here. Starters might be mackerel with pomegranate and aubergine, or veal tartare spiced with wholegrain mustard. Look to the mains for spectacular seafood, such as squid, turbot and cod. Dessert isn’t an afterthought here either, with inventive dishes like sheep’s curd with plum, ginger, citrus and walnuts, or the ‘musician’s dessert’ – a magical mix of nuts, orange and figs. A local board of artisanal cheese rounds off an unforgettable meal.
Botafumeiro is an iconic dining destination in Catalonia’s gem of a capital city. On the scene since 1975, it’s renowned for its fine seafood and buzzing ambience. The dining room is all warm wood and white tablecloths, with comfortable booths and a welcoming bar.
From the chefs in traditional white hats comes a menu that shows off the very best from Spain’s seas. There’s nothing too fancy here – the focus is on fresh ingredients cooked to perfection. Seafood paella makes an honorary appearance, alongside calamari, lobster and the fresh catch of the day grilled over an oak charcoal flame. If you can’t decide, opt for the generous seafood platter and the famous squid ink rice. Dedicated to the craft and passionate about the produce, this is Catalonian dining at its finest.
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