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Sep 27, 2011 05:34 AM

New Years Eve in Barcelona - dining suggestions?

There are some wonderful "eating in Barcelona" threads throughout this board and I've got quite the list going (in my head anyway - will have to translate it to paper!) for my trip there this December.
I'll be there with my husband for 6 nights surrounding NYE (12/28-1/4) which, in my food obsessed brain, translates to 6 dinners/meals/eating experiences, above and beyond the snacks and tapas crawls & etc.

However: I'm having trouble finding a place that fits the bill for NYE: takes reservations, isn't uber expensive (we're not having that kind of trip this go around, although if I can land a Tickets reservation+/- Cinq Sentits, I'm all over them both!!), is lively and - of course - has swoon-worthy food.

I'm considering hisop, although my understanding is that it may be more refined/understated than what we're thinking about for NYE itself. And since Cinq Sentits only accepts res 2 weeks in advance, I'm loathe to wait that long to line something up.

I welcome any & all suggestions - we're staying on Las Ramblas but are happy to travel within the city confines...I'm not sure yet if we'll have a car. Many thanks in advance...we're really looking forward to this trip!

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  1. I have never been to Barcelona during NYEve. From my friends livlng there, it is no difference from most big cities: overly pumped up prices, rushed kitchen and staff. Keep in mind that places such as Cinc Sentits, Hisop and many of the modern Catalan restaurants are very small, seating about 40, and not big on decor, though definitely not slumming it. It is not big on the partying atmosphere. And the patrons are not necessary the big partying type. What my friends do is just go down to their favorite tapas/pintxos bars. Big ones such as Cerverseria Catalana will be packed. So will be those around El Born. They can party with friends without spending a great deal of money. No mess no fuss. Of course there is Tickets, also Comerc24 for El Bulli style tapas, Santa Maria for eclectic fusion tapas. Am sure all three will add a premium to their prices.

    El Bulli
    Spain , ES

    4 Replies
    1. re: PBSF

      Thanks for the response @PBSF - I've read your comments on many other posts/threads and find your opinions and suggestions very helpful!

      I thought Comerc24 looked like fun...we're not in Barcelona FOR new years, per just worked with my husband's and my work schedules to get away that week.

      Local tapas sounds perfect...we were just apprehensive about actually getting to EAT somewhere without making a reservation. But maybe we'll just play it by ear & hit the streets.
      We're also not huge on partying, but its a lively time in most cities (Barcelona being no exception!) and more fun to eat/celebrate somewhere more energetic and festive...

      1. re: nycreba

        If you are not into partying, try contacting places like Hisop and inquire about reservation, price for the prix fixe, etc. Ordinarily, these places only do one seating and if they try to do two, you will be rush for sure. El Born, the Barri Gotic, parts of the Eixample will be mobbed and getting something good to eat might not be easy. Also contact places like Paco Meraglo and see if they would take reservations. An early reservation then a stroll to watch the street scene is what I would do. The food is good and they will pack people in but I don't think they would up their prices. It is in a more quiet area of the Exiample therefore it should NOT be as crazy as places on the lower Pg de Gracia/Rambla de Catalunya. Comerc24 is always fun and the food is very good. Another option is get something to eat late afternoon as many tapas/pintoxs places open all day, then head down to the El Born, Barri Gotic or St. Gervais and watch the street action. Be careful as Barcelona is not crime free; I've seen too many grab and run during my stays, including a good friend of mine and his wife. Keep belongings to a minimum.

        1. re: nycreba


          I haven't been in Barcelona around NYE or Christmas but I DO know that some places will be closed for the holidays. For instance, you mentioned Tickets. From their calendar, you can see that they will be closed from Christmas through New Year's Eve.

          I suggest you email invidivual places and ask specifically about their days of operation. You can also use They keep a list of restaurants open on specific holidays etc.

          1. re: Aleta

            Thanks...that's very helpful. I saw the black out dates on Tickets but was also able to make a reservation at sauc during that in between week, so it seems some are opened, others not. I'll check out your link...many thanks.

      2. Just curious to know if you found any new options. We're in the same boat - in Barcelona for New Years. After reviewing the options that seem to be left, we're considering bagging plans to do a nice meal that evening. Instead, we're thinking of doing something nice for lunch and then that evening either taking our chances with tapas places or picking up some items and wine, then finding a nice place to hang out.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dinersaurus

          A small update on NYE menus for Cinc Sentits and Alkimia. CS' menu is 275 euros and Alkimia's is 150 euros.

        2. My husband and I are also going to be in Barcelona over NYE and have the same problem. We are not looking for a crazy party, just a nice evening. So far I have made reservations at Fonda Espana. Their menu is 75E and looks pretty good. I've seen the restaurant mentioned positively on these boards, but certainly not discussed at length, so I'm not sure if this is a good choice or not. I'm still looking for other options, but tasting menus way over 100E are not in our budget.

          19 Replies
          1. re: mle17


            Glad you mentioned Fonda Espana since I've been wondering what they would offer for NYE. I had lunch there over the summer and even collided with The Man Himself, Martin Berasategui. I guess he was inspecting his Barcelona restaurants that week and 'working' at the Fonda for lunch service. Unlike his other restaurants, Fonda Espana is supposedly modern Catalan. The menu del dia (lunch special) was a good deal: 3 courses with wine included. Nothing spectacular but good enough. My son ordered a la carte and enjoyed fresh gambas de Palamos as well as some seafood ravioli.

            Dinner should be more interesting. If the Bar Arnau is open, do try and stop in for a drink. The fireplace, as well as much of the original decor in the Hotel Espana, was originally designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner and associates. They are Moderniste gems.

            If I were in Barcelona for X'mas or NYE and trying to avoid 100+ euro tasting menus, I would contact Gresca and see if they will be open. Their usual 50 euro tasting menu is a very good deal. I love the egg souffle and this year's beef tongue sous-vide. If they offer a holiday menu, it should be under 100 euros too and the food would be better than Fonda Espana, without a doubt.

            1. re: Aleta

              Thanks for your insight Aleta! I have emailed a couple other places to see if they are open and if their set menu is within our budget. I'll update this post with any good deals that I find. Pjd123, I don't know anything about the party at Hotel Espana, their website is pretty bare bones and there was no mention of it on when I made my reservation. . . Dinersaurus - I did see that Paco Meralgo was open and taking reservations for the 31st.

              1. re: mle17

                They were not on our radar, so thank you mle17!

                1. re: mle17

                  Well, I heard back from Gelonch and they are offering a 95 euro tasting menu, 135 with wine pairing. The menu looks pretty good, I'll paste it at the end of this post. We are seriously considering booking there, but I'm a bit apprehensive. I know that we will pay a premium to eat on New Years Eve, but I just don't want to be too much of a sucker. It's difficult to pay this much for a meal when I know we could eat at the same place for 50 euro any other night. Does the menu look like the typical Gelonch menu, or has it been stepped up to reflect the increased price? I'm also a bit nervous about the 50 euro deposit.
                  Here's the menu:
                  Chef Robert Gelonch invites you to celebrate New Year's Eve at Gelonch
                  Restaurant to have an unforgetable experience with an exclusive Saint
                  Sylvester's menu consisting of the following 7 courses , assorted cheese and
                  two desserts :
                  Fine oyster with grapefruit gin tonic and mint.
                  Mi-cuit cracker with marinated vegetables in "escabeche" ( acidic marinade ).
                  Capuccino : creamy potatoe, egg sous vide, sea orchin.
                  Escudella broth with spider crab raviloi and iberian ham d.o. extremadura.
                  Red prawn with pisco, in a baked garlic sauce, with chard and hibiscus.
                  Red mullet with squash gnocchi, baby carrots and veal sweetbreads.
                  Suckling pig 24h sous vide, sunchoke sauce, croissant and cashew vinaigrette.
                  Assorted cheese with honey-banana cream, caramelized endive, bakked
                  eggplant sorbée.
                  Black truffle and white chocolate ganache, matcha tea spongecake, cocoa
                  Olive oil cake, apple sorbée, coconut foam, mint granita, black olives.
                  Price of the menu : 95 € /person.
                  You can have a wine pairing for the menu :
                  135€/peson menu + wine pairing.
                  If you are interested please contact us, with every menu booking we ask for
                  50€ since we need to plan the night.
                  At midnight everyone is done with the food and gets the traditional 12 grapes
                  and the classical bag with new year's eve disguise staff.

                  1. re: mle17


                    Thanks for sharing your info. I haven't eaten at Gelonch before but I would wager a guess that the NYE or Xmas menus will be BOTH more extravagant than usual AND charging premiums for the celebration. Sockster is a big fan of Gelonch and he probably gave a lot of detail of his dinner there. If you search this forum, you'll find that information.

                    I don't think you need to be nervous about the deposit. Lots of high-end restaurants normally ask for a credit card number to secure a reservation.

                  2. re: mle17

                    Alkimia New Year's Eve Menu:
                    FI MENU OF YEAR 2011

                    Appetizer of the day
                    Glass Coca aubergine eggplant and truffle

                    Sea inside with seafood
                    Game terrine with artichokes and orange
                    Brandade of cod with aubergine pimento
                    Eastern infusion Cigala
                    Fish with peas and lemon coast
                    12 special truffle chickpeas
                    fillet rossini

                    Carrot with licorice and tea
                    "Palet d'or" creamy chocolate

                    Petits Fours

                    The menu cost is € 150 including VAT and drink apart
                    It is very important that if you want to book for the night of December 31
                    We provide an account number with the date of issue and the card holder. thank you very much

                    1. re: mle17

                      Menu from PLA:

                      2011 New Year’s Eve Menu
                      Two infusions and two vegetables
                      Lukewarm salad with... Sardine, anemone and rucula
                      First Course
                      Three fish, three continents:
                      Europe: Oyster, ratatouille and bacon
                      Asia: Tuna tartar, chives and caviar
                      America: Guacamole and mackerel
                      A classic consommé ...
                      A fish
                      Monkfish cooked at 60ºC with a cockle risotto ...
                      A meat
                      Braised and confit suckling pig with quinoa, ecarole and pomegranate
                      Two desserts
                      Bloody Mary .... Raspberry and green apple
                      Flour free chocolate biscuit, Earl Grey foam and mandarin sorbet
                      The dinner will be paired with cava, white wine, red wine and sweet wine
                      Coffee, truffle ... 12 grapes at 12 o’clock ... and Happy New Year
                      Price ..................124,00 € vat included

                      1. re: mle17

                        No response from Gresca. . .but I'm already having trouble deciding, so maybe that's a good thing.

                        1. re: mle17

                          Menu from Hisop:
                          New years eve 2012

                          langoustines, early green peas

                          sea urchin, potatoes "tortilla"

                          black truffle duxelle and free range egg

                          lobster suquet

                          artichoke creamy rice with caviar

                          grilled turbot, pistachio, chive sprouts

                          venison roast beef, pumpkin

                          apple frozen mojito

                          hazelnut, butter and black truffle

                          coffee sweets

                          huguet gran reserva ’07 (d.o. cava)

                          godelia '10 (d.o. Bierzo)

                          mazizo ’10 (d.o. catalunya)

                          cruor ’06 (d.o. priorat)

                          delamotte (champagne, france)

                          (water and coffee)


                          1. re: mle17

                            I seem to be the only one still paying attention to this post, but here's one more menu for those looking for an inexpensive, yet upscale restaurant option for NYE. I don't know anything about the restaurant - Bestiari - other than this one review (, but the menu looks pretty good for 57E. Here it is:

                            1. re: mle17

                              No no-- I am still following it avidly! Thanks for all the great info--- We are oddly also going to be in Barcelona for New Year's Eve.

                              1. re: mle17

                                I'm still paying attention too, LOL! And I appreciate you sharing all your intel. It will help other diners, this year and in the future.

                                One more place that I've been trying to squeeze some info out of - but failing - is the restaurant in the new hotel Alma. Maybe you can ask them.

                                1. re: mle17

                                  Likewise, I'm still tuning in and appreciate the information. Hope everyone has a great New Year's Eve.

                                  1. re: mle17

                                    thanks mle17! I am still following this thread as well. =)

                                    1. re: mle17

                                      Oh my goodness - I appreciate all your attention and recommendations. As the OP, I feel horrible that I haven't checked back in...our travel plans changed abruptly and we never made it to Spain for the holiday. But I appreciate all your input and contributions, and, it appears, so do many others. Thanks so much!

                                  2. re: Aleta

                                    We will be in Barcelona around for NYE as well..thank you all for the suggestions! Its going to be our first trip to Spain so hoping for good fun and festive NYE but nothing crazy... thanks!

                                  3. re: mle17

                                    Hi - do you know if the reservation at Fonda Espana includes the actual NYE party at the Hotel Espana? I sent an email, hoping for a response. This hotel looks really nice, but I ended up booking elsewhere for our stay. However - looking for something to do on NYE. Not into the huge crazy party scene, but would like a nice dinner, and maybe some (age appropriate - 30's and upwards) dancing.

                                    1. re: pjd123


                                      Sorry I don't know anything about NYE party at the Hotel Espana. If you've sent an email to the hotel, they should respond. The hotel is small but nice, especially the more expensive rooms. The best part imho are the 2 dining rooms and the bar.

                                      Regarding Cinc Sentits, NYE dinner is 275 euros!

                                      1. re: Aleta

                                        We saw the prices at Cinq Sentis and others of that caliber for NYE, so given our dining itinerary the other nights there, I think that we're going to just hunt for tapas that evening. Any recommendations for places that will be open, have good tapas, but won't be completely overrun would be greatly appreciated.

                                  4. I have no idea about the New Years scene - but Cinc Sentits may be one of my favorite restaurants ever. I would stop in Barcelona for a few hours just to eat there. If you can get in, GO.

                                    1. Just curious, how was everyone's New Year's Eve in Barcelona?

                                      We ended up going to Paca Meralgo that night. The tapas were great (it was their usual menu/tapas list), the service was very helpful, and we enjoyed ourselves, but the experience was a little odd. As others have pointed out, NYE is typically pretty low-key in Barcelona (while we knew this, we didn't realize just how subdued it would be). They seated us in what we dubbed as the American section. The people in front of us, behind us, and most of the people at the bar were all Americans. The restaurant is split in two sides, each with a bar and dining/high top areas. The other side appeared to be mostly Spanish/Catalans. With the exception of the Americans, most people were dressed fairly casually. Prior to midnight, most of the non-Yanks started to filter out the door, I assume to spend the New Year's at home.

                                      At midnight, they passed out grapes and played a recording of a clock striking midnight. We gulped down our grapes. The staff participated and toasted with cava. Shortly after, they started packing things up, so we took the hint and wandered on.

                                      We still enjoyed ourselves and ate well. For us, just being in Barcelona on New Year's was special. But, if I were to do it again, I would have either done a dinner at Gelonch or Hisop or somewhere along those lines or done tapas in a more exciting part of town, probably in the Born. I also would go back to Paco Meralgo, just not that night.