El Raval Restaurants
38-40 Carrer Sepúlveda, El Raval
One of the most exciting openings of 2017 so far comes from Albert Adrià, who added Enigma to his family of Barcelona restaurants. In some ways a play off of the Adrià brothers former famed Catalonia spot, El Bulli, Enigma serves an inventive, curious cuisine via an ever-changing tasting menu. Dining here is meant to be an experience, and as the name hints, to have a bit of a mysterious appeal: After booking (well in advance), you're sent an access code, which you type into the keypad at Enigma's nondescript entrance. The interior—a futuristic, multiple-room space that appears to be fashioned out of some combination of ice, clouds, and waterfalls—is divided by course. You'll end up sampling about forty small plates in the span of three or so hours, generally only finding out what's on the menu after you've eaten it. This isn't an easy place for dietary restrictions, but it's a worthy gastronomic adventure if you can swing it.
17 Carrer de la Unió, El Raval
Part of a family-founded restaurant business, Bar Cañete is part tapas bar, part restaurant. Its long, narrow dining room, decorated with red banquettes and rich mahogany details, gives way to a wooden bar where diners sit, looking into the restaurant's open kitchen. Here, the menu is a mix of traditional tapas, fresh market seafood, and prime cuts of beef and pork. Note: Bar Cañete takes reservations but not for day-of.
9 Carrer d'Elisabets, El Raval
This Far East-inspired restaurant is the brainchild of Albert Raurich—who spent nearly a dozen years at Ferran Adrià's El Bulli, seven of which he was head chef. Located in the Casa Camper hotel, Dos Palillos has two bar areas—the Asian bar serves their tasting menu at dinner, and at the more casual-feeling tapas bar, it's à la carte for lunch and dinner. There are also two spaces offering a bit more seating—the outdoor terrace and the signature Dos Palillos table, which fits about a dozen guests. Not surprisingly, the menu varies, but expect dishes like crispy chicken bites with curry, grilled oyster with sake, tuna steak temaki with nori, and burgers served on homemade bread with ginger.
Granja M. Viader
6 Carrer d'en Xuclà, El Raval
A fifth-generation family-run establishment, Granja M. Viader feels like a Spanish take on the traditional American diner. Known for their pastries and thick hot chocolate, and traditionally dressed waiters (white button down, black tuxedo vest, and bow tie), this spot is best for a special treat kind of a breakfast. And if you don't have time for a sit-down meal, you can also order bakery items to go.