Els 4Gats


Copyright: Helena Lopes/Pexels
DESTINATIONS spain barcelona Dining Els 4Gats

Els 4Gats

Els 4Gats is an iconic and historic restaurant, which opened on June 12th 1897 and served as a meeting point for the great artists and intellectuals of Barcelona, including Ramon Casas and Pablo Picasso. The latter had his first exhibition of drawings here and designed the cover art for the menu that is still used to this day. Housed in a modernist neo-Gothic building, just a few minutes from the Palau de la Música Catalana, Els 4Gats offers Catalan cuisine in a bohemian atmosphere with regular, live piano sessions.


The easiest thing is to divide Barcelona's overwhelming range of restaurants into two categories: the new and the old. Some of the world's most modern restaurants, managed by the world's most innovative chefs (the most famous is Ferrán Adrià) can be found here, but there is also traditional Catalonian cuisine, which, despite being heavy on occasion, includes very good vegetable dishes: samfaina, a kind of ratatouille; escalivada, grilled, peeled peppers, aubergines, and onions; espinacs a la Catalana, spinach fried with garlic, pine nuts, and raisins, among others. Best known is the simple rustic pa amb tomàquet: a slice of bread with olive oil, salt, and freshly crushed tomatoes. "The new ones" in particular may be expensive, but many of the best-known chefs' apprentices have now opened their own lower-priced restaurants. Generally speaking, "the old ones" provide better value for money, although even the traditional restaurants know how to charge. You should always reserve a table in Barcelona, and dinner here is not served until 9 pm.