The Nacional is a top restaurant in Barcelona offering a gastronomic experience with an innovative concept, a multi-zone culinary space, it has 4 different areas and each of them has its unique characteristics and type of cuisine and products. 4 areas, with restaurants and bars: a meat restaurant, a tapas and fish restaurant called la Taperia, a Fish restaurant that is la Llotja and a fast deli restaurant. The bar spaces are specialized in oysters, cocktails, beers and preserves and wine and cured meats.
El Nacional is located on Passeig de Gracia and has a capacity for 700 people so you can imagine how big it is. The open space and the structure fo the building create a comfortable atmosphere.
The building is part of Barcelona's history, it was a witness of the industrial revolution and it had multiple uses. It was built as a café-theatre, after that it was a fabric dye factory and also a car dealer's shop on 1930's. The last usage was being a garage in the city center until it was refurbished to be what it is now, the Nacional restaurant.
The spaces: Restaurants and Bars
La taperia restaurant
It is a tapas restaurant, but with something unique and it is that you cannot order hot tapas on demand but the waiters go through with their trays with tapas and you raise your hand to get one.
The concept it is interesting, but I like to see the product first before ordering so it is a good advantage, sometimes you see something and you want it immediately or not.... I think it is good for foreigners as sometimes they are not used to our type of food or don't know the language so seeing what they are about to eat is a good start.
You can order cold tapas and salads as well as drinks but if you want hot tapas you know the deal, raise your hand to get one of what they are serving!
We tried the iberian croquettes and the bravas, they were nice, I am bit of a brava freak I even track my best bravas in Barcelona so I think the texture of the potatoes could be improved though, but the sauce with all i oli was good. I had a white wine called Sumarroca Temps de flors, very tasty and flowery, I totally recommend it.
La paradeta restaurant: it has a bit of everything, sweet and savory pastries, sandwitches, salads and light meals.
La llotja restaurant: in a fish counter it is displayed all the product and you can choose what to eat. Two specialties from Spain are the stars: L'escala anchovies and Sea bream baked in Formentera sea salt.
La braseria restaurant: specialized in meat with wood-fired oven, grilled and charcoal grill. Very famous for its Ox from El Capricho.
I had to try this one! If you follow me on Instagram you know that I tried oysters for the first time this year in New York. I know....how come I did not try them in Spain since we have a famous ones here, the Galician oysters. So this was my first time for European oysters, they have three types: Mediterranean, south of France and Galician. Oysters are a delicacy, so cheap would not be an adjective that would define them, but they are certainly cheaper than New York prices... Between 3 to 7 euros each, being the most expensive the Galician one and the cheapest the Mediterranean. I enjoyed them with a glass of white wine!
Cocktail bar: a cocktail bar with snack and tapas, to enjoy your vermouth. They have a signature cocktail called El Nacional that combines lime, mint, rum, sherry and bubbles.
Beer and preserves bar: a beer bar, perfect to enjoy a pint after work. Salted tapas, cheese and a favorite in Catalunya a Gilda -pepper, olive and anchovy-
Wine and cured meats bar: they have a wide selection of Peninsula wines to try out with ham, and typical cured meats from different parts of the country.
Ready for el Nacional? There is plenty to choose from so decide your choices or try them all... What would you choose? Oyster bar was my favorite choice.