The light and airy interior of Disfrutar, Source: Disfrutar / Facebook

Catalonia takes culinary summit again with best restaurant in the world award

Catalonia takes culinary summit again with best restaurant in the world award

And this time the winning establishment is located in the capital city of Barcelona

Disfrutar - that’s the name that will be making rounds not only in the headlines in the coming days, weeks and months but also in the minds of foodies and refined gourmet enthusiasts from all around the world. That’s because this is the name of the Best Restaurant in the World according to 'The World's 50 Best Restaurants' ranking, which also included an awards ceremony in Las Vegas (USA) today.

The name of the restaurant translates to ‘enjoy’ and its distinction places it in a hall of fame among other already legendary Catalan dining establishments to have won this prestigious award. Among these are the now-mythical El Bulli and El Celler de Can Roca. However, Disfrutar is the first of these to be located in Barcelona, rather than the more rural contexts of the previous two.

Something special about Catalan cuisine mastery

Speaking of El Bulli, there’s a direct link between it and Disfrutar because the founders of the latter - Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas - were all former chefs at the former, where they had first met.

They founded Disfrutar in 2014 in the Antiga Esquerra district of the Eixample, known for its harmonious 19th-century streets. During the past decade, they consistently gathered fame and accolades in the form of Michelin stars – the first in 2015, the second in 2017 and the third in 2023. Parallel to that came the climb up the ranking compiled by the British magazine Restaurant since 2002.

In 2022, Disfrutar took the third spot, last year it finished second and finally, this year, its culinary mastery came to be definitively recognized.

The three chefs dedicated the award to "the farmer who chops potatoes every morning, to the fisherman who brings the shrimp to the restaurants, and all the daily menu bars and restaurants."

"It is a recognition for them, because we alone, without a network of excellence, would not have reached number one," Mateu Casañas told the Catalan News Agency (ACN).

Disfrutar, however, won’t be able to repeat the achievements of El Bulli and El Celler de Can Roca to win the top spot several times, since the ranking rules have now changed. A restaurant can only become the best in a year once after which it has to compete in the “Best of the Best” category.



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