El Nacional offers two things I love about Barcelona: culinary and architecture. This culinary hotspot is located on the upscale district of Gràcia where world-famous modernista buildings are at.
The entry is not really visible for unaware passersby. It is hidden in an alley.
Actually El Nacional is an enormous food court of 2.600 square meter. This establishment is a must see for foodies and architecture aficionados.
The building was originally a modernist café-theater in 1870. After that it had various functions such as: textile factory, an automobile dealer and a place to collect food after the Civil War. At the end it was a garage before the renovation into this chique, one of a kind space.
Lluis Canade, Barcelona restaurateur has succeeded in bringing back the interior grandeur of the 30es – 40es in this gastronomy concept. Making visiting the place itself a unique experience. After the renovation El Nacional went open for public in 2014.
Inside this jewel there are 4 different restaurants, 4 bars and 4 gastrobars serving traditional Spanish gastronomy. El Nacional has 700 seats. It is open daily, from 12 pm – 2 am weekdays and on weekends from 12 pm – 3 am.
This is one of the gastrobars.
The 4 restaurants serve tapas, seafood, meat on the grill and fast deli for savoury and sweets. At the bar visitors can order oysters, beer, wine, cava and cocktails.
My family and I were charmed by El Nacional so strongly we have dined here 3 times.
The pic below is from the tapas restaurant. We were there for lunch at 1 pm one day. It was early as Spaniards take their lunch between 1.30 – 3.30 pm.
The dessert station with gelato and other sweets.
This is the restroom. It has so much ambiance with the spots and pictures of the building before the renovations. The atmosphere is industrialist. It is stunning, isn’t it?
I will write in another post about the food and drinks of El Nacional otherwise the post would be too long. Stay tuned!
All pics were taken with iPhone.
Passeig de Gràcia, 24 Bis
Metro: Passeig de Gràcia