Compared to a normal restaurant the upside is that you have to know them to eat there, as they don’t appear in tourist guides, nor even in local gastronomy guides. But the internet is a whole new universe and lucky you, and I have done some extensive research for you in case you happen to be staying in a this beautiful city and want to surprise someone. There are many ways to plan your accommodations, but one of the best ways is to stay in an apartment and live like a local. And with the secret dining locations up your sleeve, you really will be like a local!
Maybe the most famous one, or let’s say, the worst kept secret, is a restaurant called precisely Don’t Tell. But the thing is that, unless you know for sure there is a restaurant there you would never guess, as it is hidden inside a dry-cleaner’s. Yup, this is how it looks from the outside:
Once you enter the dry-cleaners you have to show your “secret ID” (which is your finger print they register when you come there the first time) and they will take you inside. Though you’d better find out their telephone number and call in advance. There you will find this:
The same group that manages this restaurant also runs another one called Chi-Tón (which is a word game meaning something like Shut-Up) which is hidden behind a souvenirs shop in Provenza street.
What seems to be the storage for the famous cocktail bar Dry Martín is called Speakeasy. Its access is through the backdoor and you need a password to be let in. Don’t ask me how to get it, I’m not so VIP (yet).
There’s another place called Dopo, next to the pizzeria Saltimbocca (at Les Corts) which bares a very intimate proposal. It belongs to chef, Guillem Vicente, who will only include you in the group if he knows you. The entrance is a common door which couldn’t be further from looking like a business entrance.
Perhaps more accessible is the Kokun, basically an apartment in the neighborhood of Gràcia. Here Xavi Manero (a professional cook) and Montse (an economist) are the hosts of a group of 8-14 people –not necessarily knowing each other. Bookings are made in advance as the couple only opens their house to kindly prepare their Catalan and Basque dishes for you once a week.
Notice that these restaurants are not illegal and you don’t have to worry at all about indigestion. On the contrary, in many cases, in these hidden corners there are renowned chefs who seek to offer a more personalized and special service for people really fond of gastronomy, as well as making their clients accomplice of a certain mystery.
So now I’ve provided you some clues in case you rent one of an apartment in Barcelona and want to attend these secret restaurants, but still, you’ll have to do some research of your own, as you can see, it’s not easy to enter this secret society, but it seems be worth it…
About the author
Maria Climent Huguet is a 26-year-old Catalan lady who, after studying translation, she decided her life was just odd enough to become a humour script writer and, by default, a blogger. This is how she is now a mother of no one and a pretty funny person! She also cooks her meals.