Restaurant 7 Portes | Barcelona Bus Turístic

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Restaurant 7 Portes

The apotheosis of rice dishes in a restaurant steeped in history

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One of Barcelona’s most famous restaurants, where you can enjoy paella while admiring works by artists like Miró, Picasso and Tàpies. Between the Born and Barceloneta districts, in a singular building at the Pla de Palau is the 7 Portes restaurant, which in addition to specialising in rice dishes was a meeting place for intellectuals and celebrities and an artistic space for some of the 20th century’s greatest Catalan painters.

Why visit the 7 Portes restaurant?

The history of the 7 Portes restaurant dates back to 1836, when Josep Cuyàs chose the Pla de Palau as the site for his Cafè de les 7 Portes, a bar located in one of the porticoed buildings with seven arches known as the Porxos d’en Xifré that were built by Josep Xifré i Casas upon his return to Barcelona after making his fortune in Cuba.

The café, which had five rooms decorated with large mirrors and crystal chandeliers, became the restaurant 7 Portes in 1929, when the Morera family bought it and converted it into a meeting point for journalists, intellectuals and politicians. In that period, the restaurant started to accumulate a notable collection of paintings and graphic works by many of the period’s leading artists, including Picasso, Miró and Tàpies.

In 1980 the restaurant was taken over by its current proprietor, Francesc Solé Parellada, who in the late 1980s refurbished its interior and replaced its tables, lights and curtains. He not only kept the art collection, but expanded it, adding more than fifty drawings and paintings produced during the 200-year history of the restaurant, which has played host to more than 50 Nobel laureates, including Alexander Fleming, and a multitude of celebrities including Ava Gardner, Plácido Domingo, Salvador Dalí, Woody Allen, García Lorca, Orson Welles and even Che Guevara.

Now, thanks to its exquisite Catalan gastronomy, the restaurant is a popular place for family celebrations.

 

How do you get to 7 Portes?

Hop off at the Pla de Palau – Parc de la Ciutadella stop on the Red Route of Barcelona Bus Turístic, which is opposite the restaurant.

 

For the most curious of you

  • Did you know? One of the menu’s most popular dishes is ‘arròs Parellada’, which is also known as ‘arròs de senyoret’ (His Lordship’s Rice), because one of the restaurant’s regular customers, Juli Parellada, insisted on having his rice dish served with its seafood already peeled.
  • Local’s tip: Given its prestige in Catalan cuisine, part of the restaurant’s work consists of disseminating the secrets of Catalonia’s gastronomy. In this regard, it publishes historic Catalan recipe books, the first of which, "Llibre de Sent Soví", dates back to the 14th century. Copies of these books are on sale at the restaurant.
  • A must: To discover Catalan cuisine.