El Celler de Can Roca has been voted the #1 restaurant in the world. Twice. (It’s also been #2 four times.) If you are fortunate enough to secure a reservation, here are some tips to help you prepare for and enjoy your experience.
What to Expect When You Eat at El Celler de Can Roca
#1: Make reservations well in advance (obviously)
If you are traveling to Girona, where Can Roca is located, then be flexible with your dates. I was put on a waiting list in July and was offered a reservation in September. I had three days to respond to the email and confirm, so be sure to use an email account that you use regularly.
You will receive another confirmation email a few weeks prior to your reservation.
#2: Stay in the medieval center of Girona (or close to it)
Girona is a beautiful town in the heart of Catalunya. Its medieval center (once home to the Romans) is built on the River Onyar and has a riverfront that resembles Florence (in fact, it was designed with this as inspiration). El Celler de Can Roca is located 1 mile outside of the old town, just around the corner from the restaurant run by the Roca brother’s mom.
#3: There is parking
If you drive to the restaurant, across the street is a parking lot for Can Roca guests. No validation is required.
When you leave, the staff will call you a cab if needed.
#4: You have two menu options
There are two tasting menu options, both with fixed prices. At the time of this article’s publication, the smaller menu was 90 euros and the larger option was 115.
#5: You have numerous wine options
You can opt for a wine pairing or order from their wine list. (They also have a full bar.) I highly suggest the wine pairing: it will give you a chance to taste some exclusive wines (many from the region). At the time of this article’s publication, the smaller menu’s wine pairing was 70 euros and the larger menu’s was 90. And well worth it.
Another note: they begin your meal with a complimentary glass of cava (of course!) to make you feel very Catalan.
#6: They ask you about dietary restrictions
We don’t have any allergies or any choice-based food restrictions, so I don’t know what alternatives they provide. However, because they asked, I assume that they do have other menu options.
#7: The meal lasts a long time
We were there for nearly 5 hours. Enjoy! And don’t make plans to do anything after (unless it’s exploring beautiful Girona at night, when there are no tourists and you have a medieval city to yourself.)
#8: It’s a lot of food
It’s fairly typical for someone to ask “But was there enough food?” when you tell them that you dined at a restaurant such as Can Roca. With so many courses and desserts (and their delicious bread tray and its myriad of options), I can definitely say: come hungry.
#9: The service is impeccable
And in several languages. If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you would prefer English . . . it goes without saying that the staff speaks English; we also heard them speaking French and German as well as, of course, Spanish and Catalan.
#10: You receive a copy of the menu
Don’t worry about remembering the details of each plate that you enjoy (or the wines that are paired with each course). At the end of your amazing meal, they provide you with a menu that lists everything you were served that evening.
#11: Don’t search for menu details beforehand
You may have noticed that I have not included any details about the actual food or wine you will experience. This is because the best part about dining at El Celler de Can Roca is the experience itself. Let yourself be surprised by the food–don’t Google beforehand and know what to expect. What’s the fun in that?
#12: You leave with a little souvenir
I won’t tell you what. 🙂
El Celler de Can Roca was an experience.It was formal, of course. It was also fun, inventive, delicious, and creative. The most surprising aspect of the experience, for me, was the pleasant focus on local ingredients and wines. I said I wouldn’t go into details about dishes, but just to give ONE example: we live in Sant Andreu de Llavaneres, which is a small village on the coast of Maresme, a region just north of Barcelona. We are known for our peas: the fields behind our home are lined with peas every spring, and each March there is a pesolada (pea festival) to celebrate. When a dish came out featuring local peas, guess where they were from? 🙂
El Celler de Can Roca
Carrer de Can Sunyer 48
Girona accommodation recommendation: Carrer de la Barca apartment with cathedral view (1 mile from the restaurant)