Post-El Bully Era: 2012 List of Restaurants in Spain

Looking at the list of the top new restaurants in New York 2011, I can not do anything but laugh about the new places opened last year. Don’t get me wrong there are interesting places like the new Spanish tapas place: Tertulia, or the molecular new Korean restaurant ( this is not oven on the Sifton list ) Jung Sik or the revamped Italian Torrisi 2.0, where Elise and I had an amazing time.

But to be honest, we expect more in New York, where there are 9900 restaurants between Manhattan and Brooklyn ( according to Menu Pages ) and hundreds opened last year.

Torrisi Italian Specialties - New York-5265
 Torrisi 2.0 Pork and Beans Antipasti.

On the other side, in my second home Spain, it has been also a difficult year. Difficult because the number one restaurant El Bulli closed for good, leaving only 3 restaurants in the top 10 of best restaurants in the World ( according to the Pellegrino list ). Also this year one of the most influentl chefs  Santi Santamaria, from San Celoni restaurant in Catalonia died. So the question of this post is, what would happen in 2012 in Spain, is there any hope in the Post-El Bulli era in Spain? The answer is YES! It’s time for the young spanish new chefs to step up and move the spanish cusines to the next level and this 2012 could be the year.

Here there is our list of 2012 Spanish Restaurants that we think will make this happen and will join the internally awarded Mugaritz, Celler de Can Roca, Arzak, DaCosta and those great guys.

 Area: Center of Spain


  • Chef: David Munoz
  • Why: probably the most creative chef in Europe right now, we love his usage of any type of ingredients, combined with his incredibles techniques. And I don’t like he does not let me take pictures of his creations :/
  • Adress:
    • Calle del Pensamiento 28
    • Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Club Allard

  • Chef: Diego Guerrero
  • Why: chef de moda in Madrid with his new second Michelin start. I would not say young talent, but almost a classic!
  • Adress:
    • Calle de Ferraz 2
    • Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Restaurante Casa Jose:

  • Chef: Fernando del Cerro
  • Why: interesting new approach for a spanish chef to vegetarian and local farm to table cuisine.
  • Adress:
    • C/ Carrera de Andalucía 17 esq. C/ Abastos 32
    • Aranjuez, Madrid, Spain

Rodrigo de la Calle:

  • Chef: Rodrigo de la Calle
  • Why: Best Spanish new chef 2009. Great vegetarian and farm to table cuisine. Great rice.
  • Adress:
    • Antigua Carretera de Andalucía 85
    • Aranjuez, Madrid, Spain

Restaurante Asador La Botica

  • Chef: Miguel Angel de la Cruz
  • Why: Father and son restaurant. Tradition vs Innovation following a Farm to table approach using local vegetables from Castilla y Leon ( where my father’s family were originally ) in almost a medical way.
  • Adress:
    • Plaza Mayor 2
    • Matapozuelos, Valladolid, Spain

Area: Catalonia and Mediterranean East Coast

Dos Cielos:

  • Chef: Javier and Sergio Torres
  • Why: these twin brothers have created the go to restaurant in Barcelona for any foodie.
  • Adress:
    • Carrer Pere IV 272 (hotel ME by Melia)
    • Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain



  • Chef: Albert Adria
  • Why: new restaurant from Ferran Adria brother. Almost or probably even more creative than his brother.
  • Adress:
    • Parallel 164
    • Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain


    • Chef: Ricard Camarena
    • Why: because nobody like Ricard represents better the Mediterranean cuisine and he is such a nice guy
    • Adress:
      • Calle del Almirante 14
      • Valencia, Valencia, Spain

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Arrop Mediterranean Salad



  • Chef: Paco Morales
  • Why: because he worked with Andoni Aduriz from Mugaritz and always wins Spanish young chef of the year. Until when is he going to be considered young?
  • Adress:
    • Carretera Onteniente-Villena, Km. 16.
    • Bocairent, Valencia, Spain

Area: South


  • Chef: Angel Leon
  • Why: because he is not named Chef del Mar for no reason. He invented the sea charcuterie!
  • Adress:
    • Calle Puerto Escondido 6
    • El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz, Spain
    • contact

Looking at this list ( and any other of the great restaurants in Spain ) I don’t have any doubt we have a great year ahead in Spain in 2012.

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