• The World's 50 Best Restaurants
No.3

El Celler de Can Roca

Girona, Spain

No.3

Where the Roca brothers combine technique with taste, experimentation with tranquility

One of the world’s great dining destinations? Undoubtedly. Twice ranked No.1 in the world, El Celler de Can Roca is located in the medieval city of Girona in Catalunya, northern Spain. A decade ago, the Roca family moved the restaurant just up the road from its original location to its current site – an airy, purpose-built contemporary space complete with a huge kitchen.

The family dynamic: The three brothers who own and run the restaurant are each global leaders in their respective fields – Joan as a chef, Josep as a sommelier and Jordi as a pâtissier – so their combined creativity is a force to behold. Their food is complex, incorporating cutting-edge techniques and multiple ingredients to create highly stylised plates, but dishes are also designed to evoke memories, emotions and the landscape of the region.

A word about the wine: Fortunate diners will be invited to visit Josep Roca’s magical walk-in cellar, where his passion for various grapes and regions becomes evident. The wine list, and the fabled wine pairing, more than lives up to its reputation for variety, originality and, most of all, quality.

What’s on the menu: There are two: the shorter Classics menu of around seven courses (plus snacks) features established favourites such as ‘prawn with vinegar (head juice, crispy prawn legs, prawn velouté)’ and Jordi’s edible perfume desserts; the longer and ever-changing Feast offering comprises 14-plus courses. Highlights might include an opener of onion flower with comté cheese, cuttlefish with sake lees and black rice sauce, and charcoal-grilled lamb consommé.

Rocas on tour: In recent years, the team has closed the restaurant during August to embark on annual tours to South America, Turkey, the US and Hong Kong in order to broaden their collective culinary experiences. Global influences are then fed back into dish development, which in part takes place at their new La Masia (I+R) research and innovation space immediately opposite the restaurant site.

On the pass

  • Joan Roca

Pastry chef

  • Jordi Roca

Style of food

  • Contemporary Catalan with global highlights

Standout dish

  • Rainy Forest

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