El Nacional

Claudia Sanchiz El Nacional Barcelona 1

Claudia Sanchiz El Nacional Barcelona 4

Claudia Sanchiz El Nacional Barcelona 2


Behind every building facade and every shop front there is a story. Not all are worth mentioning, but at the end of a narrow little street, between the grand shops of Paseo de Gracia, is a special space with a story definitely worth telling; it’s one of evolving architecture and the preservation of a beautiful if once an elegantly dilapidated parking lot.

El Nacional is now a cluster of high-end food stands that make you wish you had a bigger stomach. Each stall has something more appealing then the previous. What is remarkable about this ‘market’ is that you can feel the history in its walls. Previous to its new incarnation, this little nook used to be my favourite parking lot in Barcelona; nestled in the heart of the city between the lavish shops, it was a little oasis from the hustle and bustle with a truly spectacular interior.

Claudia Sanchiz El Nacional Barcelona 6

Claudia Sanchiz El Nacional Barcelona 3

So enamoured was I by it that when a friend came to visit from London I took her to it above all the tourist areas. Before housing a portion of Barcelona’s cars, and previous to the civil war the space was formerly a café-theatre, a fabric dye factory, and a car dealer’s shop features of these can still be seen today. The floor at the entrance was made of octagonal tiles of wood that had been cut horizontally allowing you count the age of the trees by the rings visible in the wood.

The ceiling was made of a series of vaults, each forming a light well at its peak that flooded the 2600-metre space with an abundance of natural light. This new restaurant has managed to preserve the essence of the original atelier, and restore a space that truly deserved to be brought back to life.

Buen provecho!

x Claudia

A few notes:

Passeig de Gràcia, 24 Bis 08007 Barcelona +(34) 93 518 50 53

Closest Metro: Paseo de Gracia

Reservations can be made Sunday to Friday from 12:00 to 20:00.
For bookings call +(34) 93 518 50 53 or send an e-mail at


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