*  Restaurant Arzak, San Sebastián: Juan Marí and Elena Arzak go into the laboratory at least 1 day a week to literally cook up something you have never tasted before. The restaurant has been a leader in avant-garde Basque cuisine for more than 4 decades.

*  José María Restaurante, Segovia: Segovianos are fanatics about roast suckling pig. This restaurant is where aficionados of cochinillo take their families for the crispest crackling skin and the juiciest succulent meat.

*  Lasarte, Barcelona: Basque chef Martín Berasategui calls San Sebastián home, but this exquisite fine dining restaurant in the foodie mecca of Barcelona reinterprets some of his greatest dishes along with innovations by his brilliant chef de cuisine.

*  Dani García Restaurante, Marbella: A fixture on the Costa del Sol, star chef Dani García has a new venue where he recapitulates some of his classics such as lobster salad with “popcorn” olives (exploded with liquid nitrogen) and suckling pig with pumpkin and orange.


*  El Cellar de Can Roca, Girona: Roca brothers Joan (head chef), Jordi (head pastry chef), and Josep (sommelier) belie the trope about broth and too many cooks. This is Catalan home cooking with surreal twists, as if Salvador Dalí’s ghost were in the kitchen.

* Viridiana, Madrid: Chef Abraham García blogs about food online for El Mundo and is such a film buff that he named the restaurant after the 1961 Luis Buñuel film. Wit and wonderment abound on his menu, and many of Spain’s top chefs apprenticed here.

*  La Pepica, Valencia: The Picassos of paella are the cooks in La Pepica's sprawling kitchens. This is the temple of paella Valenciana—and dozens of variations.


*  Casa Marcial, Arriondas: Nacho Mendez made his mark in London, but his family restaurant is where he concocts outrageous and delicious dishes such as cucumber soup over green pepper sorbet or roast woodcock with oysters and river eels.

*  Solla, Pontevedra: Pepe Solla is self-taught, so he lacks the preconceptions of a classically trained chef. He thinks nothing of pairing sea bass, for example, with braised turnip greens, Galician cabbage, and an orange-lemon sauce.

*  Etxanobe, Bilbao: Fernando Canales looks like a rock star and cooks like a genius. Always inventing new riffs on Basque cuisine, he cultivates a direct pipeline to foragers and fishermen to ensure he has the very best products of the season.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.