Disfrutar, Barcelona Tops World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 List
Image Credit: Photos Credit: Instagram/disfrutarbcn

It’s that time of the year again, British media company William Reed reveals its covested list of the best chefs and restaurants of the year. The highly awaited World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 list is out. Winning the top honours this year is Spain, Barcelona’s Disfrutar. This is the 22nd edition of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and the list was unveiled at a glittering ceremony in Wynn, Las Vegas. Spain won big with six restaurants  from the country making it to the list, making it the culinary capital of the season. 

Disfrutar replaced 2023 winner Central,  a Peruvian restaurant in Lima, led by  Chef Virgilio Martinez and Pia Leon. If taking home the trophy for The Best Restaurant in Europe 2024 and being crowned the best in the world, among restaurants from 26 territories and five continents wasn’t enough reason for them to pop the champagne, the 3 Michelin-starred Disfrutar is also celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. 

The back story

The restaurant is owned and run by Chefs Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas. The trio met when they were working together as young chefs at the iconic Spanish restaurant El Bulli, which itself has been at the number one spot in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list 5 times. When El Bulli shut in 2011, the three chefs came together to Compartir in Cadaqués and then Disfrutar in 2014. What the three chefs also had in common was that they were all inspired to start cooking at a young age.

What Makes Disfrutar Stand Out?

Disfrutar translates to ‘enjoy’. The food at Disfrutar is Mediterranean at its core and uses advanced techniques to create some of the most imaginative dishes in the most playful manner. Every dish has a surprise element. There is a focus on quality ingredients and the flavours are avant garde.

At the moment there are two tasting menus - the Classic and the Festive, at the restaurant, both with around 30 courses. The first option includes the chefs’ favourite and most popular dishes from the last decade. The restaurant shot to fame with its caviar-filled Panchino doughnut and its brilliant frozen gazpacho sandwich. The Festival menu shows off the team’s constant research and innovation with dishes such as the Thai-style cuttlefish with coconut multi-spherical, and squab with kombu spaghetti, almond and grape. The menu changes a couple of times a year.

Traditional Spanish dishes are given a unique modern twist. The experience that lasts a couple of hours also includes a lot of fun and theatrical experiences like putting your hand into a vapour of dry ice, blindly looking for the cooked seafood. The dish is aptly named Fear: The Prawn.

Disfrutar is located near the Ninot market in Barcelona known for its fresh produce - especially meat and fish. While the entrance is narrow, it leads you into a wide space that resembles an art gallery with a high ceiling and large glass windows.