Q: What is it? A: A superb bistro tucked away in a narrow alley in Barcelona’s Barri Gòtic district.
Sometimes it’s good to trust a very Brüno-ish concierge…
Marco, concierge at the ME Hotel struck me as being the Catalan version of Brüno. That made me a little suspicious at first. Well, my hat’s off for Brüno. Without him, I would probably never have heard about the Pla restaurant. Not would I have found my way to it either. It’s hidden in what is not even an alley in Barri Gòtic,. Ask any taxi driver and you won’t get a proper response, as you can’t drive there. I had to ask for the way three times before finding it but it was worth the trouble.
In fact, it was very much worth the trouble.
I was a little sceptic as I had my mind set on a more well-known place, but the ratings on TripAdvisor were favourable indeed. During its heydays, it was ranked # 6 out of 2494 restaurants in Barcelona. Today it has fallen to # 240. Don’t let this put you off. This little hole in the wall has been around since February 1998 and reviews have been sold for quite a while. Setting is fine, the staff is terrific, albeit sometimes a bit slow, and the food… fantastilicous!
Catalan but not typically Catalan…
The culinary journey revolves around the Catalan kitchen. The menu will vary with season, but if the duck is around, get it. Prawn that arrives to the table together with a risotto and octopus shouldn’t disappoint. You should not come here looking for the typical stuff. Don’t come expecting fast food. Come here, lay your evening in the hands of th staff and be dazzled by Moroccan, Asian and Arabic influences. Damien, one of the managers, is particularly helpful. Presentation of the food is sometimes on the pretentious side, but the place is informal and one of the best food experiences I have had in Spain. Just make sure you get your reservation at the right Pla, (there’s another restaurant called Re-Pla), if you are not getting the help of Brüno.
Sunday – Thursday 19.30 – midnight
Friday – Saturday 19.30 – 00.30 AM
If you take the Metro, the closest station is Jaume I. Walking directions below:
Ballafila no 5
– – –
1. Walk southwest over Plaza del Ángel towards Carrer del Sots-Tinent Navarro, 22 m (75 ft).
2. Continue on the Carrer de Jaume I, 60 m (194 ft).
3. Make a left at Calle de la Dagueria, 55 m (180 ft).
4. Turn slightly right at Plaça de Sant Just, 19 m (62 ft).
5. Continue in on Carrer de la Palma de Sant Just, 61 m (200 ft).
6. Turn right at Carrer de Bellafila. This is a short and quite narrow alley.
You’ll see the sign on your right hand side, 9 m (30 ft).
(Map data: © Google Maps)