Los Caracoles restaurant has been serving authentic Catalan cuisine since it first opened its doors way back in 1835, yes that’s 1835! It’s fair to say Barcelona was a slightly different place back then. No Sagrada Familia, no Parc Guell, no football club – the telephone hadn’t even been invented!
Originally named “Casa Bofarull” in homage to the family name, the restaurant began to establish a solid reputation in the city for serving fresh and exciting dishes. But there was one item in particular on the menu that was proving so popular that they decided to rename the restaurant in its honor!
So ‘Casa Bofarull’ became ‘Los Caracoles’ (Snails), and the delicacy traditionally associated with France started to put a little corner of Barcelona on the culinary map.
Fast forward a few decades – the carrier pigeons retired, technology advanced and Los Caracoles notoriety quickly began to spread to a more international scale.
The hungry Catalan crowd of regular diners were soon joined by some rather famous faces, and today, the walls of Los Caracoles cavernous walls have become a shrine to some of these more well known diners who’ve visited in the past.
Photos capturing the visits of Luciano Pavarotti, Jon Bon Jovi and Charlton Heston can all be found amongst the hundreds of frames that cover the restaurant walls. Each and every photo tells a tale, powerfully illustrating just how much history the walls of this fascinating restaurant have witnessed.
But there is much more to this restaurant than just gazing at the gallery of photos – it is absolutely packed with original features and bags of quirky character. For example, you have to walk through the kitchen to get to your table – whether this was a fatal design flaw or an ingenious way of whetting your appetite before you even sit down, it all adds to the fantastic experience.
Today the restaurant is under the guidance of the 5th generation of Bofarull’s to inherit the family business, and the core values remain the same as they did some 175 years ago – friendly service, welcoming atmosphere and fantastic food!
Will the snails still be blazing a trail across Barcelona in 175 years time? Don’t bet against it!