For a romantic date in Barcelona we recommend a restaurant that will take you back in time… Restaurant 7 Portes.
This restaurant has everything, especially a lot of history… In the early to mid 19th century, a powerful catalan businessman, Josep Xifré, commissioned the Porxos d’en Xifré building on Passeig d’Isabel II. When the plans were being drafted, Xifré was very clear that the building should have arcades similar to those of the main squares of Paris and the emblematic Rue de Rivoli. The new building housed Xifré’s home and offices, as well as a large, luxury cafe. This establishment had seven doors for the public, and an eighth door for staff and goods. Xifré found a prestigious restaurateur to manage the cafe, and in 1836, Josep Cuyas opened the establishment under the name “Cafe de les 7 Portes”.
At a later date, the business was passed to Joan Biscamps, and then to Bertomeu Grau. It was not until 1929 that the chef Morera took over the management of the cafe, and made it into a restaurant. The name was changed to “Restaurant de les 7 Portes”
Impress your date by knowing all the little facts about Restaurant de les 7 Portes. It is among the 120 oldest restaurants in Spain, yes, in all of Spain, being more than 180 years old! Xifré built the buildings on the edge of the Barceloneta neighbourhood and called them the Casas Xifré.
Mister Xifré had made his fortune in Cuba, increasing it in New York. He was an “indiano” (Indiano was the colloquial denomination of the Spanish emigrant in America who returned rich) and his taste and vision of the world are reflected in the design of the once the most modern house in Barcelona. To make it more cosmopolitan, he decided to open the Cafè de les 7 Portes.
Let’s go back to the restaurant’s history. The first owner was Mister Josep Cuyas, who left the business to one of his servers, Joan Biscamps, who left it to Bertomeu Grau. At the beginning of the XX century, the place became very popular thanks to the board games and other social activities like billiard. It was even a singing Café. Today, we can still read ANTIGUO CAFÈ Y BILLARES (Old Café and billiards).
The store was extended for the International exhibition of 1929, the Morera assumed the direction to make it a gastronomic spot in the city.
The establishment became one of the most popular in the city; and a meeting place for journalists, intellectuals, artists and politicians, among others; were loyal customers until the couple retired.
The restaurant’s walls have been witness over the years to many celebrations, great stories, important decisions, intimate moments…. And all kinds of celebrities have sat at its tables. Over fifty Nobel laureates, artists like Picasso, Miró and Dalí, musicians including Placido Domingo, writers, actors such as Robert de Niro and Harrison Ford, directors like Woody Allen, scientists like Alexander Fleming, are just some of the names on this restaurants long list of clients and friends.
It is not easy to maintain the continuity of the emblematic restaurant that is over a hundred years old, but this has been made possible by the ability of its owners to adapt to changes in the different periods. In 2016, Restaurant 7 Portes celebrated its 180th anniversary.
Restaurant 7 Portes is situated in a building of national architectural interest, and has been a privileged spectator and the focus of many historical events in Barcelona. The building was the first in the city to have running water, and was the subject of the first photograph to be taken in Barcelona.
Not only will you have endless things to tell about the building on your date but the nights are always livened up with some live piano music in the background, nothing says romance like a piano!
The emblematic restaurant 7 Portes offers a wide tour through the traditional cuisine. 182 years of history give support to an adult, natural, generous updated cuisine. It is a cuisine based on the products of the country, without resigning the contributions of the international cuisine.
In the menu of 7 Portes you can find their famous specialities of rices and paellas!
We love Barcelona. We love Catalonia. We want you to fall in love with it too!