Once you have your venue and catering confirmed, it’s a good idea to start planning the welcome dinner or rehearsal dinner. Food is always a quite considerate cost, so this is something you want to plan for quite early on. Don’t leave it until the last minute!
Firstly, you will need to decide if you are inviting everyone, or only the closest family and bridal party. If you want to follow the traditional destination etiquette, then you would invite everyone who will attend the wedding. Personally, I think this is a very personal decision that every couple has to make. It comes down to various things, such as budget, size of the wedding and personal preference.
But a welcome dinner is for sure a nice way to get together with the guests before the wedding. It’s also a nice way to thank them for coming all the way to Spain. If you don’t want to do a full dinner, you can also invite the guests to a bar for a welcome drink, which is a really nice option. Or a combination of both: a cocktail dinner.
In my opinion, the ideal place for a welcome dinner is a place that really captures the essence of Barcelona, you want the guests to really feel the vibe of the city and the destination. Therefore, in this post I want to share my 4 favorite places for welcome dinners in Barcelona. By the way, if you’re getting married in Sitges, I am working on an identical post like this but specially for Sitges.
I’m going to stop rambling now. Here you have it, 8 restaurants in Barcelona that I recommend for welcome dinners. Enjoy!
Torre d’Altamar is a sophisticated restaurant located in a high tower close to Playa San Sebastián and Hotel W. Their food can be describes as a creative, modern Mediterranean kitchen. The panoramic views are amazing. Maximum capacity of this restaurant is 120 persons. After dinner, take a walk on the beach, and for those who want to continue the night there are plenty of nightclubs in the Port Olimpic area.
El Xalet de Montjuic
Another restaurant with great views over the city. This time located on the Montjuïc hill. This restaurant offers a large outdoor terrace, but also large indoor spaces with views over the city. There is a room with revolving floor that an be rented in exclusivity, and it also has a balcony. They are known for blending Catalan cuisine with modern touches. They can cater for large events, but also more intimate events.
Gran Hotel La Florida
This five star hotel is located up on the mount Tibidabo, where you also close by will find a small vintage style attraction park with incredible views over the city. You need to consider the 30 min transfer time that it takes to get there by car or bus, since it’s not in the city center. They offer great outdoor terraces that you can rent in exclusivity with views over the city. They focus on local and Mediterranean cuisine.
Barceloneta is a restaurant located in the neighborhood with the same name, close to the San Sebastian beach and with views over Port Vell. They have private terraces for groups which gives you more intimacy. Their kitchen is delicious fish and seafood, simple dishes made with a lot of care from the best ingredients.
Can Travi Nou
This rustic Catalan country house and restaurant is located in the upper part of the city, but it’s well worth the visit. Choose between many different sized private dining rooms with a rustic atmosphere. They also have a large terrace in case you prefer to sit outdoors. Their kitchen can be described as market kitchen and Catalan cuisine. Transfer time to Barcelona city center is about 20-25 min, so it’s recommended to have a bus for the guests. They can cater for large groups.
El Nacional (El Magatzem)
Do you want something a bit different? Then El Nacional could be something for you. It is a huge open space with various restaurants to choose from. My favorite however, is a secret room hidden from the rest of the restaurants which you can only reach if you know where it is. It’s called El Magatzem (which means ‘the warehouse’ in Catalan). When you arrive to El Nacional you will be greeted by the waiter who will invite you to a welcome drink at the bar before taking you to the secret space. It’s quite fun to keep this a secret to your friends so they don’t know where they will be going until they arrive. In this secret space you will be able to enjoy an intimate tapas dinner. This experience works better with smaller groups.
En Ville is a romantic, bistro style restaurant in the Raval district that blends local Catalan cuisine with the french kitchen. It’s the perfect place for intimate dinners up to 50 guests. They have a semi private space where you can have a long table for 50 persons.
Boca Grande is a trendy and cool restaurant located between Passeig de Gracia and Rambla Catalunya. The restaurant is not very big, but there is also the possibility to rent the bar in exclusivity. And did I mention that they have a DJ in the restroom? This restaurant is also more suitable for smaller groups.
So there you have it! I hope you got inspired to start planning your welcome dinner in Barcelona. If you are planning your dinner and cannot find anything suitable, you are more than welcome to reach out. I would be happy to help you out!