Anthony Bourdain in Spain Hero
Spain,  Europe

Anthony Bourdain in Spain:
The Complete Country Guide

For those of us in North America, Europe looks like a small region of small countries. While it’s obvious how Spain is different from France, Portugal, or other European countries, most people aren’t aware of the variations within each country until they begin visiting.

Like every country, Spain is a country with many distinct regions, cultures, language variations, and foods. To assume that one part of the country is like another underestimates the dynamic influence that history, immigration, and natural resources have had. Spain is vibrant and varied – and merits a lifetime of exploration… or at least a few trips.

Anthony Bourdain made several trips to Spain throughout his career, exploring the various coasts, the inland regions, and the bounties of ingredients each place provides. Sure, he tried tapas in many different parts of Spain – but he also showed us how tapas varies tremendously despite the dishes all bearing the same general name.

If you love Spain, want to visit Spain, or just admire Anthony Bourdain, you might want to explore the same regions, cities, and restaurants he did. This guide will tell you all of the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Spain, so you can plan a trip to savor the same. All of these places are open as of 2022; if your research determines something different, please let me know in the comments. ¡Buen provecho!

Main Destinations Bourdain Visited in Spain

Below you’ll find a list of the bigger cities and regions visited by Anthony Bourdain in Spain; these are the general areas around which he produced specific episodes – but there are lots of other places in Spain that he visited too. (And I cover those sections below in another section.) If you’re looking to follow in Tony’s footsteps and forkfuls in Spain, these are the main places to plan a trip.

Asturias

Anthony Bourdain in Asturias Map
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Though it’s the last Spanish destination he visits, it feels fitting to start with a summary of places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Asturias. Click the links below to jump to that part of my recap, or use the address to add each restaurant to your own Asturias itinerary.

Read my full recap of Tony’s time in Asturias, where he’s guided by dear friend Chef José Andrés who hails from the region.

Barcelona

Anthony Bourdain in Barcelona Hero

Unfortunately, every place that Anthony Bourdain visited in Barcelona is now closed; there are only two tapas bars in a neighboring city that are still serving today:

  • Bar Cordoba (Carrer Luarca, 10, 08906 L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain)
  • Al Andalus (Carrer de la Primavera, 144, 08905 L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain)

Both of these spots are in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, which is really close to Barcelona – so you can easily visit them if you choose.

Granada (Andalusia)

Anthony Bourdain in Granada Hero

One of the regions in Spain people are most curious if Anthony Bourdain visited is Andalusia; he did film one episode there, primarily in the city of Granada. Here are the spots (which are still open) that he visited:

You can also read my entire recap of Bourdain’s Granada/Andalusia visit, which includes several other local dining experiences.

Madrid

Anthony Bourdain in Madrid Map
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Madrid is another popular Spanish destination – and one that Anthony Bourdain visited midway through his career (season 6 of No Reservations). While not all of the places he visited are still open today, most are:

Don’t miss my recap of Bourdain’s Madrid trip which includes details on all the incredible Madrileño foods he enjoyed.

San Sebastián

Anthony Bourdain in San Sebastian Map 2
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If I can be so bold, I’d say that San Sebastián was Bourdain’s favorite destination in Spain. He visited many times – in three of his four shows. Best of all, most of the restaurants he visited are still open even almost 20 years later!

  • Arzak (Alcalde J. Elosegi Hiribidea, 273, 20015 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain)
  • Astelena (Euskal Herria Kalea, 3, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain)
  • Bar Haizea (Aldamar Kalea, 8, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain)
  • Ganbara (San Jeronimo Kalea, 21, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain)
  • San Telmoko Goilarea (Aldamar Kalea, 8, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain)
  • Casa Urola (Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 20, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain)
  • Churreria Santa Lucía (Portu Kalea, 6, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain)

Check out my full San Sebastián recap because it will put this northern Spanish city on your travel radar for sure – everything they tried looked so delicious!

Other Places Bourdain Ate in Spain

Beyond the cities and regions mentioned above, Anthony Bourdain visited a number of other destinations and restaurants.

  • Asador Etxebarri (Axbe) – Outside San Sebastián, Bourdain visits this restaurant twice during his trips to Spain. He enjoys a variety of seafood and meats including grilled prawns, grilled chorizo, and Galician beef chop.
  • El Bohío (Illescas) – At this Michelin-starred restaurant an hour outside Madrid, Bourdain eats a number of dishes you can’t find on the menu today – but their tasting menu looks spectacular nevertheless.
  • ELKANO (Getaria) – Another spot outside San Sebastián, Bourdain tries “paleolithic cooking” here, including rock prawn; grilled squid; pil-pil cocochas (jowls or chins of hake); and grilled turbot.
  • Enric Rovira Chocolates (Castellbell i el Vilar) – As one might expect based on the name, this chocolatier in the mountains north of Barcelona is famous for its “edible Fabergé” chocolate eggs that command high prices for their incredible artistry.
  • Mugaritz (Errenteria) – One final restaurant near San Sebastián (and well worth visiting during a trip to the area), Bourdain enjoys a menu that evokes the memory of former Spanish iconic restaurant El Bulli.
  • Rafas (Roses) – Speaking of El Bulli, during one of his visits to that area, he visits Rafas with Chef Ferran Adrià. There they enjoy simple, incredibly fresh seafood dishes including seafood with sea salt and olive oil, sea conch in vinagrette, small clams, and langoustine.
  • Taberna Ca L’espinaler (Vilassar de Mar) – Located on the Costa Brava north of Barcelona, Bourdain enjoys a small meal of canned oysters, clams, and anchovies with house red wine, joined by fellow TV producer Lucy García.

A Note on El Bulli

I briefly mentioned El Bulli above, and it’s worth taking a moment to acknowledge that Bourdain did visit El Bulli several times during his TV career. I’ve taken extensive notes on the many, many courses that he tried during his meals there, but I’m not sure it’s worth sharing since you can’t visit this restaurant since it closed in 2011.

However, it is worth noting that El Bulli did challenge Anthony Bourdain as a chef and appreciator of food; while he was skeptical of the idea of food as art and science in the way that Chef Ferran Adrià presented it, he also raved about his meals. Finally, he made his final visit with Chef José Andrés before the restaurant closed, which means I’ll include it on my list of places the two chefs visited together (and add the link here once that’s published).

With that, you know all of the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Spain, and can enjoy many of the same meals that he did. Have any questions about where Anthony Bourdain went in Spain, or how to visit yourself? Let me know in the comments.

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