Restaurant Can Solé: Cuisine with history in Barcelona
Can Solé is one of Barcelona’s most emblematic restaurants and one of the few that has been able, since its opening in 1903, to grow and value its loyal clientele. Although the restaurant seemed to have lost its way for a few years, in 1994 it came back on course when Josep Maria García took over.
You may visit a lot of new and old restaurants in Barcelona, but one always reaches the same conclusion... finding a place that offers good value for the price is no easy task.
Thus, when you discover Can Solé, you cannot help but be pleasantly surprised by its history, warmth, and more importantly -- the quality of its cuisine.
The restaurant maintains the spirit of the year in which it was born: tiles from the era, white marble tables, an age-old counter… nothing has been changed or disguised with new trends or styles. The blue tints on the walls are reminiscent of the Mediterranean Sea and even the cuisine pays tribute to the sea. Furthermore, the framed photos around you preserve the memory of the restaurant's celebrity clientele. Can Sole may not be called trendy or “in”, but Can Solé speaks for itself. It doesn’t need impressive décor to attract guests. Its cuisine, original atmosphere and excellent service are more than enough to encourage people not only to pay a visit but return and remember the restaurant.
The most significant proof of its quality is a clientele that has remained loyal for many years, and when I say “years” I don’t mean just five or six… In fact, Josep Maria points out that up to 4 different generations of the same family have sat and continue to sit at his tables, passing the legacy down through the years as the grandchildren continue to find the same pleasures and the same good service that had been so highly appreciated by their grandparents. A steadfast loyalty, indeed. Another example of this is the surprising fact that there are some clients who, instead of calling the restaurant to book a table, call the owner’s mobile directly. Over time, friendships develop at Can Sole.
For those addicted to guides, we may say that not only does Can Solé appear in most of them, (not so amazing when we remember that, nowadays, everything is possible at the right price), but that it also appears in Zagat, one of the most prestigious American guides. And that truly is merit. Similarly, a few years ago the New York Times wrote an article on the restaurant... and that counts for something.
This media presence, caused largely by word of mouth, led Josep Maria to translate the menu into several languages, including Japanese. This doesn't mean Can Sole is a "tourist" restaurant, but it is one that is considered a must when people come to Barcelona. Another sign of quality.
The dishes on Can Solé's menu are based on Mediterranean, Catalan and "market" or traditional cuisine. The bar has been set high and, rather than serving something that may not be up to par, the restaurant prefers to leave it off the menu for the day. It cannot permit itself to disappoint the diners who visit on a regular basis, something that must always be remembered. Can Solé offers a wide range of dishes of the day and seasonal produce, which Josep Ma communicates personally to the clients in order to help and advise them, thereby achieving his main goal: that his clients have a good meal and a wonderful time at his restaurant.
On its varied and extensive menu is its famous "caldoso" or rice broth, noodle dishes, ham and pâté croquettes, cod balls with pine nuts, its emblematic baby squid and, of course, its fish, shellfish and an exquisite cod cooked in various ways. The restaurant's philosophy is based on the saying: "Do unto others as you would have done unto you," and that's why it aims to offer good cooking based on traditional recipes, fresh ingredients and impeccable service.
The wine list contains over 100 different specially selected wines, representing almost all the Spanish D.O. regions (appellation) in red, rosé and white varieties, ranging from new wines, aged, reserve and grand reserve, as well as Spanish cavas and French champagnes.
So much effort is always repaid and that's why the restaurant has been awarded the "plaque of honour" by the Generalitat de Catalunya for its work for Tourism and has also won the National Gastronomic Award. Josep Maria is a member of the Chaine des Rotiseurs in the category of Culinary Vice-Councillor of Catalonia and also belongs to the Rice Guild of the Valencia Region.