Can Solé (Barcelona)

It’s easy to get captured by the ocean views at the marina or the glitzy lights of a main street and decide on a restaurant where staff members beckon you with menus outside. Can Solé is not this type of establishment. In fact, it’s tucked away on a small side street with a discrete sign and no staff in sight until you enter. Having operated since 1903, they know a few things about hospitality and made us feel taken care of from the jump.

Our starters arrived quickly consisting of a surprisingly hearty green salad (9.50€). For the price, I was expecting the classic iceberg, tomato, and cucumber affair but was treated to romaine, olives, tomatoes, shaved carrots, onion, and poached white asparagus spears instead. As with most European restaurants, the dressing of oil, vinegar, and salt follows a DIY approach.

Then there was the simple grilled asparagus (12.50€), just cooked through with a sprinkle of salt. It’s not fussy, it’s done right.

But it was the glistening plate of Iberico jamon (25.50€) that elicited ohhs and ahhs across the table. Shaved carefully and thinly, the ham was wonderfully sweet and “clean” tasting compared to Canadian counterparts. Our server suggested we get an order of the tomato bread (2.50€ per two slices) to go with it: thick pieces of well toasted (some a bit over done) country bread accompanied with raw garlic cloves and halved tomatoes to rub and smash to your heart’s content.

The rice in the seafood paella (21.50€ per portion; two portions pictured below) were plump and well seasoned adorned with a generous portion of mussels, clams, calamari, bay scallops, and two shrimp and two langoustines. For my standards, I found the seafood a smidge overdone, yet Can Solé was already better than other restaurants.

Their black seafood rice (21.50€ per portion; two portions pictured below) had a depth of flavour that brought the paella to another level and was a favourite around the table - if you’re only having one paella, I highly recommend ordering the black version. Both rice dishes weren’t overly salty but had tons of flavours; since it wasn’t over seasoned, the seafood flavours could shine through.

Just go with a larger group as the paellas require a two-portion minimum and they are huge. Our table of seven shared four portions and were more than satisfied.

I’m so glad we ventured off the touristy areas and found Can Solé’s great service and atmosphere. The food was fabulous, and the cozy restaurant felt a world away from the flashy sign hawking establishments.

Overall mark - 9 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Barcelona, Spain
 Address: C. de Sant Carles, 4

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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