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Spain MICHELIN Restaurant Experience (first time)

Hi all,

Family of 4 has reservations to eat lunch at El Celler de Can Roca in Girona in June.

We have never been to any MICHELIN restaurant, and aren't fancy folks, but would like to have this experience.

We are traveling light, so I'm concerned about our dress and in general the expectations we should have.

As for clothing, I'd not like to embarrass ourselves, but I also want to plan for the bare minimum at that. ;)

(We are planning a shopping afternoon in Barcelona, but am most concerned that we have the right shoes - see restaurant FAQ):

In our restaurant, we provide a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere to
enjoy the gastronomic experience, and no specific dress code is
required. However, we recommend a formal dress code, which includes
long pants and closed-toe shoes.

Please share your experiences, lessons learned and practical advice!

Many thanks!

Posted by
4019 posts

Woow lucky you! That's probably the top rated restaurant in Spain (and the world). as for this:

In our restaurant, we provide a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere to enjoy the gastronomic experience, and no specific dress code is required. However, we recommend a formal dress code, which includes long pants and closed-toe shoes.

Basically they don't want tourists with flipflops from the beach, I wouldn't overthink it, don't need a tuxedo or anything like that, we are generally very casual in Spain

Posted by
1196 posts

Michelin star restaurants can have varying degrees of formality so what I would do is read reviews and try to find any images that will give an indication as to what people are wearing at this particular restaurant.

My take on the dress code you've posted would be basically no beach wear very casual clothing like joggers or other sportswear. I would assume by ‘informality’ that any long pants, including smart jeans, would be acceptable.

Posted by
7726 posts

Sounds like slacks, nice dress shirt, something other than sandals or athletic shoes. Does not sound like a jacket or tie is required. Basically just what you would wear to a nice restaurant in your own town, same for the females.

Posted by
356 posts

Thank you three for confirming!

I was hoping it was along these lines, but I am planning on taking sandals, so will ensure we get shoes!

I want to buy espadrille shoes in Barcelona anyway... ;) Seriously though, just to confirm, espadrille are considered sandals in Spain even if they are closed toe correct?

Posted by
2594 posts

I've been to their gelateria there in Girona where they have many interesting flavors, and they have a version of the Sicilian ice cream sandwich that is quite a treat.

I've been to at least one Michelin-starred restaurant in Spain, Vertical in Valencia, you can search for my review. All the servers will be multilingual and will ask you if you have any food allergies or requirements. General advice is to let them do the driving, and maybe add a favorite wine or other drink or an extra side dish or somesuch to make it a little personalized.
For instance, in Spain and France they don't usually take butter with their bread, but when I ask for some they are happy to bring me a dish, often stylishly presented.

Posted by
5428 posts

I wouldn't stress about it. Whilst I haven't been to that particular restaurant I've eaten in various Michelin starred restaurants to know that dress code really isn't a thing. It all boils down to common sense, don't wear anything that looks like you're heading to the beach or gym. In summer I've often eaten lunch in smart shorts (not cargo types) and a polo shirt and in the evening usually switch to jeans or chinos.

Posted by
356 posts

Feeling much better, thank you! I appreciate too the information about how the meal goes and deferring to the staff. I’m looking forward to it!

Posted by
1426 posts

Not all Michelin star restaurants are equal. El Celler de Can Roca isn’t just any Michelin starred restaurant. It’s one of the few restaurants that are awarded not 1, not 2, but 3 Michelin stars. 3 stars are the highest rating that Michelin can give to a restaurant. For reference; in the whole of Spain only 15 restaurants are awarded 3 stars, whereas 222 restaurants have 1 star.

If you’ve never eaten in a Michelin starred restaurant before, you’re not just diving in the deep end of the swimming pool, you’re diving in the deep end from the 10 meter diving platform.
I would suggest you to read reviews, so you know what to expect, what to do and what not to do. Even better, try to find a report by a food writer or food expert who had lunch there. They usually write about their experience in more detail.

I always consider a dress code on the website to be a great service to their guests. Yes, it’s helpful for the restaurant itself as well. But it also gives you information about what other guests will likely wear, so you don’t stand out and feel uncomfortable.
So if a 3 star restaurant specifically recommends a formal dress code and states this includes long pants and closed-toe shoes, no one is going to show up in shorts, not even for lunch.
For many people lunch or dinner in a 3 Michelin star restaurant is a memorable, perhaps even once in a lifetime, experience. Dressing up nicely is part of that experience.

Please understand I’m not writing any of this to discourage you. I’ve had the opportunity to dine in Michelin starred restaurants all over the world, and I find that knowing what to expect helps me enjoy the experience even more.

Posted by
10369 posts

Since you asked about Espadrilles: the traditional flat ones, are a tiny notch above flip-flops on the dressy scale. They scream vacation to Europeans when they appear in the stores in spring, and signal that summer is soon here. Hope they do the same for you.

Posted by
182 posts

What a great thing to do as a family. We have eaten at maybe 15 3 star restaurants over the years. You will never forget the experience. Don't worry about dressing fancy. Just follow the guidelines. The staff will take care of the rest and guide you through the process of enjoying such a wonderful meal. Every experience we had was special and outstanding. Just don't eat a large breakfast that day.

Posted by
356 posts

Just a follow up - we did not embarrass ourselves, we all had closed toe shoes. My husband had slacks, button up long sleeved shirt, tie, but no blazer. My eldest daughter was the "least" dressy with a flowy peasant skirt to the ankles and cotton top. I agree it was part of the fun to dress up, it was just challenging with our multi-climate 5 week trip packing light (no checked bags).

We enjoyed the 3-4 hour experience. It was really quite a presentation! We are not foodies, so I can't say I enjoyed all the food, but the event/process was definitely a worthy endeavor. Thanks again all for your pre-trip inputs! Invaluable!