Eating Out

Accessible Fine Dining at Tickets Tapas Bar – Barcelona, Spain

Getting a ticket to Tickets Barcelona is no easy feat. The word is out – this may be the best value fine dining in the city, if not the world. The tapas here are a mix of elBulli’s greatest hits, along with equally impressive new creations. You can order a la carte or opt for the tasting menu. After dinner, you may even be invited to the secret dessert room, a Willy Wonka-esque wonderland complete with a ceiling covered in gigantic berries and candy canes.

We weren’t able to get reservations at first and had to practically beg Enigma (the latest and greatest elBarri family restaurant) to help us. Enigma came through and got us a 10:30pm weeknight seating! It definitely helped to make a reservation at another elBarri restaurant and leverage that.

Still full from the 40+ tasting menu at Enigma the night prior, we opted for the a la carte option at Tickets. With two drinks, a satisfying amount of tapas, and plenty of dessert, the meal ended up being a reasonable €100 per person. Considering Tickets is ranked #25 on the World’s 50 Best, holds 1 Michelin star, and is one of my top meals ever, this was quite a steal.

We kicked it off with excellent, well-balanced cocktails.

Tickets - Yellow Submarine and Pamplemousse
Yellow Submarine and Pamplemousse

The iconic elBulli liquid olives were probably the most forgettable bite of the night – that’s saying something.

Tickets - Liquid Olive-s.
Liquid Olive-s

Of the raw oysters offered, they featured an exclusive type of oyster produced just for the elBarri family of restaurants. We added caviar which paired well with the incredible brightness and delicate texture of this oyster.

Tickets - Enigma Oyster with Caviar - Amelie oyster produced exclusively for elBarri
Enigma Oyster with Caviar – Amelie oyster produced exclusively for elBarri

The Mini Airbags had an awesome Manchego foam center. I could eat handfuls of these bites.

Tickets - Mini Airbag, manchego cheese foam filling, hazelnut oil caviar.
Mini Airbag, manchego cheese foam filling, hazelnut oil caviar

The Air Baguette was an impressive hollow mini breadstick wrapped in beef. Good, but I would have preferred ibérico de bellota.

Tickets - Airbagutte with "Rubia gallega"
Airbagutte with “Rubia gallega”

Many of the larger courses had elaborate table-side preparation. The white asparagus was dramatically cut out and plated. The texture was nicely soft, but not mushy at all, and the cream had great acidity.

Tickets - Tableside presentation of the white aspargus
Tableside presentation of the white aspargus
Tickets - White Asparagus, seaweed
White Asparagus, seaweed

Next were gigantic morels! The walnut presentation reminded me of the rabbit brain and walnut dish at Enigma the night prior. This was much more tasty for my palette though. The walnut had such rich flavor and soft texture from being cooked in chicken bouillon.

Tickets - Morels with cream, walnut cooked in chicken bouillon
Morels with cream, walnut cooked in chicken bouillon

The king crab tacos were a fun, make your own dish. Not to mention the crab was the best crab I’ve tasted – such tender texture!

Tickets - King Crab Tacos, leaf, potato seaweed, garlic aioli
King Crab Tacos, leaf, potato seaweed, garlic aioli

We were pretty full at this point, but the octopus dish looked quite impressive so I placed a half order – a good decision. The wasabi panko breading was a great contrast to the tender, yet chewy octopus. The pickled cucumbers were great too with a nice crunch.

Tickets - Crunchy Octopus, panko, kimchi mayonnaise, Tickets’ cucumber
Crunchy Octopus, panko, kimchi mayonnaise, Tickets’ cucumber

The bright white wine we enjoyed with dinner was also standout and a great value at €8 a glass.

Tickets - Akila, K Blanco 2016, Bierzo, Spain - Palomino/Doña Blanca Blend
Akila, K Blanco 2016, Bierzo, Spain – Palomino/Doña Blanca Blend. Very bright, mineral unfilitered white.

After dinner, we headed to the wondrous dessert room.

Tickets - The invite only dessert room
The invite only dessert room

As good as the savory courses were, I thought the desserts were even more impressive. The cheesecake holds a special place in my sweet tooth heart as the best dessert I have tried! Shaped like a cheese round, it had a subtle hazelnut white chocolate outer “rind” and the fluffiest, yet decadent center. The texture, along with the balanced sweetness was better than any cheesecake I could have dreamt of.

Tickets - Tickets cheesecake, hazelnut white chocolate "rind" - my favorite dessert of all time!
Tickets cheesecake, hazelnut white chocolate “rind” – my favorite dessert of all time!
Tickets - Tickets cheesecake, hazelnut white chocolate "rind" - my favorite dessert of all time!
Tickets cheesecake, cut open.
Tickets - Tickets cheesecake label
Tickets cheesecake label

After that legendary showing, I wasn’t sure if I could enjoy any other dessert, but the ice cream stroopwaffle and chocolate passionfruit flower were nearly as good! Like the cheesecake, there wasn’t one particular thing that stood out, rather every single aspect was just incredible. A very sweet ending to what will most likely be my favorite meal of 2018.

Tickets - Stroopwaffle ice cream sandwich, biscuit and speculoos ice cream, salted caramel, fried almond
Stroopwaffle ice cream sandwich, biscuit and speculoos ice cream, salted caramel, fried almond
Tickets - Chocolate and coconut flower, passion fruit gel, mint leaves
Chocolate and coconut flower, passion fruit gel, mint leaves
Tickets - In the magical dessert room
In the magical dessert room

2 thoughts on “Accessible Fine Dining at Tickets Tapas Bar – Barcelona, Spain

    1. Yes, I can’t wait to visit again as well! Thank you for the continued support (blog and instagram), I really appreciate it!

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