Food lovers looking for a gastronomic holiday in 2013 could do worse than heading to Spain, thanks to the country being awarded 20 new Michelin stars in the new 2013 guide.
The definitive culinary guidebook has recognised the rising standards of Spain's many high-class eateries, leading to Spain's tourist board to describe the country as a "world leader in gastronomy." The restaurants honoured with stars in the new guide can be found in various regions, giving gastronomes the option of touring around Spain and finding top quality restaurants in a variety of areas.
Barcelona's Hotel Arts, with chef Paco Perez in the kitchen, gained a new Michelin star, as did the restaurant Moments, run by Raul Balam. The Catalan city boasts a huge number of Michelin-starred establishments, from those with one star such as Hisop or Manairo to two-star venues such as Lasarte and Àbac. For the ultimate dining experience, visitors to Barcelona could head 30km north of the city to the excellent three-star restaurant Sant Pau, although booking well in advance is recommended.
Other Spanish restaurants gaining a first star include Chiron in Madrid, Mina in Bilbao, Richard Camarena in Valencia and Jose Carlos Garcia in Malaga. Two restaurants in Spain were honoured with a third Michelin star - Azurmendi, close to Bilbao, and Quique Dacosta Restaurante in Denia.
Other three-star options for visitors to Spain include Akelarre and Arzak in San Sebastian, and the near-legendary El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, where the three superstar Roca brothers run the kitchens with supreme style and a playful touch.
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