(1) 33 Sitges Carrer Major, 33 http://www.33sitges.com/
33 has only been open a couple of years but is an absolute joy. The manager, Darrell, and his team are the most helpful and charming hosts you could ask for (that’s him in the main photo for this post, btw). The venue is cosy and modern, the fusion menu offers something for every taste as does the extensive wine list. There’s a bargain Menu del Dia or a full-on a la carte with dishes such as Thai Duck or Peruvian Beef. It’s not cheap, though. Note that there are two levels which aren’t connected – a smaller upstairs and a much larger, cooler basement, so don’t be put off if upstairs looks full, they’ll more than likely squeeze you in downstairs.
(2) Nem Carrer Illa de Cuba, 9. http://www.nemsitges.com/?lang=en
Nem is a close contender for my favourite place in the world. When I pull up a stool and take my first sip of Rioja I know my holiday has begun. Nem is a modern tapas bar; the steak tartare is pretty much heaven. The menu changes every month so it’s worth going back again and again. The sweet dishes (there are usually about four) are also tapas-sized and near perfection. The windows pull right back so the noise from the street below echoes up to your table. Very atmospheric. The best thing about Nem is the value. I’ve never managed to spend more than 25 Euros per person here, despite trying very hard indeed. Unless you’re lucky and can squeeze on the bar you’ll more than likely have to book, but it’s run by an English guy so no need to dust off that high school Spanish when you give them a call.
(3) La Picara Carrer de Sant Pere, 3. http://www.lapicarasitges.es/
An amazing tapas restaurant run by friendly Spanish women. Look out for the menu in English on A4-sized boards on the bench opposite the bar. This place is full of locals and the tables are often booked, so if you’re planning to go then pop in at 12 on your way to the beach and reserve a table for later. Note that it’s easy to over-order as the dishes are more raciones than tapas, i.e. they’re quite big. You wouldn’t want to end up ordering too many albondigas and wind up looking bloated on the beach now, would you?
(4) Komokieras Carrer Espalter, 3. http://www.komokieras.com/ca/inici/
This is a slightly more formal option, but be assured that none of the restaurants in Sitges are going to make you feel uncomfortable for wearing shorts. This has a pleasant courtyard area and an inside area too although they’re quite similar so I wouldn’t feel disappointed because you have to sit inside. Dishes like steak, lamb shank and pan-fried scallops abound – it’s fairly traditional, hearty fayre. You get a warm welcome and complementary cava when you arrive. Bigger than it looks too, so often quite easy to get in without a booking.
(5) El Castell Carrer Carreta, 21. http://elcastelldesitges.com/
The beauty of El Castell is that it’s right by the church on the seafront but down a quaint street of fisherman’s houses, so that it feels off the beaten track when it isn’t. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the bars and the beach then El Castell is worth a look, with a very relaxed, intimate feel. It has a range of salads and lighter bites (such as the infamous Xato (pronounced Chatto) for anchovy lovers) along with some heftier meatier dishes. Good selection of desserts too.
(6) The Beach House Passeo Ribera, 33. http://www.beachhousesitges.com/
This is in a great location, as the name might suggest, on the beach. It’s a sort of burger/fusion menu with good service and good desserts of the deconstructed cheesecake in a jar ilk. There is a bar/restaurant on the roof of the same building which seems to be entirely independent of The Beach House called Soi 33 Street Food Tapas. It’s a pretty unique rooftop location with a sea view, so maybe worth a look.
(7) La Incidencia del Factor Vi Carrer Bonaire, 25. http://factorvi.com/
I wish I understood the name. Despite being on Carrer Bonaire, which is without doubt the sleaziest street in Sitges, this is probably the town’s most premium restaurant. A lovely warm welcome, a very cosy and intimate feel inside with interesting décor and great array of meats, cheese and wines on offer. Almost certainly the most expensive option in Sitges, but delivers the highest end feel too.
(8) El Pou Carrer de Sant Bonaventura, 21. http://www.elpoudesitges.com/
Another unusual name and in English it means The Pit. This is some of the best high-end tapas I’ve ever had, with incredible quality twists on classic tapas dishes. However, I’ve only been once as it’s really hard to get in. Not only that but the service was incredibly chaotic. So, sensational food if you can get it, but good luck getting a table and good luck getting served once you’re in there.
(9) Can Marti Carrer Bassa Rodona, 10. http://www.canmarti.es/
Can Marti is uber-authentic and this is why I include it here. If you need an escape from Parrots and Queenz for a while then Can Marti is a winner and it’s just around the corner. It has quite a few outdoor tables but is pretty pleasant inside too. You’ll be served by avuncular waiters who are only too happy to explain the peculiarities of the local cuisine to you. The Xato, a local fishy delicacy, crops up again, and if you’re feeling brave you could even try the Calçot, a green spring onion grown locally which you dip in sauce and suck.
(10) Big Al’s Carrer de Francesc Gumà, 21. http://www.bigals.cat/
I include the amazing Big Al’s slightly reluctantly. Everything is branded (even the tables). The door is roped off and you have to stand outside and wave at a waiter to gain admittance, which I take great exception to. It all feels a bit pleased with itself, rushed and commercialised. But, it’s sneaking in at number 10 as the burgers, hotdogs, craft beers and various super-American accoutrements are out of this world.