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Oriol Balaguer, Barcelona

2 Plaça Sant Gregori Taumaturg
Spain 08021
Tel: 34 93 201 1846's insider take:

Barcelona is awash in specialist chocolate shops, bijou establishments where presentation and unexpected flavors are as important as the purity of the cacao. But for something unique in the world of haute chocolate, make your way to Oriol Balaguer in a well-heeled barri above the Avinguda Diagonal. Balaguer is the son of a pastry maker and worked for seven years in the kitchen of Ferran Adrià, infusing flavors such as star anise and saffron into labored, multilayered bonbons wrapped in stylish, minimalist packaging. Like his mentor, Balaguer has elevated his culinary craft to an art form. His tiny matte-black-and-white corner establishment has the feel of a fine jewelry shop, with cakes and sweets displayed in linear glass cabinets that are backlit in dramatic violet and surrounded by a cloud of dry ice. Be sure to ask about Balaguer's "Concept Cake"—he creates a different one every month.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 2:30 pm and 5 to 9 pm, Sundays 10 am to 2:30 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.