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Walnut Creek Magazine

Telefèric Barcelona: A Culinary Journey Celebrating 30 Years of Excellence

May 31, 2023 01:43PM ● By Pam Kessler

As you step inside the lively ambiance at Telefèric Barcelona in Walnut Creek, you're stepping into a story as flavorful as the food. The culinary journey that brought authentic Spanish fare to Walnut Creek was the vision of local developer, Brian Hirahara. It all began during a memorable honeymoon in Barcelona.

 During their romantic getaway, Brian and his wife were exploring the region’s culinary treasures, when they discovered the original Telefèric Barcelona nestled in a charming Catalonian town. The restaurant's authentic cuisine struck a chord, marking the beginning of a special connection. With each subsequent visit to Barcelona, their passion for bringing the exquisite Spanish tapas of Telefèric Barcelona to the San Francisco Bay Area grew stronger.


Renowned for his transformative contributions to downtown Walnut Creek, Hirahara joined forces with the Padrosa family to establish the restaurant at 1500 Mt. Diablo. In 2016, this dream became a reality as the tapas eatery found its place alongside Tony Gemignani's Slice House Pizza and the open-air Rooftop Restaurant & Bar. Since then, Xavi Padrosa and his sister Maria have expanded their culinary empire to Palo Alto, Los Gatos, and Los Angeles.


Telefèric Barcelona's menu artfully blends Spanish tradition with the abundance of California. Indulge in the "Pulpo a la Gallega," tender Galician-style octopus atop potato puree, or savor the "Gambas al Ajillo," succulent garlic shrimp. The Maine Lobster Paella is crowned by a juicy tail, Gulf shrimp, and octopus resting upon a bed of saffron-infused rice, heightened by dollops of garlicky aioli.

The menu continues to evolve, with fresh additions such as the Crab Croquettes and Taquitos de Tuna, perfectly complementing an extensive selection of Spanish wines and inventive cocktails.

In celebration of their original Catalan venture's 30th anniversary, the Walnut Creek location has undergone a stunning transformation, revealing a modern aesthetic. The diverse seating arrangements cater to every dining experience, with outdoor patio seating and a lively bar area where guests can soak in the buzzing street scene below.




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