Getting a reservation at El Celler de Can Roca was fairly easy in 2013. You just called or e-mailed a few weeks in advance, gave them 2 or 3 dates during which you would be in town and you got your reservation.
That was before the restaurant was given the number one spot in a popular ranking list. Since then, things have changed. El Celler de Can Roca is still the same restaurant that it was last year, when it was ranked (unfairly) number 2 in the world. But its popularity has skyrocketed since then, attracting all sorts of crowds.
Before, you could make a reservation up to 11 months in advance. Now, you can only make the reservation 11 months in advance. Which means if you want to go let's say in 6 months, it is not possible anymore because they are fully booked. So you have to plan a year ahead before going.
Their reservation system is similar to that of Noma's. It is an online calendar, which opens up for new bookings on the first day of each month and is available up to 11 months ahead. Because it is a very popular restaurant right now, the only availability will be for the month 11 months ahead. For instance, on 1/3/14 the whole month of February 2015 will be available, starting at midnight.
So, if you want to go to El Celler de Can Roca, get up at midnight on the first of the month (local time) or take your chances the next day and plan 11 months ahead.
It only takes a few hours for the whole month to get fully booked. If you try on the second of the month, which is the next day, it will probably be impossible to find the date you want or any date for that matter.
They will ask for your credit card later on, to confirm your reservation.
On a side note, Barcelona is a city which hosts many conferences. This means that if you want a reservation during those busy periods, it is nearly impossible to get it. For instance, during the Mobile World Congress, even if you do get up at 12.00 o'clock midnight, you will probably not be able to make the booking because by the time you finish typing your name, somebody else faster has grabbed your reservation.
There is another way if you feel seriously lucky. If there is a cancelation. You can always have your hotel's concierge to give it a try. You got nothing to lose.
Also keep in mind that if their reservation calendar does not work during any other days, it could mean that they are fully booked and there is no reason to show the months ahead.
Dear Lynda Gard,
Thank you for your comment. Yes, it has to be local time, Girona time that is.
We would love to see your comments and photos if you visit Can Rocas!
Very helpful information. When you say you need to make a reservation at midnight on the first of the month 11 months ahead, do you mean midnight Girona time?