The historic city of Girona, located in Catalonia, is home to some excellent places to eat, including former ‘World’s Best Restaurant’ (currently at number two) El Celler de Can Roca. From traditional tapas to contemporary Catalan cuisine and even authentic Mexican, here’s our pick for the 10 best restaurants in Girona.
Legendary El Celler de Can Roca has been featured in ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ list a number of times. It was ‘World’s Best Restaurant’ in 2013 and 2015, while in 2014 and 2016, it came in at number two. It has also been awarded a prestigious three Michelin stars. The restaurant was opened in 1986 by the three Roca brothers – Jordi, Josep and Joan. Joan is the main chef, while Josep is the sommelier, and Joan is the pastry chef. The menu takes cooking to a new level with its avant-garde menu, yet still maintaining the memory of good family food. If you want to eat here however, you’ll have to put yourself on the waiting list up to 11 months in advance.
This sister restaurant of Michelin-starred Massana is a gastro-bar with a trendy, hip vibe, long tables and Asian-inspired dishes. Try the king-sized prawn tempura with green shisho mayonnaise, the red tuna sashimi with soy or the pork jowls with tandoori sauce, cucumber and mango. They also have a tapas sharing menu featuring cocoa kid goat and rosemary flan, crunchy cassava, and guacamole and lime ice cream.
Hidden in the Old Town, this place is like a cross between an art gallery and a restaurant, showing creativity in its decor as well as its food. Chef Louis Llamas Pahissa cooks up a fusion of Mediterranean and international dishes using fresh, local produce. Think tuna tataki with black olives, stuffed zucchini flowers and artichokes filled with foie gras and vegetables. There are also some good vegetarian options (which can be hard to find in Spanish restaurants), including cannelloni, tabouleh or arugula salad with pear and parmesan. Don’t forget to leave room for their delicious homemade desserts.
Located in the heart of the Old Quarter, down cobbled backstreets and under ancient bridges, Occi creates contemporary Catalan dishes made from market-fresh seasonal produce. The menu features plates such as Iberian ham and local cheeses to start, and grilled cod, carpaccio of prawns or corkscrew squid for mains. Here you’ll dine in a contemporary setting with plenty of natural wood and glass. Don’t forget to try their excellent gin and tonics.
La Poma, meaning apple in Catalan, is a cosy restaurant with wine red walls, serving up an array of creative tapas dishes with an international twist. Think corn triangles with brie and mango, crunchy chicken wings, grilled vegetables with romesco sauce and melted Camembert with strawberry jam. They also serve large salads to share, a selection of homemade baked breads and mains, from grilled duck with orange to beef steak with mushrooms.
Set on one of the most atmospheric squares in Girona – Plaça de la Independència, surrounded by elegant arches and pillars, this place is a local favourite. Outside it’s glasses of wine and plates of tapas on the terrace, while upstairs it’s contemporary Catalan cuisine. Dishes are local and seasonal, and feature Catalan products such as cheese, asparagus and boletus (a local type of mushroom).
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If you’re feeling like something different to classic Spanish and Catalan cuisine, then this authentic Mexican restaurant, might be exactly what you’re looking for. Choose to sit inside the tiny restaurant or outside on the leafy terrace, above a busy pedestrianised street. Believe it or not, authentic Mexican food is quite hard to come by in Spain, but this place does the country proud with small plates of nopal (cactus) tacos, homemade blue corn tortillas, cochinita pibil (slow roasted pulled pork), and homegrown habanero chillies to top it all off.
Despite its name – Munich in German, this place serves creative Catalan fare in a cave-like environment with bare rock walls and French boudoir-style furniture in black and silver. The tasting menus are good value and feature dishes such as pomegranate jelly on foie gras ganache, prawns with citrus, coconut and asparagus, and cockle and king fish soup. There’s also traditional crema catalana dessert with a mango foam and salted caramel ice cream to finish.
This cute little restaurant is one of the best places for traditional Catalan cooking in the whole of the city. Run by the fourth generation of the same family – this is home cooking at its finest. All the ingredients come directly from the local market and go into classic dishes such as veal foot, tripe, and stewed veal tongue with mushrooms. They also have a good tapas selection including fried artichokes, pickled anchovies, scrambled eggs with mushrooms and salt cod with apple.
Bar, Restaurant, Fusion, Mediterranean, Spanish, Japanese, $$$
This modern bar and restaurant gives guests a molecular-gastronomic experience of smoking, foaming and bubbling plates of food. Their tasting menu features fusion Spanish and Japanese-inspired dishes, including curd yam with sturgeon and pickled ginger; sashimi scallop with lemon grass soup and cashews; and mini grilled squid with creamy parsnip, leeks and prunes.