From Michelin-starred fine dining to rustic paella joints and cheap-and-cheerful tapas bars, Girona is home to twice-ranked World’s Best Restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca – and so much more.
The medieval city of Girona – just up the coast from Barcelona in northern Catalonia – might be small, but it has firmly established itself on the international food scene. The charming walled city is home to the legendary three-Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca, which has twice been named the best restaurant in the world. It was also the setting for Ferran Adrià’s legendary El Bulli. Fine dining aside, Girona’s food scene has everything from old-school Catalan dining rooms to lively tapas bars. Here’s our top pick of restaurants in Girona, Spain.
Locals rave about the food at Divinum for good reason. Housed in a historic building in the old town, it’s owned by Joan Morillo and Laura Tejero, who studied under the El Celler’s Roca brothers. In the airy, elegant dining room, visitors can tuck into creative Catalan dishes made with locally sourced seasonal produce, paired with the finest local wines. Go for the tasting menu, which is reasonably priced for this calibre of the restaurant – or let Joan recommend some dishes. Just don’t miss the tuna tartare with mango gelato or the artisan cheese board.
L’Alqueria is the place to come for paella and traditional Catalan rice dishes, all in an unpretentious setting. The specialities here include arròs negre (rice cooked in cuttlefish ink) and fideuà (paella with noodles instead of rice) – but it’s also a great place to devour fresh fish and seafood in general. The cod fritters, baked sea bream and tuna tartare come highly recommended. Book in advance: this place is popular with locals as well as visitors.
If you’re dining on a budget, this lively taverna provides an affordable taste of local cuisine. The bar is piled high with pintxos (hunks of crusty bread with toppings secured with skewers), allowing you to sample a variety of regional specialities for just a few euros. Think garlic prawns, cod omelette, ox cheek terrine and chorizo. Prop yourself up at the bar – which is usually packed by 8pm – and fill up your plate. Zanpanzar doesn’t take reservations, so avoid peak times if you want to guarantee a spot.
This quirky, family-run restaurant – with mismatched furniture, fairy lights and colourful tablecloths – is hidden away on a little street close to the cathedral. Here, you can tuck into dishes such as watermelon and mint gazpacho, jamon and figs on toast and cannelloni with apple aioli, all part of the reasonably priced set menu – which includes wine or beer and has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, too. Ask for a table next to the window at the back for magnificent views of the Onyar River while you eat.
This is an updated rewrite of an article by Esme Fox.
That’s food sorted, but what else? Check out our rundown of the best bars in Girona, before reading our guide to the reasons you have to visit at least once in your life. Looking for a place to stay? Check out the best luxury hotels in the city or opt for one of the top boutique stays; you can even book your room with Culture Trip. Cap your Girona holiday with a visit to one of the finest spa and wellness getaways in the city.