Food & Shops

Food glorious food is how the song went and it isn’t half bad here. The Food section will have a list of Girona restaurants and we’ll also include restaurants just outside of Girona. Our Places page will also mention other eateries in the wider Costa Brava. Scroll down for our views on shops.

Catalan cuisine makes use of a rich variety of ingredients from the sea and the surrounding mountains, locally called ‘Mar i montana’. 

Girona is home to many top class restaurants, perhaps the best known is the 3 Michelin starred El Celler de Can Roca, voted The World’s Best Restaurant in 2013 and 2015.

Of course there are places to eat to suit all pockets and tastes, with a recent rise in Sushi and vegetarian restaurants. Catalans are accustomed to good standards of food and the general cost of eating out is lower than where I’m from, the UK.

In my time dining here I’ve noticed that most dishes have little extra in the way of supplementary ingredients, so if you order a steak that’s essentially all you get. Maybe a few token chips are added but nothing compared to a typical ‘meat and two veg’ in England. Plus the wine selection is varied as Catalonia produces Cava sparkling wine and the Penedes region is an important wine producing area. 

As for timing, if it’s lunch then from about 1.30pm till 4pm is the norm. The menu of the day options are keenly priced and are cheaper on weekdays. Prices can also shoot up by an extra 5-10 euros at weekends. Evenings most places don’t open until 8.30pm and locals can be seen sitting down to supper as late as 10pm.

The restaurants in Girona page started out as a rough and ready A to Z listing. Of course not the complete and exhaustive list of every place to eat as new places open, old ones close, or change names. Since I started this site a lot of large, well-known travel sites have evolved to offer visitors easy access to such information and even direct booking. That’s hard to compete with and emulate.

What I hope to do is to at least check the listings here so they’re as up to date as possible, adding new places quickly. I’ll even offer my own personal review if I’ve eaten there. The Girona listings will be split between the old town and the modern areas. As for general prices of each place I’ve left that out, please go to somewhere like Tripadvisor to check.

There are also plenty of other places just outside Girona worth trying so we’ll be mentioning them too. The Girona countryside is dotted with numerous country style ‘masia’ restaurants which have always been busy. Even through the past economic hard times they’ve thrived and kept going. 

Maybe because there’s a kind of local tradition that mum doesn’t cook on Sunday, the family eats out. So much so that it really is advisable to book. There’s been many times we’ve thought about nipping out for Sunday lunch somewhere outside Girona to discover that many such places are fully booked. Good for them!

Girona old town restaurants and cafes A popular destination for eating out for tourists and locals with plenty to choose from, especially along the Rambla de la Libertat. This is a wide, pedestrianised avenue that leads into the heart of the old town. Busy times are weekends, festival days plus whenever it’s a local or national holiday. Especially for lunch so it’s advisable to make a booking. Even more so if you want to dine outside.

Placa Independència This very large, attractive square is the go-to place for dining, more so at the weekends, like Sunday afternoon. Nearly every second establishment is a restaurant, bar or cafe. The attraction is the fact that all of them have outdoor terraces, perfect for al fresco dining. The restaurants below are all located here.

Boira. This means fog in Catalan. Tucked away in one of the square’s corners its interior looks out onto the river Onyar. Catalan and Spanish dishes plus tapas. Next to here is a great ice cream place La Bombonera.

Casa Marieta. Long established, large, aged interior with a wide, varied Catalan / Spanish menu. We tried it once for Christmas Day lunch. Very few restaurants stay open on the 25th so we booked this place in late November.

Konigs. A popular, local chain with several Girona locations plus one or two in Barcelona. Eat outside as the small interior feels a bit cramped. Expect to wait at busy times. Mostly snacks, burgers, salads, sandwiches and tapas. Something to please anyone and not expensive.

Nibbles. A fairly new addition with an interesting menu, not just the usual tapas stalwarts. We’ve eaten here, good nachos and salads.

Sushi Bar. Top end price-wise sushi with a good reputation, consistently good. Modern, clean interior.

Dolce Vita. Long established, large interior, good pizzas and pasta dishes.

Munich and next door Xibarri are both good for tapas.

Cafe Royal, a corner bar/cafe that’s been around a long time.

El Raco means ‘the corner’ and it’s by the bridge which takes you into the old town. This place seems to change its name every year, this time its offering pizzas.

Catalano Taverna is a popular hangout for teenagers and students. Turn the corner and facing the river is English run Bagels and Beers.

Rest of the Old Town

Artusi, Placa de les Castanyes, 6. Choose from an interesting but higher priced menu or help yourself to quality tapas from the bar. Stone walls, rear and intimate dining area with a couple of tables out front.

Cafe B-12. Opposite Girona city hall, under the arches. Organic and vegetarian cafe/bar with outdoor seating, Stopped here a few times and tried some of the locally produced Catalan organic beers, which were good. Quite a few to choose from if you’re into craft beers eg Mosca, made near Girona.

Cal Ros, Cort Reial 9. An old mainstay that features traditional dishes like pig’s trotters, fish and rice. It’s one of few places open for xmas lunch, a bit on the high-side pricewise but there’s not much else open on the 25th.

Context, C/ de la Cort Reial, 18. A bar/cafe combined with a bookshop that also holds cultural/literature events.

La Creperie Bretonne, C/Ballesteries. Its kitchen is designed as a mini-bus. Inside it has a couple of bar areas and feels a bit labyrinth-like but plenty of original Breton artifacts adorn the walls. We sat outside facing the street but it also has a side alley with tables. The menu has a wide choice of crepes with various fillings and salads. We tried both and the crepes were large and tasty, they use buckwheat flour which I’m told is the custom in France. The salads were ample and the coconut ice cream desert was a perfect ending to the meal. Remember to try a bottle of the dry Bretton cider. On another visit we ate inside and I felt the table for four that we had was a bit too small and being December it could have been a bit warmer inside.

Divinum, C/ Albereda, 7. Another gastronomic delight which you should book for or try their daily set lunch offering. We’ve tried the tasting menu (menu degustacio) here, a real treat. You get given a new set of clean cutlery for every dish and a different wine. Top end dining.

Draps, Cort Reial 2. Small and cosy interior, with a handful of outdoor tables. Offers a lunchtime set menu. This short street has a few good restaurants within close proximity.

El Cau de Llop, C/ de Sacsimort, 5. (The wolf’s lair). Also known as Vadevins, it’s tucked away down a narrow alley. Small, basically furnished but cosy dining area with a fireplace and an upstairs. No big menu just cold meats, salads and sharing boards.

El Museu del Vi, Cort Reial 4. We sat outside on a balmy August evening and had an average meal, the outdoor tables are a bit too near the narrow road.

Els Jardins de la Merce, Pujada de la Merce 10. The large interior is tastefully decorated with small dining tables, and seating areas for just drinks with a central, square bar. This area leads out onto a larger patio garden with more tables interspersed between the planted areas, for tranquil dining. It offers a daily lunch menu including weekends. We ate here, under its porch, one Sunday lunchtime and had an enjoyable group-priced lunch. There’s a DJ that plays music inside most Friday evenings, and it also has a chill-out area up above. We’ve dined here since and the overall food experience has been a bit up and down. Maybe the owners or chefs have changed

Konigs, C/ dels Calderers. A popular spot for outdoor dining, tapas or a drink just by the steps to St. Felix church. Interior dining space too but outside is much better on a sunny day. Expect to wait at busy times.

La Terra, C/Ballesteries. Inexpensive cafe/restaurant with a limited menu, good for burgers and quiches. If you sit at the back you’ll have views of the River Onyar. Open till late.

LaTasca, Rambla de la Libertat, 34. One of many places along here. Whilst it may appear touristy you do get locals dining out along here as there are plenty of outdoor tables, no traffic except the human kind. Ideal people-watching spot.

Llevataps, Cort Reial. Always looks busy. Interesting mix of Catalan dishes with a modern twist.

A stones throw away is Brots de Vi, a corner restaurant with a few outdoor tables. Still on this street you’ll find an Indian restaurant Taj, a Mexican, Maguey and a tapas bar Zanpanzar.

Mimolet, Pou Rodo 12. This small, cosy place is down a narrow path near St. Feliu church and well worth finding if you like fine dining. We booked several days ahead which was wise, as we saw people getting turned away as we arrived. We chose the 10pm Saturday sitting and while there’s a normal menu, we tried the ‘Menu Degustacio’ a tasting menu which consists of 5 small courses and 2 desserts, spread over about an hours eating. While each portion is small, it’s a nice way to spend an evening and even the house white wine was reasonable. The only gripe was waiting a bit too long between some of the courses.

River Cafe. Just beside the steps of St Feliu church, a popular hang-out, look-at-everyone-walking-by spot. Friendly atmosphere, gets very busy with a young crowd on Fridays and at weekends. It has a side room with comfy sofas and easy listening music. Outdoor tables and a daily food menu is also available. Open till late.

Placa de Vi 7. Opposite Girona town hall. Large, welcoming interior with long wooden tables and some outdoor tables under the arches. Popular with locals and tourists.

Opposite is Can Toni (closed). Good selection of cured hams and meats with a few outdoor tables. Good service and reasonable prices.

Nu. Another one near to Girona town hall, this corner restaurant is linked to the 1 star Michelin Massana. One of the top rated restaurants it’s always busy. We tried it one Friday night having booked a week in advance and has the tasting menu. Very good.

La Tagliatella, C/ Ciutadans, 10. Large pizza and pasta place, popular with locals, busy at the weekend so expect to wait. Further down this street at no.20 is a good seafood restaurant Arros i Peix (rice and fish). Buy fish from their counter or pick it and have it cooked for you. We had a nice birthday meal here which included Turbot and grilled prawns. The seafood is so fresh you can still see some of it moving on the counter.

Vintages C/ de la Cort Real, 15. Tried once a long time ago, cosy little bistro. A few doors down is L’Estrella del Mar. Not long opened, fish counter / restaurant with a small dining area at the back. Still in the same street at no.16is La Poma. Again, a cosy hangout with an upstairs part, when we tried it it looked and felt understaffed.

Cull del Mon. Not strictly old town but not far away, up behind Girona cathedral in the small village of St Daniel and well worth the 20 min. walk. This standalone, stone-built restaurant never disappoints. Whilst it has a comfortable, minimalist interior it’s their large side terrace we enjoy. Perfect when it’s sunny. Friendly host and chef Lofti is Moroccan and his wife Catalan so the menu reflects these two culinary traditions. I’ve even spotted one of the Roca brothers in here. The daily set lunch is a good bet (closed Mondays and Tuesdays).

Girona old town bars. If you’re just after some drinks and a few tapas and don’t fancy spending out on a full blown sit down meal then hop along to one of these places.

El Pati del Rabi (The Rabbi’s patio) In the old town former Jewish area, El Call and a stone’s throw from Girona cathedral. More of late night bar offering a good range of cocktails. Cosy stone interior and small patio.

Doll, Pujada de Sant Feliu. A different approach to drinking, there’s a normal bar service but there are also tall, round tables that you can sit around that have their own beer tap. The idea is to pre-pay for a plastic card from the bar for say, 10 or 20 euros. Each table has a sensor, placing the card on the sensor activates a small light on top of the beer tap which means you’re ready to pour beer into you own glass. The twist is that each time you do this a large TV type screen displays your name, quantity drunk and the remaining money left. Naturally this promotes drinking contests, hence the attraction for students, making it quite noisy and busy on weekends. Food is also available, mostly tapas-type dishes.

Mckiernans (Taverna Irlandesa), Rambla de la Libertat 30-32. This opened in the Summer of 2007, it’s an authentic recreation of an Irish pub and not just a clone of one of these ‘chains’ of Irish bars. The owner Linda is very welcoming and offers a reasonably varied food menu which includes sandwiches, nachos, burgers and salads available till late. Plentiful outdoor seating on the Rambla, open until about 2am but outdoor drinkers need to go inside at midnight.

El Vinitu, Placa Bell Lloc 4. Small corner bar just off this tiny square and my local Friday night haunt. Run by a young friendly couple Danny and Carla who both speak English. Unassuming interior with bare brick walls and tall, narrow tables. Good selection of red and white wines by the glass or bottle, craft beers and ‘cubatas’, try their Pico Sour. The tapas menu is small, try the ‘fusta’ a sharing board of local dried meats or cheeses. Open 6.30pm till midnight.

Within this cute but small residential square you’ll also find the restaurant Curcumin and 3 more bars all serving tapas. Cercle, Can Canalla and Malabarista is a popular Vermuteria with good tapas and outside tables. All of them close by 12pm.

La Pedra, C/ dels Mercaders, 18. Small drinks bar with limited outdoor seating used by the local youth. Plain, stone-walled interior with the usual mahogany coloured tables and chairs.

Cerveseria El Primer Glop, C/ de la Barca, 23. Translates as ‘first gulp’. A drinkers paradise with plenty of local craft beers and weekly specials.

Boheme. Not in the old town but just across the river. Overlooking the open plaza near Girona’s main justice (Jujats) building. It has a rather garish red-velvet interior but serves a nice range of cocktails. Plentiful outdoor seating is available if you can’t stand the colour scheme inside.

Shops & shopping in Girona

Shopping in Girona is spread out across quite a few areas. The big clothes chains are here like Zara, H&M and Massimo Dutti. Small independent shops of all types are plentiful, as in the old town areas like La Rambla and along C/ de Carderes. The Mercadal area, around streets like C/ Santa Clara (runs parallel to the river Onyar), C/ Nou and the streets that radiate out from around the Hotel Carlamany. 

For serious shoppers there’s always Barcelona, which if you catch the fast train, can be there in 38 minutes. If driving down you’d pass La Roca Village, a large outlet centre. The Barcelona area also has two Ikea stores and rumours of a new one being built in the north of Catalonia.

Some Girona shops that we’ve found of interest include these:

Abacus, C/ Barcelona. For all your stationery items, school books, educational toys and games. Co-operative with a loyalty card that gives you discounts on every purchase.

Casa Viva, Grand via Jaume 1. A more up-market home decor store as is Cal Rei in C/Nou.

El Claustre Regal, C/Nou, 9. Nice range of quality personal gifts and mementos. In the same street there’s a small old-style hat shop, Arxer.

Wine Palace, C/ Barcelona. Large off-licence/liquor store chain with a good range of international wines, spirits and beers. My usual port of call when I need some Polish Bison vodka and Calvados. Most supermarkets here just stock Spanish wines. Fancy a drop of French plonk? France is only 40 min. drive away but try and find some French wine in Mercadona.

Also, go along C/ Barcelona towards the Hotel Melia until you reach the ‘Centre Comercial Girocenter’ also known as Hipercor. It has a large El Corte Ingles store inside with underground parking, a large supermarket in the basement and a bar/restaurant on the top floor. 

A couple of things to remember if you enter here with a large bag of any kind you’ll be asked to leave it at the “Consignia” desk near the entrance/exit for free. Just hand the assistant your bag and she’ll give you a receipt which you just hand in at the same desk when you’ve finished shopping to get them back. Also if you come out of the food hall upstairs with a plastic bag, a nice young lady will tape-up the top, before letting you walk across the store.

Girona has one large, modern, out-of-town shopping mall with extensive car parking called Espai Girones in nearby Salt. Lots of stores (130) restaurants, fast food places, cafes, a supermarket, and an eleven-screen cinema. The whole complex is open all day until 10 pm. (cinema & some eateries stay open a bit later) Gets crowded at the weekends, especially from early evening onwards. Just next door is a large Bowling place.

These three huge retail shops or sheds mentioned below are next to each other, just on the outskirts of Girona clearly visible as you enter the city via the Girona Sud (south) signs. Worth checking out if you’re planning to live here as prices are good with a large choice. They’re open Monday to Saturday 10am to 10pm, closed Sunday. They can get busy most evenings, especially weekends, I’m sure it’s people just coming out window shopping.

Media Markt. Electricals, PC’s, Laptops, Peripherals, Digital Cameras etc. All manner of domestic appliances, consumables, leads, phones, TV’s, just about anything that you can think of with a plug on the end of it. I’ve never seen such a wide range of coffee-makers. My favourite item has to be the large fridge with a beer tap on the outside.

BauHaus. Home decor items, lighting, DIY items, tools, kitchens, bathrooms, heating and plumbing, garden equipment / furniture, tools, fireplaces etc. Last time I was here it looked tired and messy. Not far from here is a newly opened branch of Leyroy Merlin which I think is better and a neater layout.

Decathalon. The go-to place for locals as prices are better than the nearby Wala store which has more of the upmarket brands. Sports equipment and clothing, bicycles, rollerblades, fishing, camping & trekking equipment, sailing, surfboards, wetsuits, gym equipment and trainers.

General opening hours. Most small shops are open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 1.30pm and then from around 4.30pm to 8 or 8.30pm, some remain closed Mondays. Shops are closed on Sundays in general, a few places open in touristy spots like in the old town La Rambla. Girona locals normally go to places like Platja d’ Aro for Sunday shopping. Larger department stores in Girona like El Corte Ingles open from 10am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday. If you’re here in August expect to see many independent shops and cafes closed for their annual holidays, for up to 2-3 weeks. Some shops open on festival days, especially if it’s before an important gift-giving occasion like the Three Kings in early January.

The Catalan for open is “Obert” and “Tancat” for closed.

Sales

“Rebajas” in Spanish and “Rebaixes” in Catalan. They start in the second week of January, just after the Three Kings festival and finish at the end of February. There are also summer sales which start around the beginning of July. Some shops have a second further reduction and then a final clearance sale or “remate”. Discount is ‘descompte’.

Also, the Fires de Girona exhibition hall, next to Devesa Park hosts an annual gigantic clearance sale of mainly clothes and shoes, shoes from numerous local retailers, for 4 days at the end of January with free entry. Watch out for advertising posters.

Outdoor Market. Every Tuesday and Saturday in the Parc de la Devesa until about 2pm, mainly clothing, shoes and a fruit and veg section.

Girona also has a permanent, daily indoor food market ‘mercat’, a large red building just down from Pl. Catalanya in Placa de Leo (Lion). Open Monday-Friday 7am-2pm, Saturdays till 2.30pm.

Flower market in La Rambla (Girona old town) Saturdays till 2pm. Indoor, outdoor plants, shrubs, cut-flowers and bedding plants.

Another retail event which happens at different times of the year is for some shopping streets in Girona to host an outdoor one-day event where the individual shop owners put out tables in front of their shops and sell-off old or clearance stock at a discount, look-out for flyers or small posters in local shops.

There’s an industrial zone called Mas Xirgu which had a large outlet event called Shop Out for the past few years. Held over a span of 3-4 days in early October. Mostly clothing and footwear with live music, bar areas, food trucks and a big hit with the locals. 

Craft market. On one side of the Pont de Pedra bridge, every Saturday all day till late. Locally produced artisan products, personalised mementos.

Artisan food market (fira d’alimentacio artesana) is held on the 1st Saturday of every month from 9am-8pm in La Rambla.

Collectors Fair. Books, stamps, cards, coins. Every Sunday morning in Placa Catalunya. This event has got bigger over the last few years with market stalls fanning out into surrounding roads. 

Second-hand markets / car boot sales. These have mushroomed over the last few years in number and size. Held usually on Saturdays like the one on the outskirts of nearby town Celra which is big. All manner of things here, from old tut, rusty farming tools, indoor/outdoor furniture etc. Nearby St. Gregori is on Sundays, and in Verges. Times and dates do change according to season. Search under ‘mercat segona ma’.