Gastronomic calendar

 

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Draps

It's taken us a while to get round to trying this one. We arrived at 2pm on a Thursday afternoon and it was quite empty until 3 ish. Now Girona is on the map, at least half the lunchers were Brits but it was not a tourist menu or atmosphere. The food, service and ambience was great and it deserves its' popularity. The dishes are to share and are very generous - we shared 'els escalivats'  (goats' cheese and roasted vegetable tart with a pile of interesting salad stuffs) between us, having seen our neighbours' arrive and then a 'mini dessert' and we were satisfied and mellow.  A little bit of Led Zeppelin on low in the background never hurt anyone either. Next time  the levee breaks i fancy the 'rap' (monkfish) with caramelised onion and potato, thank you very much. Deciding what you'll be having next time, before leaving the restaurant is always a good sign..

15€ per person with a glass of wine.

http://restaurantdraps.com/

Favourite Girona Restaurants - no particlar order

Chain restaurant.

Best salads in town imo, 

great crêpes, large servings,

informal, friendly, cheap, 

romantic grungy decor

Beautiful garden and terrace tables at the back. Reasonable food and price, good house wine, informal, friendly, great for Summer especially. Also nice just ofr a drink. We demolished a bottle of Cava around a pretty garden table, while waiting quite a while for our table...hard life

Specialities are suckling pig and Burgos lamb. Between 6 we ordered 4 suckling pig...started with marvellous tuna salad. Not cheap, but a great experience of eating 'a la grande' and it's a 20 minute stroll from the apartment. Full menu is on the website. Historic place - if booking (advisable), ask for interior room table for preference.

Closed Monday

Great food and atmosphere. Full menu or tapas. Informal, friendly, not cheap. Slow service probably because everything cooked to order but if you're not going anywhere soon, enjoy. Special.

Great bar with lots of different beers to try. Nice inside in winter, outside in Summer for people-watching. In the Sant Feliu/Felix Church square, convenient for kissing the 'Lion's Bottom'!

Haven't been for a while. They used to do targines, which were fabulous. If they're not doing them anymore, i wouldn't bother, though the terrace underneath the Cathedral is the best place to be on a Summer's evening as there's a breeze blowing down the steps..

.

Attractive bar, been there forever, grungy/hippy with Spanish and Moroccan floor and wall tiles. Lots of canoodling corners, lots of noise, quite a young set nowadays! Looks out onto the river at the back. no terrace.

An institution. Best for coffee or lunch. The 'rustic pizzas' don't do it for me (bread with a topping) but the place itself is gorgeous elegant rustic and it's comfortable for eating alone too. 

The one to go to (book i think) when you walk to Sant Daniel. Great for a coffee outside too. Near the monastery. Attractive, friendly, not cheap.

Girona-based fast food joints all over town, the original and best one being in Jaume I (our standby before early evening cinema session). The worst is unfortunately near the apartment in c/ Mig Dia. Rude, slow, robotic service upstairs, quite aggressively deliberately misunderstand you downstairs, in my experience, never to be repeated. Most appealing is the one in Plaça Independencia and the one in the Sant Feliu Church square. Noisy, family oriented, cheap and cheerful. The hotdogs are the best thing on the menu.

Pasta chain. Family pasta night, cheap, cheerful and nice setting in Plaça Independencia, sitting outside.

They do takeaway.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice-cream

see what i mean?

There are lots if ice-cream parlours in Girona but if you see a queue emerging from a hole in the wall, and smug looking so-and-sos clutching little ice-cream pots with candy floss toppings and such like, you know you've found Rocambolesc! The toppings are endless and fun and you're not really allowed to leave without one. They're also really friendly. See for yourselves! The 'hole in the wall' won a design award and is gorgeous. So there.

This is what they say on their website: 

It all started when Jordi Roca decided to bring back the traditional dessert trolley of El Celler de Can Roca, which was dispensed with when he took over the sweet part of the menu. When they saw the new petit‑four trolley designed byAndreu Carulla, the Roca brothers thought it would be fun to stroll around the streets of Girona offering these petits fours to passers-by. Though it was an exciting idea, they were faced with the restrictions imposed by local regulations, so they decided to showcase it in an ice cream shop that they opened in the centre of town: this is how Rocambolesc was born.
The vintage feel of the establishment, inspired by the magical world of Willy Wonka, the fictional character that owns a chocolate factory in Roald Dahl's children's book and Tim Burton's movie, is the work of Sandra Tarruella's Interior Architecture design firm and the graphic design firm Run, which is also responsible for the corporate identity and the packaging. 

http://www.rocambolesc.com/

Tasca Gallega - Tapas and Fish

I

t's a hard life here in Girona. Having guests, what to do on a Saturday morning? Of course there's the indoor market and then the outdoor market, stretching along one of the 3 rivers, but what about lunch? Our guests were not used to doing much for lunch and we thought we were for it, but around 2 o'clock everyone admitted to being a

little

peckish and we thought we'd try a tapas restaurant, highly recommended by some of our cyclist visitors. It's just off Plaça Independencia, you can see it from the cafe Royal on the corner.

It's extremely attractive, very small and though empty when we arrived, was full within the hour.

Not wanting to over order we asked for calamars a la andaluza, calamars a la planxa (we ordered for one and ended up repeating twice!), patatas bravas and various other seafoods. It was all delicious and they were happy to allow us to order as much or as little as we wanted. More robust appetites also catered for, and we all said we'd be back for an evening meal to do the place more justice. The only negative on just the one visit so far, was the slow service, but because everything was cooked to order and from a small kitchen. Don't go if you're in a hurry, but do go. The website in English is quite amusing as well!

http://www.tascagalega.com/angles/tapes_carta_ang.ph

p

Xurros amb xocolate...!

Every child has to try these, obviously accompanied by a responsible adult who may need to test their authenticity several times during the xurro-eating session. With or without the chocolate.Divine! Go to

Bescuit,

Joan Maragall, 13, or c/Migdia. Perfect if you want to eat supper at the normal Catalan time, as they'll keep you going for quite a few hours' shopping.

http://www.granjabescuit.com/

Girona Restaurants

Michelin starred or mentioned

You don't need me to know about the

Celler de Can Roca 3*,

 one of the best restaurants in the world at the moment, but perhaps you didn't know that the Roca brothers also have a restaurant called

Numun

in the Palau de Bellavista Hotel. The main advantage being, you might be able to get a table.

Another pair of much-acclaimed related restaurants are

Massana 1*

and

Nu

, the first of 25 years standing and the second a new enterprise by Sr Massana and his wife. All of these restaurants are in walking distance from the apartment.

The

Hotel Meliá

(near, but not such a nice walk), also has a highly recommended restaurant, as does the Carlemany Hotel, with its'

Pati Verd.

Cal Ros

is not to be sneezed at either, having been around for donkeys years.

Favourites old and new

El Bistrot

 has to be seen because it's an institution in Girona but i wouldn't bother with the so-called rustic pizzas - you can eat that at home. You can just go for a coffee to see inside but it's pleasant for a slowish lunch and also if you're on your own. A rather romantic place is

La Poma,

though rather over-priced, for the hole in the wall that it is. Nearby is

Vinil,

 more brash and with a terrace, but we had a perfectly acceptable meal.

Blanc,

 is what they call here 'catering' (pronounced 'kattering'). The food is prepared off-site as far as i can tell, but it's a good place for lunch between museums or a, 'i'm too fagged out to bother much' evening meal. Some of the dishes are really good, others not so much, i like the atmosphere and the decor. 

I haven't personal experience of the following new young things on the block but they look alright and have good reviews -

Draps

,

La Calendula

 had great reviews,

Curcuma

,

Thot

and

Arros i Peix.

These last are 12-14 euros for a lunch, which is quite high so be demanding. Recently we tried

Sarratoga

just off c/Migdia again, near the apartment, and their 'menu' is about 11€ and the 3 courses were very acceptable, in a clean, efficient, friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

Planet Liza and Manel

Where do

we

go? Summer evening on a terrace,

Cull de la Lleona

and

Jardins de la Merce

(you have to be patient....they have a bit of 'attitude' here, but equally, generosity - looking after friends' luggage for example, while we saw the sights). I previously recommended

Mon Oncle

, but they've lost the plot, too slow, too hippy by half, and that nice waitress isn't there anymore...

We like

Can Manolos

, Dali and Gala had their wedding reception here.

La Font

nearby used to be lovely outside in Summer, but we haven't been for too long to say what it's like now.

La Bretonne

is the best for a great salad and crêpe and

Dolce Vita

for a family spaghetti/pizza night.

L'Arcada

in the Rambla also used to be good for pasta and pizzas, upstairs. downstairs is tapas. 

La Boira

in Plaça Independencia has a good restaurant upstairs and downstairs is a haven for a beer and tapas break after shopping and meeting up.

Not to be forgotten are the cocktail bars and restaurants in

Pedret,

which is a hike, so get a taxi. There's a night club there as well. 

Gran Muralla, 

c/Francesc Eiximenis

and C/ de la Creu near the apartment are the Chinese restaurants we know. Japanese restaurants are a bit of a let down in Girona, although the takeaway suchi near the apartment in c/Migdia, is good but pricey.

Cheap and cheerful

König

 is Girona's fast food chain, found near the cinema, in Plaça Independencia, Near Sant Felix/Feliu Church and near the apartment in C/Migdia. Hamburgers and hotdogs but also salads and sandwiches and the atmonsphere is much nicer than MacDonalds - more like a cafe with terrace. The original one is in c/Jaume I near the post office and has tables outside. 

La Tagliatella

 is a pizza/pasta chain where the huge portions are used to justify the rather high prices, but it is tasty and speedy. It's in C/Santa Clara.

 They also do a normal very cheap catalan lunch menu and you can sit and read the paper in peace (well, it's not exactly quiet, but you have to tune out). Just on the corner of Juli Garreta is

Angelus,

whose speciality is to serve half rations of a starter and a main on one plate! Bit strange, but quite good and the menu is varied. It's also a very popular cafe and place to plug in your wifi thingies...

Hostal de Sadernes - Can Galceran

Rustic, real and recommended. Of course, you'll have to get to Sadernes first - aim for Tortellá / Olot from Girona and don't miss the medieval Llierca Bridge on the road from Montagut. Booking is best, as although it seems to be in the middle of nowhere, everyone knows a good thing when they see it.

I am biased because it was one of the first Catalan restaurants i went to on landing here 20 years ago. It was my introduction to allioli ('garlic mayonaise' - though there's no mayonaise in it) and garlic scrubbed tomato bread and arguably a good reason for staying in the country. It counters the common practice of talking at length in the library, which is a good reason for leaving it.

It's true there is the minimum of staff, but they're efficient, friendly and family. Basic traditional Catalan fare presented in a basic but beautiful way - that is to say, a ceramic pot with tomatoes, garlic cloves and bread with oil and salt on the table. Olives and wine. Soup arrives in a tureen. Not arty, just a picture. Take your time.

 Sant Aniol d'Aguja 

    (5 hour walk, swim included)

Tel. 972 68 70 77

Open Friday evenings, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

La Crêperie Bretonne

We've been going for years now. It's a chain i've seen in the south of France (Colliure anyway) and they do the best salad in town (as well as crêpes and galettes). We have the salad with fresh goat's cheese, serrano ham, apple and grapes with a great mustard vinagrette. Then we have a savoury crêpe each and on a good night we might fit a sweet one too. Manel always has a 'healthy' virtual vegetarian option and i go for the 'English breakfast' option but in French obviously. By this time we're probably quite tipsy and don't mind too much that we're just not going to digest before bed! We're middle aged you know but i haven't heard any teeenagers complaining here! You can crayon on the table cloths and admire the kitchen-in-a-bus decor. It's not at all expensive, the house red is absolutely fine and the staff have been unfailingly friendly and helpful. You can have cider if you prefer. It's a very relaxed place but you're not kept waiting around. It's good for lunch too. It's in the old town, as you walk towards the cathedral.

C/ Cort Reial, 14

17004 Girona

972 218 120

creperiebretonne.com

Mon Oncle Bar-Restaurant

I was running late. It was 8.45pm and i was due to pick Manel up from work at 9 at the other end of town.The car was parked at the highest point of Girona above the university, the pizza takeaway (Dolce Vita, Plaça Independencia) was a good 10 minute walk from where i was in the old town. So, 'just to see', i asked the young waitress in 'Mon Oncle' if they had any takeaway food. Thinking on her feet, she suggested some Calamares a la Andaluza (much better than 'a la Romana') and her boss, who was trying to have a bowl of appetizing pasta, jumped up and found some plastic takeaway tubs. She said '7 minutes' and left me to read the paper. She handed it to me with delicious bread, threw in some lemon and napkins and i left to hike the 10 minutes uphill. I arrived late, but the calamars were absolutely delicious - tender calamar, crunchy coating, well salted, plenty of it and still warm. Another day, we won't rush it, because i anticipate good tapas and salads here, in a very 'tranqui' and attractive bar-cum-informal restaurant, even with soft lighting (!) coupled with a very on-the-ball and extremely pleasant staff. Like it!

This is the address: c/Mercaders, 13

Tel: 34 972 20 63 14

It's in a parallel road to the Rambla, on your right as you approach from Plaça Catalunya. There's a big square which turns into a terrace in summer.

PS Recently it's been very slow, so maybe don't bother until they get the message....

Sushimore

sushi near home! Finally! And about time too. Don't bother with Plaça Independencia (not very authentic last time we went) - they'll deliver too. Not that a 5 minute walk would deter. The yakitori got a catalan thumbs up but wasn't very authentic in my book. They came with rice and bulked out the (expensive) maki, which were however great. 

http://www.sushimore.com/espacios-sushimore/girona

No! That's a joke, sorry, i couldn't resist....

Els Jardins de la Mercé

We arrived here by accident one very hot evening during the Flower Festival, when everything was booked solid. We had cold cava in the garden with friends, then moved to the terrace for supper, when they had a space. It is an extremely pleasant atmosphere and the food is a little quirky, traditional with a twist maybe. I had chicken and 'escamarlans' and it was great. It was a lucky find and i hope they don't change depending on the staff. The house wine was good. In summer we tend to switch to white because they like to chill their red in Catalonia, when there isn't a proper cellar facility. It was called 'Mu' (i'll check!) and we liked it enough to have another bottle. I don't remember any more after that.

http://www.elsjardinsdelamerce.com/


We've been back at lunch time and the 'menu' is good, not gourmet, but pleasant surroundings and service will make us return. They even very kindly let us leave some luggage our friends were hauling round, while we walked the Roman Route. The wine was still good too!

El Cul de la Lleona

Girona centre

, beneath the steps up to the cathedral.

We recommend this restaurant - really pleasant, efficient staff, delicious targines and a comfortable, cosy and quirky atmosphere - the moroccan dessert was a little disappointing, not in quality but it could have been sweeter! Also, the restaurant is in the old town, and in summer they have a lovely terrace to sit outside. Thanks for a very enjoyable interlude for our visitors and us.

A very romantic summer supper on the terrace lit by candles and a nice breeze coming down the cathedral steps, or a cosy couscous and targine inside on a misty winter's night... 

http://www.elculdelalleona.com/

ps. Don't bother if it's the Flower Festival (May) or some other holiday as they revert to sausage and chips mode, which was a great shame and probably fraudulant and makes my reviews look ridiculous......