Who says that a 'xiringuito' (beach bar) can't be glamorous? At Cala Bona, some 2km from Tossa de Mar, you'll find one of the most charming and glam hidden corners of the Costa Brava. It's scarcely 100m from a sea with crystalline waters, and is in a natural setting that easily rivals the Caribbean. The place is so camouflaged by nature it's almost become part of the landscape. Absorb the view out to sea while enjoying tapas, salads and paellas cooked over a wood fire. In terms of tipples, we recommend the sangria, mojitos and magnificent G&Ts. It's a great place to go with friends or for enjoying a romantic meal à deux in a magical place. If we've convinced you to go, then be aware about the single piece of bad news about this bar: it's only open for the summer.
You won't find better views of the beach of Canyet than those offered by Rosamar restaurant, which is located in the eponymous residential estate that belongs to the town of Santa Cristina d'Aro. The eatery is a small oasis in the middle of the challengingly curvy road between Sant Feliu de Guíxols and Tossa de Mar, although if you want the truly authentic Costa Brava experience of getting there by sea, there are buoys where you can tie up your boat just below the restaurant. Rosamar is in a restored 'masia' (traditional Catalan country house) and serves Mediterranean cooking made with local products; they have an extensive menu with something for all tastes, although we think that what you should definitely order is one of the rice dishes ('arrossos'). The waiting staff do a continuous dance of serving paellas to the hungry clientele because, let's not forget, the mix of summer, rice and sea has always been a winning combination!
El Dorado Mar is a place for setting a good impression. If you want to surprise friends or guests, take them to this classic restaurant in Sant Feliu de Guíxols that overlooks the town's beautiful bay. During the day, dine while enjoying the fabulous view of the beaches full of holidaymakers and kids having fun, and the boats going in and out of the port. At night, everything is lit up to create a captivating sight that will make it difficult for you to keep your eyes on your food. The dishes are good, with a varied menu and a notable price-quality relationship. In the summer, eat on the terrace while in the winter aim for one of the much sought-after window tables. If you go with a large group, see if they'll give you the room on the ground floor, which has direct access to the lovely Can Rius beach.
In the summer, a good morning swim is just as important as the pre-lunch vermouth that follows it. At La Fosca, one of the most beautiful beaches in Palamós and far from the overcrowding on the main beach, you'll find the Sansibar xiringuito. Take your sarong and forget your shoes, because it's literally located on the sand. Part of the Hostal La Fosca, it has a popular terrace that is simply decorated in traditional blue and white Mediterranean colours, and has a much-appreciated pergola that provides some protection from the sun. Order a really cold beer, tapas, and fresh fish and shellfish to enjoy while taking in the amazing views. If you prefer to go there at the end of your day on the beach, when the sun's starting to go down, make sure you order one of the aphrodisiac cocktails that they serve, and that will almost inevitably lead you to use the #drinkporn label.
With a name like El Balcó de Calella (The Balcony of Calella), it's easy to imagine just what fabulous views this place offers; indeed the panoramas over the lovely town of Calella de Palafrugell have inspired local literary luminaries such as Josep Pla. It belongs to the Hotel Sant Roc, and serves signatures dishes that use fresh ingredients bought from the local market, all of which are enhanced by the amazing surrounds such as the beach of Port Bo and some of the most Instagram-friendly spots in the Costa Brava. We recommend trying a rice dish ('arròs') or noodles ('fideuada'), although the fish, tartares and veal ('vedella') are also great choices. If you can, it's worth going there during the week to try their well-priced set lunch menu at a time when there are much fewer people. Ask for a table by the sea and discover what a fantastic Costa Brava location this is.
Restaurant Casamar in Llafranc isn't a place to go every day, because it has a Michelin star and such an accolade always involves a certain cost. However, as the saying goes, 'seize the day', and the experience of eating there is certainly worth taking if you get the chance. It's part of the Hotel Casamar and is headed up the charismatic chef Quim Caselles; the views it offers are certainly up to the standard of the avant-garde cooking that they serve. From the terrace you can see the seafront, Llafranc sailing club and the magnificent blues of the Costa Brava sea all below you (it's basically obligatory to take a photo). If you find the view inspiring, then just wait for the gastronomic show they'll prepare for you. The chef plays with flavours, aromas and textures that will move you and pay homage to local products with every dish. And the presentation is blessed with notable good taste. If you're not sure what to order, we suggest going for the tasting menu, an option that is pretty much always a guaranteed winner.
Sitting in the middle of the beach and eating like a king is an achievable goal. In the emblematic cove of Aiguablava in Begur (probably the Costa Brava beach that has had most success on social media due to its fabulous paradise-like nature) is hidden the restaurant Toc de Mar. It's a classy place where you can dine on the sand and enjoy the sea breeze. They have a menu featuring locally sourced, fresh products that are grilled over a wood fire; products such as mussels, sardines, octopus and fish. If you're a fan of rice, they serve all kinds of dishes you're bound to love. Highlights include the soupy rice featuring red lobster from the Cap de Begur, and the dark Empordà rice. The price can be high if you're not paying attention (fish is priced by the weight) but it's really a price worth paying for the experience. The restaurant has moorings and a boat for more adventurous diners who want to round off their meal with a visit to the Begur coast.