The Savoy is one of the most historical bars in Girona. It was set up in the 1930s and quickly became fashionable among the bourgeoisie. It was so trendy that among the stars who went there were Hollywood actors Ava Gardner and James Mason, who were in the area for to film 'Pandora and the Flying Dutchman'. The bar closed down in 1972 and, following a series of respectful renovation works based on the original design, it re-opened in the summer of 2011. The gastronomic options are also reminiscent of the classic Savoy: excellent breakfasts, snacks and evening cocktails. And now there's an added plus, in that you can also eat really well there at lunchtime. From Monday to Friday, for example, you'll find a set menu of one plate, dessert, bread and drink for just €8.50, or, if you're feeling more peckish, two plates, dessert, bread and a drink for €11.50. They have WiFi and a big television screen, which is great for watching Barça in action.
Do you love mosaic floors, wooden furniture marked by history, bar counters made of marble and modernista lamps? At 1900, they do too. It's a welcoming, discreet café that passes by almost unseen on those days when there's a lot of shoppers on C/Santa Clara. But if you head inside, you'll be captivated by the aesthetics, the warmth and the peace of its cobbled walls as well, obviously, by the range of coffees and teas (take a look at its specialities), hot chocolates, fresh juices, milkshakes and waffles, to name just a small part of what they serve. The WiFi is free, so you can get out your mobile, and share this latest find with your followers. And if you're into such things, make sure you take a close look at the fittings in the bathrooms – it will take you a while!
Natural light, tasteful design, good music, helpful and kind service, and a menu focused on breakfasts and brunch; this is the kind of place for starting a perfect day with juices and smoothies, fried eggs and sausages, fruit and sandwiches. Federal Cafè, one of Barcelona's most cosmpolitan and trendy spots, has arrived in Girona. Between 9am and 1pm, feast on the coolest brunch in town, focused on eggs (with new, creative recipes), toast with toppings (check out the rye bread with avocado, lemon and black sesame), and 'morning' burgers. From lunchtime to closing, the range changes to tapas, sandwiches, burgers, salads and specials of the day that are increasingly being imitated by other eateries in the city. Unsurprising when they see creations such as a rabbit burger with green tomato chutney on offer, or a lentil salad featuring seasonal vegetables.
The Parc del Migdia is one of Girona's urban oases. In the afternoon, after the schools come out, and at weekends, it's full of families, with children, scooters, skateboards, pets and a lot of bustle everywhere. But in the morning, at lunchtime and the start of the afternoon, it's an ideal place for relaxing. In Girona, it rarely gets very cold so for much of the year the park's café is just the place to enjoy an al fresco tea, coffee or breakfast; alternatively, if you go inside, there's a pretty quick WiFi connection. The space is light, both the interior and exterior, and has shade in the summer to keep you protected from the sun. It's a great place for reading or connecting to social media and see what's going on with friends and family.
Sit down next to the large windows of Boira, located in Plaça de Sant Agustí, contemplate the river Onyar, and your serotonin levels are bound to rise. Open a book or switch on your mobile, then take your time while enjoying breakfast or a cup of coffee or tea. At the start of the day, sunlight floods the restaurant, and it might even be a little bit too bright for some, but it's worth holding out for it to calm down. They've got WiFi and extremely comfortable seats, as well as impeccable service.
They may not emit smoke any more but the two chimneys of the former Brillas i Pagans factory still pinpoint a very socially active place in Celrà. A civic centre and café-bar with high ceilings, visible tiles and beams of natural light, at La Fàbrica you'll find reminders of early-20th-century industrial modernisme. Behind the bar is a sign of how life once was – a photo from 1913 taken of a lunch organised for a fraternity of workers who would have been unaware that, a century later, the place where they were sitting would have been transformed into a spot to enjoy signature sandwiches and crepes, craft beers, coffees for €1 and WiFi. And not just that, they probably couldn't have imagined that children would have a dedicated space in the café, or that from the terrace it would be possible to see high-speed steamless trains passing by!
Nibble isn't a cafè but a takeaway place that specialises in 'slow fast food' and cold-pressed green juices, where everything is carefully thought about, right down to the last detail. They do have WiFi and a couple of plug sockets where you can connect your device while enjoying a burger (their meat ones are made with Girona beef, and there's also a delicious oriental tuna burger with black bread) or one of their star products: the 'nibs'. This is a savoury biscuit boat filled with a bed of lettuce and vegetables topped with some form of protein: steak tartare, duck magret, salmon or tuna tartare. Everything is made fresh each day, from the juices to the food.
This is paradise for vegans in Girona. The B-12 is a vegan and organic bar-restaurant located in the heart of Girona, just in front of City Hall. They have a wide range of tapas, vegan and vegetarian hamburgers, and Catalan artisan beers – in fact more than 30 types! The set lunch menu costs €12.50, and they have WiFi.
We all know that Google Maps can do miracles, but if your sense of direction is worse than that of a squirrel in the desert, don't even think about asking a Girona resident how to get to Plaça Miquel Santaló. Very few of them will recognise that name – it's much better known as the 'square of the joint' or 'of the cigarette' ('plaça del porro' or 'del cigarro'. And you'll know why when you see what's in the middle of the square – a large, lit cylinder. In this same square you'll find a chic bar-café called Indigo. It's a space in the Hotel Carlemany where you can enjoy a pre-lunch aperitif, a mid-afternoon coffee and a mixer drink at night, thanks to its extensive range of gins, whiskeys and other spirits. The outside terrace is an excellent choice for taking a quiet break right in the heart of the city.
Blanc isn't a bar, it's a restaurant, but as there are so few places with free WiFi in Girona, we decided to add it to the list. The menus at Blanc are ideal for anyone who's looking after their health. Located in the Hotel Ciutat de Girona, it's an excellent option both for a one-off meal and if you're someone who regularly eats out. Although the fundamental elements of their menus don't change, that doesn't mean that they're boring – just the opposite. Among the starters, you'll always find a soup or salad, both creatively put together, such as a strawberry salad with goat cheese. The main courses include meat and fish options, and, if you're really watching your weight, there's always a grilled dish – examples of the mains include cod au gratin with honey and garlic mayonnaise, and entrecote of Girona beef. They have dishes that suit everybody, including ones for coeliacs and vegetarians. And they also have a weekend set menu.