Girona has more than its fair share of tapas bars where you can try different dishes without ending up bored of the same old 'patates braves'. Omelettes, Iberian ham, croquettes and Catalan cannelloni are just a tiny sample of the tapas that you shouldn't miss in the city.
Enter Txalaka and it's like taking a trip to the Basque Country. If you want to taste everything they've got sitting on the bar, you should go with space in your stomach, or make plans to return another day, because the great variety of tapas and 'pintxos' (tapas served on small slices of bread) is almost infinite. Their Iberian ham tapas will more than satisfy lovers of that cured meat, and you have to try their croquettes no matter what. If you're not a meat eater, don't worry – at Txalaka, you'll also find tapas with all kinds of cheese, while if fish is your thing, there are others with salmon, octopus, anchovies and prawns.
Don't let the paper towels fool you. The bohemian, alternative surrounds at El Pati de la Veïna make it the perfect place to enjoy a good supper without crowds or having to rush. They serve one of Girona's best potato omelettes, and you can accompany it with tapas of Iberian ham, cheese, bread with tomato, and magnificent squid croquettes. The range of tapas isn't that big, but they're all made with local ingredients and have prices that are affordable whatever your budget.
It's called La Kxalada (pronounced kesh-a-la-dah, which in Catalan is written 'queixalada', meaning 'a mouthful') but if you go in, you'll definitely be eating more than a mouthful. Located in Plaça Independència, you'll find tapas there that you won't find anywhere else. The cannelloni (Catalan 'canelons') of grandma Aurora are one of the star dishes, but the spicy 'bombes' (large breaded and fried potato balls with a pork or beef filling) and foie 'micuit' are also definitely worth ordering. Whatever food you order, get a beer to go with it and you'll enjoy a more than satisfying dinner.
Its menu is full of tapas, but they have little to do with the traditional concept of those tasty bites to eat. The designer, innovative cuisine at Bubbles transforms the idea of tapas into a series of gastronomic surprises that you shouldn't miss. This bar stands out for creations such as semi-raw tuna with honey, and poached egg with chickpea foam and foie, and they're all spectacularly presented. But if the creativity feels excessive to you, never fear – they also have more familiar tapas such as nachos with cheese and guacamole, and grilled squid.
Yes, they're one of the most typical tapas you can have, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be eating and enjoying them. There can't be a Girona resident who hasn't tried König's 'patates braves' – fried potatoes covered in a spicy sauce. Indeed a hot (sorry) topic of debate among locals is trying to identify the secret recipe of König's signature sauce. If you're not a fan of the burn, however light, you can always ask for the traditional red pepper sauce separately or, at König, ask for a cheese sauce instead. Both options will leave your stomach full and you licking the plate.
This is definitely one of Girona's unmissable tapas bars. On the counter, they proudly display classic tapas from all parts of Spain. You'll find 'patates braves', croquettes, omelettes the size of lorry tyres, snails and, above all, their mythical 'tigres' (breaded mussels), which have relieved the hunger of generations of students and actors. The sandwiches are also well worth a try. The kitchen closes late, and its fame as a place for party people with the munchies is well-deserved. Los Padules has a certain appeal for fans of Catalan band Sopa de Cabra – it's where members of the group met when they were still developing their career.
If there was an award for the best Galician tavern in Girona, it would unquestionably be won by Esconxuro. Among its tapas, the majority of which feature fish, you should try the Galician octopus and the cod 'kokotxes' (the fleshy, gelatinous part of the fish just below the jaw), and not forgetting the oysters, which will fill your mouth with the taste of the sea. If you're more of a carnivore, don't worry, they've got ample dishes for you as well: the 'pim-pam' is a veal fillet cooked in the Galician style, and if you order the broken fried eggs ('ous trencats') with spicy pork ('zorza'), you won't be able to resist using bread to soak up the juices left on the plate.
We have to admit it – the cured ham at Ham Session drives us wild. Any excuse is valid for going to try their wide range of Iberian ham and other cured meats, or, if you prefer, their abundant cheese platter, which is bound to make you salivate. The place functions as an open buffet, which means you can go back for more as often as you want – and you'll want to a lot. Before you finish, make sure you try the Jabugo and Guijuelo ham, and the foie gras.
Everyone who lives in Girona knows about La Pedra, one of the most iconic places in the Barri Vell. Despite that, we're still going to recommend it, in particular because they do the best croquettes in Girona. You can try varieties including spinach, meat and wild mushrooms, among others, and they're all delicious. Their 'patates braves' are also a great excuse for sitting out on the terrace and sharing an evening of conversation with friends or taking part in the numerous activities that the bar organises.