Girona is, probably, one of the cities in Spain with the most inviting cafés per square metre. These are places ideal for taking a break from it all, and enjoying a quality cup of coffee or tea. The list is pretty long but below you'll find some of the best ones in the city, as well as a couple worth going out of town for.
Are you coeliac, vegan or lactose-intolerant? The you should head straight to Metropolitan, a café-restaurant created by the Artis 'n' Food cooperative. It's an urban, welcoming space with a design that is very Instagram-friendly. As well as serving vegan-friendly and gluten- and lactose-free dishes, they offer a range of services for everybody: breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and coffee, and also have a range of artisanal and gluten-free beers. Do you need a place to connect to the internet? They have free WiFi. Have you got a sweet tooth? Cakes are one of the stars at Metropolitan, with a pretty long menu that is updated fairly frequently.
Type #Besalú into Instagram or Pinterest and thousands of images of the Pont Vell (Old Bridge) will appear. Each day, the cobbles of the bridge bear the weight of tourists who've come from all over the world to marvel at this photogenic spot and enjoy the extensive history of this county town that's one of Catalonia's best-preserved medieval sites. Once you've done the required selfie on the bridge, head for the Call Jueu (Jewish Quarter) to seek out 10 del Pont. As soon as you open the door of this stone-covered tea room, a thousand aromas will invade your senses, just like those stalls with numerous bags full of spices that you find in Moroccan souks.
To enjoy a quality breakfast, good meal or even just a drink without having to empty your wallet, Angelus Café is always a good option. It's a new concept in restaurants, based on the idea of regenerating one's body and mind through energy-providing nutrients, minerals and vitamins that will help make you feel ready for anything!
We couldn't leave off the list this place set up by professional Canadian cyclist Christian Meier and his wife, which has become the mecca for many of the region's serious cyclists. Its secret? Authenticity. With a philosophy based on fair trade and sustainable agriculture, you'll find any number of sweet treats to accompany your cup of coffee (don't worry, all the calories will be burnt up once you're back on your bike).
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 gofres, to name just a small part of what they serve.
If you need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up and want something a bit different, L'Exquisit is a great choice. This Barri Vell spot will have you salivating just looking at the menu – and it's so varied, you'll find it really hard to actually choose something. All shapes and sizes of muffins, cake pops, various sandwiches and white chocolate brownies are just a few of the treats you can try at L'Exquisit. And their pancakes are probably the best in Girona.
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 also 'morning' burgers. From lunchtime to closing, the range changes to tapas, sandwiches, burgers, salads and specials of the day.
La Terra is much more than a café but we couldn't leave it off the list. First because stories bloom in bars like this one on C/Ballesteries, a place full of creativity and charm. Second, because it's so inviting. Sit down on the cushions by the windowsill and look at the houses that back on to the river Onyar. And third because it's a great place for a cup of coffee, they have a range of teas and serve a selection of delicious pastries.
At Espresso Mafia, which is found in the centre of the Barri Vell, you can order a café to take away or drink there, either inside or out on the terrace. They have a wide range of coffees, milk from local Empordà farms and a small selection of creative pastries: cinnamon rolls, both lemon and chocolate cakes, cookies and their star product, a croissant iced with maple syrup and caramelised walnuts. If you're not a coffee fan, you should definitely try the chai latte. And if you're lactose-intolerant, ask for the coconut milk.
Another one that's not in the city of Girona: this charming spot is just five minutes from the famous lake in Banyoles. A former dairy, which dates from 1914, has been transformed into a bar-café and bed and breakfast, where lots of attention has been paid to the details. The lush plants that stand ouside, the traditional decor with wooden furniture and the beams in the ceiling all make this place a haven for anyone looking to have breakfast, enjoy a beer or have a snack. From time to time, they organise special activities, such as wine, beer and gin-and-tonic tastings, discussions and presentations. It's a must-visit!