There's something truly magical about a quality croissant, taking you to paradise one bite at a time. All of Girona's bakeries have them, but appearances can be misleading. To help you enjoy an epic breakfast experience, we've selected our favourite butter croissants sold in the city.
Can you smell it? It's the aroma that comes from the display cases of pastries, cakes, meringues, 'coques' (traditional Catalan flat cakes) and all sorts of bread in the Café Moner on C/Migdia – one of four that the company has in Girona; it will draw you in, sit you down and see you make your order. The products, which are all of the highest quality, will fill all your senses, and you'll be hard-pressed to choose between the croissants, pretzels, muffins, sandwiches, capuccinos, Viennese coffee (espresso with cream), coffee with condensed milk, hot chocolate, hot chocolate with cream, herbal tea... Tempting, right? What's even more tempting is that everything's made with superior ingredients (e.g, they use organic milk) and they also pay special attention to customers with food intolerances (they have soya milk, spelt bread and 'kamut'). Enjoy your treats in a peaceful ambience in this place that's suitable for everybody.
Our verdict: It hardly matters whether you go for one with or without 'horns', the butter croissants from Casa Moner will melt in your mouth. If you're a fan of breakfasting out every day, and love the smell of butter and cooked pastry that you find in bakeries across France, head to Casa Moner. Take it from one who's already addicted.
Created in 1901 by Pere Bellsolà, this 'fleca' (bakery), which used to be located in the now-extinct C/Canaders, became the seed that created an empire that has seen the Bellsolà brand spread around the world to Europe, North and South America and the Caribbean. Since 2003, and now renamed Antiga Casa Bellsolà, the bakery has gone back to its roots thanks to Mireia Oliveras (the wife of Robert Bellsolà). It focuses on quality, artisan bread that's made with top-quality primary material (if you want to try something really delicious, buy a 'barra florentina'). This is a bakery that will take you back to the good old days.
Our verdict: Incomparable. Buttery but light. Smooth and crispy. It's like travelling to France without leaving Girona.
Whoever thinks that sweet treats are only for Sundays should definitely give Cafeteria Tornés a wide berth. After years of producing daily aromas of deliciousness on C/ de la Creu, this landmark patisserie has opened another space close to the Parc del Migdia where you'll find all the products that have made Tornés so popular – an incredible range of cakes, biscuits, chocolates, 'bunyols' (deep-fried doughnuts), 'panellets' (small almond-based cakes made for Tots Sants on November 1) and home-made small pastries ('rebosteria'). Get ready to open the treasure chest, and let your eyes feast on the multiple sweet and savoury options they serve for breakfast and afternoon snacks. Add a selection of the best coffees, teas, fresh juices, milkshakes and hot chocolate, and... it's farewell diet!
Our verdict: You'll never get enough. Just the right amount of butter, the perfect level of fluffiness and a texture that is simply amazing.
The Santagloria familiy has dedicated itself to artisan bread and cakes for more than 150 years. Since 1963, when the first Santagloria was opened, their aim has been to bring together experience and innovation, tradition and the avant-garde. They've created a sweet universe where croissants sit side-by-side with cronuts, and 'xuixos' (a typical Girona pastry) are arranged by the 'holes' (small fried doughnuts that are the middle part of ring doughnuts). As the people at the bakery say, 'it's the union of the best ingredients that gives us our strength'. A star product is the baguette Santagloria, created with local ingredients and cooked on stone. Crispy but spongy, it's delicious.
Our verdict: A croissant that will drive you crazy. Fluffy, exhilarating and slightly crispy. We'd order them again and again.
Quality patisserie and the best seasonal products; that's the essence of Noguera, a bakery and cake shop created by the Noguera Bosch family in 1981. It's an all-terrain establisment where, on the one hand, you can find bread made with top-notch local flour and cooked on a wood fire under a hearth stone and, on the other, traditional cakes made using regional products; for a few years now, they've also sold 'Gourmandise Raonada' desserts, which prove that sweet treats don't have to be at odds with the healthy option. In addition, at Noguera they also create unique specialities such as the intriguingly-named 'tosquigets', 'crics' and 'silvans', as well as 'coca de Brunyola' ('coca' is a kind of Catalan cake). You can find their shops in Girona, Riudellots de la Selva and Sant Gregori.
Our verdict: Crispy, full of flavour, not too much butter and a wonderful touch of icing sugar on the horns. Delicious.
If you head to the village of Sant Gregori (perhaps on your way to Vall del Llèmena), it's almost certainly because you've read our recommendations about places to discover. But it might well be because you're visiting the bakery of Can Boix. For starters, these out-of-town places are pretty authentic. In addition, unlike others that are bigger but perhaps have less commercial vision, Can Boix has specialised in making breads using traditional methods, and they don't charge you an arm and a leg for it, either. Can Boix in Sant Gregori is also a good place to stop during a bike outing in the surrounds of Girona. They make all kinds of sandwiches, but if you're really hungry the best thing to calm that beast is a generous portion freshly-made 'bunyols' (deep-fried fritters). And you shouldn't leave Can Boix without trying the small croissants (normal or wholewheat), and the 'purato' bread.
Our verdict: In Can Boix they know full well that great things come in small packages, and their mini croissants taste like manna from heaven.