Girona is a comfortable day trip from Barcelona, so we were keen to visit it during our holiday this summer. We spent about 10 hours there, which is probably longer than you need, but arriving early is definitely a good thing. As soon as our train pulled in, we made a beeline for the cathedral.
It’s a pretty spectacular cathedral anyway, and well worth seeing in its own right, but Game of Thrones fans will enjoy the opportunity to shout “Shame! Shame!” on these steps, because this is where the Great Sept of Baelor scenes were filmed. As you can see, at 9:30am it’s very easy to get good photos here. Later in the day the steps were swarming with tourists. It’s even free to enter the cathedral too, which is becoming quite the rarity in Europe.
The rest of the city is nice to explore too, and the city walls are definitely worth a walk. We also spent a lot of time eating, which is normal for us. What’s less normal is that we ate every meal at the same place. Yes, it was that good!
We were quite peckish on arrival, so after seeing the cathedral we worked our way to B12, an all vegan restaurant nearby in the old town, for its 10am opening. We ordered croissants and hot chocolate, both of which were lovely! Initially we were a little disappointed not to have anything to spread on the croissant, but actually it was fine plain – there was quite a lot of flavour in it, and it was a bit savoury too. The texture was perfect as well, really flaky. We actually got two more to take away for breakfast the next day.
For lunch we made our way to Veggana, another all vegan option. It was meant to open at 1pm, and the shutters were part-way open, suggesting things were happening. However, after 15 minutes there were no further signs of life. During that time I sent a message on Facebook to see if they were opening. Several hours later I got a reply saying the owner had been interviewing someone, but it was still open. This is clearly not a restaurant that was open.
So, we went back to B12 for their lunch set menu. (There is another all vegan restaurant in Girona, but we didn’t fancy raw food.) It was €12.50 for three courses plus water or wine, and there were about five choices for each course. You can pay an extra €2 for one of their craft beers, if you like – I’m not a beer drinker, but I think there may have been as many as fifty to choose from, all vegan.
We both ordered the same starter: stuffed baked mushrooms with polenta and spinach. They were really flavoursome, with plenty of nooch and balsamic vinegar. A fine start!
The mains were more of a mixed bag. Dr HH chose the seitan and olive burger, which he said was very salty and good. However, it came on this sad plate. Your eyes do not deceive you: there is no bun. It looks quite pathetic. Although it was tasty, it wasn’t really a complete dish.
I chose the dish of the day, which was a much better choice. It was a thick, creamy cheese and potato sauce with cabbage and sausage. Everything tasted delicious, though I wish there had been more than three pieces of sausage.
I didn’t choose the winning pudding though. The chocolate brownie was good, but more cakey than anything – it lacked that gooey, fudgy texture that a brownie should have. It was fine, but a little disappointing.
The yoghurt, lemon and pine nut cake was better – a really good bake, with nice flavour and a pleasant yoghurt drizzle.
We were pleased to see how busy this place was at lunch. That was still the case when we returned for tapas later in the day. I love seeing a thriving vegan business! There was quite an extensive tapas menu, and we tried several different dishes.
The mushroom croquettes had a good dark colour and were topped with hummus and an olive. We had quite a few croquette dishes during our stay in Spain, and these were comfortably the best: really crispy outside, with an intense, earthy flavour from the mushrooms.
The sweetcorn fritters were also good and crispy, and the dill yoghurt really made them sing.
And the egg-less potato and onion omelette was glorious. The texture was perfect, and the alioli complemented it beautifully.
These polenta triangles were topped with black olive pate, which was very salty and delicious, but only had one piece of sundried tomato for all three slices. Poor mathematics!
We had high hopes for the mini pita bread pizza, and while it tasted delicious it was lacking some structural integrity – it fell apart very easily.
You know you’ve found a good vegan eatery when they feed you all three meals in a day! Whatever time you visit Girona, stopping by this place will be worth your while.