Can’t get into El Celler de Can Roca in Girona? Go to Restaurant Nu instead

the streets in old town, girona
maybe arya from game of thrones ran down these stairs…

Girona, Spain is a picturesque medieval town in the coastal region of Costa Brava. The well-preserved buildings in the Barri Vell or Old Quarter are perfect backdrops for some sort of a knight’s tale or a merry band of thieves, which makes the city a very popular filming location for movies and TV shows. In fact, you might recognize some of the narrow alleyways and stone roads in scenes from Game of Thrones when a blind Arya was running from The Waif, only to destroy her in total darkness.

Girona is also home to the No. 2 restaurant in the world – El Celler de Can Roca – and with such a strong anchor, the culinary scene in the city is very good. Unfortunately, that means every other restaurant will be overshadowed by El Celler de Can Roca. You’ll probably first try to make a reservation at El Celler, which is impossible, and then anything else will be a backup. These restaurants are running on a higher curve, though, so even the backups will be better than the best in another city.

can’t get into el celler? you can get into their ice cream parlor rocambolesc gelateria anytime
an ice cream trifecta – baked apple, pumpkin and mandarin, panettone

Case in point is Restaurant Nu, an Asian-Spanish fusion restaurant in Girona. Other than being recommended on some food blogs, Nu doesn’t have a Michelin star or the credentials that we typically associate with an exceptional restaurant, yet we had one of the best meals in Spain here.

red tuna fish tartare and trout caviar
octopus with potatoes parmentier and majorcan sausage
salt baked foie gras, cookies and banana ice cream
king size prawns tempura green sisho with mayonnaise
scallops, iberian pork and ham parmentier
cuttlefish cramy rice in its ink and poached egg
pork jowls, tandoori sauce, cucumber and mango cannelloni

Many travelers to Spain are usually in search of authentic tapas, and a fusion restaurant clearly doesn’t fit the bill, but you’ll be glad you made the exception as soon as you take a bite of the red tuna tartare. It was so impossibly silky and creamy, had I closed my eyes I might have mistaken it for a dreamy course in an omakase. Essentially anything with seafood in it will make you swoon. It’s even better when there’s an egg in it, like with the octopus in yolky potatoes and the cuttlefish creamy rice in poached egg, two standouts from the meal. If you stick to the sea, your meal will go swimmingly. But even something down to earth like the foie gras and the pork jowls will pay off. Whether you go surf or turf at Restaurant Nu, you really can’t go wrong, as every choice is the right one.

Carrer d’Abeuradors, 4, 17004 Girona, Spain
+34 972 22 52 30

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