Girona is home to some of the world’s best cyclists. And it’s a well-known fact that cyclists love coffee. So no surprise then that you’ll find superb coffee shops hidden amongst the town’s twisty labyrinth of ancient lanes.

La Fábrica Girona is still the most famous of these (probably).

However, in the last few years, lots of other cafés have also opened. Many cater to the hordes of cyclists, triathletes and sporty types based in Girona and looking for delicious, nutritious food and drink.

Here’s our pick of the best places to visit.

Interested in a food tour of Girona? Check out our experience in this article.

La Fábrica, Girona

Carrer de la Llebre, 3

La Fábrica is often the first choice for road cyclists visiting Girona and in need of coffee.

It opened in 2014 and has featured in lists of Girona’s best coffee shops ever since. You stumble across it in a courtyard at the base of some age-old, winding stone stairs on the north edge of the old town.

Outside, there is a bike rack next to black metal chairs and simple wooden tables. You walk in passed a sign that proclaims that life is too short for bad coffee. You enter a warmly lit cavern, dedicated to cycling and coffee. We loved it.

Thick bare stone walls have inglenooks containing carefully curated cycling memorabilia. Sepia cycle race photos sit above these, and your eye is drawn to a beautifully backlit road bike, sitting proudly above the sparkling chrome coffee machine.

There’s a sign above the delicious looking cakes. It says “all treats homemade with love.” We immediately think that that perfectly sums up this gem of a place: it oozes passion for coffee and cycling.

Sign saying life is too short for bad coffee
Espresso at La Fábrica, Girona, Spain

La Fábrica café is owned by German-Canadian couple, Christian and Amber Mier. He’s a former pro cyclist and the chief coffee aficionado; she makes La Fábrica tick. It’s obvious the care and attention that they have lavished on the enterprise.

Before visiting we were told that Christian and Amber Meier’s coffee ruins all other coffee for you. They roast the beans in town, at Espresso Mafia and the menu gives more detail than I’ve ever seen on how my espresso will be prepared: “18 grams of coffee, extracted for approximately 30 seconds to deliver 36 grams of liquid gold. Parameters may change with our rotating coffee selections.”

So when the espresso arrives, expectations are high. Luckily we’re not disappointed. The deep, rich, chocolatey perfection is excellent. The bagels that accompany it are chewy and delicious: the nordic bagel generously smothered in herb cream cheese, smoked salmon and shaved cucumber, the pulled pork bagel in tender pulled pork, melted cheese, and mango salsa.

We leave thinking that this is the gold standard for cycling cafés.

Take note cycling café owners of the world!

Cakes at La Fabrica Girona Spain
Display at La Fabrica Girona Spain

Espresso Mafia, Girona

Carrer de la Cort Reial, 5

Espresso Mafia is also part of the Meier’s empire. They opened it in 2016, and it is white, light and airy with flecks of gold. It’s as clean and pristine as La Fábrica is cosy and dark.

Both establishments are heart-stoppingly gorgeous, but at opposite ends of an interior designer’s colour spectrum. Espresso Mafia feels more trendy and grown up; there’s no hipster-arty-cycling overtones here. It’s also more of a coffee bar than somewhere to lounge.

As you would expect, the coffee is delicious. The cakes are also seriously tempting.

The door through to the coffee roasting room is open and when we ask to take a look, we’re waved through. A member of staff is busy bagging beans that have been freshly roasted on the premises. The surfaces gleam and not a bean is out of place. The Mier’s standards are clearly sky high, and it’s difficult not to be impressed by their passion.

Outside of Espresso Mafia at dusk
Cool white and gold interior of Espresso Mafia

Federal, Girona

Carrer de la Força, 9

Like the others, Federal is part owned by a cyclist: Movistar pro cyclist, Rory Sutherland.

Federal opened in 2016 after nearly a year of work to make the ancient building in Girona’s old town, close to the cathedral, fit for its new purpose.

They’ve done a great job with plenty of natural light, exposed stone, and wooden flooring. The vibe here is a little less self-conscious than La Fábrica and Espresso Mafia, and the decor more what you’d expect from a modern, trendy café.

The service is helpful and kind; the menu is generous. You’ll find everything from brunch to sandwiches, tapas, and burgers. Coffee features but there are plenty of other choices too, including alcohol.

It’s a cosmopolitan mix of Australian, English, and Spanish offerings in a laid-back, relaxed setting. Parents will appreciate the well-stocked toy basket. The extended opening hours (to midnight Thursday-Saturday and 11 pm Monday-Wednesday) are also useful.

Looking through the window into Federal cafe, Girona

La Comuna Café

Carrer de la Barca, 34, Girona

On the northern edge of the old town, La Comuna serves exquisite coffee and an array of healthy food. The breakfast burrito was mind-blowingly delicious, while the bircher muesli and smoothie also got big thumbs up.

Decor is minimalist and fresh, in shades of green and wicker. There’s outside seating too.

Cyclist friendly cafes in Girona
Breakfast burrito at La Comuna

 

Hors Categorie

Carrer del Perill, 3, Girona

Sadly Hors Categorie was temporarily closed when we visited. However, they’ve got an excellent reputation for good coffee, healthy food and craft beers, so we’ll definitely visit next time.

Expect leather chesterfield sofas, super high ceilings, huge windows and an industrial chic vibe. Cycling memorabilia and bikes adorn the walls.

Lots of little details add to the experience – from phone charging to inside bike parking… Perhaps being located just over the river in the newer part of town gives Hors Categorie a little bit more room to play with than some of the other cafés in our list.

Hors Categorie cycling cafe, Girona
Hors Categorie cycling cafe, Girona with bike on wall

 

Your thoughts!

Have you visited these or any other Girona cafés? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re planning a cycling trip to Girona, don’t miss our ultimate guide to cycling Girona, our ride guides and other Girona blog posts on bike tours, tips for cycling Girona and things to do when you’re not cycling.

Clare Dewey

Clare Dewey is a road cyclist with a passion for travel. She set up epicroadrides.com to help make it easy for road cyclists to explore new places by bike.

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2 Responses to “La Fábrica Girona (and friends): Girona’s best cafés/coffee shops”

  1. Thanks for the suggestions! We are planning a trip to Italy for next spring and Girona is on our itinerary!

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