Rocambolesc Gelateria serves cool ice cream in Girona, Spain with Willy Wonka style and Michelin star finesse. Read on for the full story and then watch our video.
Candy canes, multicolored swirls and a wall of eccentricities greet you as you enter Jordi Roca’s ultra-chic and ultra-fun Rocambolesc Gelateria ice cream shop – ice pops made of Girona icons, candy bars with a design seemingly lifted from Willie Wonka and a flavor wall filled with a list that requires minutes of careful perusal.
This compact gelateria celebrates ice cream while elevating the simple dessert to a higher level. Decor aside, this shop is notable for the quality product worthy to carry the Roca name. In other words, a stop at Rocambolesc Gelateria is a must for any visit to Girona.
Check out our Girona food guide.
Jordi Roca, the youngest brother and pastry chef in the clan responsible for the Michelin three-star powerhouse El Celler de Can Roca, runs the ice cream shop’s four locations when he’s not working at Cellar. To do this, he utilizes the restaurant’s dessert team to create rich, smooth, flavorful soft serve ice cream and gourmet toppings that speak to the Roca brothers’ high level of gastronomy.
Liquid topping options like the multiple apple compotes and purées that top the baked apple ice cream are intensely defined yet balanced. Even the candy cookie toppings are elevated beyond typical ice cream shop varieties.
Yes, when you eat ice cream at Rocambolesc Gelateria, you are eating ice cream and toppings prepared by Michelin three-star pastry chefs!
What to Eat at Rocambolesc Gelateria
Rocambolesc Gelateria serves a selection of six flavors at any one time. Since pastry chefs make the ice cream with milk instead of cream, the resulting product has a lighter soft-serve texture.
But don’t think that quality is sacrificed with this approach. Our favorite ice creams, the baked apple and panettone, have a creamy texture, while the yogurt has a flavor profile that is both bright and tart.
The real magic happens with the addition of the toppings. Although the shop allows customers to choose from 34 toppings, most people go for the suggested combinations.
It’s hard to imagine a better combination than baked apple ice cream topped with caramelized apples, baked apple and shortbread cookies unless it’s panettone ice cream topped with candied fruit, sugar pearls and dark chocolate (pictured above). Both are true feasts for the eyes and mouth.
Made to order in the shop, candy floss, known as cotton candy in North America, is the star topping. Eating a cone or cup with candy floss on top will make the most sophisticated adult feel like a kid at the circus. At least that’s how we felt while eating a cup of yogurt drizzled with caramel sauce and topped with a candy floss crown.
Though ice cream is the shop’s main event, Rocambolesc Gelateria also serves a treat called Panet – a hot brioche stuffed with cool ice cream and lots of toppings. Trust us, you will want to try a Panet during your visit.
Rocambolesc Gelateria is always crowded but is well worth the queue. Not everybody can score a reservation and experience the exclusive El Celler de Can Roca menu while visiting Girona in Spain, but everybody can enjoy the Roca family’s world-class ice cream.
Watch our YouTube video to see what it’s like to eat crazy, cool ice cream at Rocambolesc Gelateria in Girona.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.