Walking into Rocambolesc Gelateria is like walking into a hidden room on the set of Willy Wonka.
Bright colors and a cartoonish design remind you of what it was like to go to a candy store or ice cream shop as a kid.
But, there's more than meets the eye here.
All-natural ingredients are paired in creative ways and presented artistically.
This small soft-serve ice cream shop in the heart of Girona, capital of the Costa Brava region of Spain, was opened in April 2012 by Jordi Roca.
Jordi, as featured on Chef's Table (S4 E3) is one of the world's best pastry chefs
And together with his older brothers Joan (head chef) and Josep (sommelier), he runs El Celler de Can Roca, which is consistently rated one of the world's best restaurants.
Coincidentally, six months after Rocambolesc Gelateria opened, I was in Girona for the TBEX travel blogging conference.
The opening party, held in a 12th-century castle, was catered by the Roca brothers, who were also in attendance.
It was the most epic opening party of any blogging conference I've ever attended.
An entire room of the castle was dedicated to ham. That alone garnered much of the post-party buzz.
While a reservation at El Celler de Can Roca was just about as hard to come by back then as it is today, we bloggers descended on Rocambolesc Gelateria to get a further taste of Jordi's sweet creations.
My Return to Rocambolesc Gelateria
So when I returned to Girona in November 2018, it was with great fondness that I walked the streets once again.
Following my incredible lunch at Massana, I meandered through nearby La Devesa Park, which was full of amusement park rides and carnival games.
As the sun began to set around 5 pm, I made my way back to the river and stopped into Rocambolesc for ice cream.
The suggested combo was coconut and violet sorbet topped with strawberry, honey rocks, and violet marshmallow.
The inspiration was taken from a violet and coconut macaron.
I was just happy to have some guidance, so I wasn't left to decide what flavors and toppings might look and taste well together.
Browsing the flavors on their website now, I'm wondering why I wasn't going there every day I was in Girona.
- Chocolate ice cream with cocoa beans, popping candy, chocolate cookies, and chocolate topping
- Baked apple ice cream with caramelized apple, baked apple, and butter cookies
- Mandarin, passion fruit, and orange sorbet with marshmallow elderflower, and basil caramel
- Milk ice cream with caramel, guava confiture, and cotton candy
Not to mention they also do an ice cream in brioche (similar to the Italian gelato in brioche I tried in Bologna) called a panet.
Popsicles are available in silly shapes and flavors, too, including:
- Icephone - shaped like an iPhone and tastes like yogurt, licorice, and lime
- Hand - shaped like a medieval hand and tastes of blood orange and mango sorbet
- Rocanas - shaped like the noses of the Roca brothers and made of strawberry and rosewater sorbet
And of course, you can buy pints of ice cream to go.
What began in Girona has now grown to include ice cream shops in Barcelona, Madrid, and Alicante (a city south of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast).
You can check out the latest creations and see more on the Rocambolesc Instagram account.
Need to Know
- Address: Carrer de Santa Clara 50, 17001 Girona, Spain
- Hours: 11 am - 9 pm, Sunday to Tuesday and 11 am - 10:30 pm Friday to Saturday
- Dress: Casual