VEGETARIAN BARCELONA SECRETS
Are there any vegetarian restaurants in town where we can go? Lori K. and her family are vegetarian, and they were worried about not having enough food options during their stay. I answered them not to worry: I’ve been vegetarian myself for 3 years now, and I’m a huge foodie, so I was able to recommend them my favorite local venues.
I’ve actually seen an increase in the number of guests with vegetarian food requirements, and although Barcelona is very vegetarian-friendly (here you’ll find where they make my favorite vegetarian Barcelona paella), it’s always good to have some fail-proof resources when you are traveling. The good news is that despite eating vegan in Spain is still harder than being just vegetarian, the number of vegan options is also increasing, too.
Here are the best Barcelona vegan, raw and vegetarian restaurants:
In this lively street of the Raval, just a couple of blocks off La Rambla, stands this family restaurant, one of the vegetarian Barcelona pioneers open over 20 years ago. Interesting daily menu during lunchtime and à la carte for dinner. Vegetarian with some vegan options. Across the street you’ll find another local vegetarian pioneer: Biocenter.
This lady chef came from Lleida, where she had run her own successful veggie restaurant for a long time, to change the scene of the vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona. Until then, most of them were quite dull and their offer mainly consisted of self-service buffets and a small choice of main courses that changed every day. She decided to introduce creative cuisine instead, and modernize the look of her venue (BTW, very centrally located near Plaça Catalunya). It’s been a success: arrive early if you don’t want to have to wait to get a table! Vegetarian and vegan options available.
Sometimes you just want a quick bite, and let’s face it: who doesn’t like fast food when it’s good? The guys at Gopal opened the first Barcelona vegan burger place right off La Rambla way before Cat Bar arrived (but I’d much prefer Gopal even if it doesn’t have tables, to the dirty punk look of Cat Bar!). Beautiful variety of vegan burgers, and a selection of vegan sausages and delis that you can also buy to cook at home or in your rental apartment. Vegan only.
Unfortunately, raw food is a trend that is only starting out in Spain. As far as I know, there are only 2 completely raw restaurants in Spain: Crucina in Madrid and Bionectar in Girona. However, the vegetarian Barcelona is starting to follow the trend, and in the café of the art center Blueproject Foundation, chef Javier Medvedovsky offers a lovely selection of mostly organic and raw dishes, with some non-raw vegan options as well.
The owner, Antonia Moreno, might be a bit eccentric (she still walks around wearing strange hair pins and fashions despite her age starting to be respectable), but she has a good eye for business and has also helped renovating the Barcelona vegetarian scene: She was one of the first in town to claim the important of organic produce, opening her flagship restaurant in the Raval with a San Francisco style that was still unseen in the city in the early 2000’s. Now she also runs a popular street food stall in La Boqueria Market (again, setting trends: as street food is not so common in the city yet, either!).
AND BONUS! Our favorite latest discovery.
Since I discovered it, it’s become one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona. They define themselves as a vegetarian bistrot, and display their values manifesto in their website so everyone knows that they are all about sustainability (organic and local produce), integrity and enjoying life. And that not only means avoiding foods that promote animal cruelty, but also encouraging the pleasure of eating and socializing. Sounds good, isn’t it? I love their variety: nice daily menu for lunch, assortment of tapas and a short but beautiful seasonal à la carte selection for dinner. Vegetarian and vegan options, in this vegetarian Barcelona restaurant in an quiet alley south of Barri Gotic, in the Old Town.
So what about you? Head to the comments and tell us: are there any vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona that you want to recommend?