My initial thoughts about being a vegan in Barcelona were ones of skepticism. Spain is, after all, well known for its cured meats and cheese dishes.
However, to my sheer delight, I’ve found myself almost bombarded with alternative options. It takes some real effort to even scratch the surface of this vegan-friendly paradise. Let’s take a closer look at how easy it is to be a vegan in Barcelona:
Quinoa Bar Vegetarià
Quinoa is a vegetarian/vegan cafe located in Gràcia. This quirky little eatery is tiny inside, with about four tables arranged cosily towards the back. Funky art decorates the walls and there are hanging baskets filled with gorgeous fresh produce.
I tried a bowl of nachos with a side of fresh guacamole and then a toasted sandwich, which was filled with the freshest ingredients. I couldn’t get enough of the juicy Spanish tomatoes and olive tapenade.
For me, walking into Cat Bar is like being transported straight back into one of Manchester’s grungy dive bars. This snug little joint has a punk feel to it and looking around, it attracts the alternative crowd. Surrounded by cat-themed wall art and illustrations, I dived headfirst into a glass of local artisanal beer and the most amazing vegan burger with a side of patatas bravas.
Dolce Pizza y Los Veganos
Dolce Pizza y Los Veganos is rumoured to have the best vegan pizza in Barcelona. After one bite, I’d go as far as saying it was the best vegan pizza I’ve ever had!
I opted for the gourmet pizza, with creamy mushrooms, homemade vegan cheese and truffle oil. It was rich, bursting with flavour and as I write this I am trying my best not to drool!
Flax & Kale
No vegan trip to Barcelona is complete without visiting Teresa Carles’ health food empire Flax & Kale. I tried both the Tallers and Passage restaurants. The menu is primarily plant-based and labels itself as ‘flexitarian’. Everything is beautifully designed, from the decor, down to the menu and I love the large, open space in both locations.
To accompany my home-made nut milk latte at the Tallers restaurant, I ate the most gorgeous bagel for brunch. It was filled with a delicious combination of vegan cheese and tempeh. What’s more, their açai bowls will blow you away.
I couldn’t visit Barcelona without sampling some of the tapas, so after a bit of research, I made my way to la cava in Gràcia one evening. It’s wonderfully cosy and ambient inside this bustling little restaurant. There are handwritten messages from people all over the world covering the walls, from floor to ceiling.
On the menu, the vegan options are somewhat limited. In all honesty, I didn’t fancy hummus, olives and bread on this occasion. I did, however, enjoy a plate of patatas bravas and eat my weight in fresh guacamole and roasted peppers.
Raw, local, plant-based goodness. I stopped by Petit Brot for a light lunch one afternoon. I paired my smoothie with beetroot hummus, crackers and veg. Though delicious, it was by no means cheap and I left feeling considerably poorer.
The Hammock Juice Station
The Hammock Juice Station is such a great little spot! Filled with hanging hammock chairs, this cafe is perfect for breakfast. I had one of the best smoothies I’ve ever tried here, which tasted like salted caramel!
I treated myself to an açai bowl. It was delicious and great for cooling me down in the warm weather. Though paired with the cold smoothie, I ended up with goosebumps and a numb tongue!
When I happened across the vegan bakery, La Besnéta in Gràcia, I most definitely lost my cool; cake is my weakness. As well as enormous cupcakes, there are muffins, cookies and desserts on display and I spent a good while just staring at everything in awe.
I eventually got a carrot cake cupcake to go and carried it with me, all the way to Park Güell, before giving in and devouring it.
Roots & Rolls
Roots and Rolls was recommended to me by my beautiful vegan friends Katie and Nicola from Round the World Magazine and it certainly didn’t disappoint. In fact, I came away from the restaurant feeling like I’d eaten the entire menu in one sitting.
To start, I tried the gyozas and spring rolls. The sauce smothering the gyozas was divine and my friend James pretty much licked the plate clean.
We then shared a bowl of ramen miso. The flavours were sensational, yet it felt incredibly light on the stomach.
Next, we moved onto a sharing platter of ‘sushi’ rolls (mushroom, spicy mango, rocket, chickpea), nigiris (tomato & basil, tofu & kimchi, avocado & sriracha) and avocado makis, which were made from black rice, quinoa and mixed grains and came topped with 4 different sauces.
All in all, I find being a vegan in Barcelona exceptionally easy and not once have I felt awkward or struggled to find decent food. In fact, the city has some of the best vegan grub I’ve ever eaten! There is also such a great selection; from healthy breakfasts and brunches, vegan beer, tapas, guilt-free fast food, to a cheeky cupcake (or three).
For some inspiration on what to do in Barcelona (between stuffing your face), check out my blog post; The BEST Things to See and Do in Barcelona.