VEGAN CITIES: THE BARCELONA GUIDE
Spain doesn't often conjure up images of happy animals or vegan friendly restaurants. In fact when I used to think of Spain I would picture mountains of jamon (drycured ham) & bulls looking worse for wear. Although Spain's traditional cuisine dominates many provinces, Catalonia's laid back & fun loving Barcelona provides plenty of options for plant-based eaters.
Whether you are eating to live or living to eat, this city has you covered. It's a little difficult to avoid animal products in supermarkets and restaurants, even in highly populated touristic areas, but there are some fine eateries dotted around– you will never be hungry in beautiful Barcelona.
So, where should you start?
Carrer dels Escudellers, 42, 08002 - Facebook Page
Donut Photo by: @estella.i
Burger Photo by: @mini_alz
Ah, my local deli. This place is essentially your go-to for a vegan junk food fix in Barcelona. Home made patties, cheeses, egg-free Spanish tortilla (which still blows my mind every time I have it) and the biggest, bestest chocolate donuts i've ever had. Seriously, if you're not much of a donut fan, you will be after one of these badboys. Unfortunately, last year Gopal lost their license to serve food inside, but I think it suits being takeaway only. See you there when I'm hungover... I'll likely be waiting for my €4.90 Gopal Protein burger or a giant remolino de canela (cinnamon roll).
Carrer de la Reina Cristina, 12, 08003 - Facebook Page
Photo by: Amy McCready
Got a date? A birthday? An anniversary? Book a table here! I instantly fell in love with The Green Spot just looking at the décor; the wood, the lamps, the plates, the lighting...it's like having a romantic dinner in a beautifully lit show-home. This subsequently gave me high expectations for the food. Luckily the menu is glorious. Fancy cocktails, healthy juices, pasta, pizza, Asian fusion & more. A friend and I recently shared the Asian wok with Tempeh and Sweet Potato Tagliatelle (with macadamia nut sauce & black truffle) and a brownie for dessert; we were in plant-based heaven. Although a predominantly vegetarian place, the vegan options are delicious, just, without a doubt, pricey as fuck. You have been warned.
Carrer de la Boria, 17, 08003 - Facebook Page
Photo by: Amy McCready
Disclaimer: This is not a cat restaurant.
Some folks say this place is home to the best vegan burgers in Barcelona. Some say this is home to the best vegan burgers in Europe. I can certainly vouch for CatBar, a wee craft bar with 9 taps and over 30 bottles of local Catalan & Spanish beers. They have a small but satisfying selection of huge burgers and the best vegan patatas bravas in Barcelona. I recommend the crazy burger and the hemp burger and the mexican burger... Don't expect the best customer service in the world though. Not only is it rare for Barcelona, but CatBar is super relaxed and the staff don't prioritise attending to customers. So much so that you order at the bar after ticking off what you want on their paper menus. It's all about the burgers & beer here. And I'm not complaining.
Plaça dels Àngels, 3, 08001 / Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 602. 08007 - Facebook Page
Photo by: barcelonaholidayapartments.co.uk
If you like Indian food and cheap food, get your arse to Veggie Garden. The deluxe Indian thali is a fantastic medley of veggie curries, dahl, chutney & poppadoms. Their Greek moussaka is pretty delicious too. However, if you're more of an 'international menu' kind of eater [aka fussy bastard] then fret not, they have good ol' veggie burgers and a tofu & cheese wrap that I've been told tastes like chicken! I've only ever been to the Raval restaurant but I imagine the service and quality of the food is comparable to Corts Catalanes. Humble food, great prices, it's a great spot for a filling meal. Veggie Garden is nothing fancy, but if you're hungry and want a quick bite – it's ideal.
Carrer d'Hipolito Lazaro, 34, esq Pi Margall, 08025 - www.dolcepizzaylosveganos.com/
Photo by: Dolce Pizza y Los Veganos
Vegan pizza delivered straight to your door? Aye, i'll take that. Although I've not personally visited the restaurant in the Gràcia neighburhood, I have tried 4 of DP&LV's pizzas and can safely say that if you're craving pizza (when are we not craving pizza?), they hit the spot. Although they don't have the best vegan cheese in the world, you should definitely give it a try. Toppings on offer: 4 cheese, Pesto, Chorizo, tofu & mushrooms and plenty of other veggies. All free from animal produce. Guilt-free pizza is the best kind of pizza! If you have any room left after your main, don't forget to grab a dessert. I hear the tiramisu is something special.
Carrer de Torrijos, 37, 08012 - labesneta.com
Photo by: La Besneta
When I first walked into the entirely vegan La Besneta and the smell of freshly baked cakes hit me, I instantly concluded that this place was a gift from the Gods. Upon further investigation I discovered the bakery is actually a gift from a local Catalan family. It proved difficult to pick the best photo to promote La Besneta. Trying to pick the prettiest cake is like trying to pick your favourite child. How people manage to take a photo before devouring these slices of heaven, I'll never really comprehend. At €1.80 a muffin, you'll struggle to find a reason not to buy more than one, and this goes for non-vegans too. The only downside of La Besneta is that you can't sit inside, but perhaps this is safer for your waistline. I recommend the chocolate orange muffin. Or the tiramisu. Or the carrot cake...
Also worth a mention:
Teresa Carles – Slightly pricey, fancier vegan food.
Dostrece - Friggen' breakfast tacos & pancakes.
Bar Celoneta Sangria Bar - Animal free tapas...in Catalonia!
La Heladería Mexicana - Affordable burritos, tacos & vegan ice cream.
Vacka - Breakfast waffles...BREAKFAST WAFFLES!
All you Eat is Love - Healthy, cosy place, friendly staff.
Unlike the widely spoken English of Berlin, as mentioned by @theeagertongue, the people of Barcelona will expect you to speak to them in at least Spanish, if not Catalan. So, here are a few phrases in both languages for you to practice before your next trip. 10 gold stars if you attempt the native language!
I am vegan:
Catalan - sóc vegà
Spanish – Soy vegano/vegana
Do you have any vegan options?
Catalan - Té opcions veganas/veganos?
Spanish - ¿Tienes opciones veganas/veganos?
Without meat, fish, cheese, milk, egg...
Catalan - Sense carn, peix, formatge, llet, ou...
Spanish – Sin carne, pescado, queso, leche, huevo...
I would like...
Catalan – M'agradaria
Spanish - Me gustaría
Do you come here often?
Catalan - ¿Véns aquí sovint?
Spanish - ¿vienes aqui a menudo?
After moving from Glasgow to Barcelona 6 months ago, I now consider this city my home. Although I'm a Weegie through and through, there's no need for me to miss the vegan delights of Glasgow when I have such tremendous food choices on my doorstep. This definitely helped me settle into this mad, vibrant world. Barcelona has captured me and I'm dealing with a powerful case of Stockholm syndrome. Te amo Barna. Cheers for keeping my belly happy.