Where to Eat Vegan and Vegetarian in Barcelona
Barcelona is an amazing city, known for its architecture (Gaudí, anyone?) and nightlife. I visited Barcelona as a vegetarian and am thrilled to share that the city is indeed veg friendly. You can eat very well as a vegan or a vegetarian at specialty restaurants (of course) but there are also several non-vegetarian restaurants where you can eat vegan and vegetarian in Barcelona.
My first resource when travelling and looking for healthy vegan and vegetarian options is always Happy Cow. Happy Cow is a brilliant website where you can enter in virtually any city and have a detailed list of restaurants, shops and boutiques that cater to vegetarians and vegans. If you are a strict vegan then you can check off the option that lists only locations that are completely vegan! Before leaving for my first solo adventure in Barcelona, I invested in their app so I could always carry Happy Cow with me and consult it on the go, to stay healthy and happy (so worth the 5 or some odd dollars for the app)!
Through Happy Cow I discovered a ton of wonderful restaurants to visit in Barcelona. I became so excited about eating in the city that it became one of the main focuses for my trip (and has followed me throughout my travels).
Here are the top three favourite veggie-friendly restaurants to visit in beautiful Barcelona (according to Happiest When Exploring!)
Carrer de l’Hospital, Carrer de l’Hospital, 74, 08001
(I am very sorry to report that Juicy Jones closed for business in January 2016. My hopes are that they will reopen one day, soon!) My number one has got to be Juicy Jones. Juicy Jones is a completely VEGAN restaurant in the old part of the city (Ciutat Vella) off of Las Ramblas. The restaurant is open late (until 11 pm in summer) and offers a new menu daily. I spent one week in Barcelona and visited this restaurant about 5 times, both for lunch and dinner. Each time I visited I had a different meal – every time you eat at Juicy Jones it is like eating at a new restaurant. This is because their daily, changing menu is extensive- with the option of a three-course meal (entre, main course and dessert) for about 15 euros.
I would also recommend getting a fresh juice for only about 4 euros. The chefs are brilliant and adventurous, mixing favours and textures like polenta and black bean soup. Not to mention that the food presentation is Iron Chef worthy!
The décor is really fun with colourful graffiti of fruits and veggies all over the walls and the vibe is laidback/casual. The service is quick yet the staff is patient and friendly.
Carrer de Paris 200, 08206
Za’atar is a vegetarian restaurant with an extensive menu. You can opt for a vegan version of every plate
(it is built in the menu which is a real energy saver and stress reliever for vegans). They too serve fresh juice and “three-course” meals. My favourite meal at Za’atar was my first: an entrée of nan bread served with olive oil, crushed garlic and olives and a vegan lasagna as the main course. I also had a fresh juice (ABC – apple, beet and carrot). Za’atar transforms “traditional” European food into vegetarian and vegan dishes. Being a solo traveller, dinnertime can sometimes get a little awkward or lonely but I loved Za’atar because of its friendly waiters and laid-back clientele. The restaurant is two floors and with simple but elegent décor. I wore a long, lightweight dress and did not feel out of place.
NB: Za’atar is off the beaten path, located in the district of Eixample (the newer part of the city). It is a more residential area, making it very quiet, especially at night but well worth the detour.
El Café Blueproject
Carrer Princesa 57, 08003
El Café Blueproject is a vegetarian restaurant offering a good amount of vegan and raw vegan options. Their chefs use organic and local produce when available. Blueproject is a really cool space with exposed brick and refurbished tables. This restaurant is a two-minute walk (literally) from Ciutadella Park. It makes for a great segue from the Picasso museum (also close by) to the park. The restaurant is easy to miss so be careful to look out for their little sandwich board outside the locale.
The menu varies from sandwiches to raw salads to incredible desserts (I am guilty of going twice in one day for dessert! Try the raw brownie with vanilla nice cream and their vegan cookies!).
NB: located in El Barri Gotic on Carrer de la Princesa (walk along Via Laietana and turn left on Carrer de la Princesa or take the scenic route)
I wanted to provide you with three excellent options when visiting Barcelona but the truth is I ate like a (vegetarian) queen while I was there so I needed to mention one more!
Vegeart (Cucina Vegana)
Carrer del Torrent de L’Olla 138, 08012
I discovered Cucina Vegana by fluke! On my way to Park Guell I was walking along Carrer del Torrent de l’Olla and started getting hungry. By some sort of miracle, I found a sign that said “VEGAN” that stopped me in my tracks and I discovered a small, take-out bakery serving 100% vegan food. I picked up a delicious vegan “meat”-style pie in homemade phyllo dough and took it to-go. I noticed that their hours are limited so make sure to check their business hours before visiting. They also have treats (cupcakes and other desserts), as well as salads and personal sized pizza for take-out.
NB: located in Eixample on route towards Park Guell (P.S. Don’t miss Carrer del Torrent de l’Olla! – It is a wonderful street filled with clothing and jewellery shops, as well as an organic grocery shops).
To me, Barcelona was the perfect introduction to the possibilities of travelling and tasting the foods of a culture without compromising your values surrounding food or your health.
Now it’s your turn – have you eaten at any of these restaurants? What other vegan/vegetarian restaurants did you visit while in BCN? What are your favourite restaurants/cafés to eat vegan and vegetarian in Barcelona?