Best Vegan Eats in Barcelona
When one thinks of Catalan food, healthy doesn’t really come to mind. Patatas Bravas, Bombas, Russian Salad, Crème Catalan, all the pastries and of course the wine doesn’t exactly make for a healthy meal. Tasty, absolutely, but good for the waistline, absolutely not.
In my quest to find fabulous food in Barcelona, I also wanted to find healthy eats – more specifically, vegan and vegetarian cuisine. I wanted to be able to have fresh green juice daily if I wanted and delicious meat and dairy free meals when I craved them.
Fortunately, Barcelona has some amazing vegan and vegetarian food. I learned that while I can indulge in the amazing patatas bravas, I can also have a delicious kale salad, because it’s all about balance. My partner is 95% vegan so making sure that he could eat was a bit of a challenge, but we managed to find wonderful food that fit in with his dietary restrictions.
Here’s a guide to healthy eating in Barcelona – where and what we ate.
On our first night in Barcelona, we decided to head to Teresa Carles, just off the top of Las Ramblas. I had first heard of this restaurant from This American Girl. I went on the website and figured it would be a good place to kick off the vacation.
When we arrived, they were only serving a limited menu but we decided to sit down and have a beverage. I ordered their Green Medicine fresh juice to hopefully cure my cold. The juice is made fresh daily and they have at least two dozen different kinds.
For our nibbles, we ordered Homemade Croquettes and Antipasto with a trio of hummus accompanied by Arabic bread, crudités and fried tempeh. Both starters were delicious!
By then the main menu was available so for the mains, we ordered Healthy Nachos – house made baked tortilla chips, bean stew, guacamole, tomatoes and vegan sour cream (delish!) and Black Rice with mushrooms, seaweed and vegan aioli. It was all delish and I would definitely recommend Teresa Carles for interesting vegetarian food.
We stumbled on Veggie Garden while walking to Las Ramblas from our hotel. They had a very large vegan menu with burgers, sandwiches, salads, noodles, curries and more. It was a bit more hippie dippie than I would’ve liked, but the food was great so it didn’t matter.
I went with the Menu de Dia – menu of the day for just €8.50! It was a three course menu with three choices per course. I decided on Creamy Carrot Soup, the daily curry and sorbet. It also came with free bread and wine or water, because in Spain the wine is as cheap as the water!
The soup was incredibly creamy but the curry plate was the star of the meal. It came with three different curries, basmati rice, poppadum, a vegetable pakora and some great hot sauce. There was a dahl, a gobi and a vegetable curry – all were delish. The sorbet wasn’t amazing but I still thought the meal was fantastic not only because it was great value but also because it was flavour packed.
We also stumbled on this wonderful little café. We nipped in because we saw a sign for vegano and were pleasantly surprised by the fresh juice, flavourful salads and upscale vibe.
On the first visit, I got a fresh juice with beets, ginger, carrots, apple and kale. It was delish to say the least. I also got a kale salad with shaved parmesan and a lemon dressing.
While BON wasn’t vegan, it had wonderful vegan and vegetarian options and everything was healthy. The next time we went, I had a broccoli salad and an amazing slice of quiche made of honey, eggplant and feta cheese. It was such a cute, inexpensive place and was right around the corner from the hotel.
Flax & Kale
I’ve saved the best for last. Flax & Kale is a part of the Teresa Carles group. The concept is 80% plant based and 20% oily fish/cheese/eggs. The first night we went there was after visiting Mirablau. We had to wait 15 minutes for a table. That was a god sign as it was super busy.
When we finally sat down at a communal table right next to the open kitchen, I couldn’t help being excited for the incredible food I was about to have. We started with mushroom, coconut and truffle toast. Basically, the mushrooms were sautéed with coconut cream and finished with truffle oil on crusty multi-grain bread. It was just as delicious as it sounds.
Being the Mexican food lover that I am, I went for the No Digas Tacos as my main – housemade corn tortillas, guacamole, sautéed eggplant, shitake mushrooms and white cabbage, pico de gallo and vegan sour cream. These were excellent tacos that just happened to be vegan and strangely enough, I didn’t miss the cheese or the sour cream. I ate these tacos twice during the trip.
The other main was Theresia Cocosepia’s Black Rice with edamame, young coconut, dried fruit, black garlic, herbs, green peas and aioli. Another wonderful dish.
We ate here two more times and tried the Plant-based, gluten-free Spaghetti, Green Power Ravioli and Orange is the New Healthy Ravioli. But the star was the Mezze Platter that I’m still dreaming about – Black hummus with activated charcoal, Green hummus with spinach, Orange hummus with pumpkin and turmeric, spelt, chia and flax cracker, kale cracker, quinoa meatballs, kale salad and mini crudites. It was absolutely delicious, healthy and packed with flavour. Strangely enough, the black hummus was the best.
We also had the Grilled Carrot Cake with mango cream, mint chocolate sorbet and coconut milk yogurt foam, ie heaven on a plate. It was fantastic to be able to have such an amazing dinner, complete with dessert that was entirely plant based, good for you and delicious.
Definitely check out Flax & Kale if you ever find yourself in Barcelona even if you aren’t vegan. It’s a hot spot in Barcelona and is always busy thanks to its close proximity to Las Ramblas. I can’t wait to go back.