BIG NEWS! Barcelona has officially declared itself “vegetarian friendly”! Seriously, whether you’re flexitarian, vegetarian or 100% vegan, there’s never been a more exciting time to eat in the Catalan capital.
From raw and organic tapas to macrobiotic marvels, these are my personal picks on the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Barcelona city centre.
Rasoterra ~ Kilometre Zero Feasts in the Gothic Quarter
Owned by the team behind Slow Food Barcelona, a zero kilometre initiative, this is a truly excellent choice for vegetarian and vegan set menus. Lunch offerings include either a 2- or 3-course menu, whilst dinner is all about hearty pasta dishes and creative fusion flavours.
What to eat: Enjoy tapas like shitake mushrooms with tofu gyozas, and Idiazabal sheep-cheese croquettes with pink onion. Main dishes include ramen soup with tofu, vegetables and kimchi, and cabbage parcels of cardoon and almonds with traditional Catalan espigalls and lentil trinxat. This is at the top of the list for a reason.
Teresa Carles ~ Creative Vegetarian Cuisine in Raval
Unquestionably one of the biggest names in healthy and vegetarian eating in Barcelona, Teresa Carles started her meatless revolution in 1979 and has been raising the bar ever since. Refined and progressive, the menu features excellent dairy- and gluten-free options, as well as seriously creative salads and sensational pasta dishes.
What to eat: Order the pumpkin and crispy tempeh salad with purple cabbage, radish, soya yogurt, mustard, agave syrup and cinnamon sauce. Or try my personal favourite dish, the red pesto pappardelle with sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and parmesan with wok cooked vegetables. I also high recommend their homemade desserts.
Flax & Kale ~ Flexitarian Health Food in Raval
Also owned by the Teresa Carles group, this ultra trendy temple of healthy eating is the place to go for everything from a galvanising brunch to a detoxing dinner. The menu is 80% plant-based, with the remaining 20% drawing on oily fish. I think it was the arrival of this ambitious venue that made many people in Barcelona stand up and take notice of the emerging veggie scene. Kudos to Teresa and co for making it happen.
What to eat: Arrive early for a brunch like no other – think gluten-free black walnut and banana bread made with rice and buckwheat flour, and avocado whole-wheat toast with lemon, cayenne pepper, flax and chia. Interesting dishes also include grilled watermelon with goat’s cheese and mustard leaves. Get in line.
Calizumos ~ Raw Pressed Juices & Acai Bowls in Gracia
Set up by Californian-native Jonnathan Courtney, Calizumos brings a double dose of clean eating to the Catalan capital. A poster boy for healthy living (though he’s a self-proclaimed “party boy” too), John is in fine physical shape and radiates an infectious aura of positivity – everything and anything seems possible after your mind and body has been nourished at Calizumos.
What to eat/drink: Whatever your mood there’s a raw pressed juice to suit. Each variation is made to-order from 90% vegetables and 10% fruit – even the orange juice is freshly squeezed in-house! And the superfood acai bowls, complete with oats, berries and nuts, are hearty and delicious meals in themselves.
Need a boost? If you’re in serious need of a detox then take part in the 3, 5 or 7-day Cali-cleanse, replacing your normal meals with three juices a day to rid your body of toxins and reignite your metabolism.
Clean eating and positive vibes.
Sésamo ~ Vegetarian and Vegan Tapas in Sant Antoni
Another big name in Barcelona’s vegetarian dining scene, Sésamo is owned and run by Argentinian chef Alfredo Marcus, who creates unique dishes inspired by both local and global flavours. Though not strictly vegan, Alfredo is known for his flexibility and if you ask him nicely, he’ll no doubt be happy to cater for you.
What to eat: Nibble your way through the vegetarian tapas menu, with dishes like pimientos de padron (traditional Spanish peppers) with chilli powder, lime and sea salt, or cauliflower with tahini, chilli, coriander, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds.
Cat Bar ~ Vegan Pub Grub and Craft Beer in El Born
Originally known to me as one of Barcelona’s best craft beer hotspots, this intimate little cafe bar has a big reputation as one of the city’s best vegan restaurants. The menu isn’t the most creative, but what they do do, they do exceptionally well. The beer offering really is exceptional.
What to eat: The veggie burgers are simply unmissable, especially when paired with a local Catalan brew. There are also tortillas and quiches, as well as a hearty all-day breakfast and decent homemade cakes.
Govinda ~ Hindu Vegetarian & Vegan Dishes in the Gòtico
Opened in 1986, Barcelona’s vegetarians have a lot to thank the team at Govinda for. Not only did they bring authentic Hindu-inspired vegetarian and vegan cuisine to Barcelona, but they also introduced the city to proper veggie pizzas and seriously generous salad buffets.
What to eat: Try the traditional Hindu thalis, with Raita, Dhal, Chawal, Sabji, Kofta, Pakora, Chutney, Chapati, and don’t miss the authentic milkshake lassis.
Quinoa Bar Vegetarià ~ Pretty Vegan Cafe in Gracia
This intimate little vegan cafe belies its big reputation. Summer sees DJs and live music on the terrace and the hearty vegan sandwiches go perfectly with the bio wines and Catalan craft beers.
What to eat: Jaw-busting sandwiches filled with delights such as roasted eggplant, dried tomatoes and olive paste are perfect for lunch, but it’s the homemade vegan cakes (think chocolate and pistachio) and ice-creams that steal the show.
Biocenter ~ Organic, Farm-Fresh Delights Just Off Las Ramblas
With over 30 years of experience, these guys have been a leading light within Barcelona’s veggie circles. The vibe is cosy and relaxed, with excellent service and a smooth soundtrack. And with its location on the hip and trendy Carrer Pintor Fortuny, just off Las Ramblas, it’s a convenient choice for lunch or dinner without having to ramble too far off Las Ramblas.
What to eat: The lunchtime salad bar buffet is overflowing with interesting items and you choose your main dish from an equally exciting list of daily specials.
More Vegetarian / Vegan Restaurants and Cafes in Barcelona
- Vegetalia ~ Salads, quinoa burgers and an outstanding menú del día for €10, everything here is delicious and made with produce grown in their own eco garden. Three locations: Born, Gotico and Raval.
- The Blue Project ~ Raw food connoisseurs, this is the place for a health kick brunch or breakfast. Located in Born, just a hop and a skip away from the beautiful Parc Ciutadella.
- The Juice House ~ A serious brunch contender on the foodie utopia of Carrer Parlament in Sant Antoni. Health-conscious dishes include oat and chia pancakes, and homemade granola with goji berries. The juices are next level.
- Prana Kitchen at Apocapoc ~ Not your average vegan restaurant – here a team of vegan gourmets experiment with raw ingredients and adventurous recipes to create something that’s always one step beyond what everyone else is doing.
- La Bascula de la Cereria ~ Sustainable seduction with a Latin American twist, you can eat well at this hipster haunt without marring your conscious. Budget-friendly prices will also leave you giddy. Tucked away on a backstreet in Born.
- Aguaribay ~ Exciting Mexican, Japanese and Spanish fusion cuisine, popular with strict vegans and vegetarians alike. Located in the hip ‘hood of Poblenou.
- Sopa ~ Macrobiotic eating with hearty soups, vegan tapas and seasonal salads. €10 menú del día also makes for a budget-friendly lunch option. Located in Poblenou, though they also have branches in Madrid and Ubud, Bali.