Barcelona

Barcelona is quite possibly my favourite city in the whole world. The weather, the architecture, the food… sitting outside with a clarita (beer topped with Fanta lemon – don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!) or glass of sangria, people-watching… there’s nothing quite like it. It’s my happy place. As well as numerous visits over the past few years, I spent a month living there in 2016, so Barcelona truly feels like home now. I also took my parents there in September 2017 to demonstrate to them why I feel that Barcelona deserves the accolade of being one of the best cities in the world for vegans. In case you also need convincing here’s a lowdown of some (only some, there are literally soooo many options I couldn’t list them all!) of the vegan treats on offer…

Note that Barcelona is a huge city, very spread out, so many of the best vegan finds are quite far away from each other. If you’re like me and love walking (especially when you have some yummy vegan food to look forward to at the end!) then this isn’t a problem. Otherwise, if you’re only visiting for a few days, you might want to just choose one area to stick to (like Gracia, for example), and have those options super close by. Or choose somewhere more or less in the middle of it all like Eixample (which still means you might have to walk at least 20 minutes to cafes and restaurants).


Gracia

 

Knella Bakery

9 Carrer de Mila i Fontanals, 08012 Barcelona

Star rating: 4/5

DSC00334

Super yummy vegan magdalena from Knella

This is super cute little bakery (not totally veggie) in Gracia that serves 3 types of vegan magdalena (muffin), which were super delicious. They also serve 3 types of vegan croissant – chocolate, seeded or plain – which were also amazing, and 2 types of vegan tart/quiche (that I didn’t try as we were there for breakfast only!). As well as lovely-looking fresh breads they also do really good coffee there (soya cappuccino) – not too strong – and the staff are so lovely. It’s also really cheap for what you get. The only downside is that there’s no toilet (when you’re travelling with someone with IBS that’s a big issue!) but there are 2 tables (4 seats each) as well as 4 bar seats looking out the window. A definite must for breakfast!

 

Amapola

Travessera de Gràcia, 129, 08012 Barcelona

DSC00338Amapola (poppy in English) is a vegan shoe shop (yes, you heard that right!) in Gracia, close to the metro stop. They sell a few different make of shoes, as well as loads of Matt and Nat designer bags. However, everything is at least 100 euros so don’t go unless you can treat yourself – you’ll only be disappointed otherwise!

 

Quinoa Bar Vegetarià

Travessera de Gràcia, 203, 08012 Barcelona

I’ve never actually sat inside this café (because it’s always usually packed when I go past, and it’s very tiny inside!), I’ve only ever had their takeaway vegan quiche – which is really really good – but I haven’t looked too closely at their menu to be honest… I don’t think the choice for vegans is great, but the quiche is perfect if you’re making a picnic to eat in the park!

 

Vegetart

Carrer del Torrent de l’Olla, 138, 08012 Barcelona

Star rating: 2.5/5

DSC00348Vegetart is an entirely vegan takeaway deli in Gracia (if you want to walk from Park Güell to Gracia – a good 30 minutes or so – you would walk directly down this street as you enter Gracia). The first couple of times I went there it was amazing – the Spanish tortilla tasted exactly like the non-vegan version, I couldn’t believe it didn’t have eggs. But the last time was really disappointing – the tortilla was still good but definitely not as ‘eggy’ as usual, and the place seemed a little sad (they don’t seem to use the space very well, there’s lots of unused space at the front of the shop) with fewer options: empanaditas (savoury filled pastries), a few cakes, 2 salads (which didn’t look amazing), and the tortilla. It’s also a bit difficult trying to find somewhere close by to sit and eat in Gracia (there are squares but you have to search a bit, and they don’t always have free benches). I’d go back if I was there for a while, but if I only had a few days then I’d probably give it a miss.

 

La Besneta

Carrer de Torrijos, 37, 08012 Barcelona

Star rating: 4/5

La Besneta is an entirely vegan bakery (more like a cake shop really!), takeaway only. The last time I visited they had 4 types of vegan cake (red velvet, carrot, chocolate, and something I can’t remember!), 2 types of loaf cake (lemon and orange), 4 types of vegan cookie (*alfajores, oat and chocolate, choc chip, and lemon and ginger), vegan lemon meringue pie, 3 kinds of fruit tart, and various gluten free muffins. It’s worth a visit just for the sheer amount of choice alone, but, if you need more incentive, the blueberry tart was probably one of the best vegan desserts I’ve had in a really long time (if not, ever!). I think they also do special order cakes for special occasions, if you’re planning a wedding or birthday in Barcelona – I’m sure they would be amazing!

*Alfajores are a type of Argentinian biscuit/cookie (the owners of La Besneta are from Argentina), made up of 2 meringue-style biscuits sandwiched together with dulce de leche (caramel sauce) – so yummy!

 

Végere

Carrer de Ramón y Cajal, 32, 08012 Barcelona

Végere is a vegan makeup shop and spa in Gracia, selling natural mineral makeup and spa treatments. I didn’t go in, as it didn’t look like the kind of place for browsing, it looked very high end (i.e. expensive!) – an ‘appointment only’ kind of place!

 

Near Sagrada Familia

 

Dolce Pizza y Los Veganos

Av. De Gaudi

Star rating: 3/5

Dolce Pizza y Los Veganos is a vegetarian Italian restaurant (with an entire vegan menu), specialising in vegan pizza. There are 2 in Barcelona – one on the outskirts of Gracia (which I haven’t been to yet), and one on the street up from Sagrada Familia, which was right around the corner from where I was living J. The quality isn’t outstanding, but there’s such a huge choice and the pizzas are huge, so you definitely won’t go hungry! They also have plenty of vegan desserts including tiramisu, which was delicious. Inside was a little stuffy as there’s no aircon, which isn’t great in the summer, and I would recommend booking ahead as it’s usually fairly busy. But the staff are really friendly, so it’s definitely worth a visit.

Update: it seems this location might be closed…? The Gracia branch is definitely still open though.

 

Av. Diagonal

 

Ecocentre

Avinguda Diagonal, 329, 08009 Barcelona

DSC00387Ecocentre is an entirely vegan supermarket. Yup, as if a vegan shoe shop, bakery, and makeup shop wasn’t enough, Barcelona also offers a whole vegan supermarket. There’s honestly too much choice in this shop, I usually end up only buying a vegan Cornetto or choc ice to takeout with me because I’m just too overwhelmed to buy anything else! As well as the staples (pasta, rice, etc.), they have a huge biscuit and chocolate aisle, a huge fridge full of vegan cheese, another fridge of vegan mortadella (blood sausage – gross – but the vegan one is pretty good if you like fake meats) and speciality sausages, a freezer full of vegan seafood (prawns, calamari, shrimp, etc.), granolas, icecream, some toiletries and makeup (not much actually) and some books. Pretty much everything you could possibly think of. Not much use if you’re not cooking for yourself (and you don’t need to in Barcelona!) but still worth going to be amazed and to work up an appetite!

 

Eixample

 

Strata

Carrer de Provença, 158, 08036 Barcelona

Star rating: 4/5

Strata is a bakery (not totally veggie) to the West of Eixample, in between the two large streets of Av Diagonal and Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes. In all honesty, there’s not much else in that area so it’s a bit of a trek out, but if you have the energy, or are staying in that area, they do very good vegan croissants (they tasted exactly like normal butter croissants, but would have been even better with some vegan butter and jam), although they only had 2 left when we went so beware! They also do very good coffee (soya cappuccino) – not too strong – and lovely fresh juices. Apart from the croissants they also had a vegan cookie and a vegan empanada (savoury filled pastry). They possibly also had some vegan cake but I didn’t get a chance to ask. The inside is very nice, quite trendy, with more seating out the back and they have toilets. Possibly it might be too hot inside during the summer (we were there in September) and there’s only one table outside, so maybe try to go early.

 

Veggie Garden (Corts Catalanes)

Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 602, 08007 Barcelona

Star rating: 2.5/5 (would have been 3 if we’d had a nicer table for lunch, not squished at the back of the restaurant!)

DSC00422

Empanada from Veggie Garden

Veggie Garden is a chain of vegan café in Barcelona (they have another one in El Raval, off Las Ramblas). The choice is unbelievable but the quality of the food is so-so – usually pretty good but not Michelin starred! I would say the one in El Raval is probably nicer to sit in – the one in Corts Catalanes was packed at lunchtime (you should probably think about booking ahead if you’re more than 2 people), so we were placed at a not-very-comfortable table at the back (chairs are quite industrial, not comfy) really near other diners, which I hate. The staff were super friendly though, and it’s quite reasonably priced for what you get (the portions are huge!). As we were a few people I could try a little of several dishes: the Sangria was nice (very strong cinnamon taste) but very strong (alcoholic!), the Mexi wrap was very good, the empanada wasn’t bad but not amazing, and the bocadilla catalan (Catalan sandwich) was good but again, not amazing. Beware also that, on the menu, one chilli next to a dish (the lowest level of spice) is very spicy… I hate to think how a dish with hot three chillies would be!

 

El Raval/near Plaça Catalunya

 

Teresa Carles

Carrer de Jovellanos, 2, 08001 Barcelona

Star rating: 4.5/5 (would be 5/5 if it were a bit cheaper!)

DSC00401Teresa Carles is a chain of veggie/pescatarian restaurants: there are 2 veggie restaurants (one in Barcelona, another in Lleida – a small town in the North of Spain), 2 pescatarian cafes in Barcelona (Flax and Kale), and a juice bar (Teresa’s juicery) in El Born. I took my parents to the (all veggie) restaurant near Placa Catalunya for the first time recently… and wished that I’d been sooner. It was incredible – really lovely ambiance inside (soft lighting, comfy seats), quite posh but still relaxed, very classy and stylish, with lovely big modern toilets. For vegans they had several salads, 3 kinds of tapas, and nachos as starters, mains included 2 pasta dishes and 2 specialities, and 3 different vegan desserts.

The quality of the food was outstanding, one of the best quality meals in the city, but this is reflected in the price – it’s probably the most expensive of all the vegan options. Definitely worth it though, especially for a special occasion or if you’re trying to impress someone!

 

Chök

Carrer Ramelleres 26, 08001, Barcelona

Star rating: 3.5/5 (would have been more if there had been more seats to sit in)

Chök is a takeaway chocolate shop in the old quarter, El Raval, that has loads of vegan options: 4 kinds of fancy donuts (beignets), a vegan powdered nutella donut, 3 types of vegan cookie, a vegan chocolate cake and 4 types of vegan truffle chocolates. They also serve coffee and hot chocolate with almond or oat milk (not soya milk). I ordered a cappuccino with almond milk which wasn’t bad, although it was warm rather than hot, and the almond milk didn’t foam which was disappointing. I also tried one of their fancy vegan donuts – filled with jam, covered in chocolate, then cream and jam on top! – which was extremely messy to eat but absolutely delicious: very sweet and filling (you could easily share one between two – but, then, where would be the fun in that?!) and probably my whole day’s worth of calories in one go. But it’s worth it J It’s a shame they only have 2 tables (one in the back, around 5-6 seats in total) as again it’s hard to find somewhere comfy to sit and eat. But they do have a big toilet which is a bonus!

 

Santoni

Ronda de Sant Antoni, 63, 08011 Barcelona

Star rating: 3.5/5 (more if they were open when they said they would be!)

Before I discovered that there are actually loads of places in Barcelona to get a vegan croissant, Santoni used to be one of my favourite cafes, as they sell loads (and I mean loads) of different flavours of vegan croissant as well as some sweet vegan pastries that you would swear weren’t vegan (they taste just like the non-vegan versions!), and their coffee (soya cappuccino) was very good. But it definitely wasn’t totally vegan or even veggie as they also had some meat sandwiches… Now, confusingly, it seems to be advertising itself as a vegan café, so I don’t know if they decided to go all vegan (which would be great) or if it’s just that they have loads of options still. In any case, the choice was so good that I tried to take my parents there recently but it was closed, even though it said it was open on their website and on Happy Cow (and they weren’t answering their phone, of course!). I don’t know if it was just a one-off but it was super disappointing and would put me off going back if they made a habit of it. They have some tables but it’s very small inside so be advised to go as close to opening time as possible (or be prepared to takeaway).

 

El Born

 

Cat Bar

Carrer de la Bòria, 17, 08003 Barcelona

Star rating: 3.5/5 (more if the seating was comfortable and if it was actually open when it said it would be!)

DSC00485I’ve been going to Cat Bar (or trying to!) – a completely vegan burger bar – ever since my first visit to Barcelona 6 six years ago… It’s notorious for not being open when it says it should be, so several times we had to go somewhere else because it was closed, which put us off going back for a while (it’s supposed to be open from 1pm to 11pm every day except Wednesdays and Thursdays). When it is open however the food is amazing: 5 kinds of vegan burger, with or without patatas bravas (yummy but spicy!), and a wide variety of local vegan ales and beers.

Everything is delicious, and you get a super big portion (especially the patatas bravas) so it’s quite reasonably priced. Apart from the opening times though, the other thing that lets it down in my opinion is the setting. There are 2 toilets, which is good, and lots of tables (but it gets super busy, even at lunchtime, and you can’t reserve, so be prepared to wait or have a back up plan), but the seating is really not comfortable – some of the tables are very narrow, just with bar stools for seats. In addition the staff are not very friendly at all – they seem really fed up of being there, and quite rude with some of the customers. The burgers in Gopal were better, but since Gopal is now permanently shut down, Cat Bar is probably now the best vegan burger in Barcelona, so worth a visit, for sure.

 

Enjoy Vegan

Plaça de Sant Agustí Vell, 10, 08003 Barcelona

Star rating: 2/5

As the name suggests Enjoy Vegan is a vegan restaurant and tapas bar in the old district, El Born. Given that there aren’t many places to get vegan tapas (especially since my favourite restaurant, El Maderal, permanently closed in March 2018), and that it’s completely vegan, I was super excited to try this place on one of my last visits to Barcelona… but it turned out to be a huge disappointment. It’s tiny inside and really badly laid out – the seating is right at the back, all cramped together, and very dark and claustrophobic (and also super hot as there’s no aircon). More importantly though the food was a massive let down – quite boring, canteen-style home cooking and not a huge choice actually (the menu is also extremely confusing so it’s quite hard to tell what they actually have!). I’d say skip this one altogether – there are plenty of other, better, options.

 

Gelaaati di Marco

Carrer de la Llibreteria, 7, 08002 Barcelona

I think technically this icecream parlour is in Gotico, but it’s on the way to El Born, and quite close to Cat Bar. It’s one of several icecream parlours in the city that serves vegan options – in my opinion it’s one of the best, because the vegan options are proper creamy icecream, rather than sorbet (which is so boring!). The last time I was there they had at least 3 vegan flavours, most of which were made with rice milk. The dark chocolate flavour was unbelievably rich and delicious, but the cinnamon flavour was also yummy.

 

Beachfront

 

Bar Celoneta

Carrer de Sevilla 70, 08003 Barcelona

Star rating: 4/5

Bar Celoneta is an entirely vegan tapas bar really near the beach promenade (it’s on a tiny little side street so can be a little tricky to find – definitely take Google maps with you!). Inside is very small but cosy, and the staff are lovely and super helpful. They have toilets (always good to know!) and quite a few tables although I would still call to reserve just in case. All the tapas is amazing – apart from the shrimp/prawn (I’m not a fan of vegan seafood though, I find the texture too rubbery) – but the patatas bravas, croquetas, and tempeh skewers are particularly delicious. They also specialise in Sangria (all different kinds, using white wine, sparkling wine, etc.), which is super yummy. Apart from tapas they also serve burgers and raw vegan desserts that I haven’t yet tried, but they sound amazing. Definitely one of my favourite places for dinner!

 

Places I still want to try

 

Though I’ve sampled quite a lot of delicious vegan food in Barcelona, I’m constantly discovering new options there; it’s hard to keep up with their vegan food scene to be honest! Top of my list to try next are:

DSC00350Café Camelia in Gracia

La Heladeria Mexicana – a Mexican restaurant, not totally vegetarian but serving vegan icecream and a few options for main meals, almost next door to Cat Bar

La Trocadero – a new vegan fast food restaurant near Sagrada Familia

 

If you’ve tried any of them, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

 

Buen provecho ❤

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