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The Juice House
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The Juice House
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Flax & Kale
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Flax & Kale
Being a vegetarian in Barcelona is a trial no more. In the last decade or so, the food scene in Barcelona has boomed and so have the options for the city’s vegetarians. Vegetarians used to be relegated to a handful of veggie restaurants or to the pasta list on meat-heavy menus. Moreover, foraging for a veggie-friendly meal used to be a trial in the tapas bars where diners faced a rotation of the same meat-free dishes like patatas bravas and pimientos de padrón. Allison Davis, an American living in Barcelona, acknowledges this challenge. “Being the only vegetarian in your group of friends can feel isolating,” she explained. “Friends can’t share paella or tapas with you, and they don’t always want to go to completely vegetarian restaurants. That’s why my favourite places to eat are restaurants with a wide variety of options on the menu.”
Luckily for Davis and others like her, shifting trends are bringing healthier and more creative cuisine to the forefront, and the city finally has a booming veggie-friendly scene that looks like it is here to stay. The growing list of places with plenty of meat-free options around town means it’s possible for vegetarians to finally escape the routine of eating out on a limited menu while their carnivorous companions have it made. Here’s a list of some herbivore havens that will give all veggies out there some food for thought.
The Juice House
This sweet little café in Sant Antoni offers a reasonably priced menú del día, which changes daily and favours the vegetarian crowd. The menu includes starters such as watermelon and strawberry gazpacho and main plates like veggie burgers, vegetable and garbanzo bean curry or grilled salmon, as well as a tasty selection of homemade juices. Parlament 12.
If you’re in the mood for a hearty bowl of ramen, this is a good choice for both vegetarians and their meat-eating friends. There is only one vegetarian ramen on the menu, but between edamame, vegetarian gyoza, cucumber salad and kimchi starters, you won’t leave hungry. Carrer d’en Carabassa 19.
If you want the tapas experience, Fragments in Les Corts provides an upscale approach to traditional local fare. They have a good list of options for vegetarians that include fragrant roasted aubergine, manchego cheese drenched in pink peppercorn-infused olive oil, excellent patatas bravas, and some of the best pa amb tomàquet in town. Plaça de la Concòrdia 12.
Nanit touts itself as a traditional Chinese restaurant offering dishes from various regions of China. Their Hong Kong-style dumplings are what they’re known for, but vegetarians will find a number of other items on the menu, including rice and noodles with vegetables, dumplings and tofu-based woks. Balmes 79.
The face of Caravelle continues to shift as the team experiments with new and exciting ingredients, yet the tacos will keep bringing you back because they’re just so good. Even better, the rotating vegetarian options—mushroom, pumpkin and cauliflower, among others—go head-to-head with the meat options, ensuring that all parties at the table will leave satisfied. Pintor Fortuny 31.
Flax and Kale
The ‘flexitarian’ menu at Flax and Kale will please both vegetarians and their pescatarian friends. The menu is chock-full of veggie goodness—hearty salads, flavoursome pastas and raw dishes abound—with a dose of blue fish-based dishes for those looking to stock up on their omega 3s. Tallers 74.
This restaurant has two branches, one in the Gothic Quarter and one in the Born (La Báscula), each serving up a similar fare of healthy vegetarian food. The piadinas are made from delicious kamut and spelt doughs and there are salads to swoon over. The cooperative of owners puts real love into their work, recreating many of their own grandmothers’ recipes, like tamales from Oaxaca. “You can feel the hands of the people working here,” said co-owner Felipe. From the building to the menu, every detail contributes to the space. Baixada de Sant Miquel 3.
There may only be one veggie burger on the menu at Oval, but unlike other burger joints, its brilliance comes in the form of a DIY topping list that offers so many options, the combinations are endless. The nachos and sweet potato fries are both great sides, and the small craft beer list is a nice addition. It’s too easy to never tire of this place. València 199.
If you head here for lunch, be prepared for a wait. This small vegetarian restaurant is a popular stop for the locals who are treated to a well-priced menú del día and exceptionally hearty portions. The menu includes traditional Spanish items like gazpacho and vegetable cream soups, but also brings in touches of other cuisines with dishes like moussaka and mushroom risotto. Roger de Flor 216.
Ale and Hop
This is the place for beer lovers, where you can get a craft beer served up alongside a host of vegetarian and vegan snacks made from organic and seasonal products, sourced from the owners’ farm. It’s hard to resist the breads baked in the stone oven and the Basque-style tapas that hit the bar counter each Thursday from 8pm onwards. Carrer de les Basses de Sant Pere 10.
This is an old friend in Barcelona’s vegetarian restaurant world, although it’s easy to forget it’s meat free. The creative menu shifts daily according to what’s available. The chef sources the best ingredients directly from the Boqueria market and turns them into full-flavoured dishes like gnocchi with beetroot and hazelnut sauce, and smoked lentils in a wild mushroom broth. Sant Antoni Abat 52.
This is a good quick stop for lunch or dinner, and while the menu appears to have only a few options for vegetarians, they can make almost anything with seitan instead of meat. According to Mexican owner Claudia Borrego Gonzales, vegetarian culture is not so popular in her homeland, but she is trying to appeal to what she sees as an important part of the lifestyle here. Aragó 236.
Other vegetarian hotspots around town...