1 of 2
Photo by Michaela Xydi
2 of 2
Remember the days when finding a good vegetarian restaurant in Barcelona was as time consuming as hunting for truffles? When a bocadillo vegetal inevitably came served up with traces of tuna (it still does), much to the shock of the uninitiated newcomer looking for a meatless, fishless meal in the city. While meat-lovers lament the virtual disappearance of lamb chops from the daily lunch menu, foodies of every persuasion can rejoice in the increasing choice of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the city. Creative, fresh and tasty vegetarian menus are more than a trend, indicating a demand for a healthy alternative to meat without losing the rich traditions of the local cuisine. With demand on the rise, you can expect a pleasantly memorable, meatless Mediterranean meal that replaces the dreadfully dry plate of brown rice and a side of kombu that was once the hallmark of alternative dining. Here are two new options that will please carnivores and herbivores alike.
VegetArt: Torrent de l’Olla 138
VegetArt is a new and cheap take-away restaurant, specialising in Catalan vegan cuisine, located in the heart of Gràcia. Zaraida, the owner, chef and a devout vegan herself, opened VegetArt four months ago in response to the lack of vegan restaurants in Barcelona. Plates cost between €1 and €1.50, making it possible to take home a three-course lunch with a bottle of water for as little as €5. In addition to the cooked dishes, there is a variety of raw organic vegan items to choose from as well as desserts, including mini cupcakes and biscuits. Check out Zaraida’s blog to find recipes and information about being vegetarian or vegan in Barcelona.
Rasoterra: Palau 5
www.rasoterra.cat, Tel. 93 318 6926
Recently opened on a quiet back street behind Plaça de Sant Miquel, seemingly miles from the teeming crowds, is this quiet little oasis where you can get a remarkably tasty vegetarian meal. The design of the restaurant is clean, almost minimalistic, full of light and welcoming; the staff is helpful and the service efficient.
But what distinguishes Rasoterra is the quality of the raw materials and its commitment to locally-grown products. The owners source ingredients from their private garden in Sant Feliu and the vegetables are not only home-grown but organic. What doesn’t come directly from their garden is locally produced (with the exception of a handful of Belgian beers). Each dish is carefully prepared, balanced and full of flavour.
There is an economical daily menu and the night menu goes beyond ordinary vegetarian fare to offer dishes such as Aztec soup; cocotte with soba, shiitake, smoked tofu and pumpkin; coconut pancakes; and home-made tagliatelle with fennel and gorgonzola. The menu is always changing to optimise the seasonal offerings of nature, and vegan and gluten-free dishes are available. Check Rasoterra out on Facebook for the menu of the day.