Installment 2 of my vegan foodie guide series has arrived! If you’ve been reading for a while, you already know that I have a passionate, timeless love affair with Barcelona. Part of the reason I feel so at home there is all the vegan-friendly options to dine out. In fact, a couple of spots in Barcelona made my must-visit vegan restaurants in the world post on Buzzfeed. After living there for 4 months and returning for a few days to visit, here are all my fave picks to eat vegan in the city of Gaudí!
1 // veggie garden
Veggie Garden has made the tippy-top of my Barcelona list for years, and I don’t see that changing for a while now. I’m a sucker for their menú del día, which includes an appetizer, entree, dessert, bread, and water or wine for just 9.25 euros. Not only is it a steal, but it’s delicious! They have Thali every day as a menu option as well. Some of my favorite menú del día picks from here have been their mushroom soup, broccoli quiche, and carrot cake. With the hip atmosphere and laid-back vibes, your most difficult moment in this restaurant will be answering the question, ¿Vino blanco o tinto?
2 // la trocadero
Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean your junk food cravings went away! Whenever fast food is sounding like a mouth-watering decision, La Trocadero has you covered. A leisurely stroll from the iconic Sagrada Familia, this little vegan oasis has a relaxing atmosphere, friendly staff, and a fast-food style menú del día for just 8.50 euros! I usually go for the Classic burger with fries and a coke, because the burger patty is healthy beets and the cola is actually sweetened with a lemony flavor and cane sugar. It hits the spot every time, without me feeling guilty afterwards!
3 // flax & kale
I can’t believe it took me so long to eat at Flax & Kale. It’s embarrassing, really. I insisted that we make it here on my most recent trip, because I knew I had to finally try it. It did not disappoint! I got the plant-based bacon and cheese bagel, with vegan marscapone (cue heart-eye emoji) and coconut facon. I also had some of their virus killer juice, a lovely fruit blend with a zing of ginger. For dessert, I tied it all together with one of their vegan and gluten-free chocolate and marscapone deserts–a true winner! Be careful with the menu, because this place is technically vegetarian and they serve eggs. I highly recommend the bagel I got; not only is it one of the most well-priced menu items, but it also was filling for the portion size and tasted incredible!
4 // avocado
This place is probably newer, because I’d never heard of it when I studied abroad a couple of years ago. While I have more of a mixed review about my experience here, I do recommend having dinner at Avocado. Here’s why: vegan tacos. ‘Nuff said.
I cannot recommend the desserts, especially the raw vegan cheesecake, but I think everyone should go to Avocado for the entrees. I opted to have one taco with added jackfruit, another with added teriyaki tofu, and the third with just veggies and no add-on. Because our food came out late, the staff gave me free add-ons, which I though was nice! After comparing the jackfruit and tofu, I must admit that the flavors on the teriyaki tofu with the rest of the dish tasted better than the jackfruit. This was surprising, considering that I thought teriyaki flavor within a taco would be weird. I was wrong! If and when you visit Avocado, get the tacos made vegan with the teriyaki tofu add-on. 100%.
5 // santoni café
This adorable little shop has a bakery and two tables to sit if you’d like to dine in. We were dropping by to see what’s available so we had food for our Norwegian flight, since we decided not to pay $45 per person extra for airplane food. Mom and I got two veggie empanadas and two mushroom empanadas to share, and they were incredible! I highly recommend dropping by for some yummy empanadas or dessert if your sweet tooth is calling for some cake. The prices here were really good, too.
6 // vegetalia
Granted, I haven’t visited this place in a while, but my last experience there still sticks out in my memory. I got the paella and some carrot cake for dessert. The paella was good, but the cake was amazing. I love a good spice cake, with that nice balance of sweet and savory. When I noticed that it’s actually a carrot and tofu cake, I was even more impressed. To top it all off, it’s in the Barrio Gótico, which is the coolest neighborhood in my humble opinion. Their fully vegan menu items are marked with a green V, so pay close attention if you have allergies like I do. Head on over and get some lunch from them!
7 // la boquería
This one’s more of an honorable mention, because it will be a traumatic moment for a vegan stomach. This is actually the central food market in Barcelona, located on the famous Rambla (which is full of pickpockets, so please be careful!) and has equal parts history and fresh food. There is raw meat for purchase here because many locals buy it to make at home. Once you’re past that, there is beautiful produce galore. You can get food already made, like a good veggie paella. There are even vegan food stands here now, for working professionals to pop in and get quick-service lunch. I recommend coming here for the cultural and historical experience as well as the new vegan finds. However, I do warn you about the raw cow hides hanging from the ceiling in some areas.
That’s all for this Barcelona vegan foodie guide, at least for now. As I go back and try new places, this list will be added to, updated, and is always a work in progress. Whenever you’re in this magical place, be sure to try a couple, or all of these local restaurants. ¡Salud!