Spain is not a country I would generally associate with plentiful vegan options. Much like France, Spain is a place that makes me think of rich meats and mature cheeses, an abundance of fine cuisine – but not a lot that has been produced without an animal’s input somewhere along the way.
Turns out, Barcelona is freaking great if you’re vegan. As well as all manner of totally vegan and totally veggie restaurants, we found some cracking vegan options in the ‘regular’ venues during two trips to Barcelona centred around feasting and more feasting. Chök ‘the chocolate kitchen’ wins top prize for the omnivorous venues, supplying us with chocolate filled donuts, cinnamon cream-topped carrot cake muffins and other heavenly, indulgent, not-very-vegan-looking delights.
If you’re heading off to Barcelona soon and want to stuff your face on vegan goodies, here are some venues where you’ll be spoilt for choice. In no particular order:
La Trocadero – Carrer de la Marina – All Vegan
La Trocadero is about a one-minute walk from the Sagrada Familia, and seeing as you can’t go to Barcelona without going to the Sagrada Familia, I’d say you can’t go there without visiting La Trocadero either.
Describing themselves as ‘Urban Vegan Food’, La Trocadero have mastered all kinds of not-seitan vegan burgers and hotdogs, along with epic wedges and onion rings, muffins, cookies and lots of other stuff we were too full to eat. I like stuffing my face with seitan as much as the next person, but this joint are serving up pizza-esque tomato and pesto black bean burgers, cheez and facon beetroot burgers and loads of other stuff that involves actual veg.
Everything is 100% vegan, and you can buy cuddly toy pak choi and other silly nonsense too, if like me, you’re into that sort of thing.
Vegetalia – 3 locations! – All Veggie
There are three different Vegetalia restaurants in Barcelona, one in the Raval neighbourhood, one in the Gothic Quarter and one in El Born. They’re all completely vegetarian (and almost all the food is vegan/can be made vegan), and they do massive jugs of sangria for just under €9.
We went to the branch in the Raval neighbourhood and tried a little bit of loads of great things – their vegan take on patatas bravas was wicked, along with the pizza, seitan & tempeh empanadas, tofu nuggets and basically everything really. Loads of food for your money and did I mention the sangria?
CatBar – Carrer de la Bòria – All Vegan
CatBar was recommended to me by pretty much everyone I know who has been to Barcelona, which makes perfect sense now I have been. It’s a cool little joint with loads of craft beers to pick from, mad cat paintings and top notch vegan eats.
There’s always a gluten free daily special, as well as the option to swap out your burger bun for a salad if you’re in the mood. We did no such thing, and chowed down on patatas bravas and other comfort food like there was no tomorrow.
The Black Cat burger pushed all the right buttons for me, and naturally I quality controlled Chris’s Green Garden thingamajig – which tasted like happiness and peas, a flavour I could merrily devour again.
Dolce Pizza Veganos – Carrer d’Hipòlit Lázaro – All vegan
This venue is a downhill stroll from Parc Guell, and the service is as great as the ludicrously tasty vegan pizzas that they serve in abundance. There’s so much choice it’s hard to know where to start – and the menu also includes pasta dishes, burgers, salads and small bites. (Oh, and cakes, puddings, dairy-free milkshakes…. it’s a lot of tasty business.
In the photo above you can see the vegan chorizo and pesto pizza and if you squint a bit, the vegan ragu pizza with extra ‘mozzarella’. Both were epic. Whether you’re into four seasons / faux cheesy goodness, a seitan ‘meat’ feast or straight up tomato and veg, there’s plenty to pick from – and if it’s all as good as these were, you can’t go wrong. The service is really friendly and entertaining, and the prices are super reasonable. I took leftover pizza away in a lunchbox but still found space for coffee and walnut cake – very glad we took the walk to find this one.
(And there is a metro station right around the corner, to make rolling back to a hotel room to nap off the food coma very easy.)
Chök – Carrer de les Ramelleres – All Veggie
I mean, it’s only really all veggie because it’s all dessert, as opposed to because they are deliberately avoiding meat. But credit where it’s due. There are two branches of Chök in Barcelona, and they’re pretty close together so if you find that one has sold out of vegan options, just head to the other one! (I’ve listed the Carrer de les Ramelleres address because that’s where we stuffed our faces with muffins and donuts until we nearly burst.)
The ring donuts stuffed with nutella-esque chocolate and hazelnut cream were divine, and I could probably eat the whipped-cream-topped, chocolate-and-raspberry-filled version every day and never tire of them. When we rocked up at 8.35pm one night we managed to snare a pile of goodies for half price (presumably because they close at 9) but never did try the truffles… yes, vegan freakin’ chocolate truffles. MULTIPLE VARIETIES. Wherever you have dinner, leave space for dessert or be forever filled with regret.
Santoni Cafe – Ronda de Sant Antoni – All Vegan
There seemed to be some debate on the trusty Happy Cow app as to whether Santoni was fully vegan – apparently the “100% vegano” sign at the front of the store and the owner repeatedly reassuring people that yes! Everything is vegan, is not enough for some people. Ah well. More empanadas for me.
I’d been quietly sad about the fact I couldn’t partake in proper Spanish snack foods like bocadillos, empanadas and potato-laden tortilla due to their eternally cheesy, meaty nature. But then we stumbled on Santoni. It’s right next to one of the exits of the Universitat metro station and has a big ol’ green V sign to alert you to its presence.
There’s a fab breakfast menu including vegan chocolate croissants and tahini toast with spinach and tomatoes, as well as a huge list of bocadillo fillings (we went for vegan Catalan sausage and cheese) – not to mention a substantial list of vegan pizzas. Somebody needs to try the carbonara pizza for me, because we ran out of time!
I’m fairly confident this is a family-run venue, and regardless, the staff were all particularly welcoming and lovely.
Vegan Bowls – Carrer de Tallers – All Vegan
Just around the corner from Santoni cafe is this wicked breakfast / brunch joint / bakery, which opened in June 2018. A tiny venue with just enough space for two tables of two, there’s plenty of space just outside to eat on a nearby green, and they provide plastic-free takeaway cutlery and tubs to make eating on the go eco and easy.
I opted for avocado and cream ‘cheese’ toast, which I thought was a bit boring of me until I got my pink and blue faux cheese, star-and-flower-shaped-avocado, giant bagelly-looking-thing meal. What a dish! Really really tasty, laced with bacon-esque smoked coconut flakes and a whole lotta flavour. Chris went for an apple crumble breakfast bowl topped with fruit and ‘nice cream’, which also tasted like heaven. Terribly instagrammable fare, too.
Heladeria Gocce di Latte – Espaseria – All Vegan
There are two Gocce di Latte venues, right next door to each other – one is an ordinary ice cream parlour, but this one is 100% vegan. They also offer gluten-free cones, so it’s a wonderland for people with dietary requirements that usually hinder icecream cravings.
With more usual flavours like chocolate, strawberry and coffee, you can also try spicy chilli chocolate, a cardamom-infused scoop, a great banana&peanut butter and lots of other stuff besides. This place is a stone’s throw from Santa Maria del Mar, a beautiful basilica well worth a visit and not too far from the beach.
Green & Berry – Enric Granados – Pescatarian
It’s not often you get a restaurant that’s neither here nor there, but that’s what I’m calling Green & Berry for almost being a vegetarian restaurant, but one that still sells fish…. (just like Flax & Kale, another popular Barcelona spot).
With a wide range of brunch options, sandwiches and endless cakes as well as a few burgers and salads, you can’t really go wrong here – we were basic b*tches and went for smashed avocado toast with vegan parmesan and cherry tomatoes and it was honestly the best avocado toast I’ve ever had. And as you may be unsurprised to hear, I eat a lot of avocado toast.
BarCeloneta Sangria Bar – Carrer de Sevilla – All Vegan
This one’s a little pricier than the other venues on our list, but they offer loads of authentic Spanish tapas as well as literally dozens of different types of sangria. Travelling the world eating burgers is great, but if you want to experience some actual Spanish food, it’s between here and Santoni that you need to be.
Conveniently located about 30 seconds from the nearest beach, BarCeloneta do offer main courses and desserts – including raw and gluten-free choices – but we were just there for the tapas. I could eat their croquetas and home made dips aaaaaaaaall day long, and you probably should too.
Veggie Garden – Carrer dels Àngels – All Vegan
You’ll be hard pushed to beat the value for money at Veggie Garden, who rustle up all manner of world-tapas from Nepalese dumplings and Indian samosas to classic Spanish patatas bravas and Chinese satay tofu. There are also bigger plates if you’re not in the mood for sharing, with a three course set menu with bread coming in at less than €10 a head and substantial thalis sitting at €7.50. I’ll take three.
The novelty of flicking through a vast vegan menu with literally dozens of drool-inducing options will never get old for me, and I took great joy in ordering approximately twice as much food as any reasonable human needs. The Momo dumplings and baked satay tofu were personal favourites, but we also worked our way through a tapas taster plate of seven sample-size portions and failed to find a single thing that wasn’t delicious.
Mojitos rock up at €3.50 here, which makes them cheaper than some of the soft drinks and basically obligatory. Or you can have a healthy-as-heck spirulina smoothie… but, mojitos.
Teresa Carles – Carrer de Jovellanos – All Veggie
You don’t have to ogle their photos for long to realise that Teresa Carles are a pretty swanky joint. This is not a soya hotdog and onion rings establishment. This is a date-night, candlelit, nice wine and suave presentation sort of place.
There are some cracking vegan choices on the menu, and while it may not be the cheapest place to eat, it’s worth spending a few extra euros for the amazing food and all-round pleasurable ambience. I had a vegan take on rossejat de fideus, a Catalan dish that turns spaghetti noodles into something very posh and fancy indeed. It was glorious. Chris went for the lasanyuki, an unimaginably tasty lasagne-esque dish for which our only complaint was that there should have been more of it. Thankfully, the fact there wasn’t more of it meant we had space for dessert.
The vegan mille-feuille was a game-changer, and I couldn’t resist the vegan snowflake cake because WHAT A 2017 NAME. Caramelised pears and white chocolate fudge. On cake. Vegan. All of it.
Kiu Nam – Carrer de Villarroel – Omnivorous
This was an accidental find and a very lucky one at that. Tonnes of choice for vegans, including a set menu for €18 per person where you basically get to try about 12 different dishes and leave feeling fit to burst. Brilliant pick. Having spent 6 weeks in Vietnam a little while back I am a big fan of proper Vietnamese food, and if you’re in the mood for some epic yellow curry, crispy spring rolls and gyoza-style dumplings this is definitely the place to come.
La Mezcla – Plaça de Sant Pere – omnivorous
Pizza. Pizza wraps. Focaccias full of stuff. La Mezcla have a bundle of vegan options in all areas of their menu, and we were making little appreciative eating noises for all of them. A can of beer to wash your giant pizza down is €1.50, and there are options with vegan cheeses if keeping it vegged-up isn’t enough to sate your needs.
There are only a handful of seats along the bar against the wall, so you might have to perch in the square nearby to get stuck in – but it’s totally worth it. These are proper, stonebaked Italian-style pizzas, and if you don’t want to wait around for a fresh helping of vegan grub, the pizza wraps are pre-made and ready to grab and go.
Floripa – Aribau / Bajos – All Vegan
Sat on a crossroads, Floripa is a vegan junk food joint cum cocktail bar where you can get all kinds of plant-based goodies like burger stacks, nachos and burrito-esque wraps. I say burrito-esque wraps, because the burrito isn’t really a burrito, it’s a wrap… but the XL burger is freakin’ awesome and the homemade beetroot dip it comes with rocked.
I’ve stolen one of Floripa’s official photos because we ate on the terrace after sunset and let’s be real, nobody can get a good food pic in the dark, but rest assured the burger I went for looked just this good in real life. The decor is really nice too – faux plants and colourful details everywhere, and as this is a dog-friendly venue you might be as lucky as we were and get to coo over someone’s puppy all night. Maybe.
If I can give y’all one piece of advice about travelling to Barcelona, it is this: eat all the things. There’s tonnes of choice, and they’re really good choices.