Herbivores, rejoice! Barcelona, the cosmopolitan city on the sea known for its imaginative cuisine from around the world is now peppered with vegetarian and vegan restaurants catering to a growing vegetarian, vegan and omnivore-based crowd of tourists and converted locals alike.
When you think of the cuisine in Barcelona, surely vegetarian isn’t the first option that comes to mind. After all, the city nestled by the sea brings in fresh seafood on the daily and creates plates seemingly adorned with fish, shrimp and other ocean dwellers of all local origin; it can seem rather intimidating for an animal-free based diet and but it needn’t be!
The Catalonian cosmopolitan city of Spain has increasingly become more of a herbivore’s haven and contains less of a carnivore centered menu. Instead of being told to order from the side dish section you can choose from vegetarian and vegan-specific restaurants containing options for savory tapas plates, avant-garde pasta dishes and over the top veggie burgers that will blow your mind and fill your stomach.
Still apprehensive? We understand. For your viewing and hopefully tasting pleasure we have organized the top 5 vegetarian (and vegan) restaurants in Barcelona.
Carrer de Sevilla, 70, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Have a hankering for raw vegan eats and a giant glass of sangria? The chefs at Bar Celoneta love sangria so much they dedicated an entire menu to its liking; very Spanish indeed! This local gem with a twist of progressive modern flavor hosts a colorful and varied menu from their ever popular Alien Tofu dish to their raw pasta options that are crowd pleasers for the whole group.
Bar Celoneta is one of the most popular vegan stops in Barcelona and there is no question why. The menu isn’t a bore and you will be surprised at the eclectic tastes hidden within each dish. Share some tapas with friends or explore the vegan cheeses, zucchini towers and tempeh skewers all to yourself. You can’t beat the location either as it is right on the way to the beach.
4. Cat Bar CAT
Carrer de la Bòria, 17, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Cat Bar is a self-proclaimed back alley brew and burger joint with a menu that will delight vegans, vegetarians and our meat eating counterparts. Located in the El Born district, this vegan restaurant plays host to over 30 different Spanish and Catalan-inspired bottled beers as well as 8 tasty beers fresh from the tap.
Although you won’t find any cats on the premises, you will get a feline vibe from the dimly lit restaurant that seems cattishly off putting as the staff doesn’t take reservations, doesn’t provide table service and requests that you ask permission to play their piano after your first free ten minutes. Don’t be fooled, the staff is super friendly and willing to serve you tasters of the tap brews, offer their advice on which burger to order (we liked the Mexican Red Burger with patatas bravas) and strike up conversation quite easily. Get here early, this hole in the wall restaurant fills up quickly, especially with the late night dinner crowd.
Carrer de Ramon Turró, 181, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
The health conscious crowd of Barcelona has been drawn to this vegetarian joint since it opened near the beach of Poblunou. The menu is vegetarian-centered with a few tasty options for the vegan crowd alongside freshly pressed juice, coffee, ecological wine and sustainable and seasonal ingredients that make ecotourism both easy and tasty. One of the great aspects of this restaurant is the dedication to gastronomic influences from across the globe. Dive into Catalan-inspired vegetarian ensalada or opt for international flavors in their famous veggie curry; either way, you will not be disappointed.
Three locations: C/ Escudellers, 54, 08002 Barcelona, Spain; Pl/ Emili Vendrell 1, 08001 Barcelona; Pl/ Fossar de les Moreres, 08003 Barcelona
Vegetalia stands as one of the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Barcelona year after year. It not only supports a vegetarian and vegan menu equally, but it offers a brunch option for 10 Euros that is explosive in flavor, includes coffee, tea or juice as well as toast, jam, a curiously crafted vegetable quesadilla and tangy salad.
If brunch isn’t what you had in mind, choose from their nachos or expertly-crafted burgers that come with rice or a salad. To top it off, the open air restaurant at their Plaza Fossar de les Moreres location has an incredible view of the Basilica Del Mar. If you’re there at the right time you’ll hear the beautifully haunting bells toll while you get down on some of the best food in the city.
Without a doubt, Vegetalia has more to offer for its diners and continuously reaffirms its longstanding reputation as a must visit restaurant in El Born. All of the ingredients are fresh, local and sustainable with most coming from their own on-site garden. While you sit inside and enjoy your organic tea or local beer you will frequently view the chefs coming in and out of the kitchen with handfuls of homegrown vegetables used to create delicate dishes that are palpable for all crowds, even kids!
Carrer de Jovellanos, 2, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Drum roll please….
The best vegetarian food in Barcelona—and I mean it when I say it’s the best—can be found at the sophisticated vegetarian restaurant Teresa Carles. A hop, skip and a jump off the bustling street of Las Ramblas, Teresa Carles is a wicked good stop for vegetarians who are willing to shell out a couple extra euros for a dining experience unlike any other.
Locally-sourced ingredients and a seasonal menu given to diners in English, Spanish and Catalan are magically formed into dishes that are rich in flavor and elegantly designed. Tapas are offered in individual or group portions making it easy to have the Barcelona experience in a uniquely vegetarian atmosphere.
We enjoyed the Barcelona bites, which are six different deep fried spheres of goodness filled with an array of cheeses, vegetables and spices inside that create an explosion of flavor in your mouth leaving you salivating for more. You can maneuver through pasta dishes like the Red Devil Ravioli, choose three different sliders with a small basket of fries, or eat Catalan-inspired pesto risotto that is presented like a gift you won’t be able to resist ripping apart.
The fresh, cold pressed juice beverage section is as long as the wine and beer portion of the menu. It offers some creative mixtures you couldn’t imagine taste as good as they actually do. We stumbled across this restaurant on the way home from our tour of Casa Batllo and loved it so much we stopped at the hostess desk and asked to reserve a table for the next night! We loved this place and highlysuggest a trip in after a day of sightseeing or beach-going.
Honorable Mention: Pim Pam Burger
Carrer del Rec, 18, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
We couldn’t round this list off without giving an honorable mention to Pim Pam, a small hamburger and hotdog joint located in the heart of Barcelona. There is only one real vegetarian choice but it is truly worth ordering. The veggie burger is made from a perfect blend of tofu, vegetables and spices that is then dipped in the deep fryer and served with red onions, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and a special sauce lathered on a soft, toasted bun. Don’t skip the French fries (who would?) because they are delicious and plentiful!
Whether you are a vegetarian, vegan or dip occasionally into the herbivore scene, these top five restaurants will not disappoint. It should be mentioned that if you look hard enough and do a little internet research you can find tons of vegan and vegetarian restaurants perfect for your next visit to the bustling and glamorous city of Barcelona. Enjoy!
Shelley is a writer, wife, mother and wine enthusiast. She is currently a full time mom of a traveling family originally from Phoenix, Arizona in search of sandy beaches, cheesy pizza and lots of adventure. Follow her on Instagram @thefourexplore and on her blog www.thefourexplore.com