Eating vegetarian and vegan in Barcelona
Julio 21, 2014 at 9:49 AM
The first thing that you need to know about Barcelona is that it is in the region of Cataluña. You may already know this simple geographical titbit, but it can hold some fruitful information for travelling vegetarians and vegans.
Firstly, Catalans are fiercely proud of their distinct language (an official EU minority language) and culture- not to mention their fiestas and food. Cataluña´s regional government is even on a widely debated mission to become independent from the rest of Spain. Irrespective of whether the people of Cataluña feel that this is the right political road to take, they are very proud of their distinct heritage and Catalan culture.
This might seem irrelevant, but what this means for vegetarians and vegans is that you may be received more favourably speaking a little Catalan, as well as English or Spanish. Many people in Barcelona speak all three and it can depend on the person as to which they prefer. In any case, a great phrase to know is ´I am vegetarian´: sóc vegetarià.
Secondly, Barcelona is famous for its seafood, as the city is on the coast, and many Catalans do not understand the concept of vegetarianism or veganism: a ´vegetable´ salad or dish may actually also contain fish, like tuna. This might be something to look out for and you can ask for a dish ´without meat or fish´ in English, or in Catalan as well, if you like: ´sense carn o peix´.
Nonetheless, a feisty, eclectic vegetarian food culture in Barcelona is on the rise. There are many fantastic places to eat vegan or vegetarian in the city, whether you would like to try traditional Catalan tapas, the Catalan version of Paella (that has noodles instead of rice), gazpacho (a vegetarian Catalan tomato soup), organically grown natural foods or international dishes.
Sant Antoni Abat 52, 08001, Barcelona
Tel: 934 41 64 11
Sésamo is not just for vegetarians. It has a wide range of followers that regularly come for the vegetarian-friendly food, as well as the music, relaxed atmosphere and friendly chats with the Argentinian owner and chef Alfredo, who also happily accommodates vegan customers. The food leans towards an Italian twist, but also has many traditional fresh market vegetable Catalan tapas and international food options. Additionally, Sésamo often shows photography exhibitions and serves wines by the bottle and the glass. This is a great casual, local place to go for dinner.
Jovellanos 2, 08001, Barcelona
Tel: 933 17 18 29
Teresa Carles serves delicious, healthy, vegetarian and vegan food, including salads (that you can customise yourself), pastas, tapas, desserts, wines and fruit juices. They serve breakfast and brunch, as well as lunch and dinner, and have a mix of traditional Catalan food and international dishes. The philosophy of the Founder and Head Chef of the restaurant, Teresa Carles, is to take natural produce straight from the field to the table, in a simple and nutritious way. Their menu also has gluten free dishes and you can even choose completely ´raw´ options, such as Ceviche (raw fish cured in lemon juice).
Calle Palau 5, 08002, Barcelona
Raso Terra is a delicious vegetarian bistro bar that offers both vegetarian and vegan food, simply because, as it says on their website, ´you are what you eat´. They have a highly varied array of food and 3 menus: a daily 3 course lunch menu (with different options to choose from), tapas, and an evening menu. They also offer gluten free options and show on their menu when the dish only uses locally sourced ingredients. For wine lovers they also have a quite impressive list of wines hailing from Spain, Italy and Portugal that you can buy by the glass or bottle, as well as cocktails that only contain natural ingredients.
Carrer de la Bòria 17, 08003, Barcelona
Tel: 932 95 68 15
Cat Bar is a very small and very local vegan restaurant/cafe that is great to stop at for a weekday lunch on the go. It has a punk vibe and is usually filled with young, socially conscious Europeans. The recommendation for this place is to try the build-your-own ´Cat Burger´, which comes with your own choice of vegan burger, sauces, bread, fillings and a side. They also serve a small selection of different burgers, as well as salad, hummus, and soup. Although the food here is not strictly ´Catalan´ in style, it is located very close the Cathedral, which makes it a perfect stop for some food in between some sightseeing.
Another few places to check out on line would be Aguaribay Organic and Govinda, a vegetarian Hindi restaurant.
Traditional Catalan tapas dishes
Whilst you are eating out in Barcelona, it can be hard to know which traditional tapas contain meat or not, even if you speak Spanish. Look out for these ones on your travels:
Xampinyons al ajillo: Little garlic and olive oil mushrooms
Pebrots de Padrón: A plate of very small friend green peppers, with dashes of rock salt
Escalivada: Aubergine, red pepper, onions and tomatoes- also typical to Valencia and Aragon.
This may be one of the dishes contains some sea food, depending on the restaurant. You might want to check by asking for it ´sense peix´(without fish- pronounce ´peix´ as ´peish´).
Truita de patates: Potato and onion omelette, a traditional dish found in many areas of Iberia
Patates braves: Delicious fried potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce
If you are travelling to Barcelona and would like to sample some of the area´s high quality wines as well as the gastronomy, we have a number of winery tours in Barcelona. These tours are perfect to explore more than just the city during your holiday and leave from Barcelona just for one day. We also have a number of wine hotels which can be combined together with wine and gastronomy activities and trips to make short holiday breaks. Just let us know your preferred dates and what you are interested in, and we would be happy to help you.
Look out for our next blog on Gluten free coffee shops in Madrid!
BEST PRICE GUARANTEED - This is an 8 hour group bus tour from Barcelona, which will take you to 3 local wineries for wine tastings and tours of the wineries. This tour is a great way to get to know the wine region of Barcelona and visit 3 very different wineries to really appreciate Cataluña´s wine production history. This winery tour also includes light tapas at each winery. A great group bus tour and fantastic value for money. You can also discover more Barcelona wine tours in our 1 day Wine Tours (from Barcelona) section
On this half-day tour, you will visit the magical Mountain of Montserrat, an iconic mountain near Barcelona, and experience its majestic beauty. You will then visit the beautiful winery estate of Oller del Mas set in a 10th century castle for a guided tour with wine tastings and several tapas. Perfect for seeing the beautiful landscapes of the Pla de Bages wine region and visiting a special winery. This is a guided bus tour. Small groups of up to 15 people per tour guide
Located just one hour away from Barcelona, is the impressive national park of Montserrat and its impressive mountain which you will have the opportunity to explore on this full day tour. Afterwards, enjoy a homemade Catalan lunch and visit a beautiful winery estate set in the 10th century castle, Oller del Mas. A fantastic tour through the winery and its vineyards with organic red wine tasting before heading back to Barcelona after a unique and unforgettable experience. Group sizes up to 15 people. Transportation by bus, may be shared with other groups
This is a small group tour by bus from Barcelona, Spain. Enjoy a day of visiting 2 fantastic local wineries with cava, wine, tapas and cheese tastings. You will start your day travelling to the Penedés wine region, where you will visit a premium cava producer Finca Ca n´Estella. Here you will try 3 fantastic cava wines, before moving on to the area of Pla de Bages and visit a winery estate and castle to learn more about local wines and tapas
Planning a trip to Spain and interested in discovering wine tourism in Spain’s top wine regions? We have designed this tour for you to discover wine country on your way from the Madrid capital to the Mediterranean city of Barcelona. Forget booking a flight or train between these 2 top visited cities. Our private 3-day tour will be the highlight of your holiday in Spain. Private tours in Ribera del Duero and Rioja wine regions, high quality hotel accommodation, top gastronomy, comfortable transportation, and plenty of Spanish red wine!
A private full day wine tour with a local expert guide/sommelier. Pickup from your hotel in Barcelona and transportation in a comfortable sedan. You will visit two of the most prestigious and beautiful wineries in the Penedés wine region near Barcelona. Enjoy tastings of quality sparkling wines and still wines. This private tour also includes a quality traditional lunch with wine at a lovely local restaurant. The perfect combination of wine, gastronomy, culture, local villages and stunning landscapes. *For WEEKENDS contact us. If you are more than 4 people, please contact us for a quote
A private full day wine tour to Priorat from Barcelona. Priorat has emerged as one of the world´s most respected wine regions in recent years. Enjoy a wine tour to Priorat with a local expert guide/sommelier. Pickup from your hotel in Barcelona and transportation in a comfortable sedan. You will get to understand the importance of Priorat´s landscape in the quality of its wines. 2 wineries are visited and you will enjoy tastings of quality red wines at each winery. This private tour also includes a quality traditional lunch at a local restaurant in one of the beautiful villages in Priorat
This tour allows you to combine two fantastic experiences of Spain together in one without the need for a car. You will stay in high quality, hand-picked hotels, enjoy the best gastronomy and feel like a local. You will be able to enjoy the cosmopolitan city of Barcelona with its art and Mediterranean spirit, as well as discover the northern part of the country with its rich gastronomy, fantastic wine, and beautiful cities and villages
Departing at 10:00 am, a fantastic tour that starts with a visit to the magical mountain of Montserrat, an iconic mountain near Barcelona with an impressive monastery. You will take the cogwheel train to the location of the monastery and enjoy magnificent views. The second part of the tour is all about wine and traditional Catalan food. You will visit one of the most beautiful and important winery estates in the area, Oller del Mas, located in a 10th century caste. Lunch is up to you. Choose the tapas option or a sit-down meal at the winery restaurant. Sure to be a memorable day!
The best way to discover Rioja from Barcelona. Transportation by train from Barcelona and private taxi to your castle hotel in Laguardia, where you will stay for two nights and enjoy one of the most beautiful villages of Spain. Be picked up from your hotel in Rioja by your guide for a full day of winery tours and wine tasting at some of the best wineries of Rioja. Return to Barcelona by train or continue your trip from Rioja to another Spanish city like Bilbao or San Sebastian