Sprawled all along the pristine coasts of the Mediterranean and the hills of Montjuïc, Barcelona is a city with a rich, cultural heritage unlike any other. Its influence on education, entertainment, architecture, gastronomy and the arts are just some of several reasons that this sunny Catalan capital attracts travellers from all around the world. You know the city is full of life when you see chefs foraging for fresh produce in La Boqueria Market at the break of dawn, and others leaving the clubs of El Born at the very same time. There’s always something happening, be it yoga on the beach, picnics in the park, or street festivals every few weeks. Tourists typically flock to the Museu Picasso, Montjuïc Castle, or to Antoni Gaudí’s iconic buildings: La Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell, and several more. In this architectural paradise, it’s hard to miss Gaudí’s spectacular structures as you’re casually strolling around the city. In the few months that I spent in Barcelona, I saw beauty in some of the smaller details. I had a lovely time cycling along the charming neighbourhoods surrounding La Rambla, exploring the medieval alleyways of Barri Gòtic, ending up at quirky little bars and boutiques tucked away in its hidden corners, strolling around the tiny towns and coves of Costa Brava, stopping by street performances, and unwinding at Platja de la Barceloneta. There’s an incredible number of things to see and do, but if you ask me, the single most exciting reason to visit this city is to soak in the bustling plant-based food scene!
For a place that has always been associated with meaty tapas and seafood, it’s great to see an increasing focus on healthy and cruelty-free dining. Over the years, Barcelona has seen an explosion of sustainable markets, conscious brands, and vegan restaurants and bars. Here is a list of 20 of my favourite things to eat in this city; each one of these restaurants is absolutely worth the visit!
1. Açaitella Bowl: at Flax & Kale
With a blend of açai, raw cacao, agave, and a house-made hazelnut cream, this açaitella bowl is so mouth-watering and aesthetically pleasing! Layered with mixed fresh fruit - bananas, passionfruit, kiwi, berries and pomegranate, and topped with a turmeric glaze and hazelnut crumble, it makes for a super healthy and guilt-free meal! I loved every bite of this and would highly recommend it to anyone visiting this place.
Flax & Kale was started by Teresa Carles Borràs, a popular chef known for her healthy and flavourful dishes. Flax & Kale isn’t her only restaurant - make sure to also check out Teresa Carles, Teresa’s Juicery, and Flax & Kale Passage for slightly different menus but with food that’s just as tasty.
Click on to see the reviews of some other stuff that I ate here:
2. Kale Chips
2. Beet Tartare at The Green Spot
This beet tartare is one of its kind. With a wonderful combination of avocado, grapefruit, and horseradish, this is an absolute treat to your taste buds and will leave you wanting more. The plating is classy, and the flavours are perfectly balanced, just like everything else on their menu. 100% recommended! Love their tagline here at the Green Spot - “Veggie for veggies, veggie for non veggies” - the food truly lives up to anybody’s standards!
Click on to see the reviews of other dishes that I ate here:
4. Carrot Cake
3. Varieties of Tree Nut Cheese at Väcka
Väcka is a fully vegan restaurant where they specialise in fermented tree nut cheeses and use different varieties of them in many of their dishes, ranging from waffles to burgers to raw desserts. Here I’m choosing to focus on their lovely cheeses rather than any one dish in particular because this is what they are best known for. From cream cheese to cashew rawquefort, to mature cashew/macadamia cheese, there’s an exciting range to try out at this restaurant. In this picture, what you see is a Cashew camembert and almond camembert with beetroot.
They also conduct workshops and classes regularly, so stop by if you’d like to learn how to make some of this goodness!
4. Frankfurt Vegan Sandwich with Heura at La Cerveseria Clandestina
This place seems to be a local favourite in the area, right by La Sagrada Familia! They do serve meat but are also well known for their incredible vegan mock-meat and tapas! This Heura sandwich contains soy vegetable protein (super meaty!) cooked with spices, and is served in a vienna bun along with sautéed onion, arugula, rocket lamb's lettuce, and hummus. A brilliant place for both vegans and meat-lovers to enjoy a night out with great food and drinks.
Check out my review of their Brownie with Peanut Butter Ice Cream - it’s definitely a must-try at this place. We loved it so much that we ordered a second round!
5. Tigernut Milk Ice Cream at Bodevici
Bodevici specialises in Tigernut milk, also known as Horchata (orxata in Catalan). They even sell it by the bottle. While this is quite a common drink in Spain, I particularly like this place because they have a sugar free option. Barcelona has tons of vegan options when it comes to ice cream but this is the only place I know of that serves tigernut milk ice cream. It has a really interesting flavour: nutty and earthy, and it pairs very well with their agave-sweetened chocolate ice cream.
Here are some other ice cream shops worth checking out:
1. Gelateria Gocce di Latte (100% vegan ice cream)
2. Vegan Ice cafe (100% vegan ice cream)
3. Chocolat-box (vegan & non-vegan)
4. Gelaati di marco (vegan & non-vegan)
6. Guacamole and Nachos at Lulu Barcelona
A very simple dish, but quite a classic! The reason I love this so much is because the guacamole has a beautiful sesame-infused flavour, which I haven't tasted anywhere else to date. This pairs very well with the corn-based gluten-free nachos they serve with it. It's a great snack to share at the table alongside some of their coffee, wine, or kombucha! Early in the morning, they open up their smoothie menu - a total treat for healthy eaters and fruit lovers!
7. Brownie with Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream at Vegan Ice Cafe
This brownie can fool anybody into thinking it isn't vegan! Both chewy and crunchy, it's sure to please your taste buds. Rich and warm, with a crispy crust oozing chocolate, you can only imagine how well it would go with some of their delicious cacao-hazelnut ice cream sweetened with coconut sugar! Stop by this hidden beachside spot to try this and all their other ice creams and cakes.
8. Açai Bowl at Vegan Bowls
Unsweetened açai blended with banana, apple juice, blue majik, and coconut water - a perfect fix to get your energy levels up! Topped with granola and passionfruit, this smoothie bowl has got layers of texture too. It's really nice to eat this in their lovely coconut bowls. Vegan Bowls has loads of other sweet/savoury bowls and some amazing baked goods and meals; you definitely wouldn’t regret stopping by!
If you’re looking for other places that serve delicious acai bowls in Barcelona, check out the following:
1. Vegan Ice cafe (100% vegan ice cream)
3. Deli Kitchen
9. Mixed Vegetable Quiche at Enjoy Vegan
A beautiful dish with just the right combination of warmth, softness and crunch. This quiche is baked to perfection with different fillings every day, and with just the right portion size for a quick and hearty snack. When you take a look at this busy little spot with people always all around, you just know that these guys know what they're doing! They also serve blocks of artisanal vegan cheese!
Click on to see the reviews of other dishes that I ate here:
10. Cinnamon Roll at Demasié
What I love about Barcelona is how easy it is to find vegan options in seemingly non-vegan spots. This place is a classic example - you walk in to see loads of dairy-based desserts and treats but little would you know they also stock the cheapest and yummiest vegan cinnamon rolls! They pack them in cute little paper boxes if you order them to go. This place also serves up smoothies (which can be made vegan upon request) and a variety of juices.
11. Black Cat Burger at Catbar
This sinful burger comes with a black bean patty, caramelised onions, and vegannaise. if you get Patatas Bravas on the side, it's served with a really yummy nacho cheese. Catbar was always one of my go-to places in Barcelona - A tiny bar that's known for its amazing burgers, 'dishes of the day', a wide range of vegan beer, and a very chilled atmosphere.
Click on to see reviews of other dishes that I ate here - the Risotto and Gazpacho, which were the dishes of the day.
12. Salted Caramel Chocolate at Chöc The Chocolate Kitchen
Without a doubt, here’s the best chocolate shop in Barcelona! With one whole shelf dedicated to various flavours of vegan chocolate, doughnuts, cupcakes, and chocolate-dipped cookies, it's so easy to get carried away! The salted caramel chocolate is my favourite - it's soft, rich, velvety, and just melts in your mouth. I also love the chocolate with the vegan nutella and pistachio fillings. They all go really well with the almond milk/oat milk latte that is also available here.
Click here to see my review of another item I ate here - the Red Velvet Cupcake.
13. Black Rice Porridge at Satan’s Coffee Corner
Black rice cooked and served in warm coconut milk, topped with chunks of hazelnut, lightly toasted coconut flakes, citrus zest, and grapefruit. Probably the only vegan dish on the menu, but totally worth the visit just to taste this bowl of goodness! Satan's is known for its amazing coffee, and they can veganise their coffees with soy milk upon request. I got a cold brew to go with my black rice porridge, and loved everything about both!
14. Beet Burger at Chiringuito Takuara
Barcelona has a lot of really good vegan burgers but I must say this one's on top of the list! Served with a dense beetroot and seitan patty, it's very filling and satisfying. What really makes this chiringuito special is that they serve slices of vegan cheese in their burgers! The side of potato wedges comes with a finger-licking, smokey cheese dip. This beachside chiringuito in Badalona is about 40 minutes from Barcelona by bicycle, with beautiful views of the shoreline all through the ride. Their menu is 80% vegan including drinks and tapas, and everything is totally scrumptious.
Click on to see the reviews of other dishes that I ate here:
15. Vegan Falafel Sandwich at Maoz Vegetarian
This vegan fast food joint has the best falafel pocket you could dream of! Think freshly fried falafel stuffed in a white/brown pita pocket, with a giant dollop of hummus or baba ganoush - and the rest is up to you. With a blinding variety of toppings from coleslaw to jalapenos to extra hot mint-chilli sauce, you can go as crazy as you like with your dish, and top it off with their classic vegannaise. For all of 5 euros, this is a treat unlike any other!
16. Chocolate Pineapple Cake at La Raposa del Poblesec
This small local cafe, situated in one of the quieter lanes of Poblesec, serves 100% vegan tapas and small plates. It also happens to be a feminist bookstore that hosts workshops and other artistic events. Their menu keeps changing - I'm glad I got a chance to try this chocolate cake with pineapple since it was truly better than I expected. The cake is moist with layers of thick chocolate sauce sandwiched inside, and the bursts of pineapple and citrus add a whole new depth of flavour and texture. You can tell when something's made with love, and this cake definitely goes to show that!
17. Cheese Naan and Vegetable Jalfrezi at Veg World India
I showed up at Veg World India and to my surprise, I found a vegan cheese naan on the menu - a dish that barely anyone has ever tried to make a vegan version of. This goes really well with a vegetable Jalfrezi (a spicy curry with mixed vegetables). The cheese in this naan is scarily similar to dairy cheese! If you're looking for good, spicy Indian food in Barcelona, head here without thinking twice! Their menu is 90% vegan.
18. Raw Mini Burgers at Petit Brot
I would describe this raw dish as a bun-less burger salad. With patties made of mushroom, herbs, activated pumpkin seeds & walnuts, accompanied with pâtés, salad, and fresh sprouts, you'll feel thoroughly satisfied eating this flavour bomb of a dish. Petit brot is 100% raw, with a wide selection of healthy desserts and snacks.
Check out my review of the Sprouted Pink Hummus that I ate here.
19. Carrot Cake with Cardamom and Chickpea Fudge at Čaj Chai
These indian-inspired sweet treats are perfect accompaniments to the delicious varieties of tea served at this quaint little Čaj Chai, tucked away in the gothic quarter of Barcelona. Inspired by Prague’s Bohemian tearooms, this place is cozy, dimly lit, and the aromas will send you straight into a deeply relaxed state from the minute you enter! The carrot cake with cardamom is soft and refreshing, and the fudge made from chickpea flour (known as Soan Papadi in India) is equally delightful when paired with some herbal tea! I had the Ayurveda Vata tea, which is an infusion of licorice, cinnamon, and ginger. Discovering these bite-sized vegan desserts here was a nice little surprise.
20. Tirawmisu at Barceloneta Sangria Bar