Croissants, tapas and espresso by the gallon – these three essential food groups summed up my magical week in Barcelona. Me and my sis Emily stayed at a B&B a few feet from the famous Las Ramblas shopping avenue and truly did not want to part ways with this classy city.
No stranger to the vegan diet, we were ecstatic to discover plenty of trendy, tasty treasures in this chill-ass city. Here are my favorite food stops from fun to #1.
#10 TiaSanta – Vegan options
For some reason I thought TiaSanta was a deli/cafe when I looked it up, but upon arrival was sorely mistaken! This casual upscale restaurant was far too fancy for us homely tourists and was pretty much empty when we stopped by. Still, we had an enjoyable meal, albeit a bit overpriced for what we got. I had the vegan lasagna, which used thinly sliced zucchini as the lasagna “noodle” and was filled with veggies. That didn’t satisfy me, so I ordered patatas bravas, which turned out to be too much. The patatas bravas, while vegan, has a nonvegan sauce, so make sure to ask for another sauce (ketchup?).
#9 Koku Kitchen – Vegan options
Suddenly, a craving for ramen came upon us one day, and we sought out the proper meal to sate it. Koku Kitchen was just the ticket; though not a strictly vegan establishment, they had solid vegan options and clearly stated as such on their allergy-friendly menu. With a contemporary, hip vibe, Koku Kitchen’s ramen did not disappoint. We ordered the two vegan ramen selections and both were chock-full of veggies and well-aged broth. The gyoza was nothing special, solid but not standout.
#8 Vegan Bowls – Vegan
This tiny, mainly takeout-only stall a stone’s throw from Las Ramblas serves up a variety of vegan bowls and baked treats. I had the Say Mac N Cheeze! bowl which had several ingredient substitutions (kale and edamame and some flower petals instead of what the menu noted) and wasn’t super impressed, but this is a convenient option in a pinch as they are open when other vegan places aren’t.
#7 Vegetalia – Vegetarian
Fun fact – Vegetalia was our very first meal in Barcelona! Conveniently located only eight minutes by foot from our B&B, we happily gave them a try and were not entirely blown away, but were nonetheless happy to have a meal. The service is a bit lacking, not the most attentive but still friendly. We had the chicken seitan and paella, which I’d rate 3 out of 5 – filling but not flavorful. On a second visit, we had the Pizza Caprichosa and the veggie ramen, which were more flavorful compared to our first pass. Still, this chain (which also has a line of its own vegan products) makes it convenient, cheap, and easy to eat vegan, so that in itself is a huge plus.
#6 Restaurante Biocenter – Vegetarian
Buffet-loving vegans will love the salad bar and entree choices at wallet-friendly prices available at Restaurante Biocenter. Choose from a set menu that includes one, two or three dishes to pick at your leisure. We did the Combinado (two options: either soup/salad, entree, or dessert) and got soup and a salad, plus chose from their daily mains (pesto pasta and marinated tofu stir fry with cous cous). Their juice is made fresh to order and is super rejuvenating! Service was very friendly and we ate al fresco in beautiful weather 💕
#5 Veggie Garden – Vegan
For budget-minded health nuts, stellar Nepalese restaurant Veggie Garden is the perfect choice — both filling and cheap! For around 7€ a full meal with three sides, rice and a homemade smoothie can be had. I chose the Economia combo on both of my two visits and had to try their Momo, though ended up taking some away since I was already full! Service is also amazingly friendly and there are plenty of outlets by each table to recharge your tired phone, which I very much appreciated. Note: Veggie Garden has two locations (Raval and Gran Via, Raval is pictured in my photos), and some dishes are only available in the Gran Via location.
#4 Teresa Carles – Vegetarian
Similar to Candle Café in NYC, Teresa Carles is a casual-upscale plant-based establishment that boasts a diverse menu. Elegant decor and fanciful flavors create a unique experience that attracts locals and visitors alike. Portions were a bit on the skimpier side, but they make up for it with flavor and novelty. Don’t forget to try the vegan mille-feuille!
#3 Santoni – Vegan
The only thing flakier than Santoni’s croissants is the MTA — and I’m more than happy about that! Besides their besottingly delicious pastries (they also have amazing donuts, croissants and danishes!), they are open at actual hunger schedule times (i.e.: nontraditional euro-siesta times), so that really saved our vegan bellies! Pair your espresso and croissantwich combo with one of their freshly made juices and bask in their cozily airy space. Owners Hermes and her husband are the sweetest couple and will gladly have a friendly chat with you!
#2 Sesamó – Vegetarian
For a chill, romantic and low-key vibe, Sesamó hits all the right notes. Their tapas menu boasts tasty selections such as padrón peppers (pictured), pan tumaca and toast with escalivada (smokey grilled vegetables). They also have a rotating specials menu board with seasonal offerings. Though the majority of the menu is lactose-vegetarian, their vegan selections are solidly tasty. I ordered the channa masala which had al dente chickpeas and a tingly, spicy zing. We finished off with a refreshing mango chia mousse topped with fresh pomegranate seeds.
#1 The Green Spot – Vegetarian
For an elegant and unforgettable experience,The Green Spot fits the bill to a T! Cavernous and tastefully furnished interiors combines with a pared down, carefully curated vegetarian menu. We absolutely loved the grilled homemade tempeh dish, which featured an amazingly juicy tempeh slab that honestly tasted like tempeh steak. Their pizza was decent, tasty but nothing to write home about. It was also my first time trying a pink latte! Verdict: interesting and bougie.
Xurreria Dels Banys Nous – Vegan options
Deep-fried goodness never tasted better than in a sugar-dusted churro filled with fresh peach jam. Crispy and crunchy with ridges on the outside, soft and chewy with an ooey-gooey fruit filling on the inside, this Spanish mainstay has lasted through the centuries for a reason. These are dangerously addictive, so I recommend going with a friend and splitting different flavors amongst you to avoid going back for seconds or thirds!
Gula Sana – Vegan options
Though I didn’t actually end up eating here (there was a miscommunication about a menu item and it wasn’t vegan as it had an egg on it when the dish I ordered arrived), this cute little cafe has lots of vegan baked goodies and treats. No actual substantial food items, but worth a stop-by if a snacking mood arises!