If once upon a time the thought of a vegetarian restaurant would have been something of a novelty in Barcelona, these days the city offers some great choices for non-meat eaters. Read on for our guide to some of the best places for vegetarian tapas in the Catalan capital.
Restaurant, Vegetarian, Healthy, $$$
This is the namesake restaurant of Catalan chef Teresa Carles, a pioneer of the vegetarian and health food scene in the city. In these restaurants, a vegetarian diet is as much about clean-eating as it is anything else and the menu is rich in fresh salads, superfoods and cold soups, although there are also some home-made pasta dishes if you do feel like something a little more substantial.
This quirky vegetarian restaurant in the Raval is renowned for its great-value seven-course tasting menu, which costs just €25 ($30) per person – and that’s with two drinks as well. The selection of dishes varies with seasonal specials although some of the house classics are melted provolone cheese with green tomatoes, as well as deep-fried Padron peppers with a twist of lime juice and chilli flakes. Unsurprisingly, meat-eaters love to come to Sésamo too.
The Blueproject Café could just as easily be found on the streets of New York, Berlin or London with its edgy gallery-cum-café concept and most of all, its 100% raw, organic and vegan menu. Open for breakfast, brunch and lunch, the Blueproject Café works with locally sourced, ethically produced, seasonal ingredients to offer wholesome dishes, many of which are also gluten free and sugar free.
This casual vegetarian bistro nestled in the Gothic Quarter was set up by the founders of the Slow Food Movement in Barcelona, launched in the 1980s to promote locally sourced, conscientiously produced food. At Rasoterra you’ll be able to try contemporary tapas prepared using so-called KM0 ingredients, sourced within close proximity to Barcelona.
One of the oldest vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona, Amaltea has been open since 1998, long before most locals would ever have conceived of going without meat. The restaurant offers a popular weekday lunch menu which comes as a selection of dishes, including four starters, four main courses, dessert and a drink for a bargain €10,90 ($13.50). The food is a blend of Spanish and Hindu cuisine, with home-made ingredients such as bread, kefir, seitan and yoghurt.
Tucked away in Barcelona’s rather hip Poblenou neighbourhood, Aguaribay is a contemporary vegetarian bistro serving a selection of meat-free dishes mostly made with local and organic ingredients. You’ll find dishes inspired from every corner of the globe, from pad thai to lasagna, with some smaller dishes being ideal for sharing. The drinks list has an interesting offer of organic wines and beers, many made within Catalonia.
Located in the Horta neighbourhood, far from the typical tourist hotspots, La Vitamínica de Horta is particularly good at recreating classic Spanish cuisine, just without the meat. The regularly changing menu features dishes such as croquetas, stuffed cannelloni and hearty stews as well as seasonal salads. The food is home-made and not particularly sophisticated but made with care and enthusiasm which goes a long way.