Valencia - City of Arts and Sciences Exterior with blue skies

Travel Bites: Vegetarian and Vegan Finds – Barcelona & Valencia

Spain has been at the top of my ‘To Visit’ list for a long time and Barcelona has been at the top of the top. When a friend and I recently made it to Spain’s second-most populated city (after capital Madrid), I fell hard and fast for it.

I loved the laid-back lifestyle, the beautiful architecture, and the friendly and cool locals.

Seriously though, everyone in Barcelona is just cool. The only thing I didn’t love was the 35 degree heat but hey, every relationship has its obstacles…

My travel buddy and I didn’t have long in the country, so only visited Barcelona and Valencia but I am dying to go back and explore more Spanish cities as I absolutely adored the country.

Barcelona

Known for tapas, paella and other seafood-heavy specialities, I was not expecting much in the way of veggie cuisine in Spain. But as a more-than-pleasant surprise, Barcelona actually turned out to be one of the most veggie-friendly places I have visited in Europe. Granted, going to any old restaurant generally didn’t offer much in the way of vegetarian or vegan options but Barcelona is chock-full of vegetarian eateries if you know where to look. Actually, even if you don’t… (we just kept stumbling upon more and more!)

It probably helped that our hostel was located in a really young and trendy part of town (it wasn’t called Hip Hostel for nothing) so there was a vegan bakery/take-away store just up the street and tonnes of organic health food stores dotted around the neighbourhood.

VegArt
Vegan Cakes and Take-Away

Wanting to try out some local vegetarian joints, I’d researched a few places before we went (Happy Cow is a lifesaver when I travel!). We’d both really been looking forward to Cat Bar, a vegan burger and artisan beer bar so we headed there on our first night. Although we’d been up since about 3am for our flight, we still tried to act like locals and went for dinner around 9pm – pretty impressive, we thought, yet we were still some of the first people in the bar!

Cat Bar Exterior

They had several different burgers on the menu; I opted for the ‘Green’ spinach burger with English chips and avocado sauce.

Cat Bar Burger

My friend went for the ‘Spicy’ Mexican burger with potatoes bravas.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not the best burgers I’ve ever eaten but the were still pretty tasty and the place was cute.

Our second night, we headed to the restaurant district near our hostel and had a pretty unremarkable meal at a restaurant that happened to have a few veggie options on the menu. I can’t remember what the restaurant was called but no great loss, as here’s what we had:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Fresh Tzatziki with Pita

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Vegetable and Pine Nut Patty

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Some sort of pepper and aubergine mush…

Another night, we headed further into town to visit the vegetarian restaurant Teresa Carles, a gorgeous eatery with a non-stop kitchen open from 12 pm to 12 am! This place was really friendly, had a great atmosphere and the food was amazing.

Teresa Carles Inside
Waiting for a table in Teresa Carles
Barcelona 4
Vegetable Penne with Cheese Sauce

One of my favourite food moments was when we were looking for lunch in town and we stumbled across a huge food marketplace alongside The Rambla. After wandering around for a while, I got excited when I spotted the word ‘organic’ on a stall’s sign and literally jumped with excitement when I then saw the word ‘vegetarian’! The stall sold amazing looking taco wraps, pittas and various tapas items.

Organic Veggie Market
Organic Vegetarian Stand

We both decided on a taco and were debating whether or not we wanted to share one of their large veggie samosas.

Veg Tacos
Vegetarian Tacos – thought we were just ordering the taco…

We thought we’d just ordered a plain taco but as we stood there, the guy serving kept heaping anything and everything from the counter onto our tray – multi-coloured rice, various sauces, mixed veggies, salad, hummus – until the taco wasn’t even visible under the pile of toppings! It was €10 each but totally worth it.

Veg Taco Tray 2
… and ended up with this! The taco is hidden under the mountain of toppings. (I’m 99% sure it was all vegan.)
Veg Taco Tray
Nom.

That was by far our best lunch! And yes, we did decide against the samosa…

Most days we just grabbed a sandwich from a cafe, or made our own.

Picnic Sandwich 2
Picnic in the Park – home made sandwich.

Valencia

We also spent one night in Valencia. Again, I researched on Happy Cow but unfortunately didn’t notice that for some unknown reason, none of the veggie places are open on a Monday night!

We tried Loving Hut first because I’ve heard of its greatness but we were greeted by a dark, empty restaurant. We then tried La Lluna but again, it was closed. Finally, we headed for a place called Ana Eva but it was not just closed, it was closed down! Dammit! In the end, we decided on a pizza place as it was one of the few restaurants in the area that offered anything vegetarian. The pizza was okay but nothing to write home about.

Veg Pizza
Veggie Pizza

Food Porn

Here’s some more tasty treats and veggie-friendly finds from our trip:

Veggie Slice
A little on the oily side but decent enough for our first lunch in the park.
Mojito
Mojito by Barcelona beach
Picnic Fruit
Not so tasty fruit… it all turned out to be sour. Bleurgh.
Delicious mojito in a really cool bar near our hostel.
Delicious mojito in a really cool bar near our hostel.
Mmm, coconut and lemon...
Mmm, coconut and lemon…
Snacks from Veritas Laietana
Snacks from Veritas Laietana
Market 2
Organic Market
Sooo much iced coffee was consumed!
Sooo much iced coffee was consumed!
Freezie in Valencia
And other iced drinks…
More sandwiches
More sandwiches

The Rest

I’m seriously in love with Spain, particularly Barcelona and am already planning my next trip! If you need convincing, here’s a few of my favourite non-food related shots.

Gaudi's Work
The work of Gaudi
The Harbour - Yes, we saw the diving!
Barcelona Harbour
Sagrada Família
Sagrada Família
Gaudi's fountain in Parc de la Ciutadella
Gaudi’s fountain in Parc de la Ciutadella
Awesome graffiti art was everywhere.
Awesome graffiti art was everywhere.
Just having some lunch...
Just having some lunch… (in Gaudi’s Parc Güell)
Valencia - City of Arts and Sciences Exterior with blue skies
Valencia – City of Arts and Sciences
Valencia Beach
Valencia Beach
Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Travel Bites: Vegetarian and Vegan Finds – Barcelona & Valencia

  1. This looks like such an incredible trip! (And I love the post title. ;-) )
    Spain was never on my “to visit” list until I saw that movie, and now after seeing this post, I definitely want to go! It’s so great to hear that there were options for vegetarians/vegans, too. Great pictures and recap!

    1. Haha, I was hoping some people would get the reference!

      Definitely add it to your list! It’s amazing! Such a wonderful culture and a beautiful country. I need to see more of it!

  2. Okay, I admit I didn’t get the reference (and I’ve seen the movie). But in my defense, it’s Monday morning and I haven’t had coffee yet. I love your pictures and your review. I’ve been to Barcelona once (and only for a few days) and your pictures brought back wonderful memories. What I don’t remember is Barcelona being so veg friendly. I wonder if they’ve opened more stores recently. I was there in 1998 – so long ago! I must get back.

    1. Haha, that’s okay – I didn’t think many people would get it! And I don’t function without coffee either, so I understand.

      Thanks! :) I was really surprised with how many vegan and vegetarian places we stumbled upon all over the place. The cake shop definitely looked new and I’d say that the whole veggie/vegan/health food/wholefood/organic/etc ‘scene’ has sprouted up over the past few years. We certainly appreciated it! :D

Share Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s