The final stop on our Spanish tour was Barcelona. I went there 10 years ago with my mum as a vegetarian, and had an absolute nightmare trying to find good food. Thank the lord for Happy Cow and the vegan blogging scene! I had more suggestions than I could reasonably fit in! There were loads more places I wish we could have tried, though generally I was very happy with our chosen few. This post is a two-parter, so check back next week for the final installment of our Spanish food quest.
Our first meal was a hearty lunch at Enjoy Vegan, which was in a part of the city centre with quite a few vegan restaurants. It was a small, colourful place with a tempting glass counter of sweet and savoury food. The indoor seating area doesn’t have aircon, and as we were there in the height of summer, we snaffled a couple of stools in the doorway. It wasn’t much cooler, but we would take a few degrees where we could get them. They serve empanadas, cakes and a few dishes like lasagne, and then a daily menu of three courses for €11. This is what we chose.
I got the coconutty lentils, posted higher up. They were well-flavoured, though they included some surprise pear – the worst kind of surprise, surely. Still, they were good. Dr HH panic-ordered the risotto (there was no menu, and about four options for each course which the waitress described to us). It was really flavoursome too, with a good bite to the rice and nice bits of carrot.
For the mains, I chose a tofu and veg cake which had a nice thick crust but was a little too squidgy underneath. It was also a touch sweet, which surprised me. Dr HH really enjoyed the meatballs. They had a good bite, chewy raisins, and a nice tomato sauce. Each main is served with your choice of salad or wedges. We asked for the wedges, but got the salad. At least it was colourful and light.
The chocolate cake I chose for dessert looked really gooey, but was actually surprisingly dry. It still tasted good though. Dr HH chose the winner with this apple cake. It was the perfect bake, with a really moist sponge and good flavour. He was very pleased with himself!
The food here was quick and flavoursome, and definitely good value for money. I like the fact that they serve food from cardboard trays that can be recycled (takeaway is also available). This was a really good start to our Barcelona eating.
Next, we ate at beach tapas place Bar Celoneta. It was a nice atmospheric place, but for some reason they decided not to put the air con on, meaning it was not the kind of place you could linger. It was also surprisingly expensive – it was similar to B13 in Madrid, but significantly more costly. For example, it specialises in sangria, but even the non-alcoholic ones cost about €6 each. And speaking of expensive, the prawns on the left cost a whopping €11! It’s safe to say we were expecting to receive something a bit more special. They tasted good, but I’m had the same thing battered and fried to crispy perfection for a fraction of the price in various Asian restaurants before, so there’s just no justification for this.
The accompanying tempeh skewer was light on tempeh, with just three pieces, and two each of aubergine and sun-dried tomato. Again, this should really have been cheaper.
The ‘aliens’ tapas were much more like it! They were little towers of grilled courgette, sundried tomato pesto and thick, melting cheese. I loved them, and am keen to have a go at making some for tasty nibbles at home one day.
And finally, we had potatoes romesco: slices of potato in flavoursome sauce. I actually preferred them to the usual patatas bravas, they were delicious! As good as these and the aliens were, I wouldn’t go back to this place, overpriced as it was.
I had similar feelings about El Maderal Bar Vegana, a classy and elegant little place with an extensive beer and wine menu. We got some croquettes, which were so cheesy and buttery that I was a little unnerved! Dr HH loved them. The patatas bravas had little blobs of fiery suace and cool alioli: the perfect balance. The smoked aubergine pate with toast was a little too bitter for me, which was a shame. It didn’t live up to the one we had in Valencia.
We also got this dish, which I can best describe as a long cracker topped by tomato and cauliflower bits and slices of mushrooms. It was flavoursome and light – but very messy to eat!
Finally, we got a giant cookie to take away. It was huge and generously packed with walnuts and chocolate chunks. Lovely! The food was good, but the restaurant itself was a little fancier than I expected – more of a classy bar that serves food as well.
Come back next Monday to see the other food we ate and the attractions we saw. Here’s a little teaser for you: French toast! Gelato! Burgers!
I love Barcelona. Such a lovely place to visit, and one you can always go back to and discover something new. I’m looking forward to more food reports! It looks like all the food has been good so far, apart from the prices – 11 euros is definitely too steep, though those aliens are still pretty cute!
The aliens were great! I agree about Barcelona, I think we could comfortably fill a few more days there – both with attractions and with new eateries!
Bummer that one place was so overpriced- and with no Air Conditioning! Is that really common in Europe? Almost unheard of in the USA. There is one place that I know of like that and it is 1) in a historic area and 2) they pride themselves on being historically accurate and therefore don’t do air conditioning. They also sell ice cream so you suffer while waiting in line but get a cool ice cream treat.
I know it’s not uncommon in the UK, when we virtually never need air con. I’d expect Barcelona to be more geared towards hot weather, but maybe not.
I’m a big fan of Barcelona too. I used to go quite a lot with a friend who lives near Blackpool when we used to get £1 flights from Blackpool airport to Girona and then a coach to Barca. Just catching up on your posts and it’s really great to hear how vegan friendly Spain is becoming. Looking forward to the next post and seeing where else you went.
Ha, £1 flights?! That’s amazing! I’d kept seeing on other vegan blogs how fantastic Spain was for vegans, at least in the big cities, so I was desperate for a chance to explore. It definitely lived up to my expectations!
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