Continuing our adventures in Barcelona: after paying some rather steep prices for tapas, we finally got some good value for money at Vegetart.
It’s a nice little takeaway deli place. When we visited, they were stocked up with burgers, hummus, lentil dishes and cakes. I had read somewhere that they do excellent tortilla, but they didn’t have any mid-afternoon when we visited.
We got a little picnic to take to Parc Guell later that day (top tip: book your tickets for the Parc. We saw lots of people turn up thinking they could just pop straight in and being disappointed to find that they had to wait a few hours for entry to the monumental park). The mushroom and leek quiche was almost perfect: creamy filling, delicious pastry, but just short a touch of seasoning. We will also got a little pot of pasta which was packed with flavour from the tomato sauce, olives and capers.
It would be rude not to have a cake, surely? This carrot cake was moist and flavoursome, and the icing was perfect. I would definitely recommend this place for your visit to Barcelona.
And while you’re picking up your picnic, you should stop in at Uay Balam just down the road. We saw its sign proclaiming some vegan treats in this gelateria and dessert shop, so we made a little detour to investigate. There were five flavours of vegan gelato (chocolate, strawberry, peach, watermelon and grapefruit), and we were given a free spoonful of each to help us decide. The cones weren’t vegan, so we enjoyed a little cup piled high with rich chocolate and refreshing strawberry gelato. It was fantastic!
Our time in Spain was relatively light on breakfasts, but we enjoyed brunch at Dos Trece (UPDATE: closed June 2017). It has four or five vegan brunch items and is a bright, spacious place with fast service. I had the French toast, which was a wee bit too blackened on the bottom for my liking. Still, it was delicious with the fruit and maple syrup.
Dr HH enjoyed his nachos, and as you can see it was a gigantic portion. It featured guacamole, beans, salsa and tofu – the tofu was a bit bland (he reckons it was just crumbled, unseasoned tofu from a packet), but otherwise it was a rather exciting start to the day.
In Cat Bar we had some very impressive burgers. It’s one of the few places in Barcelona (and possibly in the whole of Spain) which serves food continuously in the afternoon, allowing hungry Brits to eat at a respectable hour like 6pm, rather than battling on till some ridiculous time around 9pm when we should all be tucked up in bed. Yes, I liked Cat Bar. There were about 7 burgers on the menu, and you order on a little form that you take to the bar. This is Dr HH’s Mexican Red, which he said was pleasantly spicy and had good structural integrity, which is very important – nobody likes a burger that collapses in your hands.
I loved my Crazy Burger, which had a patty full of nuts and seeds. Combined with the pesto in the bun, it was very tasty. We both ordered patatas on the side. They were a little too big to be bite-sized, and could have been crisper, but we were happy.
And finally, we ate at one of the few non-vegan places of our trip: Rasoterra. It was quite fancy, and they only just squeezed us in without a reservation, so I would recommend making one if you want to go. It definitely wouldn’t be my top recommendation though. After two weeks of all-vegan eating, it was a little disappointing to be back on a reduced menu. The vegan tapas dishes were not plentiful, and there was only one vegan wine available by the glass (fortunately I am not at all particular). We got all three vegan tapas: the tomato bread was basically what you would expect, the veg and tofu gyoza were lovely, and the patatas bravas were like mini jacket potatoes: crispy and delicious, and very different from the other potato dishes we’d tried. It was all fine, but generally unremarkable. All in all, I found the tapas scene in Barcelona a bit underwhelming, either unexceptional or too expensive.
Barcelona itself was great. We spent most of our time on Gaudi-inspired pursuits. The Casa Batllo was expensive and crowded, but getting up onto the roof made it worthwhile.
We didn’t pay to go in the Sagrada Familia, but it was still fascinating to walk around it and try to catch all the details.
Parc Guell is worth a visit, especially if you are a fan of tiles.
And sticking with an arty theme, we also took a street art tour, which was very interesting. It didn’t yield any single, huge impressive pieces like other cities have before, but there were lots of little bits and pieces and we found out a lot about local artists and techniques, so it’s definitely worth a few hours of your time.
The big three cities in Spain are definitely vegan friendly, and have plenty to keep you entertained too. We really enjoyed our time there – if only the restaurants opened at more reasonable hours!