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Jun 21, 2009 08:54 AM

Barcelona for Vegetarians

We will be traveling to Barcelona in August (which I already know poses some problems as places close.) We are vegetarians and are wondering if there are any great tips. Vegetarian establishments are not always our favorite, we prefer non-veggie places with veggie choices. I eat seafood, but my partner does not. We love dairy! Thanks a bunch.

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  1. There's plenty of Spanish food which is not meat (or seafood) based. Any bar (tapas or not) will have a variety you can see and choose from. Just in case, "sin carne" might be a good phrase to remember (without meat). You didn't specify eggs, but tortilla is incredible (potato-onion omelette; usually gone by mid-day in most places).

    Spanish cheeses are phenomenal. Mahon (my favourite), cabrales (blue), as well as the more standard Manchego. Most places will have a cheese plate.

    I wouldn't worry about not being able to find vegetarian-friendly food. Smell, eat, and enjoy (Spain remains one of my top eating destinations).

    1. I just returned from Barcelona and other regions of Spain a week ago. I am not a vegetarian, but I don't eat red meat or pork. Spain is VERY into pork, sausage, etc. There were times I had a hard time finding things to eat and I eat seafood, chicken, and turkey. As the other poster said, the tortillas are good, cheese plates are good, but Spanish cuisine doesn't cater to vegetarians that well. Luckily, most restaurants have menus outside for you to check out. Just be careful, a few times meat came on dishes and it wasn't specified on the menu. Good luck! Spain is amazing!!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: LeoOmar

        Thanks we are so excited to go..we will be eating a lot of cheese and bread!!!

      2. I like Atzavara on c/muntaner. it's simple and tasty. This site may give more info for you:

        1 Reply
        1. re: daves2009

          Thanks! Anything that we should not miss???

        2. You'll be fine as a seafood eater, your partner will have more limited options but nothing insurmountable.

          Some particular recs include the pajaritos a la huerta (wild onions) at Paco Meralgo; the burrata, tomato and pesto salad at Bossborn; and the Torta Canarejal (a truly wonderful runny sheep's milk cheese from Salamanca) at either Inopia or can be bought from the cheese shop Formatgeria La Seu. Each of these places has other worthwhile items on their menus,

          More generally you will find dishes like pimientos de padron, pan con tomate, tortilla, setas/hongos (wild mushrooms) across the board. There should be a cheese or veggie croquetas option in most places too. Obviously high grade olives will be available everywhere (check that they are not stuffed with anchovies as they sometimes can be).

          Spaniards are lovers of beans, pulses, lentils so these dishes will be a good option although make sure to check the absence of meat. For example, the garbanzos (chickpeas) at Pinotxo in the Boqueria are fabulous.

          2 Replies
          1. re: oonth

            Thank you so much oonth! My mouth is watering all the way from Minnesota. I will report back.

            1. re: oonth

              The garbanzos at Pinotxo are made with blood sausage - that's why they are so fabulous.

            2. Hi Chardradchad,
              Please report back re Barcelona for vegetarians who don't eat seafood.
              I would love to try some of the famous places like Inopia, Pinotxo in the market place, Cal Pep, etc, but most of them seem veg non-friendly. What was your opinion and experience?
              Please share!

              2 Replies
              1. re: hungry

                Hi, chadradchad,

                unfortunately Spain is still a tricky territory for vegetarians. It's true that most tapas bars have vegetable dishes, but they often feel like side dishes and it's not uncommon for the asparagus to be fried on the same grill (and in the same fat) as the mini burgers.

                There are a few vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona, though. La Cerería (Baixada Sant Miquel, 3-5) is your typical informal, hippie-esque vegetarian (the most common kind in Barcelona) but they make their own flour and the pizzas, sandwiches and salads are very good. Organic (Junta De Comerç, 11) is similar, but a little bit busier (they also have a stall in the Boquería, right in the back, for a quick vegetarian snack).

                If you want a memorable dining experience, however, my bet would be Sésamo (Sant Antoni Abat, 52). They do both tapas and proper dishes, all Spanish and Italian. The ceps croquettes are amazing, as are the Canarian-style potatoes with two different sauces (papaya and broccoli, I think) and the watermelon and strawberry gazpacho. The asparagus risotto is a must. They have a veyr good wine list, too, and the house white is an excellent and very reasonably priced Verdejo. It's a tapas bar in the front and a non-smoking restaurant in the back. I even take my non-vegetarian friends there all the time, and they love it.

                Hope you enjoy your trip!

                1. re: kaotickitten

                  Does anyone know of any actual vegetarian tasting menus in Spain along the lines of what Ducasse and Bras do in France?