Vegan & Vegetarian Barcelona: Restaurant Guide from a Barcelona Local [2023]

Barcelona, you’ve come a long way, baby.

When I first came to town, being a vegetarian wasn’t easy at all. 

Locals would often ask me questions that seemed for all the world to have been plucked straight from the mouth of a grandpa in a 1980’s sitcom: “So, you don’t eat meat? Not even chicken?” 

I came to learn that any sandwich or salad dubbed vegetal would often have tuna in it.

I once even asked in a bakery if they had any sandwiches “not containing meat or fish”; the server replied, “Tuna,” and when I pointed out tuna was a fish, she could only say, “that’s true!”

the beach in barcelona on a sunny day
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Going out to eat was always a fraught experience, usually involving identifying the one or two dishes which I could eat, no matter how long the menu was. 

Once, I ordered fish for a visiting Muslim friend and a pasta salad for me. Ahsan’s fish turned out to be stuffed with pork, and my salad was topped with not just tuna but also crab, even though I had told them I was a vegetarian when ordering.

Then, suddenly, the vegan revolution came. It certainly wasn’t televised. I suspect it was on Instagram. 

Practically overnight, I went from being the weird vegetarian to noting a slight disappointment when people asked, “Oh, so you’re not vegan?”

The times have changed so much that today in Barcelona, you can find a vegan section in any major supermarkets – notably the organic chains Veritas and Ametller Origen. 

Along with the familiar products like tofu and plant-based burgers, seitan is a popular meat substitute in Spain – I had actually never heard of it before coming here, and recommend it highly.

Even better, restaurants have more vegetarian-friendly options that before, many of which are vegan, and the number of dedicated vegan and vegetarian restaurants has shot up faster than a bamboo stalk.

That being said, I am going to start my guide to vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona with a couple of ol’ favorites.

City Center

views in barcelona with venetian towers

Maoz Vegetarian

Maoz Vegetarian is located just off La Rambla on the gorgeous Carrer de Ferran, and has been providing much needed sustenance for veggie party animals for decades.

During my first year in Barcelona, I Skyped with an old coworker who had lived here for a year, and when the subject came to vegetarian food, the first question she asked was “Have you been to Maoz?”, her eyes lighting up with fond culinary memories.

So, if you find yourself with a hankering for anything falafel-based or hummus-related while wandering up or down the Rambla, it’s a great option for takeout or a pit stop.

Address: C/ de Ferran, 13, 08002 Barcelona

cathedral of barcelona on a sunny day with marble facade and spires

Teresa Carles 

Teresa Carles (pronounced kind of like “Carla’s” rather than “Carlos”) has practically nothing in common with Maoz except its longevity. Teresa has been making vegetarian cuisine since 1979, back when Spaniards were still coming to grips with the concept of democracy, let alone tofu. 

She started her career in the town of Lleida, gradually opening places closer to the metropolis, before opening this venue in 2011.

It’s a classy spot between Plaça Catalunya and Plaça Universitat, and the prices are reasonable, if not cheap. Two course meals start from €11.50, while most mains on the menu hover around the €12-13 mark. 

As well as classics such as veggie burgers, they also do a roaring trade in pasta dishes such as their delicious ravioli or lasagne. Juices are pricey but certainly pass the freshness test.

Address: C/ de Jovellanos, 2, 08001 Barcelona

view of a section of parc guell with colonnades and nature mixed together in barcelona

Flax & Kale

Not far away from Teresa Carles in Carrer dels Tallers (which is about as rock ‘n’ roll as the city center gets) is Flax & Kale, a venture from Teresa Carles’ son, Jordi Barri I Carles. While often listed as vegetarian, there are still some fish dishes on the menu. 

Another important difference: while Teresa Carles’ website stresses that their food is presented “without dogma”, Flax & Kale pushes the “healthy flexitarian” angle in their food and philosophy. 

There are some elements here that might remind you of the Slow Food movement, especially about regaining something that was lost, and treating the act of eating with respect.

But don’t let the focus on the philosophy of food discourage you –  it’s an airy, fresh setting, and has the added novelty of a roof garden. As well as the mains, Flax & Kale offers plenty of more snacky and brunchy options, like tacos and poke bowls.

The same group has recently opened Teresa’s Stairway next door, a place which focuses on takeout and delivery so you can enjoy fresh plant-based food on the go!

Address: Carrer dels Tallers 74b, 08001 Barcelona

view of casa vicens in barcelona with beautiful architecture in a gaudi style

Veggie Garden

Veggie Garden has two central locations: one between Plaça Catalunya and Plaça Universitat on Gran Via, the main road that cuts a horizontal swath through the city, and the other in rough and ready Raval.

The décor here is a far cry from the elegance of Teresa Carles and co. Here, the look is perhaps much more in line with your first impression of Barcelona’s nightlife: shabby chic reigns supreme, with a DIY aesthetic leavened by colorful graffitied walls.

On the menu, you’ll find a mixture of influences from both Asian and the Mediterranean. That means you can find a vegan paella and Indian thali platter under the same roof. 

Desserts include vegan cakes and ice cream, and the place is open till 11:30 at night, making it a perfect option for a late-night spoonful of vegan decadence.

Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 602, 08007 Barcelona

Address: C/ dels Àngels, 3, 08001 Barcelona

a modernist building of a former hospital turned into an art deco beauty in gaudi-esque style by another famous barcelona architect, in barcelona

Vegetalia

Another pillar in the vegetarian food empire in Barcelona, Vegetalia also has two central locations, as well as a range of products you can pick up in vegetarian food stores around town.

Of the two restaurants, I know Vegetalia Born better. Located in a square, it offers indoor and an attractively airy outdoor seating. 

The wide range of dishes are similar to the restaurants above, although I have to highlight the vegetarian paella as a particularly strong standout dish.

Address: Vegetalia Gòtic: C/ dels Escudellers, 54

Address: Vegetalia Born: Plaça del Fossar de les Moreres

view of the opera house in barcelona with a barely-leafy tree in front of it on the main ramblas street

Bubita Sangría Bar

For something a little rowdier, check out the Bubita Sangría Bar in El Born, within walking distance of both the Museu Picasso and the Parc de la Ciutadella. It offers both vegan tapas and, as you may have guessed, various blends of sangria. 

While it’s a little on the pricey side, you can see how much great care and attention go into both the food and drink.

I personally love tapas, but in the average tapas bar a vegetarian might only have two or three options, and vegans might be left with potato dishes and little else. 

It’s often quite a beery and carby experience too, so Bubita is great for a lighter, plant-based alternative version of tapas, where nothing in front of you is off limits.

Address: Carrer dels Flassaders, 15, 08003 Barcelona

Gràcia

barcelona escalator near the park guell

Veg World India

Indian food was a real godsend when I first got to town and was looking for a veggie place where both I and my non-tofu loving friends could eat happily.

Up in Gràcia, Veg World India lays on a genuinely authentic Indian food experience in a country where many of the locals seem to have a pathological fear of spice.

The owners are Punjabi but attempt to showcase specialties from various parts of India with their tasting menus. Of course, those menus aren’t cheap – €22 and up per person – but you can find mains from around €14.

Address: Carrer de Bruniquer, 24, 08012 Barcelona Spain

the sagrada familia of barcelona with water in the front

Abissinia

Also in Gràcia is Abissinia, an Ethiopian place. While not strictly vegetarian, I felt I had to mention it here, because it does still offer plenty of vegetarian options.

It was one of my most memorable dining experiences from my first year in Barcelona.

If you’ve never had Ethiopian food before, it really is a different experience: food is served on platters inside wicker baskets.

The “mains” come in little mounds and are accompanied by salad and injera, an Ethiopian bread with a crepe-like texture. 

Like Veg World, this isn’t a cheap option, but if you are looking for something totally novel – or a place you can take meat-eating friends to – I can’t recommend it enough.

Address: C/ del Torrent de les Flors, 55, 08024 Barcelona

views of a landscaped area in park guell with a path leading through a garden with flowers and lupines

Dolce Pizza y los Veganos

One final stop in Gràcia.

Don’t be put off by the name (which still strikes me as a candidate for Worst Band Name Ever) this is a vegan place with lots of ingenuity on the menu. 

As the name suggests, they specialize in a wide range of vegan-friendly pizzas, but they also have their own take on that old vegan favorite, the hot dog, as well as less fast foody options like salads, pasta and Spanish rice dishes. 

It’s not an enormous place, so if you have your heart set on trying their fare, head to their official website to book a table. Takeout is also an option.

Address: C. d’Hipòlit Lázaro, 34, 08025 Barcelona

Poblenou

beachy area of barcelona with the famous w hotel which looks like a sail in the background

Vrutal

I thought I would leave you with an option by the beach – and another name that might put off non-locals! 

“Brutal” in Spanish, apart from its obvious literal meaning, is often used to mean something like badass or hardcore, and as the V and B are pronounced the same in Spanish, Vrutal makes for something of a cute pun for a veggie place.

This place has more of a bar vibe, with unplastered walls and stark, exposed ceilings. Like Bubita, however, its dishes are made with a deceptively high level of love and flair, making this a great spot to duck into for a refreshing drink and a bite after a long sunny walk along the coast.

Address: Rambla del Poblenou No 16 Bajos 4, 08005 Barcelona Spain

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