If you are a raw vegan, honestly, you are probably better off visiting NYC’s East Village, or the trendier parts of LA. Stick around those places and you could be forgiven for thinking that the raw food vegan movement isn’t an alternative lifestyle at all, but an actual thing!
Barcelona, despite being a cosmopolitan city with a good share of vegan and vegetarian restaurants – sadly, has very little going on in the way of raw veganism. I’m happy to say that in the last couple of years, this has really begun to change.
Two years ago, there was nothing for raw food vegans, except for trusty salad bars that more often than not contain boiled eggs, cooked pasta salads, tuna fish, couscous and rice dishes making up at least 70% of the plates. So not a lot for raw foodists.
Related article: Being vegan in Spain
Finding decent juice bars was another issue in Barcelona. The general Spanish idea of juice is orange and their idea of a smoothie is banana, strawberry and yoghurt. Again, up until two years ago you would never see a pure vegetable juice, a green juice or an exotic smoothie that contained anything other than banana and milk.
Vegans (and vegetarians) do not visit Barcelona for the food. This is a fact. However, there are a thousand other reasons to visit this remarkable and breathtaking city. So, if you want to eat out and eat raw in Barcelona, all is not lost.
One of your best choices is to go to a vegan restaurant with a salad bar. Generally, vegan and vegetarian restaurants don’t have big tasty creative salads on their menus – just a salad bar that is mostly ummm, not really salad. This is a shame as there are plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables here.
Anyway, if you are looking for raw vegan, head to the following places:
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Carrer Joaquim Costa
A juice bar with a heart, Mother is the standout location for vegan health food in Barcelona. If you want the best quality juice compiled from organic ingredients and lovingly composed by a delightful bevy of healthy looking women, Mother is your place. And it’s not just juices, you can also find vegan magdelenas, chia puddings, kale chips, and some fabulously tasty smoothies. The drinks are pricey but they do run a loyalty scheme. A great spot to pick up a blood strengthening juice or a meal replacement smoothie.
Carrer del Parlament, 12
A very new addition to the increasingly popular and gentrified Carrer Parlament, Juice House is a lovingly run establishment where the onus is on good quality and healthy. Despite the name, Juice House is way more than that, serving breakfast and full meals that are made from organic products and with raw vegan dishes. They offer a good range of healthy juices, fresh salads and raw vegan pasta, in a quiet and calming ambiance.
Related article: Barcelona’s best vegetarian food
Blue Project Café
El Café BlueProject
C/ Princesa, 57, 08003 Barcelona
A fantastic new edition to Barcelona’s vegan offerings – The Blue Project Café is an art gallery and a café/restaurant, serving juices, smoothies, raw vegan ‘sandwiches’, salads and raw vegan desserts such as carrot cake or brownie.
They have a fantastic menu del dia, consisting of three courses and a drink and they always have raw options.
Everything here is lovingly crafted and the staff is evidently passionate about their products.
Flax & Kale
Carrer Tallers 74b
Both a takeaway juice bar and a huge and spacious restaurant, Flax & Kale is another establishment that has recently opened. An offshoot of the ever-popular Teresa Carles, Flax & Kale is a pescatarian restaurant but with plenty of options for vegetarians, vegans and even raw vegans.
Whether you are interested in breakfast, weekend brunches or the hugely popular menus del dia, there really is something for everyone.
All menu items are usefully labeled in order to make selection easier. All the salads have vegan options and there is even a raw vegan section on the menu (a trumpet sounds in the distance). This consists of the all-important raw vegan lasagna, raw spaghetti with turmeric and raw zucchini blossoms.
Carrer Santa Anna
Self Naturista is a vegetarian canteen where it is possible to buy plates of raw vegetables and basic fruit salads, along with a few basic fruit juices.
Expect exceptionally simple dishes such as shredded lettuce, shredded carrot and a few slices of red pepper, crowned with one black olive. Not exciting but better than the unhealthy alternatives.
Chains like Fresc Co have massive salad bars (not just vegetarian) but the quality of the produce is terrible.
If you are a 100% raw food vegan and you find yourself in Barcelona, then there is always self-catering and some charming independent fruit and vegetable stores throughout the city.
If you are a fruitarian then your best bet is to head to La Boqueria (the impressive and iconic food market on La Rambla in the centre of town) where the choice of fruits and vegetables is truly impressive, or any of the other many food markets throughout the city.
Finding organic fruit and vegetables is more difficult but not impossible, despite being very pricey by comparison. Veritas, the organic supermarket chain found throughout Catalonia, is a good bet for organic produce, as is Biospace in Eixample.