I'm back from beautiful Barcelona and I want to share all the food goodness we experienced with you. Barcelona is a beautiful city overflowing with history, gorgeous architecture (hello, Gaudi) and of course FOOOOOD. There's actually quite an array of plant-based food around they city. You just have to hunt a little. I like bookmarking everything on Yelp before I arrive so that I always have a list of restaurants I know are good and can provide gluten free food in the palm of my hand.
The last time I was in Barcelona I was 15 and things were a little different. Firstly, I was not on a healthy path whatsoever nor was I independent enough to explore the city and choose what I wanted to eat. That's not to say my last trip wasn't delicious- it was just different. This time, I was there with Arthur and luckily we have the same idea of what a bomb meal looks like. As you may already know I've been gluten free for over a decade. When I met Arthur he was dealing with debilitating migraines. He had tried eliminating a myriad of different foods one at a time and nothing worked until he removed gluten. Now we're a couple of gluten freeks and I wouldn't have it any other way.
My biggest dinner tip would be to either make a reservation or arrive right when the restaurant opens which is usually between 7:30pm-8:30pm. In Spain you'll find that instead of free bread servers will give you a little bowl of olives to munch on. The teensy ones are local and really yummy. You can ask for bread - a lot of restaurants had gluten free bread. Instead of butter bread is served with squeezed tomato on top. A traditional from when Spain couldn't afford butter. Don't knock it till you try it. I also HIGHLY recommend taking a food tour. We loved our Tapas, Taverns and History tour with Devour Tours. Our tour guide Pauline was adorable with her Spanish/Polish/Australian accent and little picture flip book. Who doesn't like listening to history while eating?
Green Shots: An adorable Instagram-worthy vegan cafe with wellness shots, juices, smoothies and premade parfaits, acai/chia puddings and raw cakes. They also serve a tasty looking lunch here but we were never in the neighborhood during lunch time. We loved the ginger shots, pineapple juices, puddings, quinoa chocolate cake, and yogurt parfaits.
Green & Berry: Vegan and vegetarian with a menu that rivals Life Alive. Even though they gave Arthur gluten-full bread accidentally I still would recommend this place. There are fun latte's, smoothies, smoothie bowls, sandwiches and bowls. I had a cacao latte and oatmeal bowl. Arthur had the avocado toast with a poached egg. Make sure you have them repeat back to you that you want gluten free bread. And ask then to toast it.
Singular: Proof that you don't have to cross reference Yelp with Foursquare with Tripadvisor EVERY time. We stumbled upon Singular on our way to La Sagrada Familia and were STARVING. Yes, I did check the internet to see that the food would indeed be good. We had a lovely meal on the sidewalk patio. Scallops, lentil salad, and chicken salad. Beautifully plated and super trendy location with a view of La Sagrada. Surprisingly not packed and way better than the other touristy options nearby... like McDonalds and Five Guys.
Flax & Kale: There are a couple locations but we ended up at the one in the H&M near Casa Mila. It was a little confusing to find since we didn't realize it was inside the store. Once you climb to the 3rd floor, which feels like climbing a mountain after the 15k steps we did that day before lunch time, you are greeted by a huge fridge filled with juices, nut milks, superfood salads, sushi, sandwiches and more. Stroll over to the counter and you'll see gluten free and vegan donuts, cakes, and more. Heavenly! I got the superfood salad and Arthur got what I can only describe as a sushi sandwich. Think rice for your bread and slices of avocado, lox and cream cheese as your filling. We had to get the maple-glazed donut... yup worth it. Always. It was so moist and decadent yet light and just right for sharing.
SomSacs: Completely gluten and lactose free restaurant. Skip the rice paper wraps. Get the burger and foccacia. Skip the wine (organic but not tasty).
Cera 23: Arthur's mushroom risotto was delish. My sea bass was a bit too fishy for me. The carpaccio was outstanding. The big win here was the flourless cake with ice cream. ::wipes drool off face::
La Plata: We were taken here on our food tour. Around for over 50 years and serves only 5 types of tapas, wine from barrels, and vermouth. This is more of a before-dinner drink/bite locale. Very cool vibe stuffed with locals. It's very small so don't be surprised if you end up snacking while standing up at the little bar. We had anchovies, sausage w/o the bread, and tomato and onion salad
La Pineda Charcuteria: A gem of authenticity, offering a range of sausages, cheeses and bocadillos. Around since before 1930 and as authentic as you can get. A family used to live inside this little restaurant among the many legs of hanging jamon. We started with Spanish vermouth- a must have. Bonus points if you have it at "vermouth hour" aka 1pm before your siesta. When in Spain do as the Spanish do! We ate delicious cheeses, eggplant rotinis and charcuterie. Warning: the egg potato tortilla's here have flour in them.
La Panxa de Bisbe: Traditional Catalan food. Lots of variety here and very farm-to-table. Arthur had the pork ribs and we shared the eggplant tomato salad, chickpea stew and scallops. Very cool restaurant vibe - kind of reminds me of Boston restaurants. The wine was delectable. I love Spanish wines, they're mostly mild but have quite a range. We didn't have one bad wine on the trip - well except at SomSacs.
Gasterea: An absolute gem. We stumbled upon Gasterea at 11pm after our "early" 6:30pm food tour for some wine. We scored two seats at the bar which apparently isn't very easy to do and decided we HAD to try the food since this restaurant was on my list of places to eat at. Very traditional tapas here. Get anything and you'll be happy. Food comes out fast and the older male bartender was a riot. He was pouring drinks from way about his head. From my perspective it looked impressive, from Arthur's he was actually missing the glasses completely. We had the house red wine, eggplant chips, and a bunless burger. The bartender literally wouldn't take our money. It was overall a pretty darn cool experience.
Tandem Cocktail Bar: No menu, just a few very talented mixologists ready to make you any drink your heart desires. Arthur requested something spicy and smokey and I requested something with bitters and citrus. We were not disappointed. This was a stop on our way to see the Bruno Mars show and it was just perfecto.
Places we didn't get to but wished we got to so now you have to go to them and tell me all about it
The Juice House, Casablanca Cocktail Bar, La Nansa, Lady Green, Dr. Stravinsky, Roig Robi, Cal Pep, Modore, Green Spot, Demasie, Nomo, Ferment 9, Madame George, Harlem Jazz Club, Old Fashioned, Bar Lobo, Razzmatazz (go there on Monday), Gourmet Tapas, NoNoNo, La Llavor dels Origens, La Pepita, Con Gracia, Biocenter, Sensi Bistro, Rasoterra, Veggie Garden, Bo de B, Ola Restaurant.