Food, Reviews, Travel

Eating Abroad: Barcelona

This city has so much to offer; beautiful architecture, a buzzing nightlife, street performers, colourful artwork, hidden jazz clubs and (perhaps most importantly) fabulous food!

I was really surprised at how health conscious Barcelona is, if you’re looking to maintain a balanced diet while you’re away this is definitely a good place to go; there are plenty of healthy cafes and restaurants, where you can opt for plant based meals or fresh fish. Equally, ice cream stalls and bars selling jugs of sangria are hard to miss (and resist!), so you can easily get your fix without feeling like you’ve completely overindulged and backtracked on all your hard work in the gym.

With my friend being vegan, we ended up eating in mostly vegetarian or plant-based restaurants which was an interesting experience for me as meat and animal products make up quite a big part of my diet. Having said that, I am always open to trying new foods, and a lots of the places we went to did offer meat and fish options as well anyway.

1.FLAX AND KALE

This became our local cafe, we ended up returning three times with the aim of tasting as many dishes on the menu as possible! The interior is modern yet cosy, filled with colourful seating, wooden tables and hanging plants, with large windows and a rooftop terrace making the whole place feel bright and uplifting. Although you may have to wait for a table at busy times, the service is excellent and the staff are friendly and helpful.IMG_9836

As for the food…so much choice! And so beautifully presented, you’ll find yourself becoming fixated on the vibrant dishes being served all around you. With the motto “Eat better, Be happier, Live longer” printed all over the menu, it was clear that whatever we ordered would be made from real, ‘feel-good’ ingredients. Amongst the best dishes I tasted were their blueberry pancakes (so light and fluffy!), a plant-based yoghurt bowl (filled with fresh fruit and crunchy buckwheat granola) and a vegan croissant (which nearly made my friend cry with joy after months of searching for the perfect one). We had savoury dishes too on one day, consisting of tacos and a veggie burger, but came to the conclusion that we preferred the options for breakfast/brunch as opposed to lunch/dinner.

2. BRUNCH AND CAKE

Part of a bigger, family run business called Cup and Cake, these little cafes are now dotted around the world (one in England next pleaaaase) and have built up quite a name for themselves. The owner’s philosophy, “make absolutely everything by hand and slowly, with care. Be honest and use the best possible ingredients”, epitomises how much time and thought has gone into the food they serve, making each dish innovative and exciting. Anyone who believes healthy eating is boring would certainly eat their words after a meal here.

The ingredients are almost all organic and locally sourced, and each meal is presented in such an artistic, quirky way that you just can’t help being that person who spends ten minutes taking photos of their meal before actually eating it. Who would’ve thought to serve the dressing of a dish in a syringe, pancakes in a pineapple or cheesecake in a5EACDD1B-CBD8-4D82-AD5F-507B90AB26E1.jpg flowerpot!?

As written on their menu, everything is handmade with love at the premises, so you know you’ll be getting something fresh and delicious that will make both your belly and your brain happy. Amongst their “brunch classics with a twist”, are a variety of pancakes and smoothie bowls, protein packed salads, eggs Benedict with shrimp, lobster and served on a black bun, ‘nachos’ and an immense quinoa burger (just to name a few!). My friend and I had the burger and oh my, it was incredible. Served with creamy avocado, hummus and a salad packed with sweet potato chunks, we felt it was excellent value for money considering the portion size and quality.
23949304_1882312961809471_436537357_oWith vegan and non-vegan options, there is definitely something here for everyone. The only downside is that the cafe is small and doesn’t take bookings, so fills up very quickly. On our first visit, we were seated on quite a cramped table which wasn’t particularly comfortable, so just bear in mind you may have to queue for a good spot! Despite this, the overall experience makes the wait totally worth it.

3.THE VEGGIE GARDEN

This cafe is completely plant based and has a very different vibe to the other two. Some may see it as a bit too ‘hippie’ and run a mile, but my friend and I were intrigued by the vibrant decor: graffiti like paint on the walls and colourful lighting.

The dishes served here weren’t as refined as other places we ate in, reminding me of street food you would find at a festival or market place. There appeared to be a strong Asian influence from the types of meals offered on the menu and the flavours I could taste in the wraps we ordered.

The portion sizes are good and so we definitely felt we got our money’s worth. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for somewhere a bit quirky with a relaxed atmosphere and light, healthy food. Just keep in mind it is an acquired taste, so your carnivore friends may not be so impressed.

 

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