Adventures in trying to be vegan in Barcelona

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Casa Batlló, a house in Barcelona designed by the famous architect, Gaudi

Hello from Barcelona / a town close to it!

Firstly, I apologize for the quality of some of these photos. Don’t laugh (ok you can laugh): I brought a high-quality digital camera with me on this trip, but I’ve been so afraid of getting pickpocketed that I haven’t been bringing it out. It’s been a couple of days and I still have all my belongings, so I feel safe enough to start using it from now on.

I haven’t been eating completely vegan on this trip since it’s been incredibly difficult, especially when I’m out with other people or not in the city. I do, however, want to share with you what I have been eating that is dairy and egg-free.

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The first place I went to was a teeny tiny but really popular tapas place called Quimet y Quimet.

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It’s like the size of a walk-in closet. You had to eat standing up, and the walls were covered floor-to-ceiling with alcohol.

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They had a delicious antipasti mixed vegetable plate with leeks, artichokes, peppers, olives, and mushrooms topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I don’t think there was anything else vegan on the menu — just a lot of cheese and meat.

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I ordered this vegetable paella in hopes that it was vegan, but I actually have no idea what’s in the sauce aside from tomatoes. A man was staring at me curiously as I was eating it, and I have no idea why. I ordered it around 4pm and ate it from the pan with a spoon, so maybe you’re not supposed to do one or all of those things.

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Whenever I pass by a McDonald’s in a different country, I have to go inside. Even though I almost never eat there, I’m super curious to see what twist on the menu each country has. In Barcelona, they have mostly the same items as in North America, but with a wider variety of pastries (including macarons), AND you can get gazpacho (cold tomato soup) in a bottle, shredded carrots, and cherry tomatoes.

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Now, onto my favorite part of this trip so far. For the last few meals, most of what I’d been eating was rice, bread, churros (they’re vegan by the way) and potatoes, and I was feeling pretty crappy about not having much protein or fresh produce, so I was ecstatic when I went into this vegetarian restaurant called Teresa Carles.

I wanted everything on the menu, but I ended up getting this AMAZING vegan ceviche which was also raw and gluten-free! According to the men, it has: young coconut, mushroom, hiziki seaweed, avocado, red pepper, and red onion over a base of coconut water and spirulina. I’ve never had a sauce with spirulina in it, so I thought that was pretty creative! The mushroom and young coconut gave the dish a lot of “meaty” texture.

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Fruits on fruits on fruits!

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Cute but probably doesn’t taste great

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My other favorite part of this trip was coming across this giant food market called Mercado de La Boqueria. There were so many vendors selling smoothies and endless varieties of fruit and pre-cut fruit. There was like every kind of tropical fruit it seemed — tamarind, guava, passionfruit, dragonfruit, rambutan, lychee, mangosteen, and more! There were other vendors selling infinite varieties of dried fruits, candied fruits, nuts, dried hot peppers, oils, etc. I wish I had been eating fruit from there the whole time and wanted to take home so much more than I did, but I also didn’t wanna carry around too much stuff while doing touristy things.

 

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