I recently got back from a little trip checking out the raw food in Barcelona, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how easy it was to find fresh healthy food there. I’ve been to Barcelona many times before, but as I was just pretty much passing through, I never made it much beyond La Rambla. I thought that was all there was to Barcelona – how wrong I was!! This time around we stayed in an apartment in El Raval, which is a cool bohemian neighbourhood in the Ciutat Vella district. This proved to be an excellent choice as it was close enough to the main areas without feeling too touristy.
We felt like locals wandering around the quirky little lanes – we discovered something new and interesting around every corner. Our apartment was just a few minutes’ walk from La Boqueria Market on La Rambla. This market is pure heaven for raw foodists! You can find all kinds of fresh fruit and vegetables at Boqueria, plus there is an enormous selection of smoothies and juices at great value prices.
One thing to watch out for though – I noticed a lot of the drinks had sugar listed as an added ingredient – boo. So if you want to play it safe you might prefer to check out Juicy Jones, a cool juice bar/vegetarian café on Carrer de l’Hospital, just a few minutes up the road.
If you love people-watching and you’re looking for a cool little square to hang out for the evening, then be sure to check out Placa George Orwell in the Gothic quarter. Not only does it play host to some very cool little bars, but it also features an organic vegetarian restaurant (Vegetalia) and a vegan deli / juice bar (Gopal).
Imagine sitting outside in the balmy evening air, sipping on a chilled fresh organic juice, and checking out the crazy styles of the local alternative Barcelona crowd – sounds pretty good, huh? There’s even a bizarre post-modern monument to feast your eyes upon if you get bored. This square is also known as ‘Placa del Tripi’ (The Trippy Square) – so that should give you some idea of its kind of style 😉
In general I found Barcelona offered lots in the way of vegetarian restaurants, and many of the regular restaurants offered some good salad options too.
If you’re looking for organic staples then Herbolari Farran is well worth a visit. Situated in the Placa Reial (another must if you love café culture), it sells nuts, seeds, supplements, herbs and other natural health and beauty products.
Remember they close for siesta so don’t get caught out – visit early or later on in the afternoon.
You’ll never get bored in Barcelona as there are tons of things to keep you occupied. It’s a good idea to get the open-top bus when you first get there, as it takes you around all the main sights and gives you a good overview of all the amazing places to visit, such as Barcelona’s famous landmark ‘La Sagrada Familia’.
We loved Park Guell, a beautiful garden complex in the Gracia district, designed by Gaudi in the early 1900s. This place is really not to be missed if you’re visiting Barcelona, and it’s well worth paying to get into the ‘monumental zone’ – not only to see Gaudi’s iconic works, but also for the fantastic views of the city.
Here are a few tips if you’re going to visit Park Guell:
* Go early to avoid hot sweaty queues
* Book online (for the same reason as above!)
* Take a packed lunch
* If you forget your packed lunch, don’t bother with the café in the free part of the park – it only sells nasty stuff like pringles and cola. Wait until you can gain access to the (pay-in) (it’s worth it) monumental precinct, as the café there is much better quality and offers freshly squeezed orange juice, plus some salads. Plus you can use the bathroom there without having to queue for hours!
I’d say that Barcelona is the perfect choice of holiday destination for Scottish raw foodists. With convenient cheap direct flights from Glasgow, a coastline full of fab beaches to top up your vitamin D, plenty of fun stuff to do, and of course lots of lovely raw foods, who could say no?
Meet you at Juicy Jones – mine’s a coconut and papaya smoothie 😉
Have you visited Barcelona lately? What do you think about the raw food scene there?
Please comment below and share your favourite places to enjoy raw food in Barcelona – Thanks 🙂
Lisa Murphy has followed a rawfood diet since 2003. She is also a counsellor, hypnotherapist and coach who specialises in healthy eating, weight loss and anxiety. For more details of Lisa's therapies and courses please visit www.CherryTherapies.com