I don't think there’s a better way to get acquainted with a city than to wander around until you’re completely lost!


And Barcelona is the perfect place to do just that. As a native of the city, I always tell visitors to throw away the guidebooks and follow their intuition and curiosity – it’s the best way to experience Barcelona!

Let me share with you the way I would personally spend a free Saturday in Barcelona. Obviously, the focus will be on food, starting with a delicious breakfast and a good coffee.

Flax & Kale is a must at any time of day, but it’s my favorite for breakfast. Located in the heart of El Raval, a historic and trendy neighborhood near La Rambla, it offers a varied menu of plant-based organic dishes that I guarantee will blow your mind. For breakfast I go for the avocado toast (I know, not too original…) but you can also try the chia bagel or the açai bowl. Their cold-pressed juices are the best in town (my fave? The Vegan Vampire!). I’m pretty sure you’ll want to return another day for lunch or dinner. If you do, don’t miss their No Digas Tacos. And leave some room for dessert: homemade black sesame nice cream, mmm.

Flax & Kale
Flax & Kale - The Vegan Vampire

Let’s finish breakfast and explore the neighborhood. I always visit La Central, a great, well-known bookshop where I can spend hours leafing through the cookbooks in their amazing collection.

If you’re a fan of contemporary art, the MACBA is right here, too: it’s one of my favorite museums with a cool atmosphere (bring your skateboard along, you’ll fit right in…). Time for coffee! Stroll over to Caravelle (yes, they have La Marzocco here! And oat milk, too). El Raval is home to loads of cute boutiques that sell clothes and jewelry made by local artists (check Nuovum for beautiful and original pieces). You’ll see that all these spots are close together – no Google maps needed!

MACBA

El Raval is home to loads of cute boutiques that sell clothes and jewelery made by local artists (check Nuovum for beautiful and original pieces). You’ll see that all these spots are close together – no Google maps needed!

Feeling hungry again? There are so many options, but I especially recommend either Biocenter or L’Hortet. These were my hangouts when I lived in Barcelona, so don’t be surprised if you spot me here when I’m back in town. Both of these family-friendly, vegetarian restaurants are in Carrer Pintor Fortuny, basically facing each other.

If you go on a weekday, expect to wait in line for L’Hortet: the full menú will set you back just 12 euros, for dishes based on local, organic produce.

Biocenter was Barcelona’s first vegetarian restaurant, opened in 1980. Ever since, they’ve been serving up comforting and delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes. Their daily menú is also priced around 12 euros. For dessert, DO NOT miss their carrot & tofu cake. I love it so much, I had it for my 30th birthday cake!

Heading east on Pintor Fortuny, you’ll find yourself at La Rambla. This famous (and very busy) street has changed a lot over the years – you’ll see more tourists than locals – but it’s still worth a visit to experience the ambience of what Federico García Lorca defined 80 years ago as “the happiest Street in the world.”

Walking towards the sea, to your right are landmarks like El Liceu, the city’s opera house, and La Boqueria Market. Browse this crowded, popular old food market to find all kind of fruits, vegetables, and colorful stands.

La Boqueria Market

If you turn into a street on the left side of La Rambla, you will emerge in the Gothic quarter, home to the magnificent Cathedral of Barcelona. Across Carrer Via Laietana, you’ll find yourself in El Born, my favorite neighborhood in the city. Wander down Carrer Argenteria to find El Magnífico, a true gem with the best coffee in town. I can’t tell you how many soy lattes I have enjoyed here! Keep in mind that it’s a small place with no seating – but you must try it…and thank me later.

Just a few meters away is the spectacular Santa Maria del Mar Church. If you have read the worldwide best seller “Cathedral of the Sea” by all means go in and explore its secrets.
The El Born neighborhood is also home to many artisans and local designers. There’s no one “right” path to take. Simply follow your nose up and down the romantic, narrow streets.

El Magnífico - Coffee

So far you have experienced three of Barcelona’s most famous neighborhoods. What better way to finish a fabulous day than with a great dinner and a nice glass of wine? I have two great options for you, just 10 minutes apart. The Green Spot is a modern, trendy new vegetarian spot. Koku Kitchen hosts two different spaces, one for buns and another for ramen & gyozas. If you love Asian street food, be sure to give this place a try – the vegan offerings are really good!

Koku Kitchen

So there you have it: a wonderful way to spend a whole Saturday with me in my beloved Barcelona! There’s lots more I’d like to share with you! Be sure to let me know your thoughts: have you visited any of the spots I mentioned? Did you find my info on these places useful? And tell me if there’s something in particular you’d like me to talk about, so that I can start gathering material for my next posts. Hasta luego!

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