In Barcelona, most tourists pass through Plaza George Orwell on their way to Las Ramblas or to see the historic Barrio Gotic. Husband and I where doing the same when we stumbled into this tiny plaza – and stopped in our tracks. When your band consists of one vegan and one vegetarian traveling in a meat eating nation, you are quick to hone in on a vegetarian restaurant immediately, let alone an entire community. In Plaza Orwell we saw multiple vegetarian restaurants nearly side-by-side with “Vegan!” advertisements hanging from colorful doors. We had found culinary home in Spain.
Many salad and hummus plates into our visit, we decided to dive in feet first, and hit the vegan joint, Gopal, at one corner of the plaza. This is considered “fast” food in Spain with lots of burger options, fake bacon and sandwiches. If you are living on tomato pan and olives, Gopal is a nice break from veggie tapas that you can sink your teeth into.
A few doors down is Vegetalia, which became my favorite Plaza Orwell vegetarian restaurant. A believer in sustainable, organic food, Vegetalia offers saffron rice, Thai tofu, quinoa, tempeh, lentils, brown rice, millet and seitan. You can choose the tapas route or settle in with a well-proportioned entree. Vegetalia doesn’t care how much you order as long as you are satisfied.
There are other great bars in the square serving veggie friendly tapas, with square-seating so you can watch families play in this bohemian atmosphere, which is part of the experience. Instead of passing through – linger. Have food that fills you, heart and soul.