Calle Pintor Fortuny, 25
13hrs – 23hrs Monday to Saturday
13hrs – 17hrs Sundays
Bio Center has been happily stuffing Catalonian vegetarians for over twenty-five years when the concept of vegetarianism in Barcelona was considered outlandish. These days there are plenty more options thankfully, but Bio Center is still a great little place with a good reputation and a rather lovely ambiance.
Spain loves its menu-del-dia and considering you can get a three-course meal plus accessories for not much more than the cost of a main dish the rest of the time – you will learn to love it too. If you are going to eat out in Spain, lunchtime is the best time to do so in order to take advantage of these deals as they are – mostly – only available in the afternoons.
Menu del dia
€9.95 (Monday to Friday)
€12.90 (the rest of the time)
From the moment I stuck my head through the door at Bio-Center, I was made exceptionally welcome, I thought at one point I would get hugged, have a dish named after me or offered the mayorship of my own town. Maybe they mistook me for a celebrity, life on the road has after all left me looking like Chewbacca from behind –but whatever the reason, it was hearty welcome and a welcome one at that.
The menu-del-dia on the day of my visit consisted of cream of vegetable soup, a visit to a small but freshly stocked salad bar and was followed by a main dish (plato principal) of rice, lentils, vegetables and seaweed which was good, simple and so filling, I thought of visiting the vomitarium to jettison something in order to make room for a chocolate brownie. Other options for the plato principal included zucchini (courgette in Brit-speak) quiche, seitan stew or eggplant (aubergine for the Brits) pudding, which I thought sounded quite disgusting.
This was followed by a choice of home-made desserts such as cheesecake, giant baked apples, chunks of fruity flan or natural yoghurts. Having resisted the urge to ‘bullime’, didn’t have room for any of this.
If you’re not up for the three-course daily menu, you can also have a main dish for between €6 and €8.
They also do a bio hot chocolate which being fanatical about the stuff, I happily disposed of a big cup as they made me one especially with soya milk for me. It was runny English/US/German style hot chocolate (unlike the delicious Italian/Spanish stuff you can stand a child up in) but it was a tasty little number all the same. Having been away from Barcelona, I felt like I’d arrived in the 21st century being able to find a hot chocolate made with soya milk.
They also have a range of bio coffees and loads of different organic teas to swill your salad down with.
For vegans there are several options, so you won’t struggle here at all. Hoorah!
For 100% pure raw foodists, you can certainly get a meal here from the salad bar. It might not be the most wondrous selection of foods as the salad bar includes cooked foods and boiled eggs etc but you don’t need to starve to death. You can pile a plate up with salad leaves, spinach tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet red peppers etc and top with oil and a few seeds. It won’t be the most imaginative raw food meal you have eaten, but at least it’s raw and organic.
The restaurant is stunning inside with quirky objet d’art and interesting sculptures perched upon bookcases and with old standard floor lamps providing the lighting.
No outdoor seating and so no doggies allowed – paws down from Sweep. Opposable thumbs up from the vegetarian and vegan. Just wish we could afford to eat here more often.
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