Organic Market (organic supermarket) – Barcelona

Ronda Universitat, 20
Near Placa Catalunya

Located in a beautiful building that was erected in 1886, Organic Market, as the name might well suggest, is a bio/organic supermarket, but not just that. It’s also a panaderia (patisserie), a burger bar, a sushi bar and sells pasta, oriental dishes, salads, ice creams, pizzas and sandwiches. And probably other things I’ve forgotten in the excitement.

The interior is very attractive, clean and sophisticated, beautifully laid out and full of things I would like to eat, drink or sometimes just strip off and roll in.

The supermarket section isn’t massive but it stocks some well-known healthy brands such as Alara mueslis, Dutch brand Molenaartge, Demeter, De Rit, Biotta, Alce Revo, A Vogel along with herbal teas by Yogi and Celestial Teas.

It has a small but welcome range of juices, flours, wines, herbal teas, cheeses, oriental ingredients, cakes, breads, cookies and spreads, and a selection of alternative sweeteners such as fructose, honey and agave syrup for the raw foodies.

There’s a small and pricey range of organic fruits and vegetables.

The panaderia (bread and cakes) section when you first enter the shop makes you want to rub yourself against the succulent looking brownies which are not just organic but only €1.50 each. There are a load disturbingly healthy looking breads, both organic and non-organic, with a good range of spelt (espalta) and wholewheat (integral) – all bursting with freshness and imploring you to toast them.

Sadly, they have stopped doing fresh juices but the take-away food bars offer some impressive-looking fodder for the wandering vegetarian or vegan, who might be missing having access to Wholefoods or the likes.

If you are gagging for something oriental, get your vegetarian legs over to the wok bar where you will be be handed a menu on which you tick which items you would like, selecting from large (grande) €5.90 or small (pequeno) €5.20. Indicate whether you would like rice, egg noodles, rice noodles or mixed vegetables as a base and then select from the following vegetarian add-ons (which cost between €1.50 – €2.20 each):

Spinach, bio tofu, broccoli, peanuts, sesame seeds, baby corn, pineapple or mushrooms.

You then select a sauce to embalm your mix in – these are free and you can pick from Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Spicy, Hoi Sin or Malaysian.

The rice noodles with tofu and a combination of mixed vegetables doused in spicy coconut Thai sauce (kind of like a red Thai curry) comes highly recommended. There is only so much ‘pan con tomate’ one vegetarian can handle.

They have one vegetarian burger option, which, if you’ve been travelling around the rest of Spain, is worthy of a cheer just for being a menu item. A burger.. without meat… who would have thought.

The sushi bar is tiny but the sushi is exceptionally fresh and also looks good. They offer 6 pieces of veggy maki for €5 or 2 veggy nigari for €3.50.

There are also a good few organic vegetarian pizza options such as tofu, vegetable, buffalo mozzarella, 4 cheeses and a margarita. And there is even vegetarian ravioli and lasagne.

Most of these things we take for granted when we live in a big city like New York or London, but to find so many things for vegetarians and vegans all in one place in Barcelona, you will soon realise is a real find.

For the more traditional vegetarians or just more health conscious there are a range of salads that range from steamed vegetables with cilantro and soya; goats cheese and pine nuts, green salad with avocado and mozzarella and organic hummus and tabouleh.

For afters, if the cakes and pastries at the panaderia don’t hustle you, there is an ice cream bar that offers flavours such as hazelnut, mango, organic mandarin, lemon, coffee and strawberry.

It also sells organic baby foods should you be in possession of a small bag of wriggling squealing cells and wind that suddenly starts yelling for dinner whilst you are half way to La Pedrera.

The whole raw food veganism movement is yet to hit Barcelona but this fairly new opening is something to get excited about. It means that the organic movement is becoming more popular, that Catalans are becoming more interested in good health and will hopefully open the doors to more such offerings.

At Organic Market you can eat-in, takeaway or takeaway and stand outside salivating over the next thing you want to eat eg the cakes and cookies in the window.

A real tiny Wholefoods away from home. Reassuringly expensive and great for a one-time treat or two.

Some examples:

Organic Pineapples €3 each

Organic Grapefruits €3.29 per kilo

Organic Sweet potatoes (yams) €3.93 per kilo

Organic chocolate croissant €1.50

Organic Brownies €1.50

Organic Muffins €1.25

Organic spelt bread €7 per kilo

Organic kamut bread €7 per kilo

Ordinary baguettes €1.20 each

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