Oviso café and bar – Barcelona

Placa George Orwell
Near Placa Real

From Placa Real, (if coming from La Rambla) walk across the Placa and take the exit from the Placa on the far right. Walk down this wiggly street until you get to Caracol (the restaurant on the corner with the rotisserie). Turn left onto this street and you will see a modern art sculpture. This is Placa George Orwell.

Oviso isn’t a vegetarian, vegan or health food place at all. But it has a great location and a menu that clearly embraces those of us who would rather our food didn’t once have eyes and a personality. It has outdoor seating if you want to absorb some vitty D whilst you people and dog watch, drink your tea or read your book. Or else there is a colourful interior with cute tables for two along one wall.

Oviso is young and anarchic in its attitude and the staff are keen and energetic. During the day it catches the tourists as they pour through the labyrinthine streets of the gothic quarter, but by night the crowd is young, happy, noisy and local.

Menu items suitable for vegetarians include hummus or guacamole served with wholegrain toast – €4. Or grilled vegetables – €5.50. Or roast potatoes with garlic and rosemary – €4.50.

They serve piada – a typical Italian dish made of dough and then filled with cheese, meat or vegetables. The vegetarian option is sundried tomatoes, mozzarella and rocket and costs €4.50.

Vegetarian boccadillos (sandwiches) are either eggplant, brie and lettuce or a mediterraneo – which is feta cheese, dried tomatoes, rocket and honey. And quietly stupendous.

Crepes suitable for veggies include an exotica (avocado, feta, pine nuts, tomato and raita). An exotica costs €4.50 and again is efficiently tasty. There are a couple of other vegetarian fillings, all at the same price, but I recommend the exotica.

The best salad there is the ‘del tiempo’ – goat cheese, mushrooms, spinach and rocket.  NB it actually comes with ham but I get them to put this on the side (for Sweep) or substitute it with avocado.

Since my penultimate visit they have added a vegetarian burger option. Which looks and sounds good, but I’ve not tried it yet. It consists of tofu, beetroot, cheese, tomato and lettuce.

Vegetarian pizzas cost €2.80.

For afters, you can choose from a number of sweet crepes, eg fruit, chocolate or chocolate and banana. They cost between €3.50 and €4. But for a healthier option you could go for yogurt with dried fruit and honey.

They stock soya milk so if you are a coffee drinker or want a hot soya milk – you’ll be alright here. Yes you will.

Fresh juices are €2.80-€3.30 and come in apple or orange. Smoothies (available with soya milk) and mixed seasonal fruit cost €3.

Herbal teas are small but are available in black, green, rooibos, fresh mint and white tea with vanilla.

I really like this location and the food and feel is good. They speak excellent English and so substituting items or asking about ingredients should be no problem.  Raw vegans could easily negotiate a raw salad without cheese and meat. With a juice to follow.

Look out for ladies and gentlemen who would like to relieve you of the contents of your bag or pocket in this area. Petty crime is rife in this area.

Sweep (dog) friendly as they are welcome indoors and outdoors and more often than not they will have a furry four legs to play with.

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