If you are a 100% raw food vegan then you are going to struggle to eat out in Spain. If you are from NYC or LA or even London, you will be used to having access to raw food restaurants if not raw food supplies. Even Wholefoods in London is stocking raw crackers, granola and cakes these days.
If you are a raw foodist somewhere less fashionable and cosmopolitan then you might be used to struggling to find your raw food supplies and making do with a small choice of vegetables. If that’s the case then you will be better prepared for surviving in Spain.
As an alternative lifestyle, raw food doesn’t really exist in Spain at all. There is one restaurant in Madrid (Crucina) and one in Ibiza (strangely) but even in Barcelona, the closest you will get to a raw food restaurant is a vegan restaurant with a salad bar – which will generally be 50% cooked salad items such as pasta salad, rice and couscous.
Even salads in Spain – certainly outside of the main fashionable cities – will consist of one type of lettuce leaf (generally iceberg or romaine) a few slices of tomato, a few slices of cucumber , a tablespoon of grated carrot (if you are very lucky) and a couple of black olives. You will be able to dress your exotic salad with table vinegar, oil and pepper. What’s more if you order a ‘vegetable salad’ it generally comes with tinned tuna fish.
Fresh juices outside of trendy Barcelona and Madrid are pretty much unheard of beyond orange juice.
There is a chain restaurant called Fresc Co that has massive salad bars (not just vegetarian). Very sadly the quality of the produce here is pretty dire. The vegetables have undergone some special process that leaves them invariably watery and bland. Perhaps they are frozen. Tomatoes in Spain are generally gorgeous, fruity and sweet. Except in Fresc Co. I’ve lambasted Fresc co in more detail in the following places: Barcelona, Santander, Bilbao, but if this is your only option, then go for it. At least you can fill up on raw vegetables even if they aren’t tasty.
Your best option in Spain is to self cater. Find out the nearest market or Carrefour (good range of fruits and vegetables in the larger branches) and stock up when you get the chance.
Get a personal blender and make your own smoothies. If you have the room, get a juicer.
Good luck, and if you find anywhere in Spain that is raw food friendly – be sure to let us know in the comment box below and we’ll review it for this site.
If you have any further advice for raw foodists on the road then please comment below also.
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