Just west of La Rambla and south of Playa de Cataluyna is a local vegetarian restaurant in Barcelona named Teresa Carles. As I think back to this place during my first trip to Europe, it was one of the most memorable food highlights of my Spain-cation. Founded by Teresa Carles herself since 1979, it has one goal: to make vegetarian cuisine tasteful for everyone and to encourage us to eat healthier.
Teresa Carles is a place for both vegetarians and "non" vegetarians alike. No matter how picky your palate is, it's hard to dislike anything here especially when the products are top quality and the ingredients are fresh, raw and collected in the most simplest form in Spain's best regions.
What's most distinctive on the menu is the ability for you to design your own salads. If you're a bit time-crunched or on the indecisive end, you can order ready-made salads along with your pick of juices, starters, soup, artisanal pasta, desserts and Teresa's specialties.
All of their fruit juices are 100% natural and additive free. What's great is their menu items are labelled with different options: (GF) Gluten Free, (V) Vegan, (R) Raw, and (TS) To Share. Yes, they definitely cater to celiacs!
Their daily menus are healthy and easy on the wallet, perfect for working days suited for a light and quick meal. I admit, as a tourist it does get exhausting trekking for at least 8 hours a day so this was a saviour to me.
The Pear and Gorgonzola Cuores is a homemade artisanal pasta filled with pears and gorgonzola cheese with a walnut sauce. The combination of sweet and salty meshed well together without much of a fight, and the walnuts topped it off with a crunch at the end of every bite. It's one of Teresa Carles' special recipes that she must be proud to call her very own.
The Gazpacho in Spain is as real as it gets. This bowl of cold, creamy, refreshing tomato soup scented with herbs was a perfect new addition to the summer menu. The secret behind Teresa's awesome Gazpacho? The ripest tomatoes and a touch of cumin.
The menus change twice a year to accommodate spring-summer and autumn-winter. Some of the dishes featured here may be a seasonal item only and hence not available year-round.
Open everyday from 9am to 11:30pm, Teresa Carles offers breakfast & brunch from 9am-2pm and à la carte from noon to 11:30pm. They take reservations online, a blessing for those who happen to be anything but Spanish-affluent.
Teresa Carles is a definite must-try if you're ever in Barcelona. Suddenly my not-too-distant nightmares of becoming a vegetarian seem to dissipate as I left the restaurant with a new-found appreciation for raw, fresh food. Though, I can't imagine I'll ever abandon meat.