Spain is a fierce defender of its independent chains which form a whopping 99% of country’s total bars and cafés. In Barcelona Starbucks didn’t get a look in until 2002. Pretty late considering the 90s boom enjoyed many other cities.
Europeans have long been creatures of habit when it comes to their food and drink so will the green-juice craze that is sweeping many cities be as slow to catch on in Spain as the Tall Latte to go?
There is one Spanish city than is leading the way in the green juice revolution. Barcelona is synonymous with all things healthy and is heavily influenced by a steady wave of visitors from abroad. Juice bars have been steadily sprouting up in the Catalonian capital and here are some of my favourite pioneers:
Opened this year by a charming young couple who live and breathe the health conscious lifestyle, this bar sits in one of the busiest junctions of the city at Francesc Macià. All the juices are prepared with a cold-press machine to avoid any heating during production and so maximise nutrients
Superfood sachets are also available for purchase at BeBo, from baobab to cocoa nuggets. Bebo’s wide range of cutely named delicious drinks include “Cuida M!” (Look After Me!), “Reanima M!” (Revive Me!), and “Activa M!” (Activate Me!), within which you’ll find such ingredients as parsley, ginger, cashew and turmeric.
A vegetarian restaurant with an impressive ability to knock up a mammoth green smoothie. Teresa Carles opened in 2011 (although the business has been operating in Spain in various other guises since 1979).
My personal favourite at Teresa’s Juicery is the “Greenpacho”. This bombshell of a drink unites tomato, cucumber, avocado, apple, purified water, spinach and red pepper with olive oil, ginger, lemon, parsley, himalayan salt, garlic and onion powder, and spirulina. As with Bebo, cold-press equipment is the norm in this superfood hotspot.
Flax and Kale
Teresa Carles’ latest brainchild, Flax and Kale opened in 2014 as the city’s first “flexitarian” restaurant (i.e. it offers largely plant-based food but allows the odd hunk of meat and oily fish to creep onto the menu). The juice menu is an elaboration of Teresa’s Juicery at Teresa Carles and you can grab ice-cold bottles to take away.
Flax and Kale’s stunning interior is also a great spot for lunch and the juice bar serves as the ideal waiting area (note: it gets busy) where you can enjoy a veggie-fuelled aperitif. If you still want to have space for lunch make sure to have something lighter than “Greenpacho”. I recommend the amusingly named “My Sweet Horny” which contains melon, pineapple, coconut water, aloe and maca, the ancient Peruvian superfood. Or you could try “The Hulk”: fresh almond milk, frozen avocado, frozen banana, spirulina and agave syrup.