Having never tried tapas prior to my Spanish adventure earlier this summer, I was told by friends and family alike that the cuisine was solely geared towards carnivores. This stung quite a bit, as I was hoping to have my first experience with this Spanish staple while exploring Madrid and Barcelona. A quick Google search did not help, as every response seemed to warn vegetarians like myself that tapas simply isn’t for us.
Luckily, that’s all a load of garbage.
Tapas can be vegetarian-friendly, and the wait staff at many authentic Spanish restaurants are willing to cater to vegetarians by substituting meat out of popular dishes. Even the veggie options on tapas menus are to die for, as they are composed with an eclectic range of vegetables and topped with savory sauces and spices.
While walking down La Rambla in Barcelona on our first day in the city, we encountered a quirky tapas bar named Luzia. The interior was beautifully decorated, and featured a 20-foot-long paper-mache dragon hanging from the ceiling–quite a way to make a first impression.
The menu had options that were to die for, especially for our limited diets.
We fell in love with patatas bravas, fried potatoes with a drizzle of spicy tomato aioli and mayonnaise. I didn’t even know I liked mayonnaise until I tried this Spanish favorite.
Fried artichokes and crispy corn also found their way into our meal, and by the end, our bellies were filled with flavorful, authentic dishes and of course, plenty of refreshing Sangria.
Overall, the meal was an absolute blast, and proved that vegetarians can enjoy a traditional Spanish meal without feeling left out. For more information about Luzia, visit