Spain has been developing its plant-based food
scene for over 30 years, and is home to a wide-variety of vibrant vegetarian
and vegan restaurants for food-loving travellers
With up to 10% of All Europeans Now Following a Plant-Based Diet, These Are Top 10 Restaurants in Spain for Vegetarians and Vegans In recent years, there has been an increase in Europeans switching to a plant-based diet due to higher awareness around the negative effects of animal agriculture, as well more available information regarding the health benefits of not eating meat.
Due to this shift
in attitudes, it is estimated that around 10% of all Europeans now follow a plant-based
diet. Furthermore, the continent leads the way in terms of global meat
substitutes, and holds 39% of the global market.
Spain, a country
often praised for its vibrant food scene, is one of Europe’s most
foodie-friendly destinations, and has been seeking to bring plant-diets into
the mainstream for over 30 years thanks to its diverse regional cuisines and
abundance of natural produce.
Vigo and Barcelona, and finishing up in the capital, Madrid, Smart Lemur,
a website dedicated to authentic travelling, has chosen the top 10 vegetarian
and vegan-friendly restaurants in Spain.
1. Cat Bar –
feline-themed moniker, Barcelona’s Cat Bar isn’t home to any cats. Instead, this
small, five-tabled establishment focuses on creating top-level vegan burgers
and serving local craft beers. Located on the fringes of Barcelona’s much-loved
Gothic Quarter, this unpretentious, bustling bar is a must-visit for anyone who
loves quality, plant-based food and adventurous beers. Depending on the day of
the week, there are also live piano free-for-all performances.
or ‘Supercool’ in English is one of Madrid’s top vegetarian restaurants, and
has been singled out by Cosmopolitan, Vogue, TimeOut and ABC for its optimistic
and daring menu. Its dishes are based on the principle of simplicity and urges
diners to “count colors, not calories”. Superchulo aims to serve
environmentally-sustainable dishes, which are designed with the health of
visitors and the overall planet in mind. This hip joint is also pet-friendly.
Pizzi&Dixie – Madrid
is an Italian restaurant specializing in plant-based cuisine, and prides itself
on dishes such as mango ceviche, yellow curry and black garlic tagliatelle, and
its novel, activated charcoal pizza, which is considered a detoxing food.
Honestly. Located in the centre of Madrid, Pizzi&Dixie is a colorful locale that adds
an interesting twist to Europe’s rapidly developing vegetarian and vegan food
scenes of the continent.
4. VA DE BO –
Va De Bo is widely-recognized for its vegan
dishes, as well as the kindness and hospitality of its owner, Joao. Live piano
and guitar sessions, bright colors, and bringing people together over good
food, good music, and conversation are the order of the day here.
Veganitessen – Sevilla
Seville’s Arenal market, Veganitessen specialises in plant-based tapas
and sweet treats. Praised for its high-standard of customer service,
Veganitessen’s greatest hits include vegetarian kebabs, cold Andaluz-style
beetroot soup, and a vegan take on the much-loved German currywurst. This small
restaurant also serves craft beers, vegan-friendly soft drinks, and food to
Maduixes – Valencia
Maduixes has been around for almost 35 years, and still prides
itself on being one of Valencia’s first vegetarian restaurants. This bright
locale prides itself on fresh dishes such as ravioli in calabaza sauce, and
basmati rice with ceps and shiitake mushrooms. It also serves up a wide variety
freshly-squeezed juices and smoothies, organic lager, and bio cola.
7. Vegetart –
focus is on locally-inspired Catalan cuisine, and this takeaway joint serves up
generously-sized regional dishes such as calçot cannelloni, leeks with almond,
and a vegan take on the traditional Spanish tortilla with seitan chorizo or
mushrooms. This small deli also won the award for the best vegan omelette by
Anima Naturalis magazine.
Garden – Barcelona
Located by the
Plaça Catalunya in the beating heart of Barcelona, this bright and cheerful
vegan restaurant’s specialities are Hindu and Nepalese meals including Thali
and Byriani. However, there are other options such as vegan wok, wraps with
vegan cheese and guacamole, vegan burgers, and Chinese-inspired chili tofu. Veggie Garden
also blends a number of delicious juices, smoothies, and milkshakes including
one containing vegan chocolate.
9. Teresa’s –
Created by Teresa Carles Borràs,
a vegetarian chef and chef consultant of 35 years, this small, unassuming
vegetarian restaurant in the heart of Barcelona’s motto is “eat better, be
happier, live longer.” Since 1979, Teresa and her team has been
influencing Spain’s vegetarian food scene by farming their own produce, using
local ingredients, and developing recipes. Dishes include bowls, salads,
burgers, tacos, and smash-hit toasts. Teresa’s is also home to a gluten-free
and plant-based bakery.
Restaurante Cúrcuma – Vigo
for its Neo-rustic ambience and its outstanding banana cake, Restaurante Cúrcuma is a delight for those who
follow a plant-based diet, as well as those who do not. A number of online
reviews cite its stuffed aubergine and vegetarian lasagne as other highlights
from the menu. Diners are also urged to ask the helpful waiting staff for
recommendations if they are stuck for choice.
diets becoming increasingly popular across Europe, expect even more restaurants
to begin experimenting with alternative takes on traditional dishes using fruit
and vegetables. If, however, you are not fully ready to commit fully to vegetarianism
or veganism quite yet, check out Smart Lemur’s list of the top 10
street foods from around the world.