vegan in spain?

Oct 14th, 2007, 02:59 AM
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vegan in spain?

Hi - my family and I are probably moving to Spain. (If you've read any of my threads in the last couple of months you are laughing now!). We are vegan. We've managed in Paris for over a year partially because there are alot of Asian markets here - but also of course the fab open air markets. Do you think it will be more or less difficult in Spain? Any vegetarians or vegans with experience in Spain?
Thanks in advance -
redhedgurrl is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 04:30 AM
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I am pretty sure they grow vegetables in Spain. I am also pretty sure there are markets where these are sold. Spain is the size of TX and one of the most geographically diverse country in Europe; any chance you can narrow your question to a Region?
Viajero2 is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 04:45 AM
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Absolutely no problem with veggies in Spain. They locally grow almost all their own fruit and veg and its also easy to get organic as most is, as I say, local farm stuff. Use the small Fruit y veduras shops rather than supermarkets.
navigator40 is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 11:16 AM
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You'll have no problem in Spain being a veggie. There are also many specialised restaurants.
josele is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 01:52 AM
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I had lunch at a vegeterian restaurant in Barcelona with my wife's 'veggie' cousin. We got there early (1:00 PM) so there was no problem for us. The name is Fresco and it's 'Cafeteria style' with a fixed price menu. The line outside when we left convinced me that there are many vegans in Spain or in Barcelona, anyway.

You shouldn't have any problem finding food outlets that cater to vegeterians or pelirojas (i.e., red haired girls). You'll find open air markets in Spain also - problem may be finding out day-of-the-week they're open.
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 02:39 AM
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It's actually very difficult to eat out in Spain if you're a vegan, and nigh-impossible to eat out well. So much so, I wonder if the previous posters actually know what a vegan is?

Cooking at home is of course dead easy, since Spain has good markets and veg in supermarkets is often terrific.

But restaurants often offer only omelettes or cheese as their vegetarian alternative, so the only option for you can be an often tasteless salad: the Italian vegan's fallback of cheese-free pasta and tomato sauce isn't as common in Spain as in most ofthe rest of Europe. I've rarely found a vegan tapa apart from olives (there's an awful lot of cheese and bits of seafood find their way into many tapas), though when you find beans grab them (after triple-checking there's nothing forbidden in the dressing). I've reasonably often found restaurants in biggish towns that cooked interesting veg well, so you could probably always get them to serve just the main-course veg and pudding. But you have to be careful with a lot of veg-sounding first courses: those wonderful beans are often served with ham, for example.

The advice has to be to search vegan websites carefully, eat at home as much as possible and to limit your exposure to Spanish restaurants until you've learned your way round Spanish cooking very intimately.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 03:39 AM
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I can think of a few vegan tapas, like garbanzos con espinacas, patatas bravas (with spicy tomato sauce rather than garlic mayo), marinated peppers, and variations thereof.

I lived in Granada for six months about ten years ago - I wasn't veggie, but didn't eat meat or eggs, and I managed OK at tapas bars, but found it harder to find things in restaurants. If I wanted to eat out, I tended to opt for tapas, and relied on my own cooking skills for proper sit-down dinners. Always lots of great fruit and veg available in the markets (and a lot cheaper than in Paris!!).

Of course, it does really depend where you are going to be living - the situation in Madrid or Barcelona is going to be a lot different from a small town in the countryside somewhere.
hanl is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 06:39 AM
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A couple of these posts seem kind of flippant. Just because a country grows vegetables does not mean it necessarily easy to find vegan meals in a restaurant.
suze is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 06:47 AM
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There is a restaurant chain called Origen 99.9%, which focuses on local ingredients. There is a link on the website to their menu, which does have a few vegan friendly options (vegetable "cocas", etc)
cruisinred is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 09:22 AM
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I didn't think those responses were that flippant because the OP wasn't asking about eating in restaurants, but specifically about buying vegetables in markets. So I would say the same thing -- sure, they sell vegetables in markets. I went to a good covered mercado in Madrid, I think, where they had lots of fresh vegetables.

I do think it might be more difficult to eat in restaurants in Spain than some other countries with unusual dietary requirements like being a vegan, though.
Christina is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 11:40 AM
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You're absolutely right, I stand corrected. The post did not ask about restaurants but rather markets.
suze is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 08:09 PM
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Would recommend the site for a listing of veg/vegan restaurants and stores in every major city of Spain. We are vegetarians (not vegans), and we recently travelled all over Spain, and found excellent stuff to eat in restaurants. Of course we had to pre-select our restaurants. You can read our trip report to get an idea of various vegetarian restaurants in Spain.
indiancouple is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 01:33 AM
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Thank you everyone - I feel a bit foolish - I know better than to not be more specific - just spaced it. I appreciate all of your information!
redhedgurrl is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 08:57 AM
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Hi, indiancouple.
Vegetarians-vegans, what's the difference?
josele is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 09:30 AM
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Josele, Vegetarians sometimes eat products from animals such as cheese or eggs (just not meat).

Vegans do not eat anything that comes in any way from animals.
suze is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 02:08 PM
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The vegetarians I know eat lots of animal products, cheese and eggs are something they eat almost every day, as well as other dairy products -- well, almost everything they eat except for the veggies has some animal product in it, as they eat lots of things with butter in them, milk, etc. (like many breads, pastries, etc., even a lot of crackers have butter in them). I don't really understand how anyone can hardly eat a vegan diet, it is so restrictive. Some vegans won't eat honey, either, as calling a "bee" an animal, but of course you can get along without honey. I guess you'd have to make sure lots of things you ate were made with vegetable oil rather than butter -- actually, in Spain, with the olive oil, that should work better than in France. Also, that no pasta dish you date had eggs or milk in it.
Christina is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 02:20 PM
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Christina, Yes that's all correct. I'm guessing that's why a strict vegan would especially need help with this question!
suze is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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Oh..... too bad you won't enjoy Rabo de Toro (among other things...) while in Spain but hopefully you have enough information already.
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