Vegetarian Food in Spain & Portugal

Jan 21st, 2007, 08:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1
Vegetarian Food in Spain & Portugal

My family and I intend to visit Spain (Barcelona, Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Cadiz) and Portugal (Lisbon, Sintra, Evora, Faro) for 18 days in February '07. Does anyone know restaurants that are vegetarian-friendly (not necessarily ONLY vegetarian), and/or websites with this specific information?

We are passionate about food, and seek out memorable culinary experiences that celebrate the local cuisine and culture. So we are not simply looking to eat Thai or Indian (both always veg-friendly) in Spain and Portugal, but want flavorful, REGIONAL cuisine that can cater to a vegetarian palate. However, from reading books and researching online, we haven't had much luck at all!

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you provide.
ankur is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:39 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,635
In Barcelona, I dined with a cousin at a Veggie Cafeteria called 'Fresco.' It was Sunday midday meal & very crowded. We have a vegeterian niece in Madrid. It's not at all rare to find veggie restaurants or regular restaurants w/Vegeterian menus in both cities.

I wouldn't worry!
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 08:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,719
In Spain, tapas bars are usually a good bet for vegetarians, as you can mix and match lots of little dishes - things like cheese, patatas bravas (fried potatoes with garlic mayo or spicy sauce), tortilla de patatas, chickpeas with spinach, salads, cheese, etc. It's usually a pretty cost-effective way of eating (just keep ordering little dishes one or two at a time until you are full!), and there's always lots of variety. When I'm in Spain I usually just follow my nose to the busiest looking tapas place with the most locals eating there!
hanl is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 07:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,850
There are a few vegetarian places I can think of in Barcelona, many of which have been covered by the Short List in (Orgànic, Daguiri, etc).

Almost every restaurant offers some veg option, and a lot of Spanish food is veg to begin with (tortilla de patatas, escalivada, etc). However, it also contains a lot of hidden meat (lard in bread, for example).

laclaire is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 12:32 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 21

I had a wonderful Spain trip last October, and found that if you eat eggs you'll be fine. I think I have some specific restaurants in my trip journal - will check and post specifics later if so. Enjoy!
dcnative is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 06:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 32
In Barcelona -- I think Barcelona is difficult for vegetarians. Many of the foods contain animal products (beware: pastries & other bakery foods usually contain pork lard), so restaurants that specify that they have vegetarian foods are the best bet.

Here are a few useful websites:

I recommend La Bascula (casual) and LŽIlla de Gracia (one step up, but still fairly casual). Great thing about Barcelona's vegetarian restaurants is that they tend to be non-smoking too. Enjoy your trip!
mcm3f is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 11:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 44
We used the sincarne blog mentioned in a prior post when we went to Barcelona. My husband and I are both strict vegetarians (no stock, etc.). We found great food. Amaltea was good (had lunch there - all veg I think), Mosquito was GREAT and we plan on going back there (very veg friendly and owned by 2 Indian women), Thai Cafe looked and sounded great but we didn't have time to try it, and I've heard Govinda (Indian) was good, La Flauta Majica was ok but had pretty bad atmosphere when we were there (maybe we were in on an off night), Sesamo was good also and the staff was very friendly. Also, Origins in El Born has a menu which clearly delineates what is vegetarian and what is not and had great wines.

Beware of the fact that many of the tapas dishes may have animal stock in them.
rndas is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 11:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 44
This was also very helpful
rndas is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 11:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 37
Do not pass up Tamarind in Lisbon. It's an Indian restaurant that's quite delicious with very friendly service. It reminded us a bit of Vig's in Vancouver.
peteandem is offline  
Feb 1st, 2007, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3

I know that while in LIsbon, there are some vegetarian restaurants, mostly offering indian food. but many are now offering vegetarian options for things. If you are staying in a hotel in Lisbon or larger Portugal cities with a kitchenette, you can visit a grocery market called (O Celeiro) which is a natural and health food market with lots of vegetarian foods. Check in Chiado area of Lisbon for one, near the Pingo Doce supermarket. Feel free to email me with more questions, im an american living in Portugal and would be happy to help.
Bluecoastbikes is offline  
Feb 1st, 2007, 12:04 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3
One more thing ankur, in Portugal there is a great "sausage" called Farinheira, which has the same great taste as their chouriço, but is made from flour. Its actually one of my favs and im not vegetarian. Many restaurants have this, and its traditional with a pretty good story to go along with its origin.
again any q's email me [email protected]
Bluecoastbikes is offline  
Apr 26th, 2017, 03:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,260
In Portugal you can eat vegetarian or have "culinary experiences that celebrate the local cuisine and culture", but not both at the same time.
lobo_mau is offline  
Apr 26th, 2017, 04:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,645
Meat and even preserved fish have not always been easily available or affordable to most people in the world, so in almost every human settlement on the planet there is long tradition of eating dishes every day that are mainly vegetables, sometimes enhanced with eggs or cheese, or which might include broth made from animal parts. For many working people breakfast was a rich concoction of milk products + eggs + bread or pastry, no meat at all, but extremely filling. Afternoon or evening meals were likely to be soups or one-pot dishes that were mainly vegetables & starches. People ate lots of fruit & bread. Only very rarely did people see meat. (Coastal people did eat lots of fish when available)

The difficulty for modern tourists is that restaurants do not feature the dishes that local people traditionally eat everyday at home. But if you do some research you can often uncover what these every day dishes are, and if you go to the simplest places where working people who must eat some meals away from home go to eat their lunches or breakfasts, you will often find these everyday dishes on the menu, none of which focus on meat, (just like if you go to trucker coffee shops in America you will find grilled cheese sandwiches on the menu, or oatmeal for breakfast, because people who are on the road all the time don't want to constantly eat gourmet special occasion food).
massimop is offline  
Apr 26th, 2017, 06:14 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 947
This might help you with Seville:

We were in Granada last month and participated in a "tapas experience" offered by La Oliva, an olive oil store. The owner, Francisco, begins with an olive oil tasting followed by give different drinks (cava, sherry, white and red wine and a dessert wine) that he pairs with three different tapas each. All the dishes use seasonal ingredients with traditional preparations. Nothing fancy; just simple, good food.

The night we went, there was one vegetarian (I do think she ate seafood; not sure if you do) in the group. Francisco will make accommodations for that. Here's a link to the website. Just contact him a week or two ahead of time and inform of your dietary needs.

Here's a blog post about it from travelers who also happen to be vegetarian.
indyhiker is offline  
Apr 26th, 2017, 06:24 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,760
10 year old thread I feel that the OP might have been on vacation by now!
ribeirasacra is offline  
Apr 26th, 2017, 07:19 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 947
Oops; I really hate it when that happens!
indyhiker is offline  
Apr 26th, 2017, 01:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,756
Just welcoming a new poster to the forums!
suze is offline  
Apr 26th, 2017, 02:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
Jainisthomas is just resurrecting old threads on Indian food offerings and vegetarian options.
BigRuss is offline  
Apr 28th, 2017, 05:39 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,712
Calamari is not a vegetarian option though.
Odin is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Jul 12th, 2012 07:35 AM
Aug 7th, 2008 08:40 AM
Feb 12th, 2007 06:35 PM
Feb 2nd, 2007 02:58 PM
Apr 8th, 2004 10:52 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:44 AM.