Vegetarian Tips?

Old Sep 6th, 2000, 07:38 AM
  #1  
Krissy
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Vegetarian Tips?

I'll be travelling through France, Spain and Italy soon, and I'm wondering if there are any vegetarians or vegans out there who could give me some tips on what or where to eat. I have heard that the diets in these countries focus largely on meat, and, since my foreign language skills are limited, I need some advice to avoid any accidents!
Thanks!
 
Old Sep 6th, 2000, 07:58 AM
  #2  
SharonM
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Do you eat any fish or dairy?
 
Old Sep 6th, 2000, 08:16 AM
  #3  
Thyra
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Krissy, you can find Vegetarian restaurants nearly anywhere (check out a let's go guide or even, I believe Fodor's or Frommer's) , do yourself a favor and find out how to ask for a veggie meal in the language of each of the countries you will visit.. I learned this for France and it was really useful. Italy was really easy ask for Pizza Margarita (sp?) which is just bread with tomatoe sauce and cheese (if you eat cheese)Generally speaking I found it kind of difficult to change or special order menue items overseas..things like "can you make that without the beef?" or "No cheese, please" seemed beyond my limited language skills. You can also get veggie meals on your plane if you didn't do so already, call in advance and request them. Also, and I know this is kind of cheating, but when in doubt we ate at ethnic food places falafal's, Chinese food or Indian food restaurants offer great alternatives if the local cuisine is loaded with meat.
 
Old Sep 6th, 2000, 11:37 AM
  #4  
Krissy
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Thyra: Thanks for the tips! I think I've got "I'm a vegetarian" covered in French, Spanish and Italian. Hopefully, though, they'll respect that - which is not always my experience at home!

Sharon: I do eat dairy. I try not to eat seafood, but at some restaurants it's either that or lettuce! I've heard that on the coasts (especially in Spain) there is a bigger focus on seafood? So maybe I'll be ok there?
 
Old Sep 6th, 2000, 01:22 PM
  #5  
Scigirl
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My husband and I are vegetarian. We didn't have any trouble at all in Italy, only a little in France. In France, seafood was an easy enough substitute for us when nothing animal-free was available. We had more trouble in Spain because much of the cooking seemed to be very meat oriented. Some seafood was available - but we really had a very hard time finding completely meat free meals. Of course, you can always pick up food from a grocer and do really well outside of restaurants. I think Rick Steves has some links to lists of vegetarian restaurants, etc. at his site. Generally, you should be able to find seafood if not vegetarian in every country. Be sure to get a food/menu translation book to make your ordering easier - we wished we had one with us. (Hard to know if you are avoiding meat if you have no idea what you are ordering.) Enjoy your trip.
 
Old Sep 6th, 2000, 01:28 PM
  #6  
SharonM
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Gotcha Krissy,
When I lived in Portugal, and when I travel to Europe, I do pretty well (I DO eat seafood...) vegetarian-wise. I have found some good vegetarian restaurants, but generally, I will tend to choose pasta dishes, or like Thyra said, oriental and indian restaurants and local pizzas are a good choice. Since I do eat seafood (and the ilk) I can nearly always find a delicious meal of fresh fish. I LOVE cheese, so I like fondue and anything cheesy...One of my favorite things to do is to stop in at the local market places for fresh fruits and vegetables, cheeses, breads, and olives! Great for a lunch or for snacking on! Generally speaking, if you can express that you want something "without meat" most people get the idea.
And yes, on your flight you can order vegetarian meals in advance. DO NOT order a seafood meal, however! Like an idiot, I did so on TAP, and ended up in the hospital with food poisoning!
 
Old Sep 6th, 2000, 01:54 PM
  #7  
marilyn
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My daughter is a vegetarian, and doesn't eat seafood either. In France there was always the omelet option, as well as cheese plates.
 
Old Sep 6th, 2000, 03:37 PM
  #8  
Caitlin
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In France, creperies are a great choice for vegetarian meals. There are always salads on the menu, and you choose your own crepe fillings--you will alweays find cheese as a choice, and often ratatouille, mushrooms, etc. Cafes and other informal restaurants have salad, cheese plate, omelet, etc., and generally more vegetarian choices than bistros. In Spain, I imagine tapas places would be a good choice; they'll always have tortilla (omelet with potatoes), cheeses, and if you'll eat seafood, often things like piquillo peppers stuffed with cod and little grilled fish like fresh sardines. As others pointed out, market meals are a great alternative, as are sandwich stalls; you should be able to find panini (grilled Italian sandwiches) made with veggies and/or cheese easily, and similar items in France. By the way, I don't think going to ethnic restaurants in Europe is cheating, because your eating experience still will not be the same as at home. The suggestion to get menu phrasebooks is right on; as the poster noted, it's just as important to know the things your trying to avoid as to know the things you want to ask for. Try Marling Menu Masters (should be available for France, Italy, and Spain), which are available from amazon.com.
 
Old Sep 7th, 2000, 04:11 PM
  #9  
Susan
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Although we're not strict vegetarians (we do try to avoid red meat), my husband and I ate at a really nice little vegetarian restaurant in Paris one night to get a break from rich French food. It's called Le Grenier le Notre Dame at 18 rue de la Bucherie. It's very near Notre Dame. There are also lots of little places that serve quiche with no meat added and salads. Bon appetit!
 
Old Sep 8th, 2000, 12:51 AM
  #10  
frank
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In Southern Spain, look for Morroccan restaurants.Seafood is the staple in S.Spain.
Italy is good for various vegetable confections.
As the range of local vegetables may be
different than you are used to, you will need more than just a menu reader, otherwise you will miss out on dishes you don't recocognise eg I had endives + creamcheese + nuts etc recently in Spain - this was really a starter for 2 people but I had it as a maincourse for 1.Get a guide with an extensive food translator.

The local markets are great places for quality veg. & local cheese , also great fun.If you make a stab at the lingo you will find people helpful.No matter how bad you are you will fare better than trying English.Remember you can buy anything on a stall using sign language!
Learn the phrases for Meat?/NoMeat?
When buying tapas (little bar snacks)
in Spain, you can go inside the bar & look at the selection displayed instead of using the menu, then point & grunt (& smile!).
(In Spain,if you want served at the table, order from the waiter & sit down - if you order from the bar it means you will have it there & can be cheaper.......buying food at the bar & taking it to a table is not done in some larger bars, if they have waiters.)
Remember chocolate is OK!
 
Old Sep 8th, 2000, 01:48 AM
  #11  
Paige
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Hello! My boyfriend and I don't eat meat and we travel all over Europe and always find lots of good food. Italy is the easiest by far. There are zillions of deelish meat free dishes there. If you're in Tuscany, try ribolita. It's divine! It's a thick stew with white beans, greens, bread and misc other veggies. Another good one is pappa di pomodori which is sort of a tomato and bread stew. Yum!! My all time favorite in Italy is funghi porcini pizza. Funghi porcini are really flavorful mushrooms. In Paris, my favorite thing is tomato and mozzarella panini, a grilled sandwich. In Spain, try tapas bars where you can point at what you want. Another tip, learn to say (and read) meat in every language. When I order something I always ask, "Carne?" or whatever and make it clear (with facial expressions and hands) that I want NO carne. Also, don't assume that something doesn't have meat. Some places think they are doing you a favor by tossing bacon in your pasta dish, or whatever.
What cities are you going to? I'd be happy to recommend some places if I can. Have fun!!
 
Old Sep 8th, 2000, 02:41 AM
  #12  
karen
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I whole-heartedly support the suggestions to make use of the local markets (great idea whether you're veggie or not ...) as well as the one not to assume there is no meat in a dish. I had a memorable meal in a great family-style restaurant in Florence where they have no menu as such - more of a dialogue with the waiter as to what to have for dinner. I made it pretty clear in passable tourist-Italian that I wanted a vegetarian meal - and that I ate neither meat or poultry (a distinction in most European languages ... just "meat" doesn't cover it). The resulting pasta dish looked wonderful, but was generously mixed with cured ham. When I pointed this out to the waiter, he looked surprised and said "but it's just a little meat ..." Otherwise, I generally have no problems at all in Europe ... with the sole exception of Prague, where I quickly tired of trout and bread dumplings ...
 
Old Sep 8th, 2000, 04:28 AM
  #13  
Krissy
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Thanks so much to everyone for all your advice!

Paige:
I'll be travelling through Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Malaga, Nice, Rome, Venice, Capri, Sicily, and Florence...any recommendations?! Thanks!
 
Old Sep 8th, 2000, 04:52 AM
  #14  
Paige
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I'll look up names and addresses this weekend but here's what I can tell you now. In Florence there's an excellent pizza place right behind the duomo close to the cathedral museum. We ate there twice, we liked it so much. They had an excellent smoked salmon, rucola (arugula?) and funghi porcini pizza. Anyone know how to say 'smoked salmon' in Italian? I don't remember but it must be similar to English because I figured it out. There's a place called the White Boar (in Italian anyone?) that was listed in Rick Steve's book. If you go, go early, because it fills up with Americanos. Don't let that discourage you because the food was great!! It was on the side of the river by the Pitti Palace. We ate at other good places in Florence but those were our favorites.
In Barcelona, a friend of mine from there recommended a place called Seven Seven (but it was in Catalan, anyone?). It's a nice place with good paella down by the ocean. I think I had veggie paella there. I had always thought of paella as having just seafood, but it also comes with meat or vegetarian. I'll get the specifics for you and post them Monday. When are you going?
 
Old Sep 8th, 2000, 04:59 AM
  #15  
John
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In Madrid, do not miss El Estragon, Plaza Paja, 10 Tel: 91 365 89 82. Absolutely our favourite !!!

A good place in Madrid for vegetarian paellas and fideuās is Champagneria Gala Tel: 91 429 25 62

A good & cheap vegetarian place in Barcelona is Juicy Jones Juicy Jones
C/Cardenal Casaņas 7 (93 302 43 30. Food is Indian veg.

Look up www.timeout.com. They have quite a number of vegetarian restaurants listed for all the cities for whcih the have guides.

Italy shouldn't be a problem but we got bored of the Pizza and Pasta routine after a while.

Hope this helps... Have fun.

 
Old Sep 8th, 2000, 05:00 AM
  #16  
Krissy
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I leave next Wednesday - Spetember 13th.
Thanks so much!
 

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