Friday 29 June 2018

Vegan Madrid Guide

vegan madrid

I just spent a fun time in vegan Madrid, mostly thanks to the fact that this is one European city where vegan and travel are perfectly aligned - the vegan Spanish food is done so well here that no one can say you are missing out and aren't eating authentic Spanish food. Literally, I can't stress this enough, the vegan meats, cheeses and fish that I had in Madrid were so authentic, so convincing and so much like the 'real' thing I often had to triple check that the foods were vegan (which is hard when you don't speak Spanish). 

I went to Spain five times as a non-vegan and had my fair share of authentic Spanish food, let me tell you, it's almost impossible to tell the difference between vegan Spanish food and non-vegan Spanish food in Madrid in terms of quality and authenticity. If you're looking for an authentic Spanish gastro holiday, you've found it. And for those of you that don't want to be reminded of the taste of meats, cheeses and fish, don't worry, there are plenty of delicious options for you too. Put simply, Madrid will cater to all types of vegans. And with over 23 vegan restaurants Madrid you will be spoilt for choice.

3 days in Madrid

But if you only have 3 days in Madrid which vegan restaurants Madrid do you prioritise? What are the must-eat vegan Spanish foods? This vegan in Madrid guide is written for you for such an occasion. Even if you're only spending 3 days in Madrid, you should still check out the supermarkets in Madrid. Yes, they stink of fish and/or meat (ew). But they also have fresh orange juice, good fruit and veg and a few vegan Spanish snacks!

Whilst I loved Madrid and spent longer than 3 days there, if you're pushed for time and/or budget you could definitely tick Madrid off in 3 days, or a long weekend, in terms of getting the sights seen. I think it's the perfect pit stop on the way to say Barcelona or Lisbon or (like I did) vegan Marrakech. 3 days in Madrid is a good amount of time to try the best vegan restaurants Madrid has to offer and leave you hungry for more:

Best Vegan Restaurants, Madrid

If you only have three days in Madrid, how do you make sure you get the best of the vegan restaurants Madrid? I've picked my 7 favourites - 3 I recommend you go to for dinner, 3 for lunch and the 1 best dessert place, aka the perfect fit for 3 days in Madrid. (Note on Vegan breakfast in Madrid: Like vegan Italy and Portugal, breakfast isn't really a thing in Spain. My advice is to really pig out at lunch and dinner - like a real Spaniard! Slash eat cake for breakfast. That's always a good idea.)

#1. Dinner at the B13

This place is an absolute must for your Madrid vegan trip. I died and went to heaven here. It has a hip slightly chaotic atmosphere - as in it's super popular and super busy which is always a good sign in a restaurant. And the reason is justified: the food was incredible. Between four of us we demolished a chorizo baguette:

authentic spanish food

Served with tomato and better in my opinion than all the meat chorizo I tried before I became vegan, it's thicker and absolutely delicious. Also, patatas bravas:

madrid vegan

This is a super authentic Spanish food. Patatas bravas is definitely on your list of must-try vegan Spanish food. And the patatas bravas at b13 are perfect. Next came tortilla de patatas:

vegan in madrid

Tortilla de patatas or Spanish omelette was never my favourite food as a carnist and all I can say here is veganism improved it ten-fold. It was still my least favourite dish at B13, but least favourite dish at B13 is like 13 times better than any dish anywhere else, I still loved it. We also had vegan calamari:

vegan madrid

All of the dishes at B13 were incredible (including the tortilla), but the calamari was to die for and my favourite vegan Spanish food that I tried. You have to have vegan calamari as a vegan in Madrid (it's made of soy and is indistinguishable from normal calamari). I recommend going to B13 on your first night - the no-frills atmosphere and comfort vegan Spanish food are perfect after a tiring day of travel. Bonus point: it's one of the cheapest places to eat vegan in Madrid, with each (giant) dish costing around 5 Euros.

#2. Dinner at La Tia Carlota Gastrobar

vegan restaurants madrid

I've been dying to go to La Tia Carlota Gastrobar ever since forever. It did not disappoint. The setting is really cute and beautifully decorated and the staff are absolutely lovely. Here we tried arancini:

vegan spanish food

Arancini are stuffed deep-fried rice balls, usually with mozzarella. They used to be my favourite thing ever when I lived in Italy and I was excited to try a vegan version. These were so much better than the original I couldn't believe it. We had to order a second dish which was called El Tabiao:

weekend in madrid

This beautiful plate had sobrasada spread - made from calabizo (squash chorizo) instead of normal chorizo. There was also two faux cheeses - a spreadable one and an aged one. I LOVED the sobrasada spread, it was unlike anything I'd ever tasted. The cheeses were good too, and the fruit paired nicely with everything. We also had an espána, which is another typical authentic Spanish food, usually served with meat but here it was faux meat of course. It reminded me of a roast dinner, and I couldn't believe the faux meat wasn't actually chicken.

Tartar marinero a la chilena: this dish screams special - from the presentation to the taste everything was perfection. It was made from avocado, tomato, coriander and other delicious things and reminded me of ceviche - another of my once favourite dishes turned better for being cruelty-free. This dish was an absolute highlight of my time as a vegan in Madrid. We finished with an America Latina which was a dessert so I wasn't that into it, but as desserts go it was great. Tanbay loved it.

You absolutely have to go to La Tia. I'd even go as far as saying this is one of the best vegan restaurants I've ever been to. Go on the last night of your 3 days in Madrid, along with B13 it was one of our favourite vegan restaurants Madrid and the beautiful decor and high-class food give it a more 'special' feel - perfect for saying goodbye to Madrid, for now!

#3. Lunch at VivaBurger

I don't even want to write about VivaBurger because just thinking about that burger makes me want to hop on a plane and fly straight back to vegan Madrid. Maybe even live there. Maybe straight up marry one of these burgers. Because omgoddess.

authentic spanish food

This is by far the best burger I've had in my entire life - yes including all the meat ones. The texture of it is absolutely incredible and of course, the taste is out of this world. I think what I really like about it is that all vegan burgers fall into two categories: trying to mimic meat or trying to be tasty in their own right. The VivaBurger goes beyond this: it somehow manages to mimic meat but goes further and has a taste and texture that's even better. This is the future of food people. Go here for lunch, thanks to their terrace it's a lovely way to spend an afternoon, and if you go for the Menús del día you'll be able to get the evening burger for a cheaper price (plus soup/ salad and chips!)

#4. Lunch at Vega

Vega is another hip looking joint which is super popular. We went for their menús del día. We started with a delicious tomato soup, followed by a lentil stew, another very authentic Spanish food, and this one was really delicious - very comforting and filling but still healthy feeling.

house sitting madrid

Next up came 'Thai' rice with chilli and lime. When you think of Thai rice you probably don't think of authentic Spanish food, but it was authentic in that this Thai rice was extremely un-Thai like - which in itself is a very authentic Spanish thing: calling a food Thai (or Chinese or German or whatever) and then serving you something Spanish-like. Lol. This wasn't a bad thing at all, this 'Thai' rice was extremely delicious. Last and definitely not least was kale pasta with feta. I loved all the dishes at Vega, but this one was my absolute favourite. The fake feta was insane!! I used to love feta and it was amazing to try vegan feta that tasted exactly like 'real' feta. 10/10.

Menús del día at Vega come with either a coffee or a dessert. I was stuffed at this point and went for a coffee, which was high quality and perfect, whilst Tanbay had a hazelnut mousse which I hated (but he absolutely loved). If you love dessert you'll love it too. If not, go for coffee.

madrid vegan

Go to Vega for lunch, the Menú del día will get you a starter, one main and a dessert/coffee for just 8.50 Euros, or you can have an extra main for 3.40 more. I went for the one main option, Tanbay went for the two main option and that way we got to try all three mains - another hot tip from the Alternative Travelers.

#5. Dessert at Freedom Cakes Vegan

Conveniently located right next to Vega and with really nice staff, I loved Freedom Cakes Vegan. And if you've been this post so far you'll know I  infamously don't like desserts.

vegan in madrid

We tried a chocolate cake, a cheesecake and a cookie. All three were delectable but the chocolate cake was the winner imo:

vegan madrid

Go here for dessert, you won't be disappointed. I'd even recommend opting for coffee at Vega and getting a takeaway cake (or three) for later (or breakfast) at Freedom Cakes.

#6. Dinner at the Punto Vegano

Punto Vegano is in a great location, right next to the Templo de Debod - an ancient Egyptian monument that was taken down and rebuilt in Madrid - beaut at sunset! At Punto vegano, we had tapas - a super authentic Spanish food. For the tapas we had ravioli:

vegan spanish food

When you say ravioli I think pasta, so I was surprised that these ravioli were made from pastry. They were delicious though so I wasn't complaining. We also had quesadillas, croquettes and patatas bravas:

vegan restaurants madrid

Three super authentic Spanish foods and all really yummy. I particularly liked the croquettes, they were in four different flavours and it was fun working out which was which.

#7. Lunch at Ay Mi Madre

Ay Mi Madre does lots of different dishes from calzones to pizzas. First of all, we tried an awesome aubergine sandwich which was delicious. Next up we had a bbq pizza and a Mediterranean pizza:

weekend in madrid

Like every vegan pizza with vegan cheese I've ever tried, I found these to be a little bit sickly. We also tried a few empanadas:

3 days in madrid

These were my favourite dish - they were delicious! Ay Mi Madre also has really great beer. Go here for lunch, buy a million empanadas. Bring them to me.

Accommodation in Madrid: House Sitting Madrid

Like most Western European cities, accommodation in Madrid is expensive. And as vegan Madrid is a dream destination for many, you may find yourself wanting to stay a lot longer than 3 days in Madrid. For you, I recommend house sitting Madrid. House sitting gives you free accommodation almost anywhere on the planet and is becoming ever more popular in Madrid. Find out more in my full guide: house sitting vegan. And start browsing house sitting Madrid jobs here.

Wrap Up: 3 days in Vegan Madrid

So there you have it, a quick guide to 3 days in Vegan Madrid. I was highly impressed by Madrid - the restaurants are world-class and with so many different options I truly think there's something for everyone. Have you been to Madrid? What did you think? Also, in case you're interested, here's a video about the topic - enjoy :)

P.S.: If you're interested in an app designed for vegans & wanna support the vegan movement and us, veganvstravel as well, use this link plz to download Abillionveg. When registering, please use our referral code: TRAVELLINGWEASELS. If you wanna know why we think this is a great app, read here.

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