The universe has brought me to Spain three times in the past year. I stopped believing in coincidences a long time ago, so I’ve been left to wonder what I need to learn from this gorgeous country. The streets of Madrid are just as familiar to me as those of my hometown, and yet I look at them fresh each time my toes touch the cobblestone pathways. This country has so much beauty …and food to share with us all. It just so happens that Spanish metropolises are vegan paradises. You don’t have to look very far to find a specialty restaurant to cater to our vegan, eco-friendly palettes. Vegan in Spain doesn’t have to be painful.
Table of contents
- Vegan in Spain: The Ultimate Guide Spanish Cuisine
- Traditional and Modern Spanish Vegan Cuisine
- Vegan Spanish City Guides
Vegan in Spain: The Ultimate Guide Spanish Cuisine
Whether you find yourself in a large city or a small rural village, there is delicious vegan food waiting for your wandering taste buds. Though there are pig shanks hanging from almost every corner, vegan and vegetarian food is just as plentiful in this country that loves its meat & cheeses.
Spain is one of the most vegan-friendly countries in the world! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t find delicious, nutritious meals here. You won’t have to survive on bread!
Vegan Spanish Phrases to Know
One of the most important preparations you can make before traveling to Spain is to learn proper phrases that will help you find cruelty-free food.
|Soy Vegan/o||I am vegan|
|crudivegano /a||raw vegan|
|soy allergico a _____||I am allergic to ______|
|¿Puedo pedir esto sin … ?||Can I order this without…..?|
|No como ningún producto de origen animal.||I don’t eat animal products|
|¿Este plato lleva carne/pescado/huevos/lácteos?||Does this dish contain meat/fish/eggs/dairy?|
Here is a more expansive list of vegan and vegetarian Spanish vocabulary by Sh-Barcelona.
Traditional and Modern Spanish Vegan Cuisine
I’ve compiled as many naturally vegan or easily vegan-ified Spanish dishes I can find. Though I’ve tried to separate them by meal-time category, I’ve noticed that Spanish people often enjoy lots of different foods others might not consider breakfast (chocolate and churros, anyone?). It’s truly up to you what sorts of foods you’d like to have at any point in the day!
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Be aware that Spanish people love to eat very late suppers. It’s not uncommon to have a siesta at 3pm and dinner at 10pm. One of my main difficulties was eating at my normal 6pm time, because a lot of times restaurants were closed! I found myself snacking on fruits and vegetables I bought at open-air markets all over Spain. You’ll never be in short supply for fresh produce.
Desayuno, or breakfast is quite across Spain. Though they all typically have a cup of coffee, you can trust that a Barcelonian breakfast of juice, bread and coffee is quite different than a Northern Spanish brekkie of bread pudding and hot chocolate.
|Café solo||black coffee (short)|
|Café Doble Espresso||double espresso|
|Café Descafeinado||decaf coffee|
|Churros||lightly fried dough shaped into long sticks, covered with powdered sugar (be careful, sometime covered in honey)|
|Pan con tomate||toasted bread rubbed with ripe tomato, garlic, and olive oil.|
|Tostada con mermelada||bread with butter and jam|
|Leche de soya||soy milk|
Things to avoid:
- Chocolate (usually served with churros): make with milk
- Tortilla (made with potato and eggs)
|Sopa de Lentejas||Lentil Soup (make sure to ask sin cerdo meaning without pork)|
|Sopa de Ajo Blanco||Garlic and almond soup; “The original” cold almond soup dates back to the Moorish middle ages.|
|Gazpacho||Gazpacho (cold tomato soup) is perfect when it is too hot to eat but you need cold, salt and allll the veggies at the same time.|
|Sopa de tomate||Hot version of tomato soup|
|Garbanzos con espinacas||Chickpea with spinach – delicous, my personal favorite|
|Crema de verduras||Blended veggies- thick and filling|
|Pisto||Vegetable stew similar to ratatouille|
|Tomate aliñado||Literally “seasoned Tomato”. Tomato with garlic and olive oil, pepper|
|Berenjena con vinagreta de tomate||Grilled eggplant with tomato vinagrette|
|Ensalada Tropical||Tropical fruits salad, typical in Southern Spain|
|Ensalada de Pepino||Cucumber salad, often made with vinegar|
|Ensalada Mixta||Can come with tuna and eggs. Mixed salad.|
- Sometimes Ajo Blanco can be made with eggs- be sure to ask sin huevos?
- Ive ordered most of these dishes, and on occasion forgotten to add “sin jamón y sin huevo” (without egg and ham)…..and had some of my soups topped with these additives 🙁
- Sometimes the lentil soups can come with chunks of pork. Make sure to add sin cerdo!
- Mixed salad might come with tuna or egg
|Champiñones al Ajillo||Garlic Mushrooms sautéed in garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and chilis|
|Papas Arrugadas||Small boiled potatoes, kept in their skin, in a “mojo” sauce (peppery flavor)|
|Papas Aliñás||Andalusian-Style Potatoes: served cold, mashed with viegar and spices|
|Aceitunas||Olives, sometimes spiced|
|Patatas Bravas||Fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce|
|Berenjena Frita con Miel de Cana||Fried eggplant with molasses|
|Tumbet||Fried vegetables topped with tomato sauce|
|Espinacas con Pasas||Spinach with raisins, sometimes including pine nuts|
|Pimientos del Padron||Fried peppers (OMG Be Careful!! I’ve had some that are sort of sweet and some that melted the roof of my mouth) |
|Salsa de Berenjena||Puréd eggplant with bread|
|Escalivada||Roasted red pepper, onion, eggplant|
|Alcachofas salteadas||Sautéd / Fried artichoke hearts |
|Champiñones Tapenade||Mushrooms stuffed with veggies (usually olives, celery )|
|Zanahorias Aliñadas||Marinated Carrots|
|Calamares Del Campo||Hah, you clever Spaniards. This dish is actually just fried veggies, but cut into circles to resemble calamari|
|Croquetas de setas||Wild mushroom croquettes|
|Croquetas de espicacas y piñones||Spinach and Pine Nut croquettes|
|Fruit Fresca||Fresh Fruit|
|Paella Vegetariana/ Paella de Verduras||Veggie Paella (delicious rice …usually pretty salty)|
|Salmorejo||Like a denser version of Gazpacho, usually served with a lot of bread|
|Calçots con salsa de romesco||Calcots, which are a bit like an onion or a leek, are blackened and eaten dipped in a rich nutty sauce.|
|Coca de Calçots with romesco saucerdudras||coca is what the Catlans call Pizza. Vegetairan pizza-|
|Jijona Turron||Spanish soft Nouggat. Sometimes made with honey, sometimes molasses. Make sure to ask!|
|Churros||Fried Dough, sprinkled with sugar (get without chocolate!)|
|Macedonia de Frutas||A fruit salad, sometimes served in a liquor-type substance|
Things to note:
- Churros and Chocolate are unfortunately not vegan, though wildly popular.
- Simple Vegan Blog Vegan-friendly restaurant List
- Life Kindly Tips for Being Vegan in Spain
- Spain Expat Vegetarian Suvival Guide
- Totally Spain Travel Vegetarian Guide
- The Nomadic Vegan’s Ultimate Guide to Spain
- Las Morenas Vegan & Veggie guide to Spain