This blog post was originally posted on June 4, 2014, and was updated on July 27, 2018.
Perhaps, as a vegan or vegetarian, you’ve pondered your dining options in Spain, which is known for jamón, manchego cheese and sauteed pig ears. Fear not: Madrid loves its meat, but we know how to get our veggie on as well!
Good news: being vegetarian or vegan in Madrid is surprisingly easy if you know where to go and what to order! To help you out, we’ve put together an all-inclusive vegan and vegetarian guide to Madrid!
Vegan Restaurants in Madrid
This small vegan café is known for homemade cooking in the cutest surroundings. It is the perfect place to stop for lunch in the literary quarter, right around the corner from Madrid’s most famous museums!
Address: Calle Lope de Vega, 7
The go-to spot for delicious, traditional Spanish food like tortilla and croquetas, just vegan!
Address: Calle de la Ballesta, 13
La Colectiva Café
If you’re traveling with non-vegans who don’t believe that a vegan restaurant can just be undisputedly good, take them here! La Colectiva Café has wowed many of our skeptical meat-loving friends.
Address: Calle Francisco de Rojas, 9
Easily one of the best spots for those eating vegan in Madrid. VEGA has an extensive menu of vegan dishes made with love!
Address: Calle de la Luna, 9
If you’re looking for a trendy, vegan brunch spot, La Encomienda is it! And if you come by later for a drink, you’ll enjoy the free tapa that comes with it.
Address: Calle de la Encomienda, 19
Vegetarian Restaurants in Madrid
A vegetarian restaurant so delicious that many of its regulars aren’t vegetarians! Definitely try the spiced lentil “meatballs” and the rich chocolate cake with bitter orange marmalade.
Address: Calle Infante, 5
Yerbabuena offers hearty plates of healthy comfort food. Our favorites include the seitan al ajillo sandwich with vegan cheese and tomato, vegan nachos and the eggplant moussaka. Bring your appetite; the portions here are very generous!
Address: Calle Bordadores, 3
If you find yourself in the artsy La Latina neighborhood, stop by Viva Burger for lunch. Here, you’ll find goodies such as veggie paella and meatballs. In addition to delicious vegan burgers, you can treat yourself to fresh-pressed juices and vegan desserts.
Address: Costanilla de San Andrés, 16
This café has a calming, hippie vibe, and their menu of food, pastries, teas and juices is extensive. We love their chai tea with hazelnut milk, carrot-apple-ginger juice and vegan brownies. Furthermore, the staff is more than happy to remove cheese from whatever you order.
Address: Calle San Pedro, 22
Falling into the “off-the-beaten-path” category is this all-you-can-eat veggie buffet just off of Gran Vía.
Address: Calle Concepción Arenal, 3
El Triángulo de las Verduras
A tiny, traditional Spanish bar, vegetarian-style! A word of warning: come here for the food, which is inexpensive and tasty, not for the service.
Address: Calle de Antillón, 1
The five hummuses (from “the Classic” to “the Irresistible”) are the stars at this vegetarian spot that also serves salads and veggie tapas that change weekly.
Address: Calle Hernán Cortés, 8
Vegetarian and Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Madrid
With delicious vegan tapas and a 10€ menú del día that’s half vegan, half traditional, El Atrakón is a favorite among grandparents and hipsters alike.
Address: Calle de Sebastián Elcano, 7
This vegetarian-friendly café and store is a true oasis smack dab in the middle of Madrid’s center. Both the terrace and eclectic seating inside offer a tranquil escape from the massive crowds of tourists in bustling Callao.
Address: Calle Navas de Tolosa, 3
Your typical Spanish bar that just happens to have a few vegan options! La Chilostra is a good option if you’re looking for something traditional, not trendy.
Address: Calle de la Cabeza, 1
Keywords and Phrases for Eating Vegetarian and Vegan in Madrid
When you have dietary restrictions, we understand how important it is to communicate your needs when ordering food. In an unfamiliar language, it can seem like an overwhelming task! To help make your life a little easier, we’ve put together a handy dandy list of keywords and phrases.
- Soy vegano/a. I am vegan.
- Soy vegetariano/a. I am vegetarian.
- No como ni carne, ni pescado, ni huevos, ni productos lacteos. I don’t eat meat, fish, eggs or dairy products.
- ¿Me recomiendas algo rico por favor? Can you recommend me something tasty please?
- Yo no puedo comer… I can’t eat…
- Carne: Meat
- Cerdo: Pork
- Jamón: Ham
- Pollo: Chicken
- Pescado: Fish
- Atún: Tuna
- Marisco: Seafood
- Leche: Milk
- Queso: Cheese
- Mantequilla: Butter
- Nata: Cream
- Huevo: Egg
- Miel: Honey
- Yo puedo comer… I can eat…
- Verduras: Vegetables
- Ensalada: Salad
- Judías/Habichuelas/Alubias: Beans
- Lentejas: Lentils
- Soja: Soy
- Leche de soja: Soy milk
- Almendras: Almonds
- Nueces: Nuts
- Arroz: Rice
- Aceite: Oil
- Pan: Bread
- Champiñones/Setas: Mushrooms
- Espinacas: Spinach
- Fruta: Fruit
Vegetarian Tapas in Madrid
In the city center, you can almost always find a vegetarian tapa option. These are our some of our favorites:
Spain’s version of ratatouille is a medley of delicious veggies. It often comes served with an egg on top, so vegans just need to ask for it sin huevo.
Croquetas de queso, espinacas, o boletus
Croquettes are made with béchamel, breaded and fried. They often include meat or fish, but look out for cheese, spinach, or mushroom ones for a delicious vegetarian option.
Tempura de verdura
Batter-fried vegetables are usually a delicious bet for vegetarians, but those eating vegan in Madrid should double check that the batter is egg-free (¿la masa lleva huevo?). Often, tempura veggies will be served with a yogurt sauce. However, vegans can ask to substitute it with salmorejo sin huevo y jamón for dipping.
Gazpacho’s richer cousin, salmorejo is a cold tomato soup, thickened with bread and made smooth and silky with lots of olive oil. It often comes topped with ham and egg, so vegetarians should specify sin jamón, and vegans, sin jamón y huevo.
We’re sure you’ll love berejenas con miel, or lightly fried eggplant with honey. If you’re a vegan in Madrid, you can always ask for the traditionally North African plate sin miel, or con salmorejo vegetariano for dipping.
If you needed another reason to fall in love with Spain, allow us to introduce you to huevos rotos. Any country where olive-oil fried eggs and potatoes is a traditional dish has to be a keeper right? Make sure it comes without ham or sausage (often chistorra).
Tortilla de patatas
Spain’s real national dish, it doesn’t get better than a slightly runny tortilla. We prefer ours with onion!
Vegan Tapas in Madrid
It might surprise you to learn that some typical tapas in Madrid are already vegan-friendly! Dishes like these make eating vegan in Madrid a breeze.
Found just about everywhere, patatas bravas consists of flash-fried potatoes with a spicy tomato and paprika sauce and is sinfully delicious. Authentic patatas will be mayonnaise-free, but vegans in Madrid should double check that yours are sin mayonesa before digging in.
Pimientos de Padrón
A favorite among all our vegan friends, these fried green peppers are a real treat and can be found in most tapas bars in the center. They come out of the kitchen with a slightly crispy skin, tender inside and a dusting of sea salt, making for a succulent start to dinner.
Pan con tomate
Always a safe bet for breakfast or tapas, this dish takes toast to a whole new level. Perfectly toasted bread is rubbed with garlic, drizzled with good olive oil and slathered in fresh tomato, making for a belly-filling and very tasty bite.
Gazpacho and ajoblanco
Two of Spain’s classic cold soups are great options for vegans in Madrid. Gazpacho is the tomato-based soup you’re probably familiar with, and ajoblanco is its almond-filled predecessor.
Salteada de verduras
Vegetable stir-fry is a go-to dish for all vegans, and vegans in Madrid are no different. Here, chefs use amazing local olive oil and garlic to make the plate extra special and will sometimes even use a little flour to thicken the sauce. It’s a little harder to find veggie stir-fry in tapas bars, but any sit-down restaurant will happily serve it to you if you ask nicely.
Parrillada de verduras
A more common tapas option while eating vegan in Madrid: a classic assortment of grilled veggies!
Setas al ajillo
It’s easy to be vegan in Madrid with mouth-watering veggie dishes like these garlic-sauteed mushrooms. Made with mushrooms, a healthy amount of olive oil, white wine and lots of garlic, setas al ajillo is one of the most hearty dishes vegans can order at a tapas bar. This plate will often come with jamón, so make sure your waiter you know you want a plato vegetariano and you won’t have a problem.
Vegan and Vegetarian Shops in Madrid
As madrileños become more health conscious, even the corner stores are filling up with fresh vegan options! For all the rest of your needs, you can stop by one of the following specialty shops in Madrid.
- Planeta Vegano: A haven for vegans in Madrid, Planeta Vegano (Calle Ave María, 34) has everything you need to create your own vegan version of any traditional Spanish dish.
- Nanyea Market: This secret spot (Calle de los Estudios, 7) has vegan Asian food to go. Nanyea also stocks vegan ice cream, healthy snacks and a great craft beer selection.
- El Corte Inglés: No matter where you are in Madrid, you’re never far from a Corte Inglés. The trusty Madrid department store offers an expansive health food section. Consequently, the massive store can be overwhelming, so ask an attendant to help you to find the tofu (¿me ayudas a encontrar el tofu por favor?).
Do you have a favorite vegan or vegetarian restaurant that’s not on the list? Tell us in the comments!