Spanish cuisine is well known for its heavy use of meat, cheese, and eggs but there are many popular dishes that are both great for vegetarian and vegan diets with a Mediterranean mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and olive oil. It’s not a bad mix. One of the better-known vegan-friendly dishes would include Gazpacho, a cold tomato-based soup made with vegetables like peppers, cucumbers, and onions. But one cannot live on Gazpacho alone. But there are others including Patatas Bravas (fried potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce), Escalivada (a roasted vegetable dish drizzled with olive oil), Pan con Tomate (toasted with garlic ripe tomatoes, and olive oil), Espárragos Trigueros (grilled asparagus) and Pisto (a Spanish ratatouille). But each would more commonly served either as a starter, or a tapa, rather than a main.
Many ‘heartier’ options can be adapted, like Paella, by using vegetable broth and a variety of vegetables like artichokes, beans, and bell peppers. Churros can be enjoyed by replacing dairy-based dipping chocolate with plant-based alternatives. And many of Spain’s favourite foods offer both vegetarian and vegan alternatives. Vegan-friendly restaurants are also becoming more common throughout Spain and with the help of data gathered by Spain-Holiday we share the 5 best cities for vegan travel in Spain by the most veggie/vegetarian restaurants per 10,000 habitants.
Barcelona shares countless eateries that offer diverse cuisines that are both plant-based and reflect the city’s culinary creativity. From traditional tapas bars serving patatas bravas and grilled veggies to trendy cafes whipping up innovative meatless dishes. A great place to start is La Boqueria market where you will find specialized stores offering vegan products, as well as iconic dishes like paella and Catalan cream receiving plant-based makeovers. Barcelona also hosts festivals and events for veg enthusiasts beneath the backdrop of the city’s stunning streets and architecture. Some of the more popular vegan restaurants in Barcelona include “Teresa Carles,” “CatBar,” and “Veggie Garden.”
Santiago de Compostela
A lesser-known city in the northwest of Spain, Santiago de Compostela brings a blend of history, spirituality, cobblestone streets, and great food with a culinary scene celebrating its Galician flavours. It is also one of the best cities for vegan travel in Spain. Restaurants and cafes offer creative plant-based dishes that also showcase the region’s fresh organic fruits, vegetables, and plant-based products. With awareness of dietary preferences growing, many establishments have shifted from traditional Spanish dishes to vegan-friendly alternatives. Some of the more popular vegan restaurants in Santiago de Compostela include “QuedaTé,” “A Gata Tola,” and “Bon yurt.”
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Hopping out to the Spanish Canary Islands now, to Tenerife, and “ the vibrant city of Santa Cruz. A destination famous for cultural treasures, pristine beaches, and its sheer natural beauty. Not to forget one of the world’s largest street parties the Carnival of Santa Cruz. Sitting third on the list for vegan travel in Spain, Santa Cruz has a growing vegetarian and vegan food scene with many restaurants offering plant-based options ranging from traditional Spanish dishes with vegan twists to more international cuisine popular with the island’s strong tourist draw. Both vegan and vegetarian options are found at most cafes and bistros, as well as dedicated vegan restaurants catering to different dietary preferences. Some of the more popular vegan restaurants in Santa Cruz de Tenerife include “El Maná,” “Veinte 04,” and “El Callejón del Agua.”
Fourth on the list for the most veggie/vegetarian restaurants is Granada, a fairly traditional destination with a growing trend in plant-based diets. Many restaurants now offer vegetarian and vegan dishes in Granada, catering to both locals and tourists alike, with a variety of tapas, salads, soups, and main courses entirely plant-based at many restaurants. There is also an increase in restaurants specializing in vegetarian and vegan cuisine with creative twists to traditional dishes. For some of the more popular vegan restaurants in Granada check out “El Ojú”, “La Oveja Negra”, and “Bakkano Vegan”.
Palma de Mallorca
Now hopping off to the Balearic Islands, and to the capital of the Balearics, Palma in Mallorca comes in fifth for the most vegan-friendly destinations. A city known for its rich tapestry of architectural marvels, the iconic Gothic cathedral, La Seu, and the charming cobblestone streets in the old town. Anyway, in Palma, the areas of Santa Catalina and La Lonja are popular areas for their diverse range of vegetarian and vegan restaurants with various cafes, bistros, and eateries offering plant-based options as well as catering to different dietary preferences. Some of the more popular vegan restaurants to check out include some popular options included “Ziva To Go”, “Bon Lloc”, and “EcoMood”.