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If you are looking for a European city to visit on a vegan diet, and you have at least a moderate budget, I would highly recommend Madrid. I could easily live there, eat out every day, and not get bored of the food. However, I would unfortunately be overweight and broke as a result! Here are some of the places I got to try in my few days in Madrid:
Vega is the vegan restaurant that everyone raves about, and now I know why. Great tasting food, unusual and inspiring recipes, a very comfortable atmosphere and all at reasonable prices. Make sure you book a table in advance so as not to miss out, this is a very popular restaurant that books up quickly.
If you’re the kind of person who’s day doesn’t start until you’ve had a decent cup of coffee, Chillin’ Cafe is the place to go. The food is also very tasty, although portions are only small. If you’re looking for a breakfast to fill up on, I’d suggest trying somewhere else and then popping back here for a mid-morning cake.
Loving Hut Madrid
I’m a big fan of Loving Hut, I’ve visited quite a few in various locations around the world. I love the business model that guarantees you quality, affordable food in an ethically-conscious environment designed to educate about veganism, but with the potential for a totally different menu at every restaurant you visit. Loving Hut Madrid offers simple, traditional comfort foods like curry and goulash. My friend had never visited a Loving Hut before, but I think I’ve converted her.
Just a short walk from Plaza Major, Fresc Co is a great place to stop for a bite when you don’t want to miss out on any exploring time in Madrid. It’s an omni, all you can eat buffet, but there are plenty of vegan options. The staff are also super approachable, so just ask if you’re not sure what’s sfv.
As we were in Spain, my friend and I wanted to eat tapas for at least one meal. Yerbabuena is a vegetarian restaurant that offers a variety of vegan dishes. Our food was delicious, and there was plenty of it. The service wasn’t great, but I have a feeling that was more of a language barrier problem.
One of the frustrating things about being vegan is not being able to find sfv ice cream when it’s hot and sunny outside.. Everyone else is walking around with the most insane looking flavour combinations, and the most you can hope for is a tub of dairy free sorbet. You definitely don’t have to worry about that in Madrid, though. There are lots of ice cream chains, all listed on Happy Cow, that sell vegan ice cream. And I’m not just talking one vanilla option stuck at the back of the freezer. All the ice cream shops I visited (admittedly quite a few, but my excuse is it was very hot) had numerous flavours on offer. And it tasted so good! Look out for Amorino and Mama Elba shops.