Vegan Guide to Madrid, Spain

Madrid is the capital of Spain and also the country's most populated city. Spain is not often associated with veganism since a lot of Spanish food is meaty and obviously the whole history of bullfights comes to mind for many people. Despite what you may expect, Madrid has a lot of vegan food. Don't miss out, you can get the Spanish dish Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Omelette) veganized!



Why You Should Go: It is fun to explore the neighbourhoods of Madrid and experience the local culture. Madrid is well known for it's impressive museums and monuments. The Reina Sofia museum, the Prado museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum have some of the worlds most important works of art. The buses and metro are excellent and affordable making it easy to get around. The city is full of history and must see historic sights. There is lots to learn about Spanish history from the Spanish Empire to the dictatorship of Franco. Madrid is also an affordable city to visit as food cost, accommodation and attractions can be pretty inexpensive.

Getting to Madrid: Flights can be pretty cheap to get to Madrid from the UK. We flew into Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport and took the airport express 24/7 bus to Atocha station. Atocha station happened to be close by to our hotel Sleep'n Atocha. You can buy bus tickets on the bus. It is also possible to take other buses and the metro into Madrid. The airport is well connected to the city. You will have no problems.

How vegan friendly is it? We found Madrid to be pretty vegan friendly because there was so many vegan/vegetarian restaurants. I'm not sure how easy it would be to get vegan food elsewhere but we did see some "ready meal/tv dinner" vegan paella in the express grocery store. That's a good sign. We would definitely recommend making a reservation at restaurants if possible as they can book up fast. In the case of the bars that don't take reservations arrive early. The Spanish don't appear to be huge breakfast eaters you may have to get something small for breakfast if you wake up early. Lunch is from 1-4 and dinner is from 8-12 (midnight). Outside of these hours you may have some problems finding food because of the local customs.

An Example of Vegan Food Available: 

Cookaluzka: Located not too far from Retiro Park in the neighbourhood of Estrella, this is a vegan restaurant that has a mix of Latin American, Italian and Asian cuisine. The have burgers and during lunch they offer a Menu del Dia, as do most places, where you get a starter, main, dessert and drink. All the food we had was excellent there. We are glad we got an opportunity to stop by the day we were exploring Retiro Park. If we were hungrier we would have got the monster burger.

La Oveja Negra: This vegan tavern offers some no nonsense bar food that it cheap and does the trick. The food was good. The atmosphere is sort of a riot grrrl bar. It got pretty busy in there. The crowd is probably made up of locals and vegan tourists like us. They spoke little English so we had to communicate with a combination of English, broken Spanish and charades.



Rayén Vegano: Make sure to book ahead for this vegan restaurant as it fills up fast. We were lucky enough to walk in and get a spot but you might not be so lucky. We both got the menu del dia as this place has a rotating menu. We had two options for each starter, and main. There were many drink and dessert options. The food here was excellent. It was probably some of the best food we have had.


B13 Bar: This vegan bar came very highly recommended by vegans that have been to Madrid. The have a great menu of veganized Spanish bar food (Patatas Bravas, Tortilla des Patatas, Calamares,etc.) and american food like double cheese burgers. They had normal sized beer bottles but we also saw people drinking these little mini sized beers.

Urban Orchard: This is a vegan juice bar that is located inside a market. They have great juices and vegan cakes. This is a great place to get a little snack. If you are looking for something a bit more substantial for a meal you should probably go somewhere else like the next place.
Shi-Shang: This place is a vegetarian Chinese all you can eat restaurant that is the friend of any hungry vegan. Most of their food is reportedly vegan aside from the desserts so it is very vegan friendly. It is an all you can eat buffet which lots of good food. You will not leave this place hungry and it was cheap at €8.95/person. What!?

For more vegan options check out Happy Cow which has a comprehensive list of vegan, vegetarian and veg-friendly places to eat. Happy Cow states that Madrid has 18 fully vegan places. 

Sight Seeing Madrid is full of vibrant neighbourhoods to explore, parks to visit and monuments to see. The city also has some of the most famous art museums in the world where you can see important works of art. There is even an Egyptian temple in Madrid on top of a hill that is beautiful to see at sunset.

Where to stay: Our hotel was Sleep'N Atocha. It is listed as a 2 star hotel, but receives 4 star reviews on Expedia. We picked this hotel as it was reasonably cheap for being close to city centre and it looked newly renovated. We arrived on time for check in but they have storage lockers if you arrive early for a fee. All the staff were very friendly. The hotel is in the perfect spot in the city, right in Atocha, very close to Retiro park, Prado Museum and Reina Sofia museum and right near metro stop as well. We had a pretty small no frills room but it was very clean. The shower was surprisingly spacious though. There are similar options for cheaper accommodation in other neighbourhood close to the city centre.y centre.

Booking.com



Check out Madrid'
s city guide for more information on their tourism.




Comments

  1. We were in Madrid a few months ago and agree it's a fantastic place to visit. I found after a month of feasting on ham and other meat dishes by the time we reached Madrid I was hunting down vegetarian, if not vegan options, and I found there was plenty of choice. Wish I had read this first - some of your options look lovely.

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    1. Glad you were searching for vegetarian/vegans dishes. Madrid has a lot of options to choose from.

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  2. I'm not vegan/vegetarian but it all looks delicious and I would definitely try some of the dishes. While traveling some days you just want to go a little lighter in fare. Hope to visit here one day. Thanks for the tips.

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    1. Hope you get to try some. They are delicious dished. Madrid is a very budget place to visit.

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  3. Madrid is a wonderful place to visit. So beautiful. It definitely looks like you were able to find some great vegan dishes. They certainly look quite tasty, that's for sure.

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    1. They were very tasty! Madrid is amazing.

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  4. I am really happy that you liked Madrid and found it easy to eat as vegans. Having spent over 10 years in Madrid and being married to one "gato" I can asure you the city is worth visiting

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    1. We love Madrid. It is amazing in so many ways. Very jealous you lived there!

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  5. Wow! I'm not vegan, but this was a great article in that it opened my eyes to see what places support my lifestyle diet. Especially places I wouldn't normally think about like Spain and vegan food.

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    1. Spain has been amazing for catering to vegans.

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  6. That Chinese restaurant is right up my alley as well as the little cake shop. We typically eat vegan once a week and vegetarian mostly the rest (although my husband eats meat still). What was the burger made of? I personally adore Portabello Burgers! :)

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  7. What a great resource for Vegans...as a non-vegan, all of this food looks delicious! We have dabbled a bit in creating RAW treats which our family loves.

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  8. The food on your pictures looks really delicious! Madrid looks like a vegan friendly city. As the time pass I notice more and more vegan restaurants around Europe and that's a very good sign. Thanks for sharing your experience in Madrid. Happy travels!

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    1. It was delicious. I wish we were back there! Its great that more vegan places are popping up.

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  9. Great post about Madrid! I'm not a vegan but I have to eat gluten free for health reasons. The food photos look amazing!

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    1. Yeah being gluten free is harder than being vegan. I'm sure it can be a struggle until you know where to find food.

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  10. I can't believe I lived in Madrid for 2 years and I haven't been to any of these places! I personally love Cafe Po and a Vegan Burger place in La Latina :)

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    1. Well there was so many places to choose from so I'm not surprised. We'll have to try those places next time.

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