Vegan in Madrid (Like a local)

Vegan in Madrid

Like my Berlin post, this is not an all encompassing guide to being vegan in Madrid. It is a list of the places I was able to try out on my recent 4 day trip to the city, and my thoughts and recommendations based on that.  Madrid overall seemed to have many all vegan restaurants and was in general very vegan friendly. We found all these spots using the wonderful HappyCow app. I was also very lucky to have been travelling with a friend who grew up in Madrid who was able to give us a more local travel experience, which was such a treat.

I will go through and list them out in the order that we visited to keep it from jumbling in my brain!

Pure Vida Vegan Bar – We arrived in Madrid around 8pm and we were lucky to be staying at an AirBnB within 10 minutes walk of this bar in the La Latina neighbourhood. We arrived at Pura Vida around 10:30pm and it was pretty much full, though we managed to get a great table by the wide open bifold doors. There were 5 of us so we ordered a bunch of tapas and a main each because we were so hungry! Everything we tried was delicious – we were with 3 non vegans and they all loved it as well! We ended up taking a bunch of our food home with us and ate it for breakfast the next day (it was just as good in the morning!) The decor in Pura Vida was gorgeous, with hanging plants and colourful tiled walls. I highly recommend this spot, especially after getting the bill! We had tapas, full main meals and sangria and came out to 20 Euros per person. Price culture shock coming from London!

Mona Pinkerton – This was the group favourite of all the places we tried! We came in late afternoon after a day of sight seeing — stopping for cañas (small beers) along the way — and were super hungry. We ordered a bunch of tapas to share including calamari, patatas bravas and paella. Everything was incredible! Very authentic Spanish food and the server was so friendly and made us feel so comfortable and welcome. They also had the best bathrooms I’ve seen in a long time; to be honest, beautiful bathrooms seemed to be a theme on this trip! DEFINITELY check this place out if you are in Madrid! A few doors up the road there is also a very vegan friendly little shop to pick up any bits you need.

Mad Mad Vegan – We were off for a bit of sightseeing so needed to fill up our bellies first so we headed into the city centre and found a food court with gorgeous outdoor seating. My husband and I tried some delicious vegan junk food from Mad Mad Vegan and were not disappointed! It also gave our travel partners a break from eating at exclusively vegan places. I would recommend it for a casual lunch spot, especially if you are travelling with non vegans.

B13 – We were heading out for the evening in the Malasaña neighbourhood (from what I gathered kind of the Brooklyn of Madrid) so lined our stomachs at B13 first. It was super busy when we arrived around 10 and had to wait 20 minutes at the bar next door to get a table. It had a good fun atmosphere and felt very similar to a vegan spot in East London. This was the only meal I was slightly disappointed in the food though. Pretty much everything we ordered came out and just looked like chips. Like Sausage and chips, the patatas bravas was chips with a sauce.. It was just a bit much. I mean the chips were good and the burger was good as well but I just felt like the food wasn’t very creative. We had a pretty high standard at this point! But it is a fun area and not a bad option for a late night snack.

La Encomienda – We went to La Encomienda for my husband’s birthday dinner. It was a short walk from our AirBnB and was exactly what we were hoping for. Slightly less casual than the other restaurants we had been to, so perfect for a special meal. They had an in house made cheese platter and the most delicious tapas (still don’t know what it was!) I had a pad thai and others at the table had cannelloni, tacos and a curry, so quite a wide range of food. Everyone enjoyed the food and the drinks were great as well. By this point we were a bit more used to the significantly smaller bill but still worth noting how reasonable it was, even for a more upscale experience!

A little side note story: After this meal, we walked over to Lavapiés for some after dinner drinks. The area was so  fun and lively, even at midnight on a Monday. We sipped red wine at a table on the street, greeting local dogs (always), while a very talented band played and passersby stopped to have a dance in the street. I saw Madrid in a whole new light after this evening. If you can visit local neighbourhoods and absorb real Madrid culture like this, it is so worth it.

I brought up this story also just to mention that at local bars when you order a round of drinks they will bring out tapas. Some places we went it was crisps or olives which was great but at this more local place, they were bringing mainly seafood dishes. We were with non vegans who enjoyed this so it wasn’t a big deal to us but if you are travelling with only vegans, I would maybe have a word when you order and mention you don’t eat these things.

Viva Burger – Our final meal! Our flight back to London was at 4pm so we had time for a late breakfast / early lunch. We wandered (and scooted) over to Viva Burger, which was situated with outdoor tables in a gorgeous square. The breakfast menu was small (larger lunch menu started at 1pm) but all the meals were delicious. I had a tofu scramble on toast with mushrooms and cheese and others had similar toast based mains. Lovely staff, food and an ideal atmosphere for our final morning. Also I got some tasty ice cream for the walk back to the flat. If we had more time we probably would have gone back to try some of the great sounding food from the main menu.

Overall I was blown away by Madrid. It felt so vibrant and friendly. The vegan food we tried was all at such a high standard and it was great to get to eat actual Spanish food instead of the same veggie burger situation travelling vegans often get stuck with.

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