Susanne and I got back home to the U.S. and we had time to reflect on our wonderful trip to Spain. Learning about the history of Spain, the different cultures, the friendly people, the politics and the art were all amazing. Viewing the incredible art and architecture in Spain was unforgettable. Oh, and the great food!
In Spain, “vegetal” sandwiches have tuna (and you have to explain to waiters that you do not eat meat OR tuna–”no atun”), lentils are cooked with ham, and some vegetarian restaurants have limited vegan options. Oh yeah, and there are ham hocks hanging everywhere. Guh-ross. However, eating vegan in Spain is a totally survivable experience–actually we discovered eating vegan in Spain was hugely enjoyable. Susanne described Spain as a “vegan paradise!” ¿Que sabía? Susanne and I found many Spanish vegan restaurants to be on-par with those in NYC, Philadelphia, DC, San Francisco, etc…
We found plenty of standard Spanish fare in vegan versions–tapas, paella, chorizo, and even ham! Not to mention we found chocolate cake, gelato, tofu, seitan, veggie burgers, and so many other things any vegan could ever hope to eat. Some of my all time favorite restaurants were Kimpira in Valencia and Juicy Jones in Barcelona. One of Susanne’s all time favorites was Yerba Buena in Madrid. We both loved Organic in Barcelona but Gopal in Barcelona takes the (vegan chocolate) cake for number 1.
We have a list of all the vegetarian and vegan restaurants we went to here.
Being a Vegan in Spain (resources):
I definitely advise a vegan traveler in Spain to find all the vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the city they are going, print out a list, know what time places are open (Spain can have tricky hours compared to US standards), and learn where the restaurants are on your map. Learn food words so you don’t order something that is an animal and so you don’t miss out on ordering something that isn’t. Resourcefulness is key!
And remember, there is always falafel. And gazpacho. Lots and lots of gazpacho.