Monday, 5 February 2018

Being vegetarian in Madrid



As a rule, I don't think of Spain as being a haven for us veggies. On a work experience exchange in Catalonia when I was 16, I worked in a hotel. I can still remember the smell of the full legs of ham at breakfast and the disdain of one of the cooks, who didn't want to cook me 'something special' when he put together lunch for the staff. 

However, keeping an open mind (my work experience in Girona was a long time ago) and convinced that I'd seen a blog post on Madrid from one of the veggie bloggers I follow, I arrived in Spain's capital feeling hopeful. 

I left 4 days later, having discovered that the blog post I'd remembered was about Barcelona (and a good post it is too!), and that while not a vegetarian desert, Madrid is also not a dream destination for veggies.

I loved the city though and definitely want to go back to explore it further. And when I do, below is a quick overview of where (and where I won't  go back to eat:

1) Reineta Vegetariano  
Not far off the Plaza de Santa Ana in the central area of the city, the Reineta Vegetariano is a low key but friendly veggie restaurant. We weren't blown away by the food, but it was good value, the food (and wine) was tasty and plentiful and there was a good range of choices on the menu. A reliable option in the centre of town. Its not huge though, so its a good idea to book ahead at weekends. You can book online.

2) Martina Cocina
Not a vegetarian cafe, but a lovely spot, serving some vegetarian sandwiches, quiches and soups in the middle of the main drag of the El Rastro Sunday market. It was a lovely escape from the hustle and bustle outside. The staff were lovely and my sandwich choice just hit the spot!  From Tuesdays-Saturdays, the cafe serves a menu of the day from 11.30-3.30, which - from looking at their facebook page - looks like it always has a veggie option.

3) El Estragon Vegetariano
We found this restaurant on our Sunday afternoon stroll and at around 3pm, it was absolutely heaving with people. The fact that it was so busy and that we liked the look of  the varied looking menu meant we decided to book for dinner. Unfortunately, I have to say that we were a little disappointed. The decor and staff were nice enough, but the food was just a bit stodgy and bland. This will be a place that I won't go back to (unless the TripAdvisor reviews improve considerably!).

4) Tapas!
No visit to Spain would be complete without an evening sampling tapas. We went to the Cerveceria Santa Ana on Santa Ana square and it did the job for us. 

We ordered sufficient tomato bread, tortilla espanola, salads, patatas ali oli, cheese and olives. Washed down with a beer or two, it was a pretty perfect meal. This website also has a good list of vegetarian tapas to look out for. 



Lots of tapas places do have a perfectly good range of veggie options, so its definitely a good choice. 

Have you been to Madrid? Do you have any vegetarian restaurant options that you'd recommend?

Addresses:
Reineta Vegetariano, Calle Infante 5. Metro Anton Martin or Sol
Martina Cocina, Plaza de Cascorro 11. Metro La Latina.
El Estragon Vegetariano Plaza de la Paja, 10. Metro La Latina
Cerveceria Santa Ana, 10. Metro Anton Martin or Sol

Related posts:
Being vegetarian in Italy
Being vegetarian in Tallinn
Eating and drinking in Bruges
Being vegetarian in Colombia 




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