Updated: Oct 23, 2018
Thinking of going to Madrid? This guide will give you a little overview of which places you should definitely go to. And if you never thought of visiting Madrid, maybe now you will.
This blog post is split in two parts. The first is about places that you should definitely visit and the second is specifically about vegan places in that you should go to. This is the second part of my blog post.
I was in Madrid the first time this August for six days and I found that it was surprisingly good for vegans. But also, I have to say that I always use Happy Cow in advance to check out where I can go to get the best food (and no this is not sponsored content, I genuinely love using Happy Cow, it's a great app).
So my first recommendation is to check out an area called Malasaña that I mentioned in my first blog post already. It's very hip with lots of cafes, bars, record stores, vintage shops and vegan places. In Malasaña, there's a completely vegan (!) pizzeria called Pizzi & Dixie. And honestly, they make the best pizzas there! I tried their truffle pizza and the tomato and rocket pizza and both were delicious with the perfect pizza dough. You can choose between different pizza bases, they have a gluten free base and even a black charcoal one (looks pretty cool). They were very friendly, and we got salted peanuts (yum) when we came in.
Opposite of this pizza place is a vegan store, like what??!! Veggie Room has everything you need as a vegan I'd say, they have lots of fridges with mock meats and cheeses too. They have a brie and camembert that look very good (haven't tried them unfortunately since I was out all day and the cheese would have probably melted but if you ever try them, let me know or send me the cheese, I'll eat it). They even have pet food. And their store is pink! In the same street, there's Sanissimo which is a vegetarian place. I had a tofu bagel there which was super delicious. They have juices and smoothies, burgers, bagels, etc. It feels like a brunch and lunch type of place. And they do vegan croissants.
Let's move on to my absolute favourite: Freedom Cakes. They are completely V E G A N! Yes! I couldn't believe it. I tried their cheesecake (look at that photo) and giant cookie. I would go to Madrid again just to go to this place. And check out that floor. I mean it speaks for itself. I had some vegan ice cream at Malvy's Shakes which isn't completely vegan but they have enough choice. I had an oreo cone with matcha ice cream (the best!) and chocolate ice cream with biscoff cookie crumbs. And just to give you an overview, so far we are just in Malasaña. This is definitely the place to be!
We stayed in Puerto del Angel which seems to be a more residential area but even there it was easy enough to find plantbased food. We ran into the health / organic store Argar which has vegan cheeses, burgers, steaks (really nice), other meats that I've never seen anywhere else and just typical food items that you can find in any kind of health store.
Madrid is the paradise for loose veg and fruit. Besides finding fruit and veg stores on every second street, they also have some markets, one of them being a permanent market called Barcelo Marketplace. Madrid's most common supermarkets are Carrefour, Lidl, and DIA. We even found pastries that were (accidentally) vegan so good stuff exists. You just need to find it.
In Atocha (the place to be for art museums), there's Distrito Vegano which was super cute and it seemed like a family owned business. We were greeted by a lady who didn't speak English but we still understood each other and she was very welcoming. Then, a younger guy came in who served us and explained us the menu. We had their nachos and quesadillas and both dishes were so good and there was so much in them (so much cheese)! Probably not the healthiest but hey you're on a holiday and every now and then you can have some extra cheesy cheese on top of your cheesy food, right?
We went to a place that I wouldn't go back to unfortunately. It's a completely vegan pizza place we found on Happy Cow with quite good reviews (how?) so we thought let's give it a try but it was really disappointing. The chorizo pizza didn't have anything that looked or tasted like chorizo, there was some kind of mock minced meat on top instead that tasted like nothing. And the pizza dough was nothing like a proper pizza dough either. And the mushroom ravioli were tasteless and everything tasted like it wasn't made fresh but heated up from frozen. I don't like giving negative reviews to vegan places but honestly, I just have to because I think you can spend your money somewhere better than this (go to Pizzi & Dixie). Maybe they just had a bad day and were understaffed, who knows. And now to something more cheerful and traditionally Spanish: CHURROS! YAY. I was desperate to find churros that are vegan because I haven't had any since I went vegan but then I read on a blog that many places have churros without eggs. I simply typed in "best churros Madrid" and got a place called Chocolatería San Ginés (in the centre of Madrid) and guess what? They are the most popular churros place and have vegan churros. Just let them know that you want them with cinnamon instead of chocolate because the chocolate contains milk. The churros were good but I don't know whether there's any better places around, so let me know if you know any. What's funny though is that the chocolate that you use for churros itself is always vegan. They mix their chocolate with cow milk (of course) so get yourself some chocolate a la taza from a supermarket, it's the best way to make a hot chocolate too.
Back to the hot stuff. We had amazing burgers and spinach & cheese croquettes at VivaBurger, the first restaurant we tried out on the very first day.
And there is one more vegan store, Planeta Vegano, that we visited just because we were curious to see what it has to offer. They have cheeses, meats and the usual stuff that you can find. I was surprised at how many vegan stores Madrid has, it makes me endlessly happy. So that's all the places I've been to. I wish I had taken more photographs to show you guys the food but instead you can click on the names of the places and go to their websites to check them out.
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