There’s no need to eat ham to go H.A.M. in Madrid. This may come as a shock to most, but there’s plenty of inventive, diverse, and affordable plant-based eats in the city, including some all-vegan restaurants. In other European cities, finding all-vegan restaurants can be tricky—but here, they’re abundant and span cuisines far beyond the typical healthy macro-bowl.
This is the perfect affordable brunch spot near the Príncipe Pío Mountain lookout and just 10 minutes from the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo. The best thing about Chillin’ Cafe is that it opens at 9 a.m.— rare considering most restaurants in Madrid don’t typically open until 1 p.m. The most-hyped item appears to be the fluffy vegan pancakes with fruit, so test them out to see what all the buzz is about.
If you’re looking for a casual lunch spot with a charming vibe, stop by Distrito Vegano for some vegan croquetas, hot dogs, and burgers. It’s a small restaurant just a short walk away from the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. As a Chilean, I had to try their Chilean-style hot dog, a completo, which is a standard hot dog topped with avocado mash, tomato, mayo, and mustard. It really took me back to my childhood days, so if you like avocado, you won’t regret trying this. I also recommend getting an order (or two) of the croquetas. They’re hot, fried, and savory, and it can be difficult to find this type of cuisine in the US.
A good place for a late night meal, Empatia Rincon Vegano serves vegan versions of Spanish classics. It’s common to run into vegan versions of American food like burgers, pizza, pasta, but it’s so much harder to find specific cuisines, which is why this spot is worth a stop, even though the portions are a bit on the smaller side. You can get vegan empanadas, patatas revolconas (mashed potatoes), and a lentil shepherd’s pie-esque plate while staring at framed photos of adoptable Spanish pups that will make your heart ache.
This isn’t an all-vegan spot, but a long-standing and very busy churerria that has vegan churros and a dark chocolate dip! Most churros you’ll come across in Spain are likely to be vegan by coincidence, but it’s rare to come by vegan-friendly chocolate, which makes Los Artesanos worth seeking out. A heads up: The churros aren’t pre-dipped, so order as many plain made-to-order churros as you’d like with a cup of dark chocolate to share!
If you’re looking for a healthy menu full of organic homemade vegan food with gluten-free options, then head to Vega. It’s just a 13 minute walk from the impressive Royal Palace of Madrid and has an innovative vegan menu including items like a “burrata” tapa, a black rice and “squid” entree, and a delicious panna cotta dessert. It features a more plant-based menu as opposed to serving common vegan processed foods (faux meat, fauxmage, etc.), so definitely snag a reservation to Vega when you’re tired of eating burgers and pizza.