Eating Out

© Michelle Chaplow Spanish Tortilla - the perfect vegetarian tapa
Spanish Tortilla (orTortilla de patata) is the perfect vegetarian tapa

Eating out in Spain as a Vegetarian

Trying to order a vegetarian meal in a Spanish restaurant can be a challenge - just explaining to your bemused waiter you don’t want any dishes containing meat or fish can be problematical. Some good phrases to learn are: No como ni carne ni pescado (I don’t eat meat or fish), and ¿Esto lleva carne o pescado? (Does this have meat or fish in it?).

Tapas are easier than full meals, with a few vegetarian or vegan dishes (see below) usually available at affordable prices. Cities and places which attract foreigners have more varied options for vegetarians. In Andalucia, Granada and Sevilla are particularly good for non-meat tapas, with some bars in Granada even serving up tapas veganas (vegan tapas).



Veggie-friendly tapas include:

Berenjenas con miel (fried aubergine with honey)
Tortilla de patata/pimientos (potato/potato and pepper omelette)
Gazpacho/salmorejo (refreshing, cold tomato-based soups)
Croquetas de queso/patata (cheese/potato croquettes)
Champiñones/setas (mushrooms/oyster mushrooms fried in garlic)
Montaditos (small rolls with filling of your choice, eg cheese or omelette)
Pisto (ratatouille)
Huevos de cordorniz (boiled quails' eggs served with mayonnaise)
Patatas bravas (fried potato served with a spicy tomato sauce and mayonnaise)
Ensalada mixta (mixed salad - watch out for tuna and crab sticks)
Espinacas con garbanzos (spinach with chickpeas)

Wild mushrooms are a vegetarian-friendly dish in Spanish restaurants

Note that some apparently veggie dishes, like salmorejo, are served with a ham garnish, so remember to ask for it “sin jamon” (without ham).

One option is to opt for non-Spanish cuisine. Italian restaurants - or at least Spanish restaurants selling Italian food - are common, and are great for non-meaty pizza and pasta dishes. Kebab shops too can nearly always do you a falafels, often served as a tasty burrito (wrap) with salad and a garlicky sauce.

Want more? Read on, for tips about eating in as a vegetarian and buying fresh produce.

See and Do