My Local Eats: Madrid (Vegetarian Edition!)

Hi! Welcome to My Local Eats, a guest post series in which foodies from around the globe share their favorite local places to eat and drink.

Today’s guest post comes from Sam, a Madrid-based blogger who writes over at Indefinite Adventure. Check out his vegetarian picks on what to eat in Madrid!

In 2012, I lived in a small city in the west of Spain for three months teaching English. I’d been to Madrid once before that (to visit my partner’s sister who was studying there), but I didn’t really know the city that well. However, during my time living in Spain, I visited the capital a couple of times, often on the look out for good food.

Then, at the end of November last year, I passed through Madrid again on my way back from 10 months in South America with my partner (we thought stopping in the Spanish capital for a couple of days would mitigate the potential reverse culture shock of our reintroduction to Europe, but we were wrong, though that’s another story) and between these couple of visits, I think I may have uncovered the best possible day of food in the city for vegetarian-almost-vegans like me.

So for a day of tasty, balanced and (mostly) healthy food in Madrid, here are my top recommendations.

 

Breakfast at Chocolatería San Ginés

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sangines_churros

Spaniards don’t really do breakfast at home, instead opting for a cup of coffee or perhaps a cup of warm milk, then at around 10am, they might have a short break from work to eat something slightly more substantial, maybe toast with pulped tomato and ham drizzled with olive oil.

But since we’re treating ourselves, let’s go for something a little more decadent: churros (or porras) con chocolate at one of the oldest establishments serving this typically madrileño treat, Chocolatería San Ginés that’s been open since 1894.

Although rather rich and fatty, this dish is normally completely vegan, consisting of deep-fried dough rings that you dip in a chocolate sauce usually made with water rather than milk.

Website: 

Location

Chocolateria San Gines Address: Pasadizo de San Ginés Telephone: 91 365 6546 Metro: Opera Open: 24 hours a day, every day

 

Lunch at La Biotika

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All over Spain, you’ll find restaurants offering up a menú del día; a set lunch menu including a starter, main, dessert and drink for somewhere between €8 and €12 between 1pm and 4pm, give or take.

At La Biotika, all the soups, salads and mains are completely vegan, and desserts include a few diary-containing options, all of which are fresh and tasty, well presented and filling. On weekdays, the standard lunch menu with soup, salad, main, desert and drink will set you back €10.90.

I like the food here because it’s filling without being heavy, and inventive (as good vegan food should be) without just being weird.

Location:

Website: La Biotika Address: Calle Amor de Dios, 3 Telephone: 91 429 07 80 Metro: Antón Martín Open: 10am – 12am every day

 

Afternoon snack at La Mallorquina

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I don’t know about you, but I always need an afternoon snack, and especially in Spain where it isn’t usual to eat dinner until 8 or 9pm at the earliest. For something sweet, creamy and generally lovely, I recommend La Mallorquina, a bakery at Puerta del Sol, the city’s main modern square.

Some of what they offer changes with the seasons, but there are always delicious pastries, in particular I recommend the napolitana, a cream-filled pastry covered in icing sugar. It looks pretty simple, but a freshly baked one is really quite exquisite.

Location:

 Pasteleria Mallorquina Address: Calle Mayor 2 Telephone: 91 521 12 01 Metro: Puerta del Sol Open: 9am – 9.15pm every day

 

Dinner at Abona Vida

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After all that eating, you probably wouldn’t think much about what to eat for dinner, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll need to eat something before hitting the town or going to bed, so I suggest Abona Vida for a light snack.

Since this place is also an organic shop, you can pick up some tasty snacks for the next day, or your journey onwards from Madrid while you enjoy the laid-back atmosphere.

The menu is mostly vegan, though there are some egg-containing dishes, such as the quiche, but there are also options for dairy-free hot drinks, using instead almond milk, which is quite lovely. The staff are also super friendly.

Location:

A Bona Vida Address: Calle Navas de Tolosa, 3 Telephone: 91 522 98 60 Metro: Callao Open: 11am – 10pm every day (later at weekends)
Sam is a sometimes-EFL teacher, wannabe-minimalist, language geek who is trying to make it as a digital nomad with his partner, Zab. You can follow them on their blog Indefinite Adventure where they chronicle their journey, write about the places they visit, the food they eat (preferably vegetarian, organic and locally produced) and the people they meet. Connect with Sam via his blog, Indefinite Adventure, or on Facebook, Twitter of Foursquare.
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Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel blogger and freelance writer who moved to Paris at 21, traveled the world for a year and now lives in Denver. She's usually in pursuit of skiing, languages and perfectly ripe cheese. Her writing has been featured in National Geographic, Viator and Jetstar Australia.
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6 Comments

  1. I love vegetables and we eat a lot of them, but I still like the fish which we eat a lot of , and some pork and some beef, but we have small servings of both..
    In Ann Arbor there are two very cosmopolitan restaurants that we love–one
    is the Gandy Dancer near the U of M hospital, and the other is Gratzi’s,, downtown Ann Arbor. The lobster bisque at Gandy Dancers is divine. Just in case someone is in America in the midwest. Love, Gamma

    Reply
  2. I’ve heard Spain is really where a lot of culinary treasures are.

    French and Italian food get a lot of press and have a bigger international reputation. Yet, I’ve heard a few chefs say Spain is really the gem of western Europe.
    Shaun recently posted..MIG-29 Flight Part 2 – ManoeuvresMy Profile

    Reply

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