UPDATE 2018: PLANT GRILL HAS CLOSED. For more (tons) of vegan recommendations in Madrid, please see any of our guides:
- Ultimate Vegan Guide to Madrid
- Vegan Tapas Madrid Guide
- Best Vegan Menus del Dia in Madrid
- Madrid Vegan Guidebook
LEAVING THE REST OF THIS POST HERE FOR POSTERITY!
This is the first in our series of vegan restaurant profiles, focusing on the newest vegan eateries. First up: Plant Grill.
This new spot literally opened a couple of weeks ago, and we couldn’t be more thrilled that Madrid continues to vegansplode. If you’re looking for a Spanish food that offers traditional items with a twist and some altogether unconventional recipes, come right in (they have jackfruit).
Located in the Center of the center. Plant Grill sits between Puerta del Sol and Plaza Santa Ana on Calle Nuñez, right smack in el barrio Las Letras. This is the first all-vegan spot in this area, which is easily accessible to those doing a quick visit of Madrid and planning most of their tourism around the center.
First off, Plant Grill has a great interior and ambiance. Lots of fresh colors, like greens and blues, to get your stomach brain firing neurons to activate hunger. The seating layout is a few high tables, a communal table in the middle, some booth seats along the wall, and a sole table facing an open window and street. The last one we nabbed for our first visit – a nice view for people watching.
Plant Grill also has an open air kitchen which is not typical. The staff was super friendly and the cooks looked friendly too – from across the restaurant.
Of course, they offer a menú del día, Monday through Friday, as well as tapas and individual plates. We first came for the menú last Tuesday and came away very impressed.
Menú del Día at Plant Grill
Keep in mind that the very nature of a menú del día means that the plates change daily (although restaurants frequently may offer the same ones). Here’s what we enjoyed for our menu, which for 11,90 included a first plate, second plate, bread, dessert, and a drink.
Everything has a light, crisp, freshness. The veggies are on point. Nothing is overcooked or overly salty. Everything was still very filling and well portioned. With the hot Madrid weather in full force, this is a great spot for light but satisfying fare. Also, this is the first time we have had tempeh this good here. In general, Madrid has yet to nail down the faux meats, but this was the best grilled tempeh we’ve had yet. Juicy and savory, a la brasa (grilled). They also have a bbq jackfruit (!), which leads to our tapas experience.
Tapas at Plant Grill
The following Saturday (yesterday), with our official Spanish vegan critic, we paid a tapas visit. While they have more common items like patatas bravas, we opted for the server’s recommendations. We went all out and ordered two appetizers, three main plates, two desserts, and had a couple of glasses of wine each, all which came to 57 euros (total, for three people).
For fresh, homemade and innovative cuisine, the price points are great and well worth it. Plant Grill is a nice restaurant that’d be perfect for a date night, not a place for cheap bar food that you want to shovel in your mouth during a night of drinking (like B13). You could easily go here and order less than we did to keep prices down.
To start, we got beet avocado tartar that goes better with bread (ask for some), which we all were very impressed with (even Sam, who doesn’t normally like beets). The polenta fingers were good, but better with the sauce. Then we split the shitakes a la brasa, the Caprese sandwich, and the jackfruit sandwich. All delicious, with side sauces – not a typical Spanish touch when it comes to sandwiches. The food had a decadent quality, but without feeling drowned in oiliness or deep friedness.
Both the desserts were delicious but the brownie (on la carta was listed as “coulant”) was incredible, super soft and rich – opt to pair with the vanilla ice cream.
We can wholeheartedly recommend the menú del día and tapas at Plant Grill, which are of course best enjoyed with some company (and so you can try many plates). Overall, the food at Plant Grill impressed us and we can confidently say they are giving the competition a run for their money. Even our friend Juan decided that he will take his (non-vegan, Spanish) parents out here sometime.
Madrid Vegan Tapas Guide
Have you been to Plant Grill or a restaurant like it? Restaurant reviews are a new arena for us – do you like reading them? Anything we left out? Let us know in the comments!