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Ultimate Vegan Guide to Madrid

written by Veren Ferrera June 30, 2020
Ultimate Vegan Guide to Madrid

When we first wrote this guide years ago, there was hardly anything written about the vegan Madrid scene online (in English) for visitors of the city.

Since then the Madrid vegan scene has exploded and continues to erupt like the plant-based volcano it is. Nowadays there are so many places opening it’s hard to keep track of them all. If you ever heard a naysayer joke about the impossibility of being vegan in Spain, they’ve clearly never have been to the Spanish capital.

We’re here to set the record straight!

Vegan Madrid has 42 all-vegan establishments, including over 30 vegan restaurants in Madrid along with six bakeries/smoothie/juice spots and three vegan grocery stores, which puts it in the top 10 most vegan-friendly cities in Europe!

Let that sink in for a minute.

Most people think that in the land of jamón (Spanish cured ham) vegan options will be few and far between, but that’s just not true in the Spanish capital.

We love the vegan food scene in Madrid, and it’s one of our favorites (and we’ve been to all the more famously vegan-friendly cities: NYC, Berlin, Portland, London, and more).

In this guide, let our years of experience navigating vegan Madrid help you find the best vegan food to try on your visit. Rest assured, this is for vegans and vegan-curious, written by actual vegans.

In fact, we have so much to say about vegan Madrid that we’ve even written a guidebook!

We used to cover every single vegan restaurant in Madrid in this ultimate guide, but with over 40 vegan places and many more with vegan options, the post became way too massive and hard to navigate.

While we will share a lot of info in this post (over 9K words), our guidebook takes a much deeper dive into the details, tips for eating out in Spain (it’s not like eating out in the U.S. or U.K.), the absolute best dishes (including for special considerations – raw, gluten free, dog-friendly restaurants, and more), where to eat each traditional Spanish dish – veganized, neighborhood guides, alternative sights to see in Madrid, and much more.

Click here to Learn More about The Alternative Travelers’ Madrid Vegan Guidebook

Menu del dia at Vega, Madrid, Spain

However, if a guidebook is too big a bite for you right now, have a taste of the detailed thoroughness we put into our online guides.

In this ultimate vegan guide to Madrid, we include the most popular and frequented of the 40+ vegan restaurants of Madrid, vegan bakeries, the best vegetarian restaurants in Madrid, and places with notable vegan options; all near the center where visitors are likely to be traversing. We give our general impressions and the best dishes the place has to offer to optimize your time. 

If you want to dive deeper into the food scene here, check out our two separate guides on vegan menú del días (a weekday lunch special) in Madrid and vegan tapas (small dinner plates) in Madrid.

Tips for Eating Out in Spain

Keep in mind Spanish mealtime hours:

  • lunch is from 1 – 4 pm
  • dinner/tapas between 8 – 11 pm (sometimes on weekends places will serve until midnight)

You (usually) won’t be able to order a true meal in between (grab and go options will still be available). 

Eating at vegan restaurants in Madrid may take more time planning than you’re used to but it’s well worth it.

Also, the Spanish do not like spicy hot dishes – that’s Mexico and other Latin American countries you’re thinking of. If it’s labeled picante (spicy), it may be bold in some flavor, but hardly spicy to our American standards (and we’re not that into spicy). The only exception is if the proprietors aren’t Spanish, like the great Peruvian vegan restaurant we will mention below.

For even more tips…

Click Here for Our Top Ten Tips for Eating Vegan in Spain.

Price Guide: Compared to NYC (or eating out in the U.S. in general), Madrid is crazy cheap.

A person can eat and drink for:
€ = 10 and under
€€ = 15 and under
€€€ = 15 and up

Without further ado, let the guiding commence!

100% Vegan Restaurants in Madrid

There are over forty vegan restaurants in Madrid and six fully vegan bakeries according to HappyCow. Basically the vegan Yelp, we use it whenever we travel and to keep up to date on listings. However, it’s always a bit difficult to gauge review reliability because not everyone has the same expectations for eating out.

For us, going out to eat means at least two things: at least a little indulgent (but not just relying on fried greasiness) and something that we can’t make better ourselves. Creativity is a big plus. It’s important to understand where we come from as vegans. Healthy food, like smoothies and salads we eat at home. Hence, we don’t go out to eat salads and smoothies. We want to indulge when we go out.

Read more: A Food Philosophy of (Vegan) Eating, Inspired by Totum Bistro

Generally speaking, Spanish establishments tend to serve rich, deliciously indulgent food. Even salads will have generous amounts of dressing. Avoiding oil and processed foods is not impossible but if that’s your goal, you must be scrupulous. If you see burgers and hot dogs on a vegan menu, expect something that emulates the original – processed and fatty – unless otherwise noted.

The following are vegan restaurants in Madrid near the center, in alphabetical order. This used to be an exhaustive list, but Madrid’s vegan scene has gotten too big – imagine if we included write-ups of 40 restaurants in one post! Here, we focus on the most popular and noteworthy spots. For a truly comprehensive guide to Madrid’s vegan scene, grab the Madrid Vegan Guidebook.

Avocado Love €€

Want avocado in every dish by default? They don’t skimp on the Avocado’d Love here. Trendy and novel, it’s in the superficial heart of the hip Malasaña neighborhood. If you’re looking for something other than traditional Spanish foods, this might be your jam. There are lots of people who rave about this place. So here we present our honest, not paid for, review.

Avocado Love is aiming for a particular audience: Instagrammers who require lots of gimmicky presentation in a restaurant experience to feel it worthy of photographing. Perfect for people who could care less about good food and instead get their kicks via “Instagrammable” presentation, obsequious service, and dishes like Jack Daniel’s soaked avocados.

So can we recommend Avocado Love? This is a hard one, as it wasn’t bad food. Just food we would never bring any visitors to Spain to try as it exemplifies nothing of great Spanish cuisine made vegan.

We had grilled avocado with Jack Daniels, a strongly recommended dish, and the Avocado Love official burger. The avocado was stuffed with lightly seasoned veggie mince, and the veggie burger was bland and crumbly, despite claiming a description of several dressings and toppings.

We left unimpressed and still a bit hungry. The portions are damn small, even by Spanish standards. There is also a disproportionate amount of English reviews online. Note to the wise: if it says “hosted stay,” it’s another way of saying they were given free food to write a glowingly vapid, substanceless review because they’re an “influencer.”

We ranted more about this phenomenon (and gave some tips for having a great vegan food experience while traveling) in our podcast episode: Vegan Travel 101.

But hey, you just might like this place.

B13 Bar

Traditional Spanish bar food made vegan: starchy, bready, lots of olive oil, and lots of veggie mock meats.

This is a first-come, first-served casual restaurant – those quickest to order their food, win. Very, very popular with locals and tourists alike. We frequently bring out-of-towners here and everyone always loves it – omnivores included. Food is rich, has the usual generous amounts of Spanish olive oil and chunks of starchy carb goodness.

Everything exemplifies the Spanish staples, with no fancy flourishes or ingredients – just the basics done exceptionally well and veganized. While they have salads on the menu, don’t come here to have a salad and embarrass yourself.

CAN’T MISS: the tortilla (Spanish potato omelet), the estilo pollo (faux chicken) and linda (faux beef) burgers, patatas bravas with both sauces, the calamari and chorizo bocadillos (sub sandwiches).

Notes: Cash only. No reservations. No menú del día. Gets crowded. Get there before it opens and expect a line.

Bite Me Café

Wander down to our old neighborhood of Legazpi and stop by this cozy little coffee shop that makes great vegan donuts and top-notch espresso drinks. They don’t outright advertise that it’s all vegan; they’re just that confident in the quality on offer.

The owners, a Canadian and Spanish duo, started out making donuts in their own kitchen. Due to popular demand, they opened up shop. They make everything from scratch, which isn’t surprising when you consider how damn delicious these donuts are. Soft, doughy, and usually simply flavored (which we like, as donuts with flavor names 5 words long are a bit too much). They also offer smaller mini donuts in case you want several flavors and can’t fit several regular-sized donuts down your gullet.

CAN’T MISS: the coffee and the donuts, duh. Especially the creme brulee glazed, but non-vegans we know profess a love for the cream or jelly-filled donuts.

Bite Me donut box

Bombon

This specialty cafe off of Calle Pez is a chocolate lover’s dream. They’re clearly obsessed with chocolate here!

Tons of bars of specialty chocolate are proudly on display, along with very chocolatey desserts. The owners are super friendly and love striking up a conversation if they’re not too busy with service. 

The interior is super cute, with old school cafe vibes. A perfect spot to indulge in a decadent dessert.

CAN’T MISS: the tarta de chocolate y crema de cacahuete (basically a chocolate peanut butter cup with a crust) with hazelnut ice cream. It’s intensely rich in chocolate flavor, thick, almost hard to cut with a fork, on a crispy, crunchy crust bottom. The hazelnut ice cream isn’t necessary, but damn does it pair well with its light creaminess.

Note: They also serve churros (except July and August).

Bunny’s Deli €€€

An ex-pat couple runs this chic nontraditional establishment with incredibly artisan-made food. They have unparalleled transparency in their methods and ingredients (open kitchen, open storage). Everything is made in-house and is comida ecólogica (organic) so expect an appropriate markup. 

We’ve been here many times and it’s always consistently excellent. Fresh crunchy veggies, moist muffins – what’s not to like?

CAN’T MISS: We had one of the best muffins ever here and it was gluten free! Great seasonal dishes like pumpkin pie.  Definitely don’t miss dessert! They also make great salads here. The dressing is homemade and from scratch, while the greens and veggies are all organic, fresh, crunchy and bursting with flavor.

Notes:  No reservations and bistro seating – you sort of sit wherever there’s space for a plate. All organic.

Chilling Café

Chilling Cafe was the first vegan cafe in Madrid! In our book, it’s still the reigning champ and our choice for best vegan coffee shop in Madrid. The owner couple is still stylishly slinging skillfully created coffee drinks while exuding the chillness that truly lives up to the name of the place. We’re big fans and regulars here.

Chillin Cafe expects you to stay awhile – as the name suggests. Soak in the super cool interior of recycled materials, friendly owners, super chill music, and an overall relaxing vibe.  Offers brunch every day and a menú del día. The owners make beautiful plant milk coffee art. Who says you need moo juice to do make pretty espresso beverages? Not us nor them.

When it comes to food, they’re always offering a fun mix of East Asian and Spanish food. Also try the desserts! Many are supplied locally, like nearby Freedom Cakes, but the amazingly moist pan de platano (chocolate banana bread) is housemade.

CAN’T MISS: the coffee, brunch, baos (a small Chinese style sandwich made of steamed bread).

Notes: It’s a cafe, so it’s not open past 8pm (or 10 pm on weekends). 

Cookaluzka €€

Venezuelan-run bar and restaurant offering all-vegan lunch and dinner, a bit out of the center for most visitors. The stoic vegan owner perfectly embodies the calm and collected interior. We personally find the food a bit under portioned and too greasy, but lots of people rave about their food.

It’s also off-center, in an area where you won’t likely find yourself during your Madrid adventures, unless you’re catching the bus to Mejorada del Campo to visit the quirky cathedral built by one man.

Crucina €€€ 

This is one of two top tier/upscale vegan restaurants (the other being Level Veggie Bistro). The food is incredible, and definitely worth it. While this can easily cost you three times as much as the rest on our guide, an experience like this in New York City (where we’re from) would be at least four times the cost of this place.

Come for an upscale raw gourmet vegan fine dining experience, but especially for a special occasion.

CAN’T MISS: the raw lasagna!

Delish Vegan Doughnuts €  

Artisan, fluffly yeast-risen donuts with an assortment of fillings and frostings that are so damn delicious, you’ll wonder why all donuts aren’t vegan already.

As we proclaimed our love for these donuts, the owner overheard and said, “Wow, that’s saying something as you’re from New York! Thank you!”

We know our donuts and these are perfection. What makes them stand out is their size and sheer soft fluffiness. Expect an assortment of icings and toppings that align with the seasons. These are several steps above the donuts in any old Spanish pastry shop, so expect an appropriate markup. It has become insanely popular so check their Instagram to make sure they haven’t sold out (happens quite often).

CAN’T MISS: any of their donuts, of course. While I love their elevated take on the classic glaze with added vanilla bean and sea salt, Sam loves the Snicker with peanut buttercream filling and chocolate icing. A big surprise favorite is the savory cream cheese and scallion aptly named Brunch donut. Pair your donuts with a specialty coffee, tea or other seasonal homemade drinks!

Note: Small – not a lot of seating – gets crowded.

Dolce y Vegana

Tucked away right outside the neighborhood of La Latina sits this precious Italian run mini-cafe. Expect to find top-notch imported Italian goodies such as pastries and savory bites. There are even biodegradable/compostable cutlery and plates/cups! The gregarious owner is from Italy and has lived in Madrid for over 12 years.

They also offer sorbet: mango, coconut, and melón were the winners for us. The cafe is located a short walk west of La Latina, but then you’re that much closer to the Rio Manzanares, which we recommend strolling along with an ice cream in hand.

CAN’T MISS: the strudel, the croissant, the Italian Espresso.

Distrito Vegano €€

The Chilean family behind this place are the intrepid early pioneers of the vegan comfort food scene in Madrid. If you’ve been following our vegan Madrid guides, you’d guess correctly that this is one of our favorite spots.

A super friendly and chill family-run bar-restaurant with a plato del día (plate of the day), tapas, rotating desserts, burgers, a selection of craft beers and wine, and gluten free options.

Everything is made from scratch and they’re at the leading edge of creative, indulgent vegan food in Madrid. They’ve won first place in the popular vote for best tapa in the annual tapas festival Tapapies more than once. And this wasn’t even a vegan festival!

They are always trying new things, and we can’t imagine how one goes wrong here. We also admire their integrity as being staunchly against “hosted stays”, as they have plenty of bloggers who love supporting their business by paying for their meal (like us).

Just know this is indulgent food – the nachos and hot dogs are not kale chips and carrot dogs. We mentioned this because one of the few negative reviews of the place complained their hot dog was “oily”. (News flash: hot dogs are not meant to be healthy. Get a salad if that’s your objective).

In our not-so-humble opinions, they have the best vegan tortilla in Madrid too. Read our article on Green Living Spain on where else to find great vegan tortilla in Madrid!

Currently, they’re putting out dishes using Huera Faux meats, which we highly recommend trying. (Huera is a Barcelona-based company that makes some seriously realistic vegan chicken.)

CAN’T MISS: their award-winning croquetas, their cakes, and their Saturday only tortilla. Also they are the only spot in Madrid with legit vegan Mexican nachos. We bring every visiting friend here, vegan or not, and they’re always impressed.

Note: Small space and always packed – make reservations online.

Empatía Rincón Vegano €

A very local spot run by a shy but sweet couple in our old neighborhood of Delicias, the southeast edge of the Madrid center. It’s really close to Atocha train station if you want to hang somewhere before catching a train!

Everything is homemade and low key. It feels just like homemade Spanish cooking, except made vegan. Expect to see satisfied omnivore locals curiously asking about what exactly their meatballs were made of.

CAN’T MISS: the excellent albóndigas (meatballs). They are made of rice and lentils, plus something else, creating a surprisingly meaty texture. These are then doused in a fantastic homemade sweet tomato sauce. In our opinion, the best homemade vegan meatballs in Madrid! Also, a great spot to try a plate of authentic vegan paella in Madrid.

Freedom Cakes €

This dessert spot offers an impressive display of beautifully frosted and layered cakes. There’s a flavor for everyone here. This would be impressive on its own but of course, they also offer traditional Spanish style cake called bizcocho (Spanish sponge cake that isn’t layered nor frosted) and cookies as well.

If you just love layered cakes, you’ll go gaga for these. This isn’t a fav spot for us but that’s because layer cakes aren’t really a novelty for us like they are in Spain. Cake lovers should not miss this place though!

CAN’T MISS: chocolate lovers – go for the Muerte por Chocolate (Death by Chocolate), though there are a TON of flavors and combos, like passion fruit and lavender.

Note: open late!

Hakuna Matata Veggie €€

This excellent addition to Madrid used to reside in the northern neighborhood of Tetuán, but in 2020 they moved to Chamberi, much closer to central Madrid. They have a weekly menú del día on weekdays, and tapas every day. It’s hard to go wrong here – we love it all.

CAN’T MISS: the tiramisu and escalope!

For a more detailed review, check out our Best Vegan Tapas guide in Madrid, as it’s included amongst many others!

La Colectiva Cafe

Specialty coffee shop with quiches (pumpkin or spinach based) and a display case filled with creative and traditional homemade desserts. A quiet place for getting some work done as they have an additional basement space expressly for that purpose.

We used to enthusiastically recommend this place, but as of late, the barista/owner has been rude and condescending to us, friends, readers, and just people in general. This has been especially disappointing for us as we were regulars here (we’ve lost count of visits), and even this didn’t save us. Several of our friends have reported similar experiences. While we know that Americans are notorious for complaining about any service that doesn’t dote on them, that’s just not us! It’s a shame because we really loved the food and the place. But we don’t want to spend time anywhere where we feel uncomfortable, especially not when there are so many other amazing places in Madrid.

CAN’T MISS: the pumpkin quiche, pumpkin chocolate brownie, the fatay (a savory stuffed Lebanese flatbread) and the lemon meringue. They have really great desserts, and I haven’t had a vegan lemon meringue pie this good since, unfortunately.

Notes: It seems like they do not take U.S. credit cards anymore (citing a 30 cents upcharge for them), so don’t plan on using your travel credit card here.

La Encomienda €€

An all comida ecólogica (organic food) vegan spot that uses lots of raw and gluten free ingredients. They have a menú del dia and tapas, though for us, we always go for the lunch menu instead of the tapas, which are delicious but consistently too small for the price.

Great cozy-chic interior and friendly staff. The vibe is a big plus here, and many like coming here for tapas. They have a super stocked bar with many local craft beers (not common in Madrid), vermouth on tap, and carrot wine!

Their strong suit is preparing veggies; whether they’re sauteed, mixed with greens or over grains, roasted, or grilled.

If you want to feel super cool and stylish while you sip on organic wine and eat stuffed mushrooms, come on over.

CAN’T MISS: the menú del día, as it’s such a good match of price and portion.

Note: accepts reservations, but the interior is spacious and walk-ins are very possible. All organic ingredients.

La Oveja Negra € Gluten free options

Unabashedly unapologetic feminist dive bar and restaurant with a selection of cheap bar food. Vaginas adorn the walls and there’s even a feminist board game.

It’s really all about the scene here! Pop in for a drink or coffee and to hang out, but we wouldn’t recommend coming here for food over our favorite spots. Has one of the cheapest menú del díá, though it’s not always a win. Be wary of faux meats here (don’t get the rubbery seitan). If you hail from a well known vegan scene, you’ll likely be unimpressed by the food.

CAN’T MISS: the merienda (snack) deal Monday through Thursday, 5-8 pm: Buy a coffee/tea/smoothie and get a slice of chocolate mousse cake for a euro!

Notes: Gets packed at night and weekends quickly  – come early for a spot.

La Tia Carlota €€,

This spot is the sister restaurant to our favorite Distrito Vegano. It’s even more internationally themed, with Spanish foods only represented in a couple of dishes, while the rest span several continents. After being such diehard regulars of their first restaurant endeavor, we had the honor of being invited to try their entire menu at opening, and there wasn’t a dish we didn’t love. For full details, like how I ate everyone’s leftovers, click here for the full restaurant review.

CAN’T MISS: standouts are the tuna tartar, and cheese fondue for 2 – 3 persons, and salmorejo, a traditional Southern Spanish cold creamy soup made of blended fresh tomatoes, bread, and olive oil.

Level Veggie Bistro €€€

Upscale vegan food in a fine dining atmosphere, across from Retiro Park. Lots of raw gourmet food but with cooked dishes as well. We came here to celebrate our anniversary and it did not disappoint. All the desserts are raw, but they do serve excellent coffee and tea.

CAN’T MISS: the lasagna, sushi, and black and white chocolate raw pie. Their café con leche de avellena (coffee with hazelnut milk) is superb.

Notes: Expensive but delicious. Expect to pay more than twice your usual Spanish meal. Accepts reservations. No menú del día.

La Alpargata €

Reopened in Sept 2019 and is now all vegan! It’s one of our favorite spots to hang out and people watch and give visiting friends a chance to experience the bustling indoor market scene in Spain.

Inside the Mercado San Fernando this inconspicuously tiny spot offers a recently 100% vegan menu (though it used to be like 95% vegan to be fair)! Come here to experience the local community scene where everyone grabs tapas and finds seats. Merriment abounds.

CAN’T MISS: their lasaña and tostas (large bread slices with a variety of toppings)

Note:  Tiny, has a couple high tables, essentially just a deli counter. Open Wednesday – Sunday, but weekend nights are the best time to go as the market is bustling with night life.

Landareak €€

Chef-proprietor Julian is making some of the best vegan food in Madrid. With his extensive chef training from Barcelona, he provides upscale food sensibility minus the pretension and price, in a small, intimate bistro atmosphere where the man himself serves you. His gregarious nature is such a huge part of the experience that we strongly suggest you reserve a meal rather than pop in for takeaway. This is a must-try-can’t-miss spot in Madrid.

There’s just too much to say, so check out our extensive restaurant profile for more info.

CAN’T MISS: everything. We’re not kidding. His most famous dessert, the tarta de queso (cheesecake), blows everyone’s minds, omnivores included. He’s gradually developing a cult following amongst diehard vegan foodies.

Los Andenes Vegan €€

This is Peruvian comfort food made vegan. They have all the staples: papas a la huancaína, lomo saltado, ají de gallina, papa rellena, chifa (Peruvian Chinese food).

Expect lots of fried food with sides of mayo. Most dishes come with a side of homemade hot sauce because Peruvians like their food spicy.

A distinct flavor and seasoning in their food comes from the ají amarillo, a regional yellow pepper that’s slightly spicy, and makes everything bright yellow. Then there’s lots of potatoes, as this tuber originates in the Andes.

Peruvians enjoy dozens of varieties of potatoes the rest of the world has never heard of. So potato, along with ají amarillo, and mayo, is heavily featured in Peruvian foods.

It’s worth noting what a rarity this place is. How often do you find authentic ethnic vegan food outside its own country? If you have an extended stay in Madrid or the concept sounds like a can’t-miss, you will be amply rewarded for your trek outside the center.

CAN’T MISS: all the aforementioned dishes plus the perfectly fried “fish” filets called jalea pescado and a dessert of chocolate sauce covered brownie with hazelnut ice cream called muerte por chocolate (death by chocolate).

los andenes, a vegan restaurant in Madrid, spain
Jalea pescado

Mad Mad Vegan  €

This place has been such a hit, that they’ve moved from their starting location in the Mercado de San Isidro to a much bigger location.

It’s fast comfort food made vegan, with lots of sauces. So think loaded fries and hamburgers. What’s particularly impressive is their use of textured soy protein. The Yaya fries had this super savory, chewy sliced steak topping that was DAMN GOOD. Actually, it’s all damn good. If you’re looking for some seriously delicious burgers and fries, don’t miss Mad Mad Vegan.

CAN’T MISS: the Mad Original burger, and Yaya Fries.

Masa Madre €€

Vegan pizza restaurant with a invitingly decorated wood-paneled interior with extra space tucked in the back. One of their claims to fame? The only vegan pizza spot that makes its own cheese. And everything is palm oil free, which is great! Unfortunately, they’re a bit pricey for what you get and the quality is wildy inconsistent, as attested by both our many visits, and other reviews.

We’ve been quite a few times, with experiences ranging from mediocre to bad. The food just felt tired, sloppy, and stingy. A mushy veggie burger, a pizza advertised to have fresh basil but was topped with fresh basil stems…not leaves. (I dare you find any basil leaves in the photo below).

It’s a shame because their pizza dough tastes fresh and doughy, and the homemade cheese is melty, gooey, and oily like actual cheese (many report the cheese has changed though).

If you’re craving pizza in Madrid, we implore you to try Pixxi and Dixie instead (see below review).

Mona Pinkerton

A bar that offers some table service, and lots of cocktails. Very green-themed and flashy. This spot attracts a very local clientele despite it’s close proximity to Puerta de Sol. In general, they give free tapas with drinks – one of the few places that still do. This is a great spot to pop into after visiting El Rastro if you’re looking for something less touristy.

CAN’T MISS: tapas of veggie paella on Sundays – free with a drink. The veggie paella is legit, and probably the only real deal vegan paella you’ll find right smack in the center.

mona pinkerton - tapa of paella

Pizzi & Dixie €€

The main reason to go to Pixxi and Dixie is the pizza and fresh pasta, which are the stars of the show here. They focus on vegan Italian dishes, like pizza, pasta, and massive calzones. A large space with plenty of seating – can easily accommodate large parties.

The pizza has great chewy and crispy dough with mellow tomato sauce, and they’re continually improving their use of the store-bought cheese. Fresh pasta that is vegan is also pretty rare too. (Though word to the wise: Stick with the simple sauces, as anything abundant in adjectives has disappointed me, like a creamy sauce not being creamy at all.)

CAN’T MISS: The pizza of course! Order it off the regular menu or for the pizza menú del día and the menú del día (which is often a pasta dish).

Pizzi and Dixie pizza

Pura Vida Vegan Bar €€

A vegan chic bar with extra seating downstairs. This is another mixed reviews kinda place – some people rave while others say pass. After eating here several times, we’re in the latter category. We find their pizzas quite bland and other dishes a bit strange (don’t order the nachos). They do make some solid croquetas though at fair prices.

Come for the earthy yet trendy ambiance, drinks, and their accompanying tapas. We can’t recommend the raciónes (sharing plates) as we were disappointed every time.

Notes: Has a separate downstairs space for reserved tables.

Thunder Vegan Food

This is very American inspired fast-food fare, except it’s handmade by a very handsome Spanish couple. We love their streamlined menu, which is all about customizing a Beyond Burger or house-made chicken sandwich, with different sauces, fries with different seasonings, and a selection of drinks.

CAN’T MISS: one bite of their homemade chicken fried seitan and I was struck by chicken fried lightning. Batter dipped fresh right before frying. Chewy tender seitan, crispy flaky batter. Honestly, I haven’t had vegan fried chicken this good since Hartbreakers in Brooklyn, NY.

Vega Luna €€

A great local favorite that incorporates fresh, organic, raw and gluten-free ingredients. Has a menú del día and tapas, with gluten free options (often the menú del día is entirely gluten free).

Has some of the best, internationally-inspired vegan food with a strong Spanish sensibility on seasoning and preparation – a very good thing. It’s hard to go wrong here, and we’re always impressed by how consistently great the food is.

The tapas are a bit too pricey for us, especially for the portion size, though they’re just as excellently executed. It’s quite possibly our favorite menú del día for showcasing exciting vegan food to visiting friends and family.

They don’t take reservations for lunch (get there before 1:30 to snag a table), but don’t fret if they’re full and there’s a wait – check out their sister restaurant in the next entry below, just a few minutes walk away.

CAN’T MISS: the best menú del día in vegan Madrid. We come here exclusively for it. It’s always different every day, with usually a pasta dish, a salad, and a hearty dish with seasonal favorites like cocido Madrileño (traditional Madrid stew) in the winter, with gazpacho in the summer, for example. We like to come and order all the plates, and share, for a great sampler experience.

For more about the menú del día (tapas are for amateurs) and how it works along with why you shouldn’t miss it, check out our article all about the best vegan menú del días in Madrid.

Vega Álamo €€

The sister restaurant to one of our fave vegan restaurants in Madrid. It’s now the second vegan restaurant to sport a terrace. There’s always an overflow from the original Vega, so this is a brilliant idea. Now they have somewhere to send the eager customers.

While the food is still top-notch delicious like the original, it’s slightly different, with even more focus on tapas. Their take on the menú del día is a smaller selection of regular tapas from the menu. So it’s a great way to try the usually more expensive tapas for lunch.

We recommend almost anything here, like Vega. We still prefer the original Vega, but it’s very likely a lot of you will equally, if not more, enjoy their new sister restaurant.

croquetas at Vega Alamo

VivaBurger €€

One of the best vegan restaurants in Madrid with the best, most peaceful terrace (one of two- the other is Vega Alamo)! We recommend coming here for a menú del día, where you can try what we consider the best veggie burger in town, completely made from scratch. (Fellow veg blogger and our dear friend Cepee of Wanderlicious agrees with us – and she’s tried 25+ veggie burgers in Madrid! Read her list of the best veggie burgers in Madrid).

In a sea of Beyond Meat, Vivaburger remains the homemade veggie burger champ. If you want a very vegetable burger, this is hands down the best. If you want a faux meat experience, hit up the myriad vegan spots now offering the Beyond burger.

CAN’T MISS: the two menús del día: the menú burguer and menú internacional  (their website lists the daily specials) and taking a seat outside. You won’t get stuck with anything here, but the menú del día is the best bang for your buck.

They also have a daily international menú inspired by a specific country, rotating the same set every month. Do expect Spanish culinary sense with the international menú i.e. delicious curry that isn’t spicy. Remains one of our favorite vegan restaurants in Madrid despite all the newcomers.

Note: Takes reservations. 10% markup for terrace seating (the norm everywhere).

Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Madrid with Vegan Options

With so many vegan options, it’s hard to choose places that put us at a disadvantage. Overwhelmingly the best vegan food in Madrid is in the 100% vegan restaurants in Madrid. There’s just no contest. And trust us, we’ll admit when vegan places aren’t up to snuff, and we go back to omnivore spots for great vegan food in other cities.

That being said, sometimes in Madrid we end up in a vegetarian place with a non-vegan friend. Often they have vegan “options” which means paying the same while removing dairy and eggs. Vegetarian restaurants in Madrid places rarely offer well-intentioned substitutions. Sorry vegetarians, but when we hear people rave about vegetarian restaurants, it’s always something smothered with dairy or eggs. (And dairy is scary. Eggs too.).

The places listed below offer some sort of specialty (food and/or vibe) and/or a convenient location to tourist attractions (mostly the people reading this are visitors to Madrid). While one or two good options don’t beat out an entirely vegan menu, if you do end up at one of these vegetarian spots, this is what we can recommend.

La Casa Encendida Cafe by Pum Pum

One of our favorite spots for a quiet cafe con leche has recently been upgraded. This spot is the resident cafe for the renovated and converted gallery and cultural space La Casa Encendida. They put up a rotating gallery, live shows and movies, and more. It’s less visited than all the big museum draws, and we prefer it that way.

For a different take on pan con tomate (bread topped with fresh tomato and olive oil), come here. They use their fantastic fresh artesano bread and it rotates, meaning different bread on different days. Expect a loaded couple thick slices with tomato and olive oil, with a side of salt – all for 2.5 euros.

They also offer a vegan focaccia sandwich made with Heura meats, tomato, and arugula, probably the cheapest you’ll find it in Madrid, for 5 euros. The one vegan cake was also gluten free and I didn’t even realize that the lack of gluten because it was so delicious. We wholly recommend this over the bougie barrage that is the original Pum Pum.

Craft Against the Machine €€

This draught craft beer bar sports a rebellious atmosphere to match the name (after the band Rage Against the Machine). La carta (regular menu) is mostly vegan, with some options that include cheese.

One comes here for the punky rebellious vibes and locally made craft beers, and international ones too – a beer from the Basque diaspora in Boise, Idaho!

CAN’T MISS: the beers on tap. We applaud their vegan-friendly efforts, but all were under-portioned and overpriced every time we came, which is now quite a few instances. In their defense the ingredients were quality and fresh, and the pan ecológico (organic bread) was excellent. Just understand this is a bar first and foremost that serves craft beer, and also has food. We really like everything about this spot but the disappointingly bland food.

Falafeleria €

The sister restaurant of La Hummeseria (see below). Coming from New York, we know a thing or two about falafel sandwiches, where it’s a common street food we frequently devoured. However, these Israeli proprietors definitely know a few things more than us when it comes to making them. With plenty of seating and beverages options, you’ll wait around five minutes until you’re summoned to choose from a variety of fresh and pickled toppings to stuff into your sandwich.

Easily the most authentic and delicious falafel on offer in Madrid, and one of the cheapest and most filling quick bites you can grab. Also, they have salsas picantes (hot sauce) that are actually hot. Spanish foods generally shy away from any amount of spicy heat.

CAN’T MISS: their super loaded falafel sandwich, of course. They also have vegan seitan and mushroom schwarma that’s equally as delicious. Expect hearty, filling portions. While they serve egg here, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything.

El Fogon Verde €€

Solid vegetarian food made with local ingredients. Expect dishes that primarily focus on one vegetable, like bean soups or roasted potatoes. A solid lunch option near the museums. Vegan options are clearly marked. The only place that gives you a full carafe of wine! A win for the Sam.

Come for: A menú del día – offers at least two options per course. It’s big draw is the proximity to the museums, but all the vegan places serve way better food – no contest.

Notes: Plenty of seating. Make sure to double clarify if food is vegan – especially dessert. Comida ecológica (organic food).

La Huerta de Almería €€

Cozy laid back and tucked away grocery store and restaurant local chain. There are three locations, all with very similar menus, though there is some variation. The focus is on healthy food, with smoothies, salads, and juices, though there are some more indulgent options like a burger.

We recommend: the menú del día, as it’s very filling, well done, and a just a tad indulgent. The only complaint is they have one vegan dessert that’s usually not there (we checked many times), and the coffee kinda sucked.

La Hummuseria €€

La Hummuseria was the first restaurant by the team behind Falafeleria (above). You could probably guess that hummus is the star of the show at this sit-down restaurant, with some vegetable sides. We’re more of a fan of Falafeleria, but if you love hummus, you may wanna check this one out!

CAN’T MISS: the specialty hummus, like roasted mushrooms, and pesto.

Notes: accepts reservations and can seat large groups.

Loukanikos €

Super popular local socialist and anarchist hangout that always seems crowded as it has super cheap but quality raciónes. Best to come on a weeknight for a drink or two. We love hanging out here, and they have solid vegan food (though stick to the Spanish staples or you’ll be disappointed). It’s really all about the vibe and mixed crowd.

CAN’T MISS: the raciónes, especially patatas bravas, salmorejo, and hamburguesa lenteja (fried potatoes, cold tomato soup, and lentil burgers). For 1.50 more the burger comes with fries and a drink.

Notes: cash only. Also has the local vegan artisanal beer, Veer.

Tiyoweh la Quietud €€

This is probably our favorite vegetarian restaurant in Madrid to date. If you seek tranquility, this is your spot. There’s table for diners, couches for tea, and even a meditation space in the back. All the prepared food is vegan but they have cow’s milk and honey available by request for vegetarian tea drinkers.

CAN’T MISS: The menú del día, which consists of the Tiyoweh plate, beverage, and dessert. The plate varies every day, but expect super fresh sampler plate of food ranging from scalloped potatoes, mushroom risotto, mixed green salad, hummus,  with super soft whole wheat bread. Once we had a surprisingly delicious sweet potato and beet soup – previously unheard of combo to us.

Notes: Takes reservations.

Shi-Shang (all vegan except for a couple desserts and ice cream) €€

A regular staple of the old vegan-friendly vanguard. Greasy Chinese food that caters to Spanish taste buds. We’re not fans but its a regular classic among local Spaniards. People always recommend this place, which is why we’re including our opinion here.

The food is very greasy – think your typical Americanized Chinese food, but if it was Spanishified. It’s a bomb in your gut. When we first moved to Madrid, we came a couple of times, when we were craving something super over the top. But the novelty quickly wore off, and we no longer eat here. If you are going to go, request the weekday buffet, as the menú del día will be retrieved from the buffet anyways.

Notes: Tons of seating but gets super busy on the weekends. Also sells frozen faux meats.

Superchulo €€

Super trendy spot in Malasaña that serves up high-quality faux meats from Huera. It can be hit or miss. Our friends (and fellow foodies) behind online vegan cooking classes Brownble at first had a great pad thai here, but when we went it was quite bland, and when they went again they said the same.

This is another one for the Instagrammable, vegetarian crowd. They literally have a Hipster burger. We’re mentioning it because it often comes recommended, so you may like it. We’re just not big fans.

Come for: the excellent desserts (at least one or two vegan options), but it’s hard to recommend overall, as it’s very pricey for small portions. They usually have one vegan option for the menú del día.

Notes: Takes online reservations.

Yerbabuena €€

A very tucked away spot in the heart of Madrid. Has some actual vegan options that aren’t just vegetarian sans dairy/egg. Very accommodating to vegans and celiacs.

Come for: tapas like salmorejo – request sin huevo (cold tomato soup sans egg), berenjena rebozada (fried breaded eggplant) with vegan sour cream. You won’t get stuck here, but again, why come here when you can find so many great vegan places.

Notes: Gets crowded. Has two locations. Posts their menú del día online for the month – often is mostly vegan.

Restaurants/Bars/Takeaway with Solid Vegan Options

These are our picks for non-vegan places (that aren’t vegetarian) with notable vegan options. Again, for us, they offer up something more specialty, like desserts or a type of ethnic cuisine that we can’t get at the 100% vegan spots.

If you’re looking for a focus on the best spots to go out and have vegan tapas, that requires another article entirely, as going out for tapas is not the same as eating the best vegan food in Madrid, as these are actually different in intention.

Read More: Best Vegan Tapas Madrid.

 For more tips on eating in non-vegan places…

Click Here For our Top Ten Tips for Eating Vegan in Spain!

Here are the most well known places offering the best vegan options.

Ay Mi Madre €

Update: Now sporting a separate all-vegan menu! Local pizza spot in Malasaña with limited seating. Great and affordable vegan pizzas with vegan cheese!

We recommend any pizza, but the margarita, the BBQ, the Mediterranean are fantastic. Also the fried eggplant sandwich was spot on (though it could have used some sauce and cheese).

Sandwiches come with fries for a dollar more. The empanadas are a must as well (they legit import the dough from Argentina).

El Atrakón

[start here] Very local divey spot with an impressive selection of delicious homemade tapas. They are very vegan-friendly, listing all their vegan items on a chalkboard by the kitchen. They also offer a weekday menú del día, with two options for every course.

We recommend a few round of drinks, like their homemade sidra (hard cider) and the accompanying tapas that upgrade every new round (one of the few places with many vegan options that does this – see more in our guide to vegan tapas in Madrid). If you’re looking to dine with omnivore friends who refuse to eat vegan food, this place is a solid option.

Note: Southeast edge of the city center – may be too far for those staying/living in the North.

Celicioso €€ 100% Gluten-free

This celiac approved, entirely gluten-free cafe serves a whole range of savory and sweet delights. Vegan goodies are marked. A nice respite from the very crazy Gran Via boulevard.

We recommend: the amazingly rich chocolate cake and the incredibly soft bread if you can splurge on it.

Note: counter to-go service and ample seating for table service.

Honest Greens €€

Honest Greens started with just one location and now has expanded to several locations in Madrid, Barcelona, and even Portugal! Clearly, they’re super popular. If you’re into bowls and smoothies, this is your spot.

Casual fast food prepared and served by a small army from an open-air kitchen in an interior of exposed infrastructure, with hanging plants, and a barista station inside a small European truck. We felt like we had stumbled into New York City – except we could actually afford the food. 

Come for solid vegan options and quality food, in a loud, hurried and bustling atmosphere (the antithesis of Spanish dining). Get the grilled tofu –  a “market plate” with two sides if you want to leave full.

It’s solid food – but why come to Spain to eat bowls? Unless you’re living here, we’d give this a pass.

Our biggest gripe has been their mislabeling of “plant-based” items that contain animal products.  The word they are looking for is “ovo-lacto vegetarian” or “not vegan.” Supposedly they have updated the menu so PB (plant-based) on the menu means vegan, but we would double-check.

Toscanaccio

These Toscanis are bringing their A home game. Here you can find many vegan versions of calzoni, stromboli, and topped focaccia straight from the Italian region of Tuscany. We especially enjoy conversing with the staff to hear their fun Italian accented Spanish. It’s a takeaway spot with a couple of seats.

If you are with a friend, we strongly recommend getting their Italian pizza made with vegan cheese – it’s loaded with oven-roasted veggies and cooked to perfection. The crust will be a bit different from your usually Napolitano style pizzas (big thin crust circles that is usually what we all associate as pizza), with a thick rectangular shape that’s soft on top with a super crunchy firm bottom, like a toasted baguette that’s twice as dense (and just as lethal as a bludgeon).

We’ve had lots of vegan pizza in Madrid, and while the intention is there, the execution leaves something to be desired at almost every place. So Toscanaccio can be a great alternative. Otherwise, grab a slice of foccacia topped with veggies!

Viva Chapata €

Local bar in the heart of Lavapiés with lots of vegan-friendly options. Their specialty is different types of non-traditional bread sandwiches, including pan chapata (ciabatta) and noriega (Norwegian style).

We mention this place because its part of the old vegan friendly vanguard. Being so popular there ‘s a good chance you’ll end up here, or at least find yourself walking by. Maybe if there wasn’t over 30 other all vegan options to choose from, we’d suggest coming here.

Honestly, the food is just okay to mediocre. This is not a place to try to impress your non-vegan friends with vegan food – take them to one of the dozens of all vegan restaurants in Madrid. However, they recently (spring 2020) went vegan, so hopefully they’ll be updating their menu as well.

Come for: a seat at the bar with drinks, tapas, and cake. Tortilla quality varies and “pizzas” are open-faced bread with toppings. Mushroom croquetas are their best bet.

Note: 10% surcharge for table seating (not typical). Gets very busy. They have a couple outdoor tables if you can manage to snag one.

Vegan Gelato in Madrid

We tend to avoid sorbets and go for the plant milked based flavors unless they’re naturally creamy like mango and coconut.

Acquolina

Ask the server which flavors are vegan. We recommend the mango.

Labonata

Lots of vegan options on display, with sorbets, and usually a couple of vegan ice creams. And now they offer italian ices (think really well crushed ice that still has a grain to it, unlike sorbet or ice cream). Ask server for descriptions. Flavors are super fresh and change daily. Allergens clearly noted.

We recommend: gelato: mango, and black Coco (Coconut based ice cream mixed with charcoal). It almost tastes like chocolate but doesn’t (how is that?). It has such a smooth texture and pairs well with the mango for contrast.

Malvy’s Shakes

Don’t be intimidated by the massive menu at this ice cream parlor. Almost everything has a vegan counterpart, but the big draws are soft-serve ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, and milkshakes.

If you want something Instagrammable, go for the extra deluxe Crazy Shakes. We’re interested in more old fashioned stuff, like cookies and cream, or other soft-serve flavors like caramel. Stick with that and you’ll be pleased.

Vegan Churros in Madrid

If you’re looking for an authentic churros experience but vegan, you’ve got a few options (that we’ve found, anyway).

Los Artesanos 1902

Sure, churros are accidentally vegan, but you’re not having the traditional experience without a cup of dipping chocolate. Here you can order the dark chocolate, which is made without milk. Which means more chocolate.

We recommend: the skinny ones and the porras (the fat ones). Watch them make them it fresh.

Note: Plenty of seating and rarely full (unlike San Gines up the street, which does NOT have a vegan option).

Bombon

All vegan spot that serves churros all year except July and August. See the above entry in 100% vegan section for more details.

Vegan Grocery Stores in Madrid

We’ve witnessed vegan Madrid upgrading even just within the couple of years that we have lived here.

Lately, we’ve been finding new intentionally vegan products in mainstream Spanish supermarkets, such as in Mercadona, a Spanish chain, and Lidl, a German-owned chain. Also, herbolarios (health food stores) tend to dot every block and usually have some vegan products, along with vitamins, supplements, and usual health-oriented fare.

If you find yourself living in Madrid, or looking to make a meal at home while you visit, there are some great all vegan grocery stores in Madrid that you should patronize.

Planeta Vegano

You’ll think you’ve arrived at a plant-based world if you woke up in this store. We come here frequently for our favorite vegan goodies we can’t find anywhere else.

We recommend: Provamel nondairy products, Violife cheeses, Sheese cheeses, parmesan-style cheese, Vegourmet cheeses, kilo block organic tofu. Also has tempeh, flavored tofu, veggie burgers, lots of faux meat including many types of vegan chorizo.

Note: Also offers non food products, like chapstick, makeup, etc.

Veggie Room

An all vegan store similar to Planeta Vegana, but in Malasaña.

Come for: vegan products, of course (carries a lot the same as Planeta Vegano).

Encuentro Vegano

Like the two above, but much more off center, and much tinier.

We recommend: The squash based dried chorizo “Calabizo”- no funky fillers or preservatives and adds a flavor burst to any stew. Has similar products, but much smaller than the other two.

Grocery Stores with Notable Vegan Options

Nan-Yea Market

This small international store specializes in Asian products. They also boast a lot of prepared vegan food para llevar (take away). An oasis in the 4- 8 pm Spanish food dessert.

MUST TRY: the amazing croquetas

For more on vegan options at other supermarkets, see the Madrid Vegan Guidebook.

If you made it this far, congratulations! This is an epic post, but vegan Madrid deserves it. We update frequently with new finds, so stay tuned. There’s such a great vegan scene and community here and tons of resources if you know where to look.

Truth is, there are even more vegan options to include.

If you’re short on time this is a lot of info to wade through. We’ve shared the popular vegan Madrid highlights, as well as popular places that we think are best avoided, but there’s so much more to talk about. Enough for a whole book!

If you’re looking for even more guidance and more detailed information, with easier navigation, organization by neighborhood and specialized dietary needs…

… there’s a guide that’s over 5 times bigger than this online guide:

Click here to learn more about The Alternative Traveler’s Madrid Vegan Guidebook (and download a free preview!)

Further online reading on vegan and vegetarian food in Madrid:

Check out our more specific guides to Madrid:

Vegan Tapas Guide to Madrid. Tapas are inaccurately represented outside of Spain – click here for the real scoop.

Guide to Vegan Menús del Día in Madrid. This cherished and affordable tradition would be a luxury anywhere else and mostly unknown to tourists – check out the article to see why.

Fellow plant-based Madrid blogger Cepee of Wanderlicious has several helpful guides, like her guides to Vegetarian and Vegan Meetups in Madrid and Vegetarian and Vegan Blogs and Groups in Madrid

Madrid Vegano has tons of articles in Spanish and some in English.

The Nomadic Vegan’s epic Vegan Guide to Spain has tons of helpful vocab and traditional naturally vegan Spanish dishes.

Buen provecho!

*Editor’s note: This post was originally posted in March 2017 and has since been massively updated. Last update: June 2020.

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