Vegan Guide to Madrid

Vegan Guide to Madrid

Are you headed to Madrid and worried that, whatever you order, it's going to come sprinkled with ham? Relax. The vegan movement is booming in the Spanish capital, and vegan and vegetarian visitors will be spoiled for choice. Whether you're looking for traditional Spanish tapas, a cheesy pizza loaded with toppings or a burger the size of your head, you will find it in a delicious vegan version in Madrid. Your biggest dilemma will be deciding which of the wonderful vegan, vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants to try! Here are some top picks that you should definitely consider:

Address: Luna 9 (in Malasaña district), Madrid
Hours:
Mon-Tue 1:00pm-1:00am
Thu-Sun 1:00pm-1:00am
Closed Wednesday. Outside meal times they only serve appetizers, soups, etc.
Link: Facebook page
Food: 100% Vegan

Vega - vegan guide to Madrid

The soups are delicious at Vega

A long-time favourite that Nick and I keep going back to whenever we return to Madrid. This 100% vegan restaurant does serve main dishes, but we invariably choose to share a collection of small tapas, because, you know, Spain. Their soups are particularly good, and other favourites include the focaccia and the mushroom croquetas (fried, breaded balls of shroomy yumminess). The one thing I didn't think much of was the lasagna, which is a raw, zucchini-based version of the dish and is rather small and poor value. The desserts here are awesome though! If they have cheesecake when you're there, don't pass it up.

Rayén Vegano

Address: Calle Lope de Vega 7, Barrio de Las Letras, Madrid
Hours:
Monday and Thursday: 10am-4pm
Friday: 10am-4pm, 9pm-11:30pm
Saturday: 11am-4pm, 9pm-11:30pm
Sunday: 11am-4pm
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Link: Website
Food: 100% vegan

Rayén Vegano - vegan guide to Madrid

This ain't no Egg McMuffin!

My good friend Kim, the recipe-creator extraordinaire at Brownble, brought me and Nick here for brunch on our most recent trip to Madrid. It's her favourite place to eat in the city, and it's not hard to see why. She did such a good job of talking up the breakfast sandwich that everyone at the table ordered it, and none of us regretted it. Stuffed with tempeh bacon, tofu scramble and melted vegan cheese, this plant-based version of a breakfast sandwich eats Egg McMuffins for breakfast. Or maybe it doesn't, because that wouldn't be vegan, but you get what I mean.

There were about five or six different cakes and pies on offer, and they all looked divine. Luckily we had the sense to order different kinds this time, so that we could taste more than one. For more photos and details about our brunch, see Kim's own post over on the Brownble blog.

The weekend lunch and dinner menu looked amazing too (Tibetan momos anyone?), but we had to be reminded that it was only noon, so of course lunch wasn't being served yet. This is Spain, after all. Ah well, something to look forward to for next time! On weekdays lunch is limited to a changing meal of the day, so if you have your heart set on the momos then be sure to come for dinner or on a weekend.

Viva Burger

Address: Costanilla de San Andrés 16, Madrid
Hours:
Sunday-Thursday: 11am-12am
Friday-Saturday: 11am-2am
Open daily. Breakfast is served from 11am and lunch from 1:30pm.
Link: Website
Food: 100% vegan

Viva Burger - vegan guide to Madrid

The best vegan burgers in Madrid are at Viva Burger

This was another one of Kim's top recommendations, and when she talks about vegan food I listen, because this woman knows her stuff (just check out some of her recipes and you'll see what I mean). Excited to see that they opened at 11am rather than the typical 1:30pm, we arrived at noon ready for some serious burger eating. Apparently we should have known better. They were of course still serving only breakfast, and burgers would not be available until, you guessed it -  1:30pm. So, with no particular place to be on a rainy, blustery February day, we settled in for the long haul.

The “breakfast menu” was basically any starter or dessert combined with a hot drink. Nick had already planned to order the vegan tortilla de patatas (a Spanish “omelette” made with potatoes, and normally eggs) as a starter, and I had already planned to order dessert, so all it really meant was that I had my dessert for breakfast. And what a dessert it was! One of the biggest, richest, gooiest, most decadent hot brownies covered in chocolate sauce that I've ever encountered. Things were off to a good start. Oh, the tortilla was amazing too, by the way, but no potato dish is ever going to win out over a brownie. Brownies eat potatoes for break....never mind.

Brownie at Viva Burger - vegan guide to Madrid

Brownies for breakfast

After a leisurely cup of tea, when 1:30pm rolled around we were ready for round two. Burgers! Everything on the menu sounded delicious, making it really difficult to choose. The patty in all the burgers (except for The Arab) is the same and is made with veggies, oats, peanuts and apples, plus all of them are topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and cucumber and served with thick and crispy potato wedges. The only difference is the additional toppings that are particular to each burger. Needless to say, these burgers are huge! Eventually I decided on the Burger Queen with cured cheese, grilled tomatoes and caramelized onions, while Nick chose the Smoked (“La Ahumada) with smoked cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. We both ranked them among the best burgers we've ever had.

And yes, everything on the menu, including all the different types of cheeses, is vegan, even though this is not at all emphasized in their messaging. I guess the idea is to attract unsuspecting people off the street who might not choose to eat at a vegan restaurant. I imagine this happens quite a lot, as the restaurant is located on a lovely square in the La Latina neighbourhood, and the interior is beautifully decorated. They also have gluten-free options and are happy to adapt their dishes to suit food allergies.

Ay Mi Madre!

Address: Calle de la Palma 41, Madrid
Hours: |
Tuesday-Friday: 1pm-5pm, 8pm-12am
Saturday-Sunday: 8pm-12am
Closed Monday.
Link: Website
Food: Vegan-friendly, serves meat

Ay Mi Madre! - vegan guide to Madrid

This vegan pizza was amazing. Even with no tomato sauce!

I've been told this is the only restaurant in Madrid that offers pizza made with vegan cheese. While they do serve meat, Ay Mi Madre! makes a point of being vegan-friendly and has become a bit of a hot spot among vegan madrileños. I probably would have overlooked it, because I tend to focus only on vegan or vegetarian restaurants in large cities where vegans are spoiled for choice. But my local source of insider tips (guess who?) advised me not to miss this one, for which I am eternally grateful.

This was the best. pizza. ever. While there are plenty of vegan choices marked on the menu (and more that can be made vegan by switching out the cheese), choosing was a no-brainer this time. My favourite pizza topping of all time is artichoke hearts. I heart you, artichokes! So when I saw that there was a pizza called “The Artichoke”, that pretty much sealed the deal. Artichokes, black olives, asparagus, onions, vegan cream and vegan cheese. Oooh, yes.

I was blown away by the cheese. I swear that in a blind taste test no one would know it was vegan. The staff told me they use the Violife brand, which confused me a bit because I had recently had a pizza from Firezza in London that was supposedly also made with Violife, and I hadn't been terribly impressed. True, it melted well, but it also had this unpleasant stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth quality about it. I didn't have that sensation at all at Ay Mi Madre! though, so I will definitely be looking into Violife more closely. I didn't even notice until Nick pointed it out, but my Artichoke was actually a “pizza bianca”, meaning it didn't have any tomato sauce on it. This is quite a feat to pull off with vegan cheese, because the cheese (and the vegan cream, in this case) really has to carry the base flavour of the pizza all on its own.

Nick had the Veggie BBQ pizza and was just as impressed as I was, so I'd say it's pretty hard to go wrong when ordering at Ay Mi Madre! 

Punto Vegano

Address: Calle Luisa Fernanda 27 (at the intersection with Calle Ferraz), Madrid
Hours: Thursday-Sunday: 2pm-12am
Closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Snacks and bar food only from 5pm-8pm. The hours above are their winter hours; check their Facebook page for the current hours when you're there.
Link: Facebook page
Food: 100% vegan

Punto Vegano - vegan guide to Madrid

Homemade ravioli at Punto Vegano

Punto Vegano is an inexpensive, cute little all-vegan café run by a sweet couple, Vero and Ronny, and it sits just across from the the Egyptian temple (the Temple of Debod). If you're lucky enough to be there on a Sunday, that's the day they make fresh, homemade ravioli. We had the ravioli along with baba ghanoush and pita and some “meatballs” made from quinoa and topped with tomato sauce. For dessert, I chose a slice of lemon and coconut pie, while Nick had the chocolate chip cookie. Of course I had to try a bite of his cookie too, and it was so good that I immediately went and ordered one for myself to eat later.

The dining area is pretty small, but if you can't find a seat and the weather is nice you could grab something to go and take it across the road to the temple and surrounding park for a picnic.

B13 Bar

Address: Calle de la Ballesta 13 (near Gran Vía), Madrid
Hours: Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday: 1:30pm-4:30pm, 8:30pm-11pm
Friday-Saturday: 1:30pm-4:30pm, 8:30pm-12am
Closed Monday.
Link: Website
Food: 100% vegan

B13 Bar - vegan guide to Madrid

Tapas, sandwiches and bar food favourites at B13

B13 serves vegan fast food at ridiculously cheap prices to a young, alternative crowd. The animal rights messaging here is very strong, and the place is frequented by local activists. The prices were so low that we ordered several different things, thinking that they would arrive in small, tapas-sized portions. Not really! We had way too much food. There was the sandwich with vegan chorizo, tomatoes and cream cheese, recommended by fellow vegan travel bloggers Dale and Franca from AngloItalian.

The sandwich by itself would have been a filling meal, but we also had hummus, patatas bravas (potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce), croquetas and a tortilla de patatas. Just like with the tortilla de patatas at Viva Burger, I was amazed that it was made without eggs. Not exactly health food, and not exactly gourmet, but if you want Spanish comfort food with an inexpensive price tag then B13 is the place for you.

Le Pain Quotidien

Address: Calle Gran Vía 46 (next to Callao metro stop), Madrid
Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8am-10pm
Friday: 8am-12am
Saturday: 9am-12am
Sunday: 9am-10pm
Open daily. There are other locations at Calle de Fuencarral 95 and at Calle de Serrano 27 with similar opening hours.
Link: Website
Food: Vegan-friendly (serves meat)

Le Pain Quotidien - vegan guide to Madrid

Vegan croissants are a great way to start the day!

Le Pain Quotidien is an international bakery/café chain that, at least in its Spanish branches, has a very environmentally-friendly focus, which translates into a vegan-friendly menu. It's a good option for breakfast, as they serve vegan croissants made from spelt and quinoa. Other vegan options include chia pudding, flautas (a type of sweet breadstick) with hazelnuts and raisins, and a "detox" banana split with goji berries, chia seeds and turmeric. Vegan items are clearly marked on the menu with a green carrot (as opposed to the orange carrot used to indicate vegetarian items).

Sanissimo

Address: Calle San Vicente Ferrer 28, Madrid
Hours:
Wednesday-Monday: 12pm-11pm
Closed Tuesday
Link: Website
Food: Vegetarian

Sanissimo - vegan guide to Madrid

The staff are friendly and the food is wholesome at Sanissimo

The couple that runs Sanissimo pride themselves on offering healthy fast food. And indeed, the menu here is certainly filled with healthier options than the greasy, fried fare at B13, like salads, bagels and freshly-pressed juices, as well as burgers and pastries. The co-owner, Sonny, is a vegan himself and is dedicated to promoting healthy, plant-based living. A few of the bagels are already vegan, and those that contain cheese can be made with vegan cheese for a small supplement.

Sanissimo is quite a small place with just a few tables, so it's advisable to book for dinner. In addition to the small dining area, there is also a mini-market that consists of a few shelves with items like plant-based milks, crackers, spreads, etc. When I stumbled on this place I had already eaten, but I really wanted to support Sonny, who had been very friendly and talkative, so I grabbed a spinach pie and a bagel filled with eggplant, tofu and black olives, which made for a lovely light dinner to eat on my flight out later that evening. If you're looking for a more substantial meal, they also do "platos combinados" with a variety of small dishes.

Planeta Vegano

Address: Calle Ave María 34, Madrid
Hours:
Monday-Friday: 10am-9pm
Saturday: 11am-9pm
Closed Sunday
Link: Website
Food: 100% vegan

Planeta Vegano - vegan guide to Madrid

For all your vegan shopping needs

Planeta Vegano is one of two all-vegan grocery stores in Madrid and stocks just about anything a vegan could possibly want. They carry a variety of plant-based meat products, including The Vegetarian Butcher brand, which has some amazing products that would fool just about any meat eater. They also had some brands of vegan cheese that I'd never seen before, including Jeezini and Vegissimo, which come recommended as being good for melting on pizza, lasagna, enchiladas, etc.

Oh, and for those who don't have to worry about carry-on luggage restrictions on liquids, they have something else I'd never seen before - condensed soy milk! Speaking of sweet stuff, Planeta Vegano also carries a huge selection of vegan chocolate bars, along with raw bars, granola bars, etc.

Veggie Room

Address: Calle San Vicente Ferrer 21, Madrid
Hours:
Monday-Friday: 10:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-9pm
Saturday: 10:30am-2:30pm
Closed Sunday
Link: Website
Food: 100%vegan

Veggie Room - vegan guide to Madrid

One day I will go to Veggie Room and it will be open. One day.

The other all-vegan food store in Madrid. I've tried to check it out a couple of times, but both times it was closed, even though according to the hours listed on HappyCow they should have been open. I've since updated those opening hours both here and on HappyCow, so hopefully you won't have the same frustrating experience.

I've been told that Veggie Room carries different brands from the ones found at Planeta Vegano, so it might be useful to try both of them if you get the chance. It's located on the same street as Sanissimo and is also quite close to Ay Mi Madre!

Mercado de San Antón

Address: Calle de Augusto Figueroa 24, Madrid
Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 10am-12am
Friday-Sunday: 10am-1:30am
Some stalls may keep different hours.
Link: Website
Food: Meat-heavy overall, with some vegan options

Mercado de San Antón - vegan guide to Madrid

Spice up your life at the Mercado de San Antón

The Mercado de San Antón is an upscale food market with stalls upstairs selling a variety of ready-made foods in addition to the fresh produce on the lower floor. The Greek stall probably has the largest number of vegan options, including hummus with pita bread, dolmadakia (stuffed vine leaves), lentils, bulgur wheat and a beetroot salad. The Japanese stall has vegetable gyoza (dumplings), a cucumber sushi roll and some cold dishes of wakame and other sea vegetables. And next door at the Canary Islands stand you can try papas con mojo – a local specialty from the islands that consists of potatoes lightly crusted with salt and topped with a couple of different sauces.

Celicioso

Address: Calle Hortaleza 3, Madrid
Hours:
Daily 10:30am-9:30pm
Link: Website
Food: Mostly vegetarian, some vegan options

Celioso - vegan guide to Madrid

Celioso has vegan AND gluten-free cupcakes!

This gluten-free bakery is insanely popular, and every time I passed by there was a gigantic queue of people waiting for a table. It was Valentine's Day weekend though, so maybe that had something to do with it. While I never got a chance to try their cakes myself, I'm including it here for those looking for food in Madrid that is both vegan and gluten-free. The vegan options at Celicioso include a chocolate cake and a choco-raspberry cake, both of which can be ordered either as an individual cupcake or as a slice of a larger cake.


Will your travels in Spain take you beyond the confines of vegan-friendly Madrid and out into big, scary ham country? Don't worry, I've got you covered. My Ultimate Vegan Guide to Spain will tell you everything you need to know to find delicious vegan food in even the tiniest Spanish village.

To view the map below as a web page, click here.

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Vegan Guide to Madrid Spain

About Wendy Werneth

Intrepid traveler, vegan foodie and animal lover. I uncover vegan treasures all around the world, so you can be vegan anywhere and spread compassion everywhere.

14 Comments

  1. I wish I had one of this vegan chorizo sandwiches right now, it tasted so good. There are so many vegan places in Madrid we didn’t have the chance to go to, we definitely need to go back soon especially now that we have your recommendations 🙂

    • Hi Franca! Yes, there really are so many. It took three trips there before I felt like I’d experienced enough of Madrid’s vegan food to write this post. Your own recommendations were a great starting point!

  2. Oh my God! Wendy!!!! This has to be MY FAVORITE POST in The Nomadic Vegan so far! Not because I’m mentioned (you are just TOO TOO KIND!!) but because you paid such a tribute to Madrid and captured the essence of the vegan scene here perfectly! Yay! Thank you so much for sharing part of your trip with me… it was an honor! I’m going to share this right now!

    • Hi Kim! He he, I’m so glad you like it! This post would not exist if it weren’t for you, at least not in this form. I’m sure we never would have gone to Ay Mi Madre! if it weren’t for your recommendation, and we probably would have missed out on lots of other stuff too. Thanks so much!

  3. Ahhh so many amazing looking places! I’m about to go to Madrid and I’m trying to decide how long I want to spend there… I think after reading this I might opt for a little longer and getting to all the vegan places! How long were you there for?

    • Hi Amelia! I’d definitely say Madrid is worth a bit of extra time to explore the food scene. This post is a conglomeration of three short trips made over the past year or so. It wasn’t until this last trip that I finally felt like I’d visited enough of the restaurants there to do the city justice!

  4. We went to Rayén Vegano a couple of times for breakfast & I wish I got that sandwich now!

    Christina
    cityloveee.com

    • Yeah, it was pretty amazing. I went back to Rayén Vegano on a recent trip to Madrid, and the dish I had then was just as good. I think pretty much anything you order from there will be delicious.

  5. I have a love hate relationship with Celicioso… Here is why:

    – Gluten-free – Love!
    – Vegetarian/Vegan – Love!
    – Sugar-free – Would love if only it was true!

    Firstly, most people still believe that swapping table sugar for agave nectar is ‘healthy’ because of what we hear about diabetics and glucose. We have made glucose the ‘bad guy’ when in fact fructose is much, much worse.

    Glucose gets all the bad rep because with its higher glycemic index, it raises the blood sugar levels quicker than fructose. However, fructose is only metabolized by the liver. Too bad if you suffer from fructose malabsorption!

    If you check out some sugar-quitting programs, you’ll see that by ‘quitting sugar’ many of them mean just ‘quitting fructose’ and are OK with glucose depending on the source. I have researched the subject and concluded that the ‘bad’ part of sugar is fructose, and yet many ‘healthy’ sugar substitute options are loaded with the stuff!

    And secondly, now with the gluten-free fad, g-free foods are more and more available, but has anyone checked the ingredients in g-free products? I was surprised that there have so many, and that’s never a good sign. They also have a lot of ‘lab’ ingredients and sweeteners like sugar, caramelized cane syrup, apple juice concentrate, etc. Oh, and rice flour raises blood sugar quicker than wheat flour. So I don’t know about g-free products being healthier…

    Fructose hate-rant is over 😛 Sorry about it!

    I have been to Viva Burger several times and the food is great but the service not so much. They always seem to get my order wrong either by adding ingredients that are not supposed to be there or by missing the ones that my order IS supposed to have. It gets annoying. Last time I sent my order back. I love their wedge potatoes, though. The only other time I had potatoes that good was in Goiko Grill, the BEST burger bar in Madrid – but not vegetarian, sorry!

    • Hi Misty,
      I hear you about sugar! There’s lots of misinformation out there. I struggle with sugar addiction myself, and I used to substitute with xylitol or stevia (never agave), but now I’m trying to just stay away from all sweeteners as much as possible. When I need to sweeten something, I do it with whole fruit whenever possible. I also agree that most gluten-free products are overly processed and unhealthy. Based on the scientific research I’ve seen, there doesn’t seem to be much reason to stay away from gluten unless you have celiac disease. I know many people choose to avoid it though, so I try to mention gluten-free options when I come across them. Thanks for commenting!

      • Hi Wendy,

        Thank you for your reply! Sorry to hear that you also struggle with sugar addiction. It’s such a tricky addiction to have – not that any other kind of addiction is not hard to struggle with, but sugar addiction has the added problem that sugar is almost impossible to avoid for these reasons:

        1) It is simply ubiquitous. It is obviously in sweets, but also in salty snacks, breads, dairy products, sauces, processed meats, etc. It practically invades every food group. Lactose and celiac-intolerant people have many food groups they can safely eat from knowing that they not contain lactose or gluten, but with sugar and sweeteners you have to be on guard all the time because you can find them where you least expect it. You can eat a packaged sandwich and later find out that everything in it contains some kind of sugar: the bread, the sauce, the ham, the cheese, etc.

        2) Sugar consumption is not only socially acceptable, but even encouraged, and people associate sugar with fun and being social. We celebrate everything with cake or some other sweet, and many people are blind when it comes to the effects of sugar on health because they don’t consider it to be something ‘serious’ and think that the only real addictions are to drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc. In all honesty, it would be easier to swear off drugs than sugar. Cocaine is not brought to the office when it’s somebody’s birthday, advertised on TV, ordered at restaurants for dessert, given to you for free in food samples, etc.

        I’ve never used xylitol, but some time ago I read a really good article by a doctor who explained in thorough detail all the pros and cons of each type of sugar in a very academic way, and concluded that out of all the sweeteners out there, natural stevia was the best, and following that, the ‘least bad’ were xylitol and pure dextrose.

        I was really surprised to find that he placed dextrose among the least unhealthy sweeteners, but he explained very clearly why and it made a lot of sense. I just cannot remember the reasons he gave in particular because it was too much information all at once and I didn’t absorb it all. I tried in vain to find that article several times to read it again and save it, but it stuck with me that stevia, xylitol and pure dextrose were the safest options.

        I have also used stevia in the past -from SweetLeaf that I get from iHerb because the brands that they sell here in Madrid at health food stores are not completely natural- but like you, right not I’m trying to stay away even from artificial sweeteners.

        I read sometime that you can train your tastebuds to be less sensitive to high-palatable, overly-processed -ie, ‘addictive’- foods by simply avoiding them for long enough. I don’t eat junk food but I have a terrible sweet tooth and I wanted to stop craving sugar so much. I want to see if I can get used to more bitter and sour tastes.

        I’ve also read that going gluten-free has no added benefit for someone without celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Funny story: I don’t know if you saw it at Celicioso, but they have a signed picture of tennis player Novak Djokovic, who said he is much healthier since he went gluten-free. He is allergic to gluten so it makes sense that going gluten-free works for him. Then Rafa Nadal, another tennis player who is not allergic to gluten, went gluten-free to see if he could perform better and said the results were disastrous. He felt drained and had to abandon the diet.

        So it’s what you say – you don’t have to avoid gluten if you don’t have an intolerance to it. I am, however, trying to avoid wheat in my diet, since it’s the most processed grain there are much healthier options. I usually eat German-style rye bread and apart from being very filling, it’s made with whole meal grain and flour and has no preservatives or other mysterious ingredients.

        I am not against trying new things just to see how they work for me, though. I would give the gluten-free diet a go just out of curiosity if only g-free products weren’t so packed with sugars and other ingredients I prefer to avoid. I only have two golden rules – I want my food to be unprocessed, and I want to avoid sugar/sweeteners. Most g-free products break both rules.

        Again I left a way-too-long comment. Sorry to be hogging the comments section so much!

        • Hi Misty,
          Don’t apologize; I love your in-depth comments! I have actually been pretty successful at retraining my tastebuds. People think I’m crazy, but every night after dinner I eat a couple of squares of 100% cacao chocolate. No sugar in it at all! It’s very bitter, but I’ve come to really appreciate the taste, and it’s now my favourite kind of chocolate! I’ve found it helpful to set hard and fast rules and stick to them, like “no sweets before 4 p.m.” or “no sweets until after I’ve drunk my afternoon green smoothie, etc.”. I now have my addiction under control when I’m at home or at the office. It’s just when I’m travelling that, because I’m out of my daily routine and the normal rules don’t apply anymore, I tend to go a bit crazy. I just need to establish rules that will work when travelling, and I think I’ll be OK. Thanks for all your insights! That was interesting to hear about dextrose, and about Djokovic and Nadal.

  6. Awesome post!! Definitely looking forward to checking out all of these when we move back to Spain in the fall!! I was nervous about returning and not being able to eat any croquetas (I had a pretty healthy obsession with them last time around) – but I’m happy to hear there are some vegan options!! Thanks for the great post!

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