A vegetarian guide to Madrid

Chocolatería San Ginés

The ONLY place to go for chocolate and churros – a Spanish classic. San Ginés is the oldest and most famous chocolatería in Madrid, with famous customers ranging from Penelope Cruz and Pedro Almodovar to Tina Turner (check out the framed photographs on the wall for other famous faces). Sit outside or inside and enjoy a cup of steaming, thick hot chocolate accompanied by churros – doughnut-like strips of fried dough pastry.

Porras are a thicker kind of churro, but we have found that they are not always as hot and fresh as the churros here, perhaps because churros are constantly on the go, being the most popular thing on the menu.

We recommend: when you go inside to place your order, order chocolate con churros, hot chocolate with churros. Una ración is one portion of six churros.

One of the best things about San Ginés is that it is open all day and all night, so if you’re feeling peckish after a heavy night out, grab some 7am churros on your way home!

Location: San Ginés is right in the centre of Madrid, between Sol and Opera.

Curry in Lavapiés

Lavapiés is the little India of Madrid; it’s streets are lined with Indian restaurants and tantalising smells of spices waft out onto the streets. We find it hard to walk down any of its streets without being tempted in for a curry! The Indian restaurants cater to all budgets, with the majority being extremely reasonable. Many offer a 7 euro set menu, where you can try a starter, a main course, a dessert and a drink – bargain!

La Musa

La Musa is a hip tapas restaurant in Malasaña, with another branch La Musa Latina, in the heart of La Latina, traditionally the best place for tapas in Madrid. Marvel at its culinary creations and funky interior, especially in the La Latina branch, where you can enjoy your dinner downstairs in a secret cavern of mismatched tables and chairs surrounded by bookshelves and strange light fixtures.

A modern twist on tapas, the menu includes plenty of vegetarian options. Some of our favourites are:

Mortero de tomate y aguacate con nachos – basically, a DIY guacamole. All the ingredients are presented to you in a pestle and mortar, and you can mash them up to form your perfect guacamole consistency.


Tomates verdes fritos – deep fried green tomatoes

Tempura de verduras – deep fried vegetables with a tempura sauce

Mousse de berenjena con pan pita – aubergine mousse with pita, though more like a hummus than a mousse

Website: http://www.grupolamusa.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=25&Itemid=28

Tommy Mel’s Classic Diner

If you prefer your American-style diners straight from the set of Grease, the Tommy Mel’s is the diner for you! Waiters and waitresses are dressed in 50’s style and a group of a cappella singers go from table to table, serenading diners with 50’s classics. Whilst there isn’t a huge vegetarian variety on the menu, there is a veggie burger, named, creatively enough; ‘VEGGIE’. You can personalise your burger too, adding cheddar, onions, cream cheese and walnuts, ‘devil’ sauce… They have plenty of extra toppings.

The VEGGIE is a burger made from vegetables, topped with lettuce and tomato and a side of light mayonnaise. Unlike at Home Burger Bar, fries are ordered separately as ‘sides’ and don’t come with the burger. You can, however, choose between regular fries and fries with blue cheese, and portions are substantial.

Other vegetarian side orders available at Tommy Mel’s include onion rings and coleslaw, as well as the ‘Green Fresh Salad’. Saying that, if you’re going to an American diner for classic diner food, you’re probably not going to be so interested in the last option…

There are 7, soon to be 10, branches in Madrid, our favourite one being located on Calle Hortaleza, just of Gran Vía.

Website: http://www.tommymels.com/

Home Burger Bar

There seems to be a craze for American diners/burger bars in Madrid right now, and Home Burger Bar is our top choice for veggie burgers in Madrid. With an almost unheard of 4 choices of veggie burger on the menu, Home Burger Bar warrants multiple visits to truly sample all of their menu’s vegetarian delights!

Start your diner experience with some crispy, beer-battered onion rings (either a half or full sized portion depending on how ravenous you’re feeling…) and then choose your ideal veggie burger. Will it be:

La Clásica Vegetariana – the vegetarian classic – soya meat burger, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and gherkins.

La Clásica Vegetariana estilo pollo – the vegetarian classic, chicken style – vegetarian chicken burger with all the trimmings.

El Club Faláfel – Club sandwich filled with falafel, hummus, lettuce, tomato, onion and a dash of honey.

El Club Vegetariano – Vegetarian club sandwich – avocado, tomato, courgette, onion, lettuce, goat’s cheese and a dash of mayonnaise.

They also have a tempting dessert menu, but unfortunately we’ve always been way too full to sample any…let us know if you have tried any in the comments section.

Home Burger Bar is definitely one of the coolest of Madrid’s burger bars, kitch free, it attracts many hip Madrileños. If kitch is your thing, though, take a look at Tommy Mel’s.

There are four Home Burger Bar branches in Madrid, all centrally located. 

Website: http://www.homeburgerbar.com/index1.html#/portada 

Maoz

THE BEST falafel in Madrid! Maoz is an unassuming little takeaway establishment right in the heart of Madrid, that actually has outlets all over the world. Maoz specialises in top notch vegetarian food, namely falafels. Choose your pita, filling (guacamole or hummus), and help yourself to an endless supply of fresh salad. If you’re hungry for more, you can get a really good value meal deal – pita, fries and a drink.

Maoz is a great vegetarian option if you’re looking to grab something quick and don’t fancy a sit-down meal, although a few seats are available in the window.

Website: http://www.maozusa.com/restaurants/locations/madrid (American version)

Cervecería 100 Montaditos

A Madrid classic. Locals flock to the popular restaurant chain for the 100 varieties of cheap mini baguettes (montaditos) and tankards of beer, shandy (clara con limón) or sangría. It is especially busy on Wednesdays when the entire menu is slashed to 1€. While the majority of the 100 montaditos contain meat, there are some vegetarian options easily identifiable on the menu, with the help of a handy carrot. Our faves:

Tortilla and salsa brava: a chunk of Spanish omelette covered in a spicy tomato sauce

Queso azul: blue cheese

Cuatro quesos: 4 cheeses

El veggie: cream cheese, parmesan, lettuce and tomato

Dulce de leche: a sweet montadito filled with the caramel flavoured sauce famous in Argentina

Other vegetarian-friendly options include patatas chips (crisps), patatas 4 salsas (chips with 4 different sauces) and olives.

There are 78 branches throughout the city, so you are often only a step away from a mini baguette. The most popular/central restaurants are located at:

-Plaza Santa Ana

-Calle Mayor (just off the Plaza Mayor)

-Calle Postas (close to Sol)

Website: http://www.100montaditos.com/


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