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Apart from checking out restaurant listings on HappyCow.com, any suggestions?
Honestly, I had no trouble eating vegan there. If you're going on a tour, it may be harder because you may end up having to eat at specific restaurants instead of choosing for yourself.
If you're only going for a few weeks you should be okay, as long as you explicitly say "no ham, no shellfish, etc" because they won't really understand. There's ham in EVERYTHING. They even have ham-flavored chips. I had them. They were gross.
The bigger the city you're in, the more likely you'll find things. But in the south for example, gazpacho is very common, and that's purely veggies. Salmorejo, however, which is very similar, has egg and ham. Paella almost always has meat and meat-broth base. Salads aren't so good in Spain. Don't even try I remember eating a lot off eggs and ham (not together).
It's doable, but you have to be prepared that you won't be able to eat pretty much anything traditional.
I'm waitlisted for a university Spanish course. *fingers crossed* Just a little nervous. I pick up written language very quickly, but really struggle with the spoken part. Hopefully all those years of French classes will help.
We've almost definitely decided to go with a tour - and added Portugal and Morocco to the trip, as well. I'm waiting to hear back from the tour company, but in general they treat special diets as "requests" rather than requirements. Apparently, it's very dependent on the individual tour guide whether you get any consideration with regard to meals.
That's what I've heard - fish isn't usually considered "meat" and could be added to the "vegetarian" meals and ham is treated almost as a condiment.
It's doable, but you have to be prepared that you won't be able to eat pretty much anything traditional.
I'm planning on arriving early for the tour, bringing some food with me and hitting the food stores just in case. It's a little sad not to be able to eat "local", but that's the way it's has to be.
Thanks to you both for the tips.
Let me give you some tips ;
There are plenty of Chinese, Indians, Mexican, Turkish, vegetarian and Italian restaurants in every city. The problem are the traditional Spanish restaurants and tapas bars. Anyway, in those places you can ask for paella with just vegetables, mushrooms with garlic and paisley, pisto, fried potatoes with green peppers, vegetable creams or fried vegetables (tortilla, arroz a la cubana and patatas bravas if you're vegetarian). We have lots of different salads and it's not difficult to find one with no tuna, ham or egg. The best thing in my opinion is that we don't usually use sauces in salads. We put olive oil and sometimes vinegar which is vegan and healthy. You could also ask for gazpacho instead of a salad. If you go to Murcia as this region is famous for its delicious vegetables you'll find there vegan dishes which consist of vegetables and legums.
I recommend you to check this website: http://www.frescco.com/ It's almost a vegetarian restaurant. It's a healthy buffet where you can make your own salad choosing between lots of ingredients, and there is pizza with vegetables, pasta with the ingredients you like or rice with mushrooms. There is just one option with meat. For a dessert there is coffee, tea, ice-cream and fruits. It costs less than 10 euros.
It is possible to find soya or almond milk, tofu and veggie creams in each supermarket in the dietetic section. But for more specific stuff it's better to go to "herboristerias" where you can find vegetarian ham, sausages, hamburguers, vegetable milks, b12 vitamin, herbs, teas and so on. This shops are very popular here, I live in a little town and there are two of them.
Don't forget about tea shops. If they are not arabic it's possible to find there vegan desserts and almond, quinoa or soya milk for your tea.
Enjoy your trip!! And your meals if possible
PS: I forgot about breakfasts!! They are the easiest thing!! Orange juice with a toast with margerine, fruits, olive oil, or tomato with olive oil!! As you can see, life here is tough if you don't like olive oil!
¡Hola Reef! Yo vivo en un pueblo de Alicante ¿Cómo estás?
More information here: http://www.ivu.org/veganfest/2011/
"One meal, soon forgotten, in exchange for a whole life." Author Unknown
"Fur is worn by beautiful animals and ugly people"
I live in Barcelona, Here in Spain there are lots of shops with natural food. Many drugstores (farmacia) also have natural food.
However, the buckwheat is bad - it's not mature enough. As I like buckwheat very much, I had to do a little search for it. I found good buckwheat only in Russian and Polish shops. Spanish name for it is "trigo saraceno" or "trigo negro".
I found 2 Russian shops:
Troika - C/ Unió, 3, 08001, Barcelona - but its closed since may 2011
Tepemok - Sant Joan, 125, 08037, Barcelona - ask for "grishka" if you want buckwheat
But this year the Russian shops have only bad quality buckwheat (because of the 2010 fires they banned exports). It's either roasted or not matured enough. So I found a Polish shop:
Krakoviak - C/ Sicilia 326, 08025, Barcelona - ask for "kasha" if you want buckwheat
I also found an extremely good shop where you can buy all kind of cereals and beans. You can find wheat, integral wheat flour, corn, rye, even kamut (khorasan wheat), peanuts, sunflower, nuts, and many other things.
The shop is very busy, people are waiting in line all the time. Prices are very good and you have to buy a minimum amount from every product (for example you can't buy less than 500g of peanuts).
The shop is named Jaime J Renobell - Psg Picasso, 34, 08003, Barcelona.
If you want integral wheat flour, you can also buy it from Carrefour, its 42 eurocents for 500g
Other than that, I heard about this vegetarian restaurant, but never tried it:
Lactuca: www.lactuca.com. Last time I heard about it it was an "all you can eat" restaurant, with 9 Euro entrance or so.
If I find more useful information, I will come back.
By the way, Michael, I think it would be a good idea to create a Wiki where people can add information about where you can buy certain things, with separate pages for every country and city.
That is something we've been looking into in the past. I hope we'll be able to do that properly some time in the near future.
I no longer post here after VB was sold in 2012. (See my profile page for details.)
By the way, I found free mediawiki hosting at www.referata.com, it looks very easy to handle. There are other free wiki hosting sites, and it might be a good way to start.
I have 5 years in Barcelona. Nice city! Very nice, in fact . Very good public transportation, easy to use and clean subway. Food is cheap. Houses and apartments not exactly cheap, although it's not hard to find something decent with a good price to rent. Be careful with pickpocketers . Don't put your bag under the chair in a restaurant because it will vanish and the workers and police can't help you get it back. Careful with bags and pockets in general, especially on the Rambla and turistic places. It's not dangerous at all (no guns), it's just that they are fast and efficient :P
Well as everyone (from Spain) know we have new president, Mariano Rajoy (not personally excites me, I guess it's because I am Catalan )
The image is still being updated: http://resultados.elpais.com/elecciones/generales.html
The animal parts PACMA posted this on Facebook:
With 90% of the votes counted and without the vote of residents abroad, we have collected over 92,000 votes. The Party Animal PACMA has established itself as the largest emerging force, more than doubling the previous election results.
The PP won the general election. Absolute majority and the best result in its history: 187 deputies skimming count 80%.
The PSOE sinks and gets 110 seats. Lose 59 deputies.
CiU will be the third force with 16, IU 11 and the fourth with Amaiur aberzale coalition, which debuts in this election, the fifth with 7. Would take two to the traditional ruler of the Basque political scene, the PNV.
UPyD own parliamentary group achieved with 5 minutes, three more than Canary Coalition, but count on the islands is not very advanced.
Esquerra BNG achieved three and keep the two I had now. Equo one and the Asturias Forum Helmet, other. Parliament would be a much more fragmented than at present, but under an absolute majority.
Jose Blanco, on behalf of the Government, has congratulated the PP as the winner of the election. The spokesman of the executive and Mariano Rajoy has called to congratulate him.
This result comes after an election day with little incident.
"Germinal" - C/ Provenca, 362 - 08037, Barcelona
They have all kind of oils:
Sunflower, Pumpkin, Flax, Sesame, Cannabis, Safflower, Grape seeds, Soya, Argan, Wallnuts
They buy the oils from NaturGreen:
A 250 ml bottle of Sunflower oil costs 2.80 Euro
A 250 ml bottle of Pumpkin oil costs 7.50 Euro
Just to have an idea about the prices.
It's not like that at all!
There are zillions of fruit and vegetable shops. Almost every little street has at least one. You can buy all kind of fruits and vegetables. You can also buy all kind of food without meat in the supermarkets like DIA or Carrefour. DIA supermarkets are everywhere.
If you go to the places where they sell kebab, you can ask for "Falafel Durum" - it's made with Chickpea instead of meat. And it's very yummy.
It's true that if you want to eat in restaurants, most of the Spanish food includes meat. But nobody can stop you to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, salads, cereals, and so on.
Also you can find lots of cooked food without meat - for example Pizza "4 Queso" (4 cheese) is in almost every food shop. You can also buy already prepared beans, chickpeas, lentils, and others.
So being a veg*an in Spain can't be a problem at all!
Macrobiotic ZEN - Muntaner 12, Barcelona - http://www.macrobioticzen.net
Also I found another very good shop for seeds, nuts, beans and cereals:
Casa Torras - Plaza Comercial 2, 08003, Barcelona
Anyway, a funny thing happened when I was in Madrid a couple of years ago. My friend and I were starving after a long trek around the city, and decided to eat in Burger King out of pure convenience (just because it was nearby). There was a vegetarian burger on the menu which I ordered and the guy at the till seemed to understand what I ordered and asked if I wanted cheese with my burger etc all the usual stuff. When I got my order it turned out to be a bun with some lettuce and tomato between which also cost the normal meal price which was almost the same us my friend's meaty burger. I don't remember any numbers anymore though. I found it more funny than irritating, but just wanted to share my experience! I'm sure there are plenty of veggie places all over Spain, but I am the only vegetarian in my core group of friends, so for most of the time we eat wherever they fancy going and I just have the thing I can on the menu.
I've been living in Spain for almost 3 years now, my wife's been vegetarian since she was old enough to decide it and I do agree that it can be difficult to find vegetarian meals (vegan even worse!) in local restaurants, so eating out can be a bit of a chore, even more now that we are both transitioning to a purely vegan diet. But on the other hand, finding ingredients and even prepared meals to eat at home is not difficult at all, not much digging to be done, most big supermarkets have an "organic", "bio" or "ecological" section filled with lots of vegan stuff (not exclusively, but there's plenty of it), here in Galicia (where EVERYTHING has seafood, ham or eggs in typical food restaurants), Carrefour probably has the best selection of veggie/vegan meals.
Anyways, I'm new to this site (and to veganism) and I'm happy to have found this great place, cheers everyone!