Pimientos de Padrón, a Spanish vegan dish featuring small green peppers sautéed with sea salt.

By Cristina Reina. This guide to eating vegan in Spain contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Are you looking for delicious Spanish vegan dishes to try?

Then you’re in the right place!

As a Spaniard who loves plant-based eating, I know the vegan food scene very well.

And while Spain isn’t the most well-known country for vegan food, exploring this beautiful country while vegan is completely possible—and tasty too.

This comprehensive guide covers whether Spain is vegan-friendly, the best vegan recipes from Spain, where to get these delicious vegan dishes, and hotels that cater to vegans. Make sure to bring your appetite!

tree branch with green Spanish olives growing on it
Olives grow plentifully in Spain and offer a vegan-friendly snack. Photo: Gary Barnes via Pexels.

Is Spain Vegan-Friendly?

The short answer is yes, but vegan Spanish food options vary from city to city.

Spain isn’t exactly known for its plant-based cuisine. Typically, the first foods that come to mind are Iberian ham (Jamón Ibérico), manchego cheese, paella, chorizo, and croquettes.

That being said, the food scene has changed a bit in the last few years. Spaniards—especially those in the food industry—are becoming more conscious and offering vegan-friendly products and dishes. 

As a Spaniard myself, I can say you won’t find many Spanish vegan food options in traditional tapas bars.

Instead, you’re more likely to have success in newer restaurants opened within the last few years. In these establishments, vegetarian options tend to be more plentiful and you can even find some vegan dishes or dishes that can be adjusted to be made vegan.

If you don’t feel confident speaking Spanish or don’t want to do much research into where to eat as a vegan in your destination, booking an apartment with a kitchenette is a good option. You will find vegan food, including tofu and burgers, in most major supermarkets.

Assorted vegan Spanish tapas featuring a variety of vegetable toppings, including tomato bruschetta and an olive medley
While traditionally many Spanish tapas contain meat, you can also find vegan options. Photo: paulbrighton via Depositphotos.

Easy Spanish Vegan Dishes

Many Spanish dishes contain meat, fish, or dairy, but some are naturally vegan or can easily be adapted for vegans. 

To help you enjoy a plant-based trip to Spain, here are some of the most delicious vegan recipes.

For clarity, I have broken up the list into different sections so it is easier to find the type of Spanish vegan dish you are looking for; however, note that some of these dishes fall into multiple sections.

For example, you can have espinacas con garbanzos (spinach with garbanzo beans) as a tapa or main course, depending on the quantity.

Spanish Vegan Appetizers

1. Tomate Aliñado 

Tomate Aliñado, a vegan Spanish dish featuring fresh sliced tomatoes dressed with olive oil and salt.
Tomato salad. Photo via Cristina Reina.

You can never go wrong with ordering tomate aliñado in any restaurant. It is probably the easiest vegan recipe from Spain, consisting of tomatoes, olive oil, and salt—and sometimes garlic and herbs for added flavor.

Since it is such a simple dish, using high-quality ingredients is extremely important.

Pro tip: I highly recommend having it with a few bread slices to dip in the olive oil and tomato juices. Although most types of bread served in bars are vegan, double-check with your server.

2. Ensalada de Pimientos 

Ensalada de Pimientos, a delicious vegan Spanish dish featuring roasted red peppers topped with chopped garlic.
Ensalada de Pimientos is a delicious vegan Spanish dish. Photo: markop via Depositphotos.

Another delicious vegan salad you will love is ensalada de pimientos, or roasted red peppers mixed with onions, tomatoes, olive oil, and vinegar. It is refreshing and goes perfectly as an appetizer or side dish.

3. Setas al Ajillo

Setas al Ajillo, a Spanish vegan dish featuring sautéed mushrooms with garlic and parsley.
If you enjoy mushrooms, you’ll love Setas al Ajillo! Photo: al1962 via Depositphotos.

If you love mushrooms, you must try setas al ajillo—an easy Spanish vegan dish made with mushrooms and garlic. The mushrooms are sauteed with garlic and olive oil. It is best served with parsley for extra freshness.

Spanish Vegan Tapas & Side Dishes

4. Berenjenas con Miel

a white plate featuring fried aubergine with sugar cane honey
Berenjenas con miel is one of the best Spanish vegan recipes. Photo via Cristina Reina.

One of the best vegan Spanish tapas recipes is berenjenas con miel. This tapa consists of fried sliced eggplant drizzled with sugar cane honey, which is suitable for vegans as no bees are involved in its production. 

The crispiness of the eggplant and the sweet flavor of the honey are the perfect combination. 

5. Pimientos de Padrón

Pimientos de Padrón, a Spanish vegan dish featuring small green peppers sautéed with sea salt.
Pimientos de Padrón is a healthy and satisfying vegan dish. Photo: pabkov via Depositphotos.

Padron peppers are native peppers to the northwest region of Spain. For pimientos de padrón, the peppers are simply fried in olive oil and seasoned with sea salt. 

They go really well with a glass of wine, like a verdejo from the Rueda wine region in Central Spain.

6. Papas Arrugadas

Papas Arrugadas, a Spanish vegan dish featuring wrinkled potatoes served with a savory vegetable sauce.
Vegans in Spain shouldn’t miss trying a plate of Papas Arrugadas. Photo via Cristina Reina.

Papas arrugadas is one of the Canary Islands’ most famous dishes. It can be enjoyed as a tapa or side dish. The recipe consists of three main ingredients: water, potatoes and salt. 

The locally grown potatoes are boiled with salt until they wrinkle, which is why the dish name means “wrinkled potatoes.”

They are always accompanied by mojo rojo and mojo verde, two spicy sauces mainly made with herbs and spices.

7. Escalivada

Escalivada, a traditional Spanish vegan dish featuring roasted red and yellow peppers, eggplant, and onions, served with fresh bread.
Order a plate of escalivada for a tasty plant-based meal. Photo: asimojet via Depositphotos.

Escalivada is one of the simple Spanish vegan dishes from the Catalonia region. It is made with roasted vegetables: eggplant, red peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic.

Once roasted, they are peeled, assembled on a plate, and seasoned with extra virgin olive oil and salt for a delicious meat-free tapa.

Spanish Vegan Dishes

8. Pisto Manchego

Pisto Manchego, a Spanish vegan dish featuring a hearty mix of sautéed zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, and onions, garnished with fresh herbs.
You can’t go wrong with a delicious plate of pisto manchego. Photo: myviewpoint via Depositphotos.

It can be said that pisto manchego is the Spanish version of the traditional French ratatouille. It is made with eggplant, courgette, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and olive oil. 

My family also adds potatoes to make it more filling. Many people also add a fried egg on top, so double-check with the waiter about this.

The best way to eat pisto is with a few slices of crusty rustic bread to dip in the tomato sauce.  

9. Espinacas con Garbanzos

Espinacas con Garbanzos, a Spanish vegan dish featuring a stew of chickpeas and spinach.
Espinacas con garbanzos is one of the most delicious Spanish veg dishes. Photo via Cristina Reina.

One of the best Spanish vegan dishes is espinacas con garbanzos, an Andalusian traditional recipe packed with flavor that is essentially chickpea with spinach stew. Not only is it delicious, but it is also simple to make. 

This dish incorporates chickpeas, spinach, bread, garlic, and spices like cumin and coriander. Many bars serve it as a tapa, but you can also have it as a main dish adding more quantity as it is filling.

Besides my grandma’s secret recipe, the best espinacas con garbanzos I have had was at Taberna La Niña del Pisto, one of the best places to visit in Marbella!

10. Gazpacho

Gazpacho, a classic Spanish vegan soup made from blended tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, garnished with a basil leaf.
Gazpacho, anyone? Photo: Blinovita via Depositphotos.

Gazpacho is the most well-known vegetarian and vegan recipe in Spain. This cold tomato soup is perfect for cooling down in the summer months when it is scorching in most Spanish cities, but there is no reason not to enjoy this soup any other time of the year.

Tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, onions, garlic, bread, olive oil, and water are the ingredients for this soup.

It is a very healthy dish that you can have as a starter or a main dish if you want something light. 

Although this is the traditional recipe, there are many other versions of gazpacho—including gazpacho verde, which is made with melon and is also vegan. 

11. Ajoblanco

Ajoblanco, a Spanish vegan dish featuring a cold almond and garlic soup, served with a grape in the center.
Ajoblanco soup is a delicious Spanish dish that is also vegan. Photo via Cristina Reina.

Similarly to gazpacho, ajoblanco is a cold soup typical of Andalusia, more specifically of Malaga and Granada

As its name suggests, this soup’s main ingredient is garlic (ajo in Spanish), but it also contains almonds and bread. It is refreshing and makes it a fantastic appetizer. 

The best way to enjoy ajoblanco is by garnishing it with green grapes and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. In my opinion, it’s one of the best vegan Spanish recipes!

12. Paella de Verduras 

Paella de Verduras, a Spanish vegan dish featuring a colorful vegetable paella with rice, peas, corn, and bell peppers, garnished with lemon wedges.
While paella often has meat or seafood, you can find veggie varieties too. Photo: Lovelymama via Depositphotos.

Paella is one of the reasons Spanish cuisine is famous. Many people believe it is a national dish, but it actually originated in the beautiful city of Valencia

Traditional paella is made with meat, but many variations of paella and paella-style rice dishes exist. 

The main ingredient is rice, specifically arroz bomba, a type of rice perfect for paella. The paella can then be made with meat, seafood, or vegetables—the latter of which is getting easier to find throughout Spain.

Pro tip: the best way to enjoy paella is to eat it from the pan—which is actually called “paella” although many confuse it with paellera—and squeeze a lemon for extra flavor. 

Vegan Spanish Desserts

You might wonder, what about traditional vegan Spanish desserts? Unfortunately, not many desserts or cakes are vegan, though a few are:

13. Churros 

Spanish churros, a vegan-friendly dessert featuring crispy, fried dough pastries.
Yes, Spanish churros are vegan! Photo: redesparatorpes via Pixabay.

Are churros vegan? Yes, they are made of very few, simple ingredients: water, flour, and salt. Once the dough is ready, the churros are fried in olive oil. 

The traditional way to eat churros is by dipping them in hot chocolate; however, Spanish hot chocolate isn’t vegan as it contains milk.

Because of this, you should ask for an alternative type of milk, which some places still don’t have, or simply sprinkle some sugar on your churros.

Churros are often seen as dessert in many countries; nevertheless, if you come to Spain, you will never see churros on the dessert menu.

We Spaniards usually have churros for breakfast or what we call merienda—a meal between 5 PM and 7 PM, when we have something sweet or a sandwich with a hot drink, juice, or milkshake.

However, if you aren’t strict about following a vegan diet or are vegetarian, you will find many more dessert and cake options, such as:

14. Tarta de Santiago

Tarta de Santiago, a traditional Spanish dessert cake made with ground almonds and decorated with powdered sugar and a cross design.
Tarta de Santiago can be made vegan with a simple ingredient substitution. Photo: edu1971 via Depositphotos.

This delicious cake, typical of Galicia, is vegetarian and gluten-free friendly. It is made with ground almonds, sugar, eggs, lemon, butter, and cinnamon and topped with icing sugar. It is spongy and so flavourful. 

To make it vegan, you can substitute eggs for aquafaba, which translates to the water from a tin of beans. Consider also adding flour for a firm consistency.

Pro tip: this cake pairs perfectly with a small serving of sweet wine!

15. Natillas

Natillas, a traditional Spanish dessert featuring creamy vanilla custard topped with a cinnamon-dusted biscuit.
Natillas is a Spanish dessert that can be made vegan with a simple milk swap. Photo: ajcespedes from Pixabay.

A classic Spanish dessert is natillas, or Spanish custard. The main ingredients for this creamy dessert are eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, and it is often topped with a rich biscuit. I like adding a bit of cornflour to thicken the custard, but some people prefer it runnier.

To make this Spanish dessert vegan, use soy milk instead of regular milk.

Vegan Restaurants In Spain 

Wondering where you can get the best Spanish vegan meals? These are some of the best vegan restaurants in Spain:

Superchulo

Address: Calle de Fuencarral, 74, Centro, 28004 Madrid, Spain

Superchulo is one of the most searched vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in Madrid. Located in one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods, this eatery offers colorful and delicious dishes that range from pink pasta to pizza and hearty burgers (which can be gluten-free too!) If you have a sweet tooth, you must try their vegan ice cream and brownie.

Veggie Garden

Address: Carrer dels Àngels, 3, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

If you are looking for the best Spanish veggie dishes, you can’t go wrong with Veggie Garden. This vegan chain restaurant in Barcelona and Madrid offers all sorts of flavorful food. Whether you fancy tapas, burgers, or healthy salads, it’s a great place to enjoy delicious vegan food in Spain.

Restaurante Copenhagen

Address: Carrer del Literat Azorín, 8, L’Eixample, 46006 València, Valencia, Spain

This Scandinavian-style restaurant serves amazing vegan and vegetarian dishes near Valencia’s city center. They cook with organic and seasonal ingredients making their menu healthy and fresh. Their croquetas and tasting menu are definitely worth trying.

MIMO Vegan

Address: Avenida de Manuel Agustín Heredia, 20, Distrito Centro, 29001 Málaga, Spain

Traveling to Malaga? One of the best vegan restaurants near the Malaga historic center is MIMO, which serves plant-based dishes like jacket potato with chili jackfruit, pad thai, and plant-based burgers. All of their dishes are made with local and organic produce.

They also serve the best vegan chocolate brownie in the city, so it’s definitely worth adding it to your Malaga itinerary.

Vegan Rock

Address: C. Amor de Dios, 38, Casco Antiguo, 41002 Sevilla, Spain

Vegan Rock is worth trying if you want to try the vegan version of typical dishes from Seville and Andalusia in general. You can taste dishes like vegan chorizo sandwiches and Spanish omelets.

Hands holding a basket filled with fresh vegetables, including tomatoes, zucchini, red onion, radicchio, and an artichoke.
Luckily, Spain is abundant with fresh and organic produce. Photo: stockasso via Depositphotos.

Vegan Hotels In Spain 

Hotel Margot House

Address: Pg. de Gràcia, 46, L’Eixample, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

This 3-star boutique hotel is in the heart of Barcelona. The rooms are beautifully decorated in a simple but modern style, and the hotel offers a delicious breakfast with fresh and sustainable ingredients that can be adapted for vegans. 

Ecocirer Guest House

Address: Carrer de Reial, 15, 07100 Sóller, Illes Balears, Spain

If you are looking for a relaxing stay away from the hustle and bustle of big cities like Barcelona, Madrid, or Seville, Ecocirer in the beautiful town of Soller in Mallorca is perfect.

The guest house is calm, simple, and beautiful, and since it is an independently owned hotel, you will feel welcome from the moment you step in.

Also, the mountain views and their daily delivered breakfast, which can be vegan, are highlights of this guest house.

Barceló Imagine

Address: C. de Agustín de Foxá, 32, Chamartín, 28036 Madrid, Spain

This 5-star hotel in Madrid is modern, has good transport connections, and offers great facilities, including a pool perfect for the summer months.

Although the hotel isn’t completely vegan, it caters to vegans. It became popular a few months ago because one of the chefs came up with a vegan version of the famous cocido madrileño, a traditional meat and vegetable stew in Madrid. 

The rooftop at the Barceló Imagine Hotel in Madrid, Spain, featuring comfortable seating and a panoramic view of the city.
Enjoy gorgeous rooftop views at the Barceló Imagine. Photo via Expedia.

Vegan Food In Spain: FAQ

Now that we’ve gone over some of the best Spanish vegan dishes and where to enjoy them, I want to answer some frequently asked questions about eating vegan in Spain:

Q) Are there many vegans in Spain?

There are approximately 276,000 vegans in Spain.

Q) Is it easy to find vegan food in Spain?

It depends on the location; however, vegan cuisine is expanding, especially in the bigger cities.

Q) How do you ask for vegan food in Spanish? 

Vegan food in Spanish is comida vegana. You can ask, ¿Tenéis comida vegana?

Q) Which city in Spain has the best vegan food?

Barcelona has some of the best vegan food, but Madrid is also a good city for vegans.

What Spanish vegan dishes would you add to this list?

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