Thursday, November 20, 2014

Veggies, veggies, veggies…

Fresh vegetable tempura at Aguaclara.
There always comes a time when people decide to visit you in Spain as did my German friend. I was looking forward to see her, however, I was facing a small difficulty as a ‘host’ – she is vegetarian and I am not. Of course there’s nothing wrong with either, but Spain is known for its chorizo and jamón and farinato and not for its spinach quiche. Spain has a very strong meat culture and I wasn't quite sure what to do with my friend. I decided to do some research and I have to say, it’s been very successful. Therefore, in this post I would like to share my results with you.

My all-time favourite is a bar called El Rastrel. It is a small vegan bar close to the city centre with great ambiance and cool staff. The tapas are delicious and once I tried them -the Galician beer they serve, too-, I knew I would be coming back. They also have a piano and some board games that anyone can play and, best part of all, dogs (with their owners) are allowed in so it is bound to be fun!

Another place to keep in mind is Café Mandala which is very conveniently just a few steps away from Tía Tula. Mandala is not a strictly vegetarian establishment, however, they have a lot of vegetarian tapas and 80% of their lunch and dinner menu is vegetarian. Moreover, they offer great smoothies and cakes which means that vegetarian or not, you will be going back.

At El Rastrel in an after-school activity organised by Tía Tula. 
In the course of my research I also came across with a vegetarian café/bar/restaurant called Café Atelier. It is located in the city centre, just round the corner from my flat which makes it a perfect place for dinner and/or tapas and some drinks. They also have some very nice fair trade coffee which you can sweeten with one of their cakes.

Also, there’s the restaurant El Laurel which offers vegetarian meals and also some vegan options. It is a nice place, quite small so you can enjoy its tranquility and relaxed atmosphere. The food is good and there’s quite a lot it so you won’t be going home hungry (and still have money left in your wallet). The staff is friendly so you can enjoy your vegetarian food while relaxing and talking to your friends.

There are other restaurants and tapas places that offer vegetarian or vegan options among their tapas and dishes range. That is the case of, for example, El Bardo and Aguaclara.

Last but not least, I as amazed when I found out that there even is a vegan eatery held in a self-managed social center. Aside from, of course, serving vegan food, their aim is to fight animal cruelty and raise awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

I hope this article showed you that although Spain is known for its meat products, it doesn't mean vegetarians and vegans are not welcome. In fact, based on my ‘research’, there are quite a few places in Salamanca worth visiting even if you are not a vegetarian or vegan. 

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