Eating vegan abroad used to fill me with dread, especially when travelling with a non-vegan. I don’t want to be a hassle, but that can hardly be avoided when you’ve already traipsed in and out of an array of restaurants who barely cater for vegetarians let alone vegans. Fortunately, veganism has exploded in the past couple of years and it’s a whole load easier to eat plant based abroad than it was when I first went from veggie to vegan.
Thankfully I also have a very understanding boyfriend who is more than happy to visit plant-based eateries and tuck into seitan over steak. Since I’ve gone vegan Charlie has pretty much become pescatarian and eats mostly vegan when he’s with me. My top tip for vegan/vegetarian travellers would be to download the Happy Cow app, I can’t tell you how useful this app is. It’s the best thing I’ve ever downloaded and locates all your nearest veggie friendly outlets based on your location.
A combination of the Happy Cow app and online research meant I was already clued up with Lisbon’s vegan scene before we arrived, and I’m pleased to confirm it’s pretty damn good.
My top suggestions include:
Nicolau was a happy accident, after a morning hiking in Alfama we were pretty starving and had a look at the menu only to be greeted by vegan pancakes! Nicolau is a pretty hip (wow I sound old) joint with quirky interiors and a lovely outdoor seating area too. The pancake was divine, and just what we needed for a pick-me-up.
AO 26 Vegan Food Project (Baixa)
AO 26 was already on my hit list but we actually happened to stumble across it on our first afternoon in Lisbon. As they were closing for lunch we decided to book a table for dinner instead and actually managed to bag the last table. It’s a very popular restaurant so I’d definitely advise booking in advance if you can! Although small, it’s tastefully decorated and has a homely yet contemporary vibe. The menu is impressive and I love the ode to ‘Gary’.
I opted for vegetable tempura for starters, whilst Charlie had soup of the day. The tempura was delicious and the portion size very generous! I was actually so full by the end of it and only just managed to squeeze in a burger. I had the beetroot burger which was lovely, accompanied by sweet potato fries. Yum! It was a little more expensive than some of the other vegan restaurants we visited but still very fairly priced and worth it!
Organi Chiado (Chiado)
I had an absolutely DELICIOUS lunch at Organi Chiado, situated on a cobbled sidestreet, this is an absolute gem and not to be missed. There’s both seating outside and indoors for cooler evenings, with a menu which is mostly vegan with 2 fish options. This was great as it meant Charlie got to enjoy some seafood whilst I tucked into a lasagne plus plenty of veggies. We also enjoyed gluten free bread and vegan pate with olives for a starter, so good! The menu changes every single day so you’re always going to get something different. I just wish we could have returned. Next time…
Sanskar Nepal (Chiado)
I LOVE a good Indian, but all of our local ones here in Cambs don’t offer much in the way of vegan friendly dishes. I was buzzed to find Sanskar Nepal, and even better, a dedicated vegan menu. We feasted on vegan cheese naan bread, onion bajis, vegetable korma, vegetable karai, saag aloo, poppadoms, and rice. You could say we went a little OTT but it was our final meal in Lisbon and we wanted to make it a good one! The food was delicious and I’d highly recommend this restaurant if you’re visiting Lisbon. Our bill only came to around 34 euros which we couldn’t believe, such fantastic value for money.
Go Natural (Various)
If like us you decide to opt for self catered accommodation, you. might want to stock up on a few supplies. We discovered Go Natural via the Happy Cow app, a healthy supermarket stocking tonnes of vegan items! We grabbed some crisps, chocolate and cookies (yes, vital), but they also had lots of Taifun/meat replacement products and on-the-go sandwiches. There’s also a cafe within the supermarket but we didn’t eat there so I can’t comment on that.
We were absolutely spoilt for choice in terms of dining options in the incredible Lisbon, so much so we still came away with a list of restaurants and cafes we didn’t get time to visit. I’ve also heard amazing things about:
A return trip is clearly needed…
Thanks for reading!