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 Post subject: salamanca and granada, spain! lisbon, portugal!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:54 am 
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hey all,

I'm about to embark on a month-long trip to spain. I will be primarily based in salamanca, with some short (2-5 days-ish) excursions to granada and lisboa. I've been excavating the internet, looking for tips and suggestions, but the situation looks a lil' dire. there are a lot of sort of "good luck, lol, jamon" articles, and most of my friends are telling me to just throw caution to the wind and eat all teh meats. what the fizzle? so: suggestions! I won't have access to a kitchen (living in a residencia, which is essentially a dormitory) and there will be dining-hall foods available for 3 meals each day, but I know the options are going to be scant and I'm going to get sick of it really rapidly. restaurants, cafes, mercados? bars? food carts? lemme have it!


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 Post subject: Re: salamanca and granada, spain! lisbon, portugal!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:08 pm 
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heyhey,

I live in Madrid but I know a bit about Salamanca since I've been there a few times (can't really help you with Granada, never been). So, here's the scoop:

Grocery stores: I know for sure that there's a Carrefour in central Salamanca cuz I've been to it before-Carrefour's pretty great for vegans, cuz they usually have hummus in they're refrigerated section, sometimes tofu if you're lucky, soy puddings and yogurts, and a variety of milk alternatives.

Mercadona's great too, has all of the above minus tofu, and even more selection when it comes to milks-rice, oat, soy, etc.

Now, in terms of food you'll be able to get easily when you're out in Salamanca-you're lucky that it's summer, because summer is gazpacho and salmorejo season in Spain, both of which are vegan. Salmorejo is absolutely delishhhhh, and typically from Andalucia, so you're gonna get some damn fine versions of it when you're down in Granada. Pero ojo, a lot of the time they'll top it with ham and eggs, so make sure to specify that you don't want that.

Other things you can eat: pimientos al padron. not typically from either of the regions you're going to (they're galician) but a lot of places will have them anyways, they're just delicious little peppers friend in olive oil and salt. Tostadas are also your friend when you need a quick snack/breakfast, just make sure to only order the ones with tumaca (tomato/olive oil puree) or aceite.

Salamanca is known for it's really delish pinchos that come free anytime you get a beer in most bars. usually they have a display where you can choose which pincho you want, but yeah, most of the time, they're not going to be vegan. but you'll make any person you have with you super happy that they'll get two pinchos!

patatas bravas are sometimes vegan, sometimes not. it depends on how they're made. have you ever been to Spain at all? If not, I'll warn you now, be ready for some real lousy customer service, especially in bars. get a thick skin about asking about ingredients, cuz most of the time the dudes behind the bar will look at you like you're loca. but it's no biggie, better off knowing at least, and if you have a good sense of humor about it they come round.

lots of the touristy places will have signs that advertise all types of paella-these are standard, premade ones that pretty much every cheap restaurant and barra in Spain has, and nothing at all like authentic Valencian paella, but most of these places have a vegetarian (and thus vegan) one that is worth trying for the experience at least.

last but not least, my favorite vegan Spanish dish- PISTO! It's just a veggie stew, but absolutely delightful. just watch out again because a lot of the time it'll be served with fried eggs. if you find a place that serves it with fries, you're golden for a good, typical Espaneesh meal.

there are also tons of Doner Kebab places all around Salamanca, as well as the rest of Spain. Not Spanish food, but when you're drunk (and Salamanca has some pretty bangin nightlife) and desperately need something greasy, a durum falafel minus the white sauce will do in a pinch. I think I saw some Indian places too. And I remember the last time I was there we passed a vegetarian restaurant, but didn't go in, so there's one at least!

I've written you a book! Hope this is helpful though, and I'll let you know if I think of anything else.

ETA: woops, you said you won't have access to a kitchen, so I guess the grocery store info's not too useful, but, the more you know!


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 Post subject: Re: salamanca and granada, spain! lisbon, portugal!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:40 am 
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I was in Lisbon last year and had no problem with vegan stuff.
I'll have to look back at my pictures to remember the places we ate but I can tell you to be very careful about using Happy Cow. Call ahead to make sure restaurants are still open before walking there! We made a note on happy cow for all the places (3, i think) that were closed but it seems there is pretty high turnover lately.
There was a great vegan bakery and a well stocked natural food market right downtown. I'll come back with names!


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 Post subject: Re: salamanca and granada, spain! lisbon, portugal!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:00 am 
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Yackobucci wrote:
heyhey,

I live in Madrid but I know a bit about Salamanca since I've been there a few times (can't really help you with Granada, never been). So, here's the scoop:

Grocery stores: I know for sure that there's a Carrefour in central Salamanca cuz I've been to it before-Carrefour's pretty great for vegans, cuz they usually have hummus in they're refrigerated section, sometimes tofu if you're lucky, soy puddings and yogurts, and a variety of milk alternatives.

Mercadona's great too, has all of the above minus tofu, and even more selection when it comes to milks-rice, oat, soy, etc.

Now, in terms of food you'll be able to get easily when you're out in Salamanca-you're lucky that it's summer, because summer is gazpacho and salmorejo season in Spain, both of which are vegan. Salmorejo is absolutely delishhhhh, and typically from Andalucia, so you're gonna get some damn fine versions of it when you're down in Granada. Pero ojo, a lot of the time they'll top it with ham and eggs, so make sure to specify that you don't want that.

Other things you can eat: pimientos al padron. not typically from either of the regions you're going to (they're galician) but a lot of places will have them anyways, they're just delicious little peppers friend in olive oil and salt. Tostadas are also your friend when you need a quick snack/breakfast, just make sure to only order the ones with tumaca (tomato/olive oil puree) or aceite.

Salamanca is known for it's really delish pinchos that come free anytime you get a beer in most bars. usually they have a display where you can choose which pincho you want, but yeah, most of the time, they're not going to be vegan. but you'll make any person you have with you super happy that they'll get two pinchos!

patatas bravas are sometimes vegan, sometimes not. it depends on how they're made. have you ever been to Spain at all? If not, I'll warn you now, be ready for some real lousy customer service, especially in bars. get a thick skin about asking about ingredients, cuz most of the time the dudes behind the bar will look at you like you're loca. but it's no biggie, better off knowing at least, and if you have a good sense of humor about it they come round.

lots of the touristy places will have signs that advertise all types of paella-these are standard, premade ones that pretty much every cheap restaurant and barra in Spain has, and nothing at all like authentic Valencian paella, but most of these places have a vegetarian (and thus vegan) one that is worth trying for the experience at least.

last but not least, my favorite vegan Spanish dish- PISTO! It's just a veggie stew, but absolutely delightful. just watch out again because a lot of the time it'll be served with fried eggs. if you find a place that serves it with fries, you're golden for a good, typical Espaneesh meal.

there are also tons of Doner Kebab places all around Salamanca, as well as the rest of Spain. Not Spanish food, but when you're drunk (and Salamanca has some pretty bangin nightlife) and desperately need something greasy, a durum falafel minus the white sauce will do in a pinch. I think I saw some Indian places too. And I remember the last time I was there we passed a vegetarian restaurant, but didn't go in, so there's one at least!

I've written you a book! Hope this is helpful though, and I'll let you know if I think of anything else.

ETA: woops, you said you won't have access to a kitchen, so I guess the grocery store info's not too useful, but, the more you know!



wow. thank you for all of the excellent recommendations. it's really helpful knowing the names of specific platos that I can look for wherever I will be! I actually had a nightmare last night that I was held down and fed jamon, haha. que pena!

do you have any suggestions regarding cervezas? I'm unfamiliar with what is available, but I love beer (also wine, red wine, vino vino vino), so if you have any ideas about what brands are both delicious and not made with animal parts digame por favor!


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 Post subject: Re: salamanca and granada, spain! lisbon, portugal!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:01 am 
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inceptisol wrote:
I was in Lisbon last year and had no problem with vegan stuff.
I'll have to look back at my pictures to remember the places we ate but I can tell you to be very careful about using Happy Cow. Call ahead to make sure restaurants are still open before walking there! We made a note on happy cow for all the places (3, i think) that were closed but it seems there is pretty high turnover lately.
There was a great vegan bakery and a well stocked natural food market right downtown. I'll come back with names!


excellent! thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: salamanca and granada, spain! lisbon, portugal!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:36 pm 
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¡Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about fabulous GRANADA!

I was living there a couple of month (and just got back)

It's not only gorgeous but also rather vegan friendly. Among the places mentionned on happycow I'd warmly recommend el Jergón and Mundo Manila.

Also, since Granada is the Capital of TAPAS, sometimes the best way to eat is to just order drinks in a couple of bars until you are filled (and/or drunk.) (Because: don't miss the wine).
There are several bars in wich they know what vegan means and would offer you great vegan tapas (just specify that you are "BEGAN-A/-O"):

Calle Elvira > La buena vida, El circulo (I love them, they have special local unique bottles of secret artisanal thingies...), Cascabel, Canela, and of course Sabika and Babel who offers "tapas a elegir" (both are quite hipster-ish though), Canela, ...
And there is a fusion thing in Calle San Jeronimo ... : BELLA KURVA (spanish/asian style with rice, seitan, ...)

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 Post subject: Re: salamanca and granada, spain! lisbon, portugal!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:39 pm 
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anyway in whatever bar, as mentionned before, you could get "berenjenas a la miel", salmorejo or gazpacho, ... ans until 1pm the typical andaluz breakfast with toast and tomato

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 Post subject: Re: salamanca and granada, spain! lisbon, portugal!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:40 pm 
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Also, apart from food you should consider visiting the alhambra :P

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 Post subject: Re: salamanca and granada, spain! lisbon, portugal!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:23 pm 
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hey all, just thought I'd provide some updates about my vegan excursion thus far!

SALAMANCA:
the meals in the residencia are pretty minimal in terms of vegan options, but I can have toast with jam for breakfast every morning and I have been putting together some pretty hefty salads every day for lunch and dinner. also bread and french fries. so I'm not dying. I have been supplementing this selection with food from supermarkets including carrefour, el árbol, and mercadona. things I can keep in my room without refrigeration have included soy milk in single-serving boxes, nuts, dried fruit, granola, some produce (avocados! yay!), whole grain bread, snack bars, and so forth.

out on the town, I have had some awesome bowls of salmorejo and gazpacho, as well as veggie bocadillos and tostadas con tumaca. at the bars I have gotten into the habit of just asking for olives - they're just so excellent here! I've also been pounding espresso. the thing I've probably said most over the past week is "quisiera un cafe solo con hielo." can't. stop. yum.

GRANADA:
the hotel where we stayed in granada over the weekend had a much better buffet selection and I ate like the vegan princess that I am. out and about, I had a great veggie paella at some restaurant I can't remember. I also had three excellent experiences at some vegan establishments!

the first was el piano, which I stumbled into by accident during a long walk through the city. el piano serves gluten free vegan food at a reasonable price and they have an awesome variety from which to choose. meals are served in little pine boats and patrons have the opportunity to have their boats filled with what looked like at least 20 different options. they also sell various "eco" products, offer cooking classes, have their own cookbook, and keep literature about their restaurant's practices on all of the dining tables. here are some pics:

Image

Image

Image

the next day, while wandering around, I bumped into a tiny health foods store. it wasn't strictly vegan, but they offered a decent selection of supplements and a few vegan essentials such as tofu, soy yogurt, various milks, and flax seeds. I was filled with joy upon entering the store because I had been feeling in pretty serious need of a multi-vitamin. I asked the lady working the shop to help me out, and she pulled down several different multi-v bottles and several different bottles of b-complexes. she pulled out a magnifying glass, scoured all of the labels, put back all of the non-vegan bottles, and then explained to me the differences between each option. the highlight of the shop, though, was getting my hands on an ice cold bottle of kombucha. damn, I had been craving that shiitake all week! when I was ready to pay for my vitamins, she insisted that I take the kombucha as a gift. talk about good people.

Image

that afternoon, in search of a quiet place to sit and have a drink, I found paprika, a small vegan bar and restaurant. I sat myself down and ordered a sidro, and was brought a cool glass of golden cider. the camarero paused to explain to me that it was an organic cider made locally, and then returned moments later with a plate of fresh hummus and chips, gratis. the sidro was awesome, like a sweet apple wine, and the hummus was just great. not to mention that it provided me with some much-needed protein.

Image

all in all, things are going pretty well! I'll be heading to lisboa the weekend after this upcoming one, so if anybody has any suggestions for then, please let me know!


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 Post subject: Re: salamanca and granada, spain! lisbon, portugal!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:35 pm 
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Hi, everyone-- not to hijack the thread (but I will anyway!) but I'm going to be in Spain in Sept. for work in Tarragona, specifically Reus. I have been internetting and looking on Happy Cow and such, but not finding anything. Anyone been there or know of options? I will be flying into Barcelona, so maybe I can pick stuff up at one of the vegan friendly places there on my way? But I'll be there for 10 days...so local options are needed too. Thanks in advance if you know of anything! :)


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