Friday, December 2, 2016

Portugal Vegan Food Tour

Portugal has absolutely amazing vegan food and we were pleasantly surprised at the prices when compared to home or other European large cities. We spent our time in Lisbon and Porto, and as always, utilized the fabulous vegan dining travel directory; We found staple grocery items at the health food stores as well. My favourite grocery item to get in Europe is vegan jarred ravioli and dark chocolate covered rice cakes.

In Lisbon our favourite vegan spot was Ao 26 - Vegan Food Project. I had researched this spot before our trip by going through their Facebook feed, and based on the tasty looking photos, we booked an airbnb around the corner. Wise move indeed. Ao 26 is a bright and welcoming space with a casual, slightly upscale, bistro vibe. It is perfect for lunch or dinner, which we enjoyed repeatedly. They have English menus and wonderfully friendly staff. The menu is full of delectable appetizers, mains, salad as, specials of the day and dessert. For lunch we generally ordered one of the homemade burgers with fries. Their house made vegan cheese platter and their tempura vegetables are great appetizers. My dinner favourite was the cornbread crusted tofu with potatoes. J enjoyed the seitan steak on more than one occasion but his absolute favourite was a house special that had amazing creamed potatoes. The chocolate mousse is always a great way to end the meal.

A staple lunch spot for us is Primo Basilico, located on a very vibrant narrow street, serving the best focaccia style pizza we have ever had. It is a small space, with a few stools and counter but it also has a sitting area next door with 5 or 6 tables. The restaurant is not exclusively vegan but has terrific vegan options including a several types of pizza and calzones. Pizza is available by the slice or an entire pan. The vegan pizza does not have vegan cheese but you don't even notice as the focaccia and toppings are so fresh and flavourful. The prices are very affordable as well.

It was hard to be torn away from our two favourite spots but The Food Temple came highly recommended so we ventured out one evening to give it a try. (Reservations are strongly encouraged.) We found the small restaurant tucked away on a side street, with live music playing outside. It has a fun, casual hippie vibe and due to the limited space we shared a table with another couple. The staff work seamlessly together in the compact, open concept, kitchen and quickly served us our selections. The food is tapas style and changes regularly. We enjoyed everything we ordered and had a fun evening!

When exploring further out of the centre, we had lunch at Miss Saigon. The spot seems very popular as there was a line up to get a table. Everything was delicious and health focussed. We enjoyed the set daily combo plates which offered a good variety, and ended with dessert. 

We then traveled north to Porto and found more great vegan dining. We had a terrific vegan pizza from the veg friendly take away spot Hand Go. In fact it was so great we had to order extra. It comes topped with a very good vegan cheese and loaded with vegetables. 

Another great lunch spot is the all vegan Black Mamba burgers which has a cool vibe with a focus on good food with a side of animal activism. We had homemade burgers and fries and dessert. The portions, prices and staff were all great.

Our top pick for Porto is Em Carne Viva, an elegant vegetarian restaurant with lots of vegan options. The interior is a beautiful restored house with lots of bright white details. We ate there several times (like daily). We also enjoyed a wonderful thanksgiving dinner there with two of our friends. Meals began with a savoury plate of warn buns infused with vegetables and seitan pastry puffs. My favourite meal was Garden of Autumn with mashes roasted chestnuts, chi take mushrooms, seitan on a bed of gravy. The prices were very reasonable especially considering the exceptional quality, portions, setting and lovely staff.

Portugal was a very tasty adventure! For more photos see:


Margaret Lozano said...

Thank you so much for sharing your travels. My husband really wants to go to Portugal and Spain, but he's also been hesitant, because he's concerned about being able to find vegan options. I'm going to show him these posts, for sure!

voyagevixen said...

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