Spain is known for its culinary delights such as chorizo sausage, jamon serrano and prawns pil pil. So, if you’re vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian, will you cope here? The answer is a resounding yes: So, for all those plant-based Petras or a meat-free Marys, you can still have your vegan cake and eat it here in Marbella!
Despite the traditional pull of meat and dairy products, the country’s vegan and vegetarian populations are growing. There are now around 5.1 million Spaniards (source: inspain.news) who are either vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian and this movement is not going away. Furthermore, as the country relies heavily on tourism, more venues now cater for those who don’t eat meat as this shift toward eating only things that grow in the ground is an international super trend. Terms like ‘plant based’ are becoming more mainstream and many traditional restaurants now offer at least one non-meat dish. This is a welcome step-change from 10 years ago.
Here’s our guide to enjoying your holiday in Marbella if meat isn’t your thing.
Restaurants for Vegetarians and Vegans in Marbella
Where do we start? The non-carnivorous crowd are well catered for now in Marbella. Some of the best places to try include specialised cafes like Organic Café on The Golden Mile, Manuka which is a healthy food chain, and Gioia Plant Based Cuisine.
Within the Puente Romano Hotel, try Rachel’s Eco Love café which caters for a range of tastes and diets, including vegetarian and vegan options.
Eating out in Marbella if you Don’t Eat Meat
What if you are going to a mainstream restaurant in Marbella? The Monkey Club in Puente Romano offers vegan choices and so does El Chiringuito which has its own vegan menu. Choose from delicacies such as lentil spirals, vegan burgers and tacos all elaborately crafted to look and taste beautiful. Wash down your vegan tacos with a fine wine and take in views of the ocean. Sounds pretty good to us!
Shopping for Groceries in Marbella Without Meat
Marbella offers a wide choice in places to shop. Visitors from the UK may notice the supermarkets here offer less choice for vegetarians and vegans but there are still wholefood, organic and vegan products on offer in most large stores including the food section in El Corte ingles, Puerto Banus. Those who avoid dairy will also find what they are looking for with many grocery stores now offering a selection of non-dairy milks and yoghurts.
Spain is and always has been a delight for anyone who loves fresh produce, whether they eat meat or not. Tomatoes really are sun ripened here and Marbella is just down the road from Seville, one of the best places for orange trees after all!
You will find plenty of fruit and vegetables on sale in small specialist shops as well as the supermarkets.
Remember to let us know if you need groceries delivering to your Swish villa, we are happy to help!: Starting your day with a strawberry smoothie and a view is something that can’t be beaten!
Things to Avoid if you Don’t Eat Meat or Fish in Marbella
Sometimes it can be easy to make a mistake and end up hungry: Don’t let that be you! If you order a paella for two make sure you both eat fish or ask for a vegetarian paella. It can be hard to find dishes without meat or fish if you don’t know where to go or what to ask for. Even a simple mixed salad can contain tuna in Spain so it’s best to ask first and not assume. Some tapas can be deceptive too; empanadas (Argentine pasties) often contain ground beef. Talking of tapas, safe bets for vegetarians are Spanish omelette, Padron peppers, patatas bravas and fried aubergine. Enjoy!
We hope you enjoyed this article and for any more advice or tips, please do ask your Swish representative who will only be too happy to help.
The Swish team xx
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