Spain might be best known for its meat dishes, but Salamanca is a surprisingly veggie-friendly city. Here’s our pick of the best places in town where you can eat meat-free.
Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
Stop by for a fairtrade coffee and slice of homemade vegan cake at this local favourite cafe-tapas bar in the city centre. In the evenings it transforms into a lively vegetarian and vegan tapas bar known for the excellent quality of its food and drinks; try the tofu-stuffed mushrooms followed by a slice of apple pie. Be prepared to practice your Spanish (or point at things and smile!) because not all the staff speak English.
Vegetarian tapas and sangria at Cafe Atelier, Salamanca. Photo courtesy of Cafe Atelier
Just down the road from Cafe Atelier you’ll find another great option. Famous for its smoothies, milkshakes and cakes, Mandala is not a strictly vegetarian restaurant, but it has plenty of vegetarian options. Also, on the set menu there’s at least one vegan option for every course, so it’s an excellent choice for groups with mixed eating habits. It’s very good value for money, too. Situated right in the centre and near the libraries, you can expect to find lots of students here and there’s a lively atmosphere on Saturday nights.
El Laurel, Salamanca | Photo courtesy of El Laurel
A cosy, relaxed little restaurant offering a wide choice of Spanish-inspired vegetarian dishes and some vegan options, too. The friendly staff are happy to help you choose. The quality is good and the portions are pretty big, so you definitely won’t go home hungry. The prices are very reasonable, too.
Bar, Cafe, Tapas, Spanish, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, $$$
Not really a restaurant as such, more of a very casual indie bar serving vegan tapas and other snacks like samosas and pizza. It’s a very laid-back place with a fun vibe; they have board games, art exhibits, a piano for customers to play and dogs are allowed. It’s a small place and gets busy at peak hours, though remember the locals eat quite late.
Bar, Spanish, Vegan, Vegetarian, Mediterranean, $$$
This casual joint serves vegan hot dogs, burgers, curries, fresh juices, milkshakes and more. Their vegan cakes are the most popular thing on the menu, so if you have a sweet tooth this is the place to indulge. It predominantly attracts a student crowd who use the free wifi during the day and enjoy exhibitions and events in the evening.
This unassuming Chinese vegetarian restaurant and tea house also has a variety of vegan options on the menu. The friendly English-speaking owners serve up fresh tofu and other dishes with a Chinese flavour, making an interesting change from other veggie restaurants in the city, and the spice can be adjusted to your liking. Don’t forget to finish your meal with one of their fantastic selection of teas.