Eating out in a new country can be confusing, and trying to communicate dietary needs in an unfamiliar language adds to the challenge.
Presently, Spain is becoming more and more vegetarian friendly every day, and Malaga is no exception. As the younger generation turns towards more towards healthier, plant-based options, more meat-free options are simultaneously popping up every day on menus across the city. If you follow a meatless or plant-based diet, this vegetarian guide to Malaga is required reading before your trip. Here’s how to communicate your diet to your server in Spanish so that you can be sure to get something you’ll enjoy. Additionally, we have some good vegetarian options to look out for and where to find excellent veggie-friendly food.
Useful words and phrases
First up in our vegetarian guide to Malaga: how do you explicitly tell your server about your dietary needs in Spanish? Here are some especially handy words and phrases that will ensure you get exactly what you need.
Yo soy vegano/a. I am vegan.
Yo soy vegetariano/a. I am vegetarian.
Yo no como ni carne, ni pescado, ni huevos, ni productos lacteos. I don’t eat meat, fish, eggs or dairy products.
¿Me recomiendas algo rico por favor? Can you recommend me something tasty please?
Yo no puedo comer… I can’t eat…
Yo puedo comer… I can eat…
Leche de soja: Soy milk
Veggie-friendly foods and tapas from Malaga
Time for the fun part of our vegetarian guide to Malaga: the food! Overall, many of Malaga’s typical bites include fresh seafood and other meat product. While this may be true, the good news is that there are plenty of meat-free options as well. Here are are top picks for vegetarian tapas and other foods in Malaga! What’s more, each of the below options is suitable for vegans as well (or can easily be adapted for vegans).
- Porra antequerana: Similar to gazpacho in that it’s a tomato-based soup served cold, porra antequerana is a thicker, heartier version of the popular dish. However, its creamy texture comes from the addition of bread! Many restaurants and bars serve this dish topped with hard-boiled egg, jamón and tuna on top. However, the soup itself is completely vegan, so simply order it without the toppings for a refreshing plant-based meal!
- Ajo blanco: Another perfect dish for Malaga’s hot summer days, ajo blanco dates back to the region’s Moorish days. This ancient recipe includes garlic and almonds blended together into a rich, refreshing chilled puree. Can’t make it to Malaga yet to try it in person? In the meantime, here’s our favorite ajo blanco recipe!
- Berenjenas con miel: Craving something uniquely sweet and savory? Berenjenas con miel, or eggplant slices lightly fried to crispy perfection and drizzled with honey, will satisfy that craving. This tasty dish is especially typical here in southern Spain and produces a melt-in-your-mouth sensation that will make you want to order more!
- Patatas bravas: While this popular tapa isn’t unique to the city, a vegetarian guide to Malaga wouldn’t be complete without what is probably the most popular plant-based tapa in all of Spain! These crispy, fried potatoes are drizzled with a spicy sauce that packs the perfect amount of heat. Many bars also serve their bravas with alioli (a type of garlic mayonnaise), but if you follow a vegan diet, simply ask for them to leave it off.
Vegetarian and vegan restaurants
Last but not least on our vegetarian guide to Malaga: where to enjoy a perfectly delicious meat-free meal! Here are some of our favorite veggie-friendly restaurants in the city where anyone can enjoy an undeniably fabulous meal, regardless of their dietary needs.
- Vegetariano El Calafate: If you’re looking for a great place to enjoy an especially relaxing, laid-back vegetarian meal in Malaga, this is your best bet. Their completely vegetarian menu features unique and innovative dishes, all served in generous portions by their friendly staff. Most days of the week, they also offer a vegetarian menú del día (two courses, a drink, and coffee or dessert all for one low price)—Spain’s best meal deal!
Address: Calle Andrés Pérez, 6
- Recyclo Bike Cafe: This unique bike-themed cafe and restaurant offers several healthy, meat-free options on their extensive menu. Overall, the casual atmosphere is the perfect place to kick back and relax as you enjoy your meal, a beer from their fabulous selection and live music on the weekends.
Address: Plaza Enrique García-Herrera, 16
- Cañadú: By and large, this lovely vegetarian restaurant values quality, healthy food above all else. In addition to their extensive vegetarian and vegan menu, they also offer a delicious variety of gluten-free choices. This is one of our favorite vegetarian restaurants in Malaga as far as value for money. The prices, considering the quality of the food and incredible location in the city center, are especially reasonable.
Address: Plaza de la Merced, 21
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Life is too short to speak one language and stay in one place. In 2015, this philosophy took her from familiar Ohio to sunny southern Spain. Usually drinking tinto de verano, reading Lorca, or attempting to dance flamenco (not all at once). Follow her blog, Viatic Couture, for more.