I’m going to be really honest with you. Eating vegan in Lisbon isn’t easy. This didn’t come as much of a surprise in a city with a culture based around a passion for fresh fish and meat. I struggled to find many “regular” restaurants in Lisbon which provided a vegan option, which is a shame because, for me, part of the fun of travelling is experiencing the authentic culture in tiny, hidden eateries or grabbing something to go at a little local cafe. Eating vegan in this city does require a little more planning than usual and does sometimes come at the sacrifice of a buzzy atmosphere and/or top notch food. But, not always.
The city does have some little hidden gems offering plant based options which you simply must add to your list for your trip. Here’s where I ate and what I thought of it:
Pistola y Corazon
This restaurant is adorable and unbeatable in terms of atmosphere. It’s a little Mexican taqueria which isn’t fully vegan by any stretch of the imagination but is worth visiting for a couple of margaritas (which will knock your socks off), the mushroom tacos and the beautifully fresh guac with tortilla chips. They have a whole vegetarian section on their menu and most of them can be ‘veganised’ by removing the cheese. The tunes are upbeat, the staff are chilled and the drinks are flowing. We were very lucky to walk in and be seated straight away but be prepared for a wait. The entire restaurant was packed with a queue out the door for the full two hours that we were there.
Absolutely the best breakfast / brunch spot I visited whilst in Lisbon. This modern, chic cafe (coincidentally right near Pistola y Corazon) has a range of really creative vegan options to fuel you for a busy day of sightseeing, not to mention some incredible music and super trendy staff. We went for the matcha pancakes with cashew cream and fresh berries as well as the breakfast burrito with tempeh, sweet potato, lettuce & Black beans. Delish.
Put it this way: You’re probably gonna need a booking. Again, the vegan food Gods we’re looking down on me for this visit and we managed to get in without one but the restaurant was packed the whole time we were there. Known as ‘AO 26 – The Vegan Food Project’, the chefs at this 100% vegan restaurant change the menu every day and experiment with textures, flavours and ingredients. The atmosphere at this restaurant isn’t quite as buzzy as the others we had visited but it was relaxed and comfortable. The staff are friendly and the head chef, who we chatted to briefly, is incredibly sweet. For mains, we grabbed a side of the sweet potato fries to accompany the Seitan bifana and the special for the day – mustard sauce seitan, cassava purée, a Yorkshire pudding and turnip sautéed greens. The mains were nice; not the most incredible vegan food I have ever eaten but unusual and tasty enough. However, the desserts were next level. We ordered the raw oreo peanut butter pie and the creme brûlée and couldn’t believe how delicious they were. If you go here, don’t leave without ordering these sweet treats because they are simply beautiful.
Eco Vegan Concept Store / Dona Flor Cafe / Green Beans
In what may be the strangest coincidence of my trip, we booked our Airbnb right next to an entirely vegan store with clothes, snacks and a little cafe too. Result! We also discovered it precisely after I had a minor breakdown about the difficultly of my first time being vegan in a different city. I took this opportunity to stock up on lentil chips, soft vegan cheese and vegan jellies to get me through any hungry stints during my trip. We also ordered one of their vegan bolognese subs with cheese which was a welcome treat! The staff were very sweet and asked for our feedback on the sub which we gave.
This was easily one of the funkiest places we visited in Lisbon. Full of trendy little bars and restaurants as well as quirky shops, this is a must visit for your trip. I noticed, as we were passing, that some of the shops had vegan burger and salad options available and wish I had visited them but unfortunately we settled on Mexican restaurant Mez Cais where the guac rocked but the vegan taco option was absolutely dire.
Time Out Market
You’ve probably heard of the Time Out Market in Lisbon. This is a well known spot for anyone visiting this city. It’s a buzzing food market with a host of different vendors and whilst you may want to pop in to say that you’ve been, they currently offer no vegan options. One vendor did kindly ‘veganise’ a pumpkin risotto on the spot for me but sadly, without any replacement vegan ingredients for butter, milk, cheese, it wasn’t bursting with flavour. Fingers crossed that they create some vegan options in the future!
Advertising a “vegan option”, which is rare to see on a stroll around Lisbon, I got very excited at the prospect of tucking into an açai bowl for breakfast. However, the reality of this menu item was that it was in fact, simply a scoop of gelato, ha! Not an açai bowl in the traditional sense but you know what, there are worse things to have for breakfast than ice cream 😉 Needless to say, I did need to grab some fries afterwards to ease off the hunger pains.
I was sent a whole host of Lisbon recommendations but as I was only in the city for three days (one of which I was unwell for), I sadly didn’t get round to exploring them all. Quite a few of them were also a long way from where I was staying. However, here they are, should you wish to try them out for yourself! I have it on good word that they are fab:
Jardim Das Cerejas
Farm Food Ink Cafe
In Bocca Al Lupe
Fabrica Coffee Roasters
Eight – The Health Lounge
My Mother’s Daughter
If you visit any of these places, visit my Instagram and let me know what you think: @thelittlelondonfoodie
Hey! I know you said eating vegan in Lisbon isn’t easy. Do you use HappyCow app? It lists 31 vegan places, excluding the 34 vegetarian ones of which most have very good vegan options, and 101 regular restaurants that have some vegan options. Lisbon is definitely doing better with veganism than most European capitals. It’s a shame you found it difficult!
Hey Jack! Yes, I do use the HappyCow app, love it! Unfortunately a lot of those places weren’t anywhere near where we were staying which limited our range somewhat. Some of the ones we tried to go into were closed on the day we tried and some just simply didn’t appeal when we visited them or looked at the menu but we did the best we could. Great to hear that it’s getting better. I’m going to Sorrento next week and the vegan options look fab there too which is great news! 🙂
Thanks for your comment. I do mention that I haven’t actually been there but they are more places with vegan options. The people who recommended them to me are friends but everyone has their opinion on whether a place is good or not and that’s OK. It’s more to let people know that these options are available to them should they want them.