From organic grocery stores to the tastiest vegan restaurants, here are the best haunts to “veg out” in Lisbon.
Eating clean can be a dirty business. Well, a tiring one anyway. Especially in a town that boasts beefs stews and chicken piri piri on every corner. Veganites in Lisbon, supplies may feel like they are limiting you, and I’ll wager ordering from Uber Eats may even be terrifying you. Fear no longer!
Like most capital cities across the globe, Lisbon has a thriving vegan and vegetarian scene if you know where to look. While certain parts of the city tend to contain a higher number of veggie friendly eateries and markets, you are rarely further than a short walk away from some organic greatness.
The grocery list:
This chain market is certified organic… in everything! From quinoa to alfalfa sprouts to vegan and vegetarian take-away/frozen/readymade meals; from skincare and cosmetics to vitamins/supplements and beyond, these mega marts of health are the answer to your clean eating (and clean living) dreams. Bonus: Locations from Lisbon to the Algarve to Porto.
Portugal’s gargantuan supermarket chain, Modelo e Continente’s healthy offshoot Go Natural can be found all over Lisbon, including surrounding municipalities. Offering up slightly pricier yet always bio-conscious produce, dairy and dairy alternatives in every shape, size and colour, cleaning products, and even a decent wine selection, all in organic varietals. If you need to stock up for the week or at most locations grab a healthy on-the-go salad, soup or quiche (made fresh daily and always tasty), go on over to Go Natural.
Biomercado is a unique one-off for clean eats in Lisbon, giving it that special non-commercial vibe that echoes the city itself. You can find all the products you would find in a conventional supermarket, but, of course, all organic and ecological. Usually, doubling as a restaurant (currently closed due to Covid-restrictions), the grocery shop is open for business as well as delivery.
This Lisbon specialty store in central Chiado will please even the most staunch vegans with its massive selection of products. Where else can you find jackfruit in the same spot as fair-trade organic clothing and footwear? Green Beans sells Beyond Meat products and a plethora of other vegan favourites, including cheeses that are beyond delish. Don’t miss the cute café where vegan muffins, cookies, and teas are on display for a tasty time-out.
El Corte Inglés -Bio Section
Not to offend the fantastic, burgeoning Portuguese supermarkets, but the biological section of El Corte Inglés takes the dairy-free cake when it comes to the largest variety of vegan products. If you are looking to cook like a chef, or at least flex those cooking muscles for the rest of the month, go no further. It is on the pricier side, but when it comes to discovering ingredients you simply cannot find anywhere else, I promise you this: you definitely get what you pay for here.
The restaurant list:
Note: These restaurants are open for delivery and/or takeaway during lockdown. I maintain; however, you must go to the following eateries for the experience. Lift your spirits once quarantine laws are lifted…
Eight – The Health Lounge
Bravocado, Immune Booster Shot, Feel the Beet Latte, Mexcellent Tacos! Eight is for the trendy set - in the very best way possible - and for a rather fair price, you can eat your fill. It may not be exclusively vegan, but it is certainly close. The go-to brunch destination for many Lisboetas, not just the veggie crowd, can be found on Praça da Figueira (just next to Rossio metro station). Known for boasting the best salads around, other brunch-y dishes include specialty bowls, toasts, and sandwiches. Don’t miss the eco-shop on the top floor, when that glorious day comes and Eight, (as well as the rest of Portugal) reopens.
Ao 26 – Vegan Food Project
One of, if not the first name off the lips of most of Lisbon’s vegan community, Ao 26 has amassed something of a cult following. The restaurant has a charming community feel to it, and an impressively varied menu. From burgers to salads, to various rice dishes with meat substitutes (the duck is a favourite for many), plus unique specials every day, there’s a lot to love about this Bairro Alto area foodie favourite.
After the huge success of Ao 26, the owners decided to go bigger, and greener with a second, high-end restaurant, O Botanista. It could easily be mistaken for a Planetarium Terrarium with its verdant, lush plant life décor covering every inch of the very-central tourist-heavy, yet, locally adored savoury spot. While O Botanista is open for delivery, this one is a definite go-to, like sitting in a forest surrounded by good eats. While the dishes sold here are top-of-the-line, its the dessert selection that sweet-toothed folks will be eyeing. Also, O Botanista is the home of Gopal Vegan Cheese, which is produced and sold on the premises. Known as the best artisan vegan cheese in Lisbon, being cheesy is redefined at O Botanista
Princesa Do Castelo
An Alfama gem located right by the picturesque neighbourhood’s infamous castle. Vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores alike will enjoy the always-rotating, Indian-inspired tastebud ticklers from chef Nandan, which diners can watch him whip up in the open kitchen. Don’t miss the free chips and dosa given to customers in this small-yet-welcoming spot, that more than makes up in flavour what it lacks in size. Open for delivery, but worth a walk and stop-in post-lockdown.
Farm Food Ink Café
A quaint café serving vegetarian Israeli food with some of the friendliest staff you’ll ever meet. It’s almost impossible to walk into Farm Food Ink Café without being given a taster on the house before you’ve even found a table. The falafel is definitely the star of the show here, always receivieng a standing ovation. Self-proclaimed best falafel in the world, a bold assertion, but one that is hard to contest. Vegan options are available for pretty much every dish here, including the sandwiches and plates. Servings are large, so don’t plan any big walks after you’re done, you’re going to want to sit, or rather, lay down. Farm Food Ink is on Rua Mal Saldanha, which is a devious little vegan district, playing host to several vegan cafes and spots including the excellent Green Beans café, but Farm Food Ink is one of the area’s standouts.
Because sometimes we all just want to eat junk food. With a tagline boasting, “Salad days are gone”, this is American-style vegan junk food done right. BBQ wings, loaded nachos, burgers and hot dogs, all greasy, all delicious! With the help of Beyond Meat products creative usage of cauliflower, and a straightforward, non-nonsense approach to eating junk, even the kids won’t notice they are eating vegan thanks to these Junkies of Lisbon. veganjunkies.pt
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