Lisboa… eu te amo muito !
I’ve been there for a few weeks already yet I have still so many restaurants to try out ! Lisbon has many vegan or vegetarian places, along with veggie options in most restaurants in town. Happycow actually has a total listing of 133 veggie-friendly spots ! So don’t worry about being vegan there. You’ll not die of hunger for sure and you’ll also be able to do a bit of vegan/cruelty free shopping !
Side note : I’ll regularly update this article as I’ll be spending a few more months in Lisbon, so more reviews are to come 😉
Food culture in Lisbon & typical dishes
The traditional Portuguese dishes are far from vegan. Based on fish, seafood, meat, cheese and eggs… unfortunately, it’s true that you will not be able to experience most of Portugal supposedly best dishes ! But don’t be discouraged… you can always try out :
- Caldo verde : A soup made out of potatoes, kale, onions and olive oil. Be careful though, sometimes chouriço is added directly to the soup, so make sure to ask before ordering !
- Broa de milho : A type of bread made with corn and rye flour.
- Wines & Liquors such as Porto‘s wine, Vino verde, Ginjinha, Amendoa amarga…
- Bica (coffee), Laranjada, Sumol + Compal’s drinks
- Olives and olive oil, garlic, onion, spices and herbs such as piri-piri, pepper or salsa, rice (arroz), beans (feijaos) bread, sweet potatoes (batatas doce) & potatoes (batatas) are some of the staples of Portuguese cuisine. You can always play around those yourself or if someone else proposes to cook for you. In a restaurant, they can usually adapt even if there’s no vegan option… the only problem is that you’re never 100% sure it’s vegan. But I’ve found out that veganism is well known and respected around Lisbon.
- Vegana Burger : Cais do Sodre (Praça de Dom Luis I, 30) €
Vegan hamburgers chain in Portugal, with 3 places in Lisbon and one in Cascais. Lots of different buns & patties, it’s fun, different and very tasty. I actually preferred my friend’s burger rather than mine, even though it was also yummy. The homemade chips are good as well ! Dessert wise, i took a mango mousse that day and it was super fresh and light, not too sweet, perfect to end the meal without feeling the need to lay down forever !
- Aloha Café : Principe Real (Rua do Monto Olivete 20) €-€€ (12€ for burger, fries and a drink)
While strolling around Principe Real, looking for an art shop that I didn’t find, in the end, I remembered that there was a vegan restaurant nearby. I searched on Happy cow and there it was : Aloha Café. Naturally, I decided to try it out while thinking about this article – hey, blogging about food & reviewing restaurants ain’t that bad 😉
After spending forever trying looking at the menu to make a choice, I decided to order a raspberry kombucha + the Portobello Burger. I was surprised when my burger arrived, as there was no classic buns in sight but instead 2 slices of rye bread (I believe) !
The burger was made out of tomato, lettuce, caramelized onions, Portobello mushroom, smoked tofu and a small sauce. It was served with delicious, oven baked fries. Everything was fresh, healthy, light and very tasty ! I didn’t leave anything on my plate 😉
The whole menu seemed delicious, the desserts looked incredible too, the place is well decorated and the waiters were so sweet. Definitely worth paying a visit !
- Jardim Das Cerejas : Baixa/Chiado (Calçada do Sacramento) € (Lunch : 7,5€, Dinner : 9,5€, Take away 6,5€)
Probably one of my favorite places ! I learned about it long before visiting Portugal while checking Happycow. I went there for lunch 4 times and oh boy… it’s so good. You definitely need to go there. Nothing fancy ; everything is vegan and homemade. You can either eat there at the buffet or take away. They have fixed prices : 7,5€ for lunch & 9,5€ for dinner, not including drinks or desserts. The buffet has soup plus a large choice of salads, pizza/tarts/flat bread & usually 4 different hot dishes with 3 side dishes. The place is in the center of the city (Chiado) not far away from Santa Justa elevator. The staff is very polite, reserved and happy to help. Nothing bad to say about this place honestly ! Just try it out !
- Princesa Do Castelo : Alfama/Graça (Rua Do Salvador 64A) € (Dishes 3,5-10€ , desserts ~ 3€)
The first vegan place I have checked (by accident) while in Lisbon. Just like Jardim Das Cerejas, I already knew the name of this place, but didn’t plan on going there when one day, after walking around Graca/Alfama, I stumbled upon it… so I just decided to try those two desserts there. A great mango ice cream with soy cream, fresh fruits and nuts + a slice of raw banana/cinnamon cheesecake…. guess what. I loved it so much that I came back twice. Once, I had another dessert and the last time I went there for a quick dinner, where I had rice noodles with stir fried veggies and tofu. The place is quite small but very cosy, staff super friendly. The menu offers few choices but everything I have tried so far was pretty tasty. I will probably come back soon !
- Zarzuela : Cais do Sodre (Rua Bernardino Costa 21-23) €€ (~ 8/12€)
During my first few days in Lisbon, I just wandered around completely lost, in order to discover the city. After a few hours of walking I found Zarzuela, a restaurant offering a lot of options for gluten intolerant people, vegetarians, vegans… basically any kind of food intolerance or preference. It’s clean, the menu is large, prices are really ok considering the portion sizes. I had some rice with steamed veggies and fried tofu. It was good but I should maybe have tried one of their pizzas or burgers instead. Located nearby the riverside, not far from Cais do Sodre station.
- Tasca Urso : Principe Real (Rua do Monto Olivete 32a) €-€€
A nice surprise. Typical Portuguese dishes, not a touristic restaurant. Not vegetarian nor vegan but the waiter was happy to help and I ordered some grilled veggies and a dish of rice and beans. Careful, the portions are big ! The kind of cuisine that reminds you of something your grandma would cook. It was very tasty, not expensive either, calm as well and friendly staff.
- House of Wonders : Cascais (436, R. da Misericórdia 53) €
We went there on a Wednesday afternoon with a (non-veg) friend & fellow volunteer. She had already visited the place once with someone else and proposed that we check it out since she knew I’m vegan. The location seems to be in the center of Cascais (not far from train station) and the place itself is really cute and colorful, i loved the decoration ! It has good vibes…. reminds me of Alfama.
My friend ordered a coffee and a brownie while I took a smoothie (passion fruit/mango/orange/almond milk) with a raw vegan parfait. Before ordering I thought it was a yogurt & muesli mix but it turned out to be a cake…. not quite what I but oh boy, i wan’t disappointed ! Delicious, fresh, sweet and very tasty ! We ate outside on the terrace and it was very enjoyable, since it’s calm and the view is nice. I would go back for sure !
- Noobai : Santa Catarina (on the miradouro of Santa Catarina) €€
If you’re feeling fancy, try out Noobai, for the most amazing viewpoint (try it at sunset) with really good dishes. Vegan options are limited but they exist and to be fair it was quite tasty ! I ordered veggie gyozas as tapas and a quinoa/grilled tofu salad which was very refreshing. We had to wait for quite a while with my friends but considering it was friday night, it’s totally normal. We all enjoyed our meal. And the view really was a plus !
- Tweny Pancake : Arreiro (Avenida Joao XXI 22C) €
Cheap, delicious and decadent. Plenty of choices for the toppings. Everything is vegan. If you’re feeling hungry, opt out for the unlimited pancakes menu for 9,95€ (including pancakes + 1 topping unlimited with a cold drink). Just delicious. The place itself is large enough and comfortable, with a delicate staff member who happened to speak French. Only down point is its location, a bit further away from downtown. Might be a good thing, in fact…considering how cheap it is, I’d have been easily tempted to visit often !
- Nicolau : Baixa (Rua Sao Nicolau 15) €-€€
Victim of its own success and often being full, this super cute café serves delicious and healthy sweet & savory dishes. Not everything is vegan or vegetarian but it’s most definitely vegan friendly. Try out the incredible acai bowl on a hot summer day… worth the wait for sure 🙂
- TOO Naturally Healthy Food : Principe Real (Rua de O Seculo 224) €
I stopped there while I was walking from Barrio Alto to Principe Real. Very small place offering vegan drinks and snacks, such as those lemon-lime/coconut/chia balls. I also had a small bottle of Kombucha made in Portugal (yay !) and ate all on the go. It was good, nothing special considering what I’ve tried, but the man who was working there was really obliging which I appreciated. Not expensive either, so if you’re around, try it out.
- L’Anisette : Estrela (Rua de Sao Bento 30) €€ As a former Nice citizen, I was pleasantly surprised to find a typical café niçois in Lisbon ! Besides the traditional coffees, teas and other drinks, they offer smoothies where you get to chose your ingredients. If you’re up for a snack, make sure to try socca – typical Nice flat bread which is vegan. Sure, it’s not really typical of Portugal… but hey, you get to visit two places at once this way ! 😉
- Pingo Doce
One of the main grocery shopping chains here in Lisbon. A bit expensive for fresh fruits and veggies, but you can find almost everything you need. I even spotted some seitan in the “organic” section ! Not a lot of soy-products, but plenty of fresh fruits & veggies, as well as canned or frozen ones… basic but convenient.
- Celeiro Dieta
My favorite shop here in Lisbon. It’s a small but super well stocked shop, with mostly organic products, where the focus is on healthy products. Lots of vegan options, from frozen to fresh to canned/dry products, snacks, bars, ice creams, mock meats & cheeses, breakfast products etc… oh and a huge beauty/hygiene section as well ! With many vegan or vegetarian & cruelty free products! HALLELUJAH ! ♥
They even have a fresh section with prepared meals/dishes, and on the top shelf you’ll find some vegan versions of empanadas, queijadas, cakes, etc !
Downstairs they have a cafeteria as well, either for on site eating or take-away.
- BRIO : Largo do Carmo (Taverssa do Carmo 1) €-€€
Another organic shop with lots of vegan products available, including fresh juices and meals to take away. Price wise, I think it’s a bit more expensive than Celeiro, but not that noticeable. They also have a cosmetics section and an on-site café.
- Cork products stalls
You’ll find those all over Lisbon. Like, literally everywhere. Trust me ! After all, Portugal is the world 1rst producer of cork, so it makes sense. They have all kinds of products, from accessories to shoes, to kitchen gear, decoration, bags or jewelry. A nice, vegan & eco friendly souvenir to bring back home (it’s a great alternative to leather !)
- Sapato Verde : Chiado (Rua Chagas, 31-33) €€ -€€€
A great shop I stumbled upon not long ago. They have lots of different products, from food/snacks to eco friendly hygienic products to clothes, shoes & accessories. All vegan ! It’s not far away from Praça Luis de Camoes, right in the center of Lisbon (between Bairro Alto/Chiado). The staff is really nice as well. I’ve spotted some Meridian peanut butter, Vego bars and a great banana shirt… as well as a gorgeous pair of Nae sandals… basically a vegan heaven !