As if eating out in a new country wasn’t confusing enough, try attempting to communicate dietary needs into the mix.
Luckily, vegetarianism is becoming better and better known in Spain, and many places are able to adapt to the needs of those who choose not to eat meat. Meatless options and modifications are popping up on more menus throughout Malaga every day, and many of the region’s typical foods are also naturally vegetarian-friendly! Our complete vegetarian guide to Malaga will walk you through the essential Spanish vocabulary you need to know before dining out, as well as give you plenty of suggestions for veggie-friendly foodie stops while you’re there.
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? This handy vocabulary 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…
- Carne: Meat
- Cerdo: Pork
- Pescado: Fish
- Marisco: Seafood
- Leche: Milk
- Queso: Cheese
- Mantequilla: Butter
- Nata: Cream
- Huevo: Egg
- Miel: Honey
- Yo puedo comer… I can eat…
- Verduras: Vegetables
- Ensalada: Salad
- Judías/Habichuelas/Alubias: Beans
- Lentejas: Lentils
- Soja: Soy
- Leche de soja: Soy milk
- Almendras: Almonds
- Nueces: Nuts
- Arroz: Rice
- Aceite: Oil
- Pan: Bread
- Champiñones/Setas: Mushrooms
- Espinacas: Spinach
- Fruta: Fruit
Vegetarian foods from Malaga
Time for the fun part of our vegetarian guide to Malaga: the food! While many typical foods from Malaga include ingredients like fresh seafood and other meat products, there are plenty of equally delicious options where Spain’s delicious fruits and vegetables shine as well. As a bonus, each of the below options is suitable for vegans as well (or can easily be adapted to be completely plant-based).
You’ve likely heard of gazpacho, and maybe you’ve even tried salmorejo as well. Malaga’s take on cold tomato-based purees, porra antequerana, is closer to the latter thanks to its thick, creamy texture (which, believe it or not, comes from bread—the dish itself is completely vegan!). While many bars and restaurants top this dish with the traditional garnish of tuna, jamón and hard-boiled egg, simply order it without the toppings for a refreshing plant-based dish.
Another chilled soup (are you noticing a theme here?) perfect for Malaga’s hot summer days, ajo blanco consists of a refreshing blend of almonds and garlic pureed to perfection. If you can’t make it to Malaga to try it for yourself, make it at home with this foolproof ajo blanco recipe.
Berenjenas con miel
Fried eggplant with honey (or, more accurately, molasses)? Yep, you read that right! This unique savory-sweet combo might sound unusual at first, but the flavors in this traditional Andalusian dish magically work together in a way that will make your tastebuds sing.
As one of Spain’s most famous dishes across the board, patatas bravas are not native to Malaga, but no tapas menu would be complete without them. Bravas are crispy fried potatoes drizzled with a paprika-based sauce that isn’t overly spicy, but provides the perfect amount of heat. Many places also serve theirs with alioli, a garlic mayonnaise, but if you follow a completely vegan diet, just ask them to leave it off.
Vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Malaga
So you know what to order and how to order it. Now you just need somewhere to eat! Last but not least on our vegetarian guide to Malaga: where to enjoy a perfectly delicious meat-free meal! Here are some of the best vegetarian restaurants in Malaga where anyone can enjoy an undeniably fabulous meal.
Vegetariano El Calafate
Want to take your pick from a full menu of 100 percent vegetarian dishes in one of Malaga’s most chilled-out restaurants? Vegetarian El Calafate is calling your name. Everything on the menu is unique, innovative, and delicious, and everything comes served in generous portions by their friendly, personable staff. As a bonus, they even offer a menú del día—the king of reasonably priced dining deals in Spain, which includes two courses, a drink, and coffee or dessert all for one reasonable price.
Recyclo Bike Cafe
Recyclo Bike is easily one of the most unique options in our vegetarian guide to Malaga. A fun, friendly bike-themed cafe with plenty of veggie-friendly options, the casual atmosphere here makes it the perfect place to kick back and relax for a few hours. Take your experience from good to great by washing it down with a beer from their delicious selection, and come back on the weekend to enjoy some great live music.
High-quality, organic, and delicious meat-free food is the star of the show at Cañadú, and their commitment to fresh ingredients and sustainability is evident in every tasty bite. They even offer an extensive gluten free menu, and the value for money is outstanding considering the excellent quality of the food and the restaurant’s unbeatable location right in the heart of Malaga.