LE99 asked in Food & DrinkVegetarian & Vegan · 6 months ago

Vegetarian in Portugal?

so we're going to the algae be for a week in June. I'm very excited however, we're staying in a self-catering villa and I'm vegetarian. We are gonna cook at home a lot but the rest of my family wants to go out for food as well. Please if you have any inside knowledge or have been in a similar situation, let me know of any tips for what and I can eat whilst out there? Thanks in advance xx

8 Answers

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  • 6 months ago

    All restaurants and grocery stores have vegetarian food choices. You are worrying a whole lot about nothing.

  • 6 months ago

    Even when I lived on the Iberian peninsula when I was a kid, I can think of thousands of things we ate both at home and out that did not contain meat. Depends on how big a place you are staying however, in so many countries outside of the US, vegetarianism is not really a thing, why? because people have sourced ingredients and relied on food grown and harvested locally for economical reasons.Yes I know Spain and Portugal import as well lol. Its 2019. My greatest joy in visiting and living in every , of many, countries I've been to, is savouring as much local food as possible. I go to New Orleans I will pass on the FN celeb chef restos ALWAYS and head to where locals eat and mom and pop places. That is the whole blessing of being in a diff country, exploring culture through your stomach. Let's talk Spain for a minute. If you look at the history and diversity of the national dish paella, you will quickly learn that there is NEVER a single recipe that trumps others. Beans, fish. seafood, snails, rabbit, chicken, sausage, all used in assorted combos depending on regional abundance. as in all Mediterranean countries, you will have loads of choices, if you focus more on ingredients (ie when you're in a resto and talking to server) rather than waving the vegetarian flag around. Spaniards and Portuguese eat potatoes, a wide variety of legumes, nuts especially almonds, tortillas (not mexican, obviously...tortillas over there are like omelets).

    You will have ready supply of pastries, yogurt, bread, cheese(awesome awesome cheeses), cereal,

    on dinner menus, look for things like grao (chicpeas), migas, magusto, acorda, tremoco.

    You will be welcomed with open arms if you dont do what I see so many Americans and Canadians do in foreign countries, and that is frown at everything on the menu and expect the chef to whip you up something from home. be adventurous, have an open mind, and go somewhere to explore music and food and meet people. If you people who dont do that go, you should make haste for McPukes and avoid local places. It is not only insulting to hosts where you are staying or people who invite you in. or small local restos where they take pride in sharing age old family recipes, it is embarrassing. In fact those types of tourists should just stay home and eat at Earls or Red Robin or Milestones or McPukes or Wendys and call it a day. You are taking up space on airplanes and trains and in hostels and hotels etc away from travelers who go traveling to LEARN about dif cultures. Not saying you are one of those. but if you are a picky eater you should stay home. I grew up in a household where you ate what was in front of you because mom and dad were not running a resto cooking 7 dif meals every night to suit anyone. As well, thanks to yearss of living in and traveling to many dif countries as a child and adult always try dif things, not ust cultural exploration aspect but to educate and diversify palette and taste buds. So if you wanna offed a bunch of locals by all means demand they change their lifestyle and their culture for you, believe me I've seen it. And its embarrassing. Look for rice and potatoes and legumes on the menu (so this requires you to make an actual effort and learn some lingo before you go, so you know you have a list and you can pull it out to refer to when looking at a menu, because newsflash not all little out of the way places are going to have wifi so you can use your phone app. Show some respect to the country and the people and learn some basic vocab, show an interest, and above all, please thank you are words every person should learn in every country they travel to. por favor please, Obrigado means thank you.bom dia means good day or good morning, bom tarde means good afternoon, and also as important when you ont want to come off as an ignorant and arrogant tourist...nao falo portugues, fala ingles? (i dont speak portuguese, do you speak english), me chamo David - my name is David. Deculpe, nao percebo (im sorry, i dont understand) all common courtesy proper manners you would hopefully use in English so use them on locals in a dif country to show respect . Really those are key phrases I like to learn in any language where I go. I have seen enough non English speaking tourists show up in our hotel who have not bothered to even learn hello and excuse me and just point. Excuse me, it takes 10 minutes max to jotd own some basic greeting phrases. You're travelling 20 hours on a bloody plane an you dont have the decency to take 10 minutes out of your day to show some respect to the country you're traveling to?

    Again not saying this is you lol, sorry for the novel. travel is an enormous passion of mine.

  • 6 months ago

    I spent a few weeks in Spain last summer as a vegetarian and, to be completely honest, it wasn't the most amazing experience with regards to the food. Cooking at home was fine but eating out often lacked variety on the menu. Typically there was only one vegetarian dish, and occasionally not even that. A patient family that is willing to look at a few menus and try and find an accommodating restaurant will work wonders. I found that a good strategy was ordering lots of small dishes for everyone to share; that way everyone can have something that they like, and you will be able to have all the veggie stuff that comes. It is also worth mentioning that you will sometimes see dishes that appear to be harmlessly vegetarian on paper, but when they arrive you see they involve meat in some creative way. Ordering lots of small dishes also helps to avoid this issue, since if it happens on one dish you can have other things.

    I found that eggs formed a significant portion of vegetarian dishes, although there were also a handful of mushroom dishes. Gazpacho and other soups also available in many places (although soups are a very good example of dishes that you can find meat in when you don't expect to, so be careful). There was one place I went to that offered fried aubergine (eggplant) as a house delicacy. Slightly unorthodox and a little greasy for my liking but a welcome break from the eggs! There were a few places that did pizza, and in these kinds of places I found the most variety on the menu. I even found a very nice vegetarian burger in one of said places; a pleasant surprise but I wouldn't count on it!

    So, to summarise: fried eggs and omelettes. This is most likely what you will be eating. Not a lot of variety although you will find it on occasion.

    Good luck and enjoy your holiday!

    (If you, or a family member, speaks the language well this would be extremely useful for knowing what is on the menu and communicating your dietary requirements to waiters- if possible try and learn some basic food phrases before you go, and learn to say "I don't eat meat or fish" and things like this)

  • 6 months ago

    Surely you have an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables in the area? I'm assuming the villa has a very big garden.

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  • 6 months ago

    While I hate it when picky Americans go to some country like Vietnam where people work hard just to get enough to eat to keep them alive, and the Americans want their preferences catered to, Portugal is not a third world country. There is always something on the menu you can order, if you're prepared to be flexible. There are salads, pasta dishes, etc. There's a dish called "caldo verde" that you can ask to be served without the traditional slice of meat- it's onions, potatoes and kale. It's a shame to miss out on the traditional Portuguese dishes- you really miss out on experiencing the local culture, but if it makes you feel superior to say you're vegetarian, you'll still survive.

  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    Vegetarian food is not the "easiest" in Portugal but you'll have options. You will definitely be able to find lots of pastry and ice cream shops. Felafel is pretty common and if you're in a decent sized city, you'll be able to find an Indian restaurant without any trouble. Most restaurants are going to have a vegetable soup of some kind - some with beans too (but do ask about the stock). Finding salads will not be hard. Do you eat eggs? Custards are readily available.

  • 6 months ago

    ALL countries everywhere have vegetarian food.

    Dairy, eggs, veggies are all vegetarian.

    And if you happen to eat something that wasn't exactly vegetarian, you won't explode, the veggie police won't arrive, etc.

    Ask any waiter who comes to your table about vegetarian options.

  • 6 months ago

    Portugal is a big place

    Go onto tripadvisor for the town you are going to, click places to eat, and refine by vegetarian options, and it will show you where to eat, reviews and its exact location.

    MUCH easier than people here offering options than may be miles away from where you are staying

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