Restaurants in the UK are rapidly embracing vegans. For example Gregg’s launching a vegan sausage roll is proof of change. Lisbon are making progress, however are slightly behind. However Huel got me through the harder eating times.
The hotel offered a €25 breakfast on arrival which I politely declined. Lisbon is a beautiful and safe city which should be explored. I found vegan Natas (custard Tarts) at Zarzuela on the Saturday and ate at the cereal cafe on the Sunday. However I did not benefit from the cereal cafe. There is a huge selection of cereals that you can choose three. Then pick some topping’s and ice cream (which were not vegan). So I had bowl of cheerios with soya milk. My choices were limited and my wallet was very light before the afternoon. The cereal cafe seemed like a novelty concept. My friend enjoyed his bowl of E-numbers and sugar. It looked like a rainbow in a land where only unicorns live.
As I wanted to see as much of Lisbon as possible, I therefore did not seek out any places for lunch. Instead opted to drink Huel on the go. For a quick vegan lunch the McDonalds Veggie burger, with the mayonnaise removed, is tastier than the UK Veggie Deluxe. However they do say that there could be chance of cross contamination. For good or bad, I really enjoyed eating McDonalds in lisbon. Similarly to the UK, McDonalds apple pies are Vegan. However for 99c you get 2 pies instead of the 1 of 99p.
I found Indian restaurants were most accommodating. Living in Scotland a good curry is easily available. Lisbon had lots of amazing indian restaurants. Just tell them to make the curry with no dairy and no ghee and they should accommodate. Many of the indian restaurants advertise as Indian/Italian restaurant. So if you are with your friends it allows for more choice. If you eat at a Italian, most pizzas are vegan if you remove the cheese and just have vegetables. However don’t expect vegan cheese.
On arrival to my hotel I was hungry. Room service was available but I really wanted a cheap meal. UberEats is available in Lisbon. The Uber Eats app allows you to search your favourite cuisine. I searched vegan which brought a reasonable number of delivery restaurants. As it was getting late I chose McDonalds. The app does not let you remove the mayonnaise from the burger. So in the notes i specified without mayonnaise in both English and Portuguese thanks to google translate. The mayonnaise was removed so therefore this was a success.
In conclusion vegan options were available in Lisbon but it took a bit more research than in the UK. In Edinburgh I always know there will be something I can eat. Restaurant are good at altering the dish to not include dairy. In short some restaurants did not give me confidence when they said they would make it vegan.
It is worth pointing out with Lisbon’s glorious weather eating alfresco seemed to be available. Alfresco options were much more noticeable at restaurants near Rossio Square.
Opentable and Zomato are great apps which allow you to view menus for different restaurants and make a booking. On the Saturday night we struggled to eat until really late as everywhere was at full capacity. If you eat out on a Friday or Saturday i would recommend booking somewhere.
If you found this article beneficial check out my post on transport options in Lisbon here.