Camino de Santiago as a Vegetarian
Does vegetarians find it difficult to find things to eat along the Camino de Santiago?
This is a common question in our Camino de Santiago forum. One of our pilgrims said it like this:
The wonderful hospitaleros in Ruitelan made a lovely meal at the albergue. There was a vegetarian option as well which was very satifsfying. They made a great veg. paella meal at the albergue in Vilar de Mazarife (I can’t remember the name of the albergue but I believe it was the first one on the right just as you enter the village). I think a couple of the others may have done veg. meals as well but these are the two that come to mind. Several of the albergues have kitchens so if you pick up a few items you can prepare meals too. The restaurant Manolo in Santiago had a very fillling vegetarian plate (I don’t think it is on the menu so you have to ask for it). I myself am not a vegetarian but met and walked with several on the camino and I must say it was sometimes difficult for them. They got a little bit tired of salad, french fries, bread and eggs. I think that buying a few groceries here and there will help. Good luck.
Very few albergues offer any food at all. Some of the smaller albergues – Eunate, Tosantos, Granon, St Nicholas, Manjarin come to mind – offer an evening meal for a donation whilst others, like Ave Fenix or the Albergue Vegetariano at La Faba, charge about 10 euro.
Many albergues have kitchens (with limited utensils) where you can cook your own meals.
The Spanish are a carnivorous people and eat a lot of meat and fish. I found that the Menu del Peregrinos, which you can get for about 10 euro in any little village or cafe-bar, offer chips and chicken, salads and a fruit or yoghurt. We very rarely saw vegetables on the menu.
It is much cheaper to make your own dinner. I took a little immersion heater (a spiral one cup heaters) and often bought a bottle or tin of vegetables to add to a cup of soup eaten with fresh bread. There are large and small supermecados along the way where you can buy pastas, rice, lentils etc to cook in the albergues. Often people leave opened packets behind and you are free to use those as well.
You can buy yoghurt with fruit or muesli for breakfast, some cheese or a tomato and a fresh loaf to have al fresco for lunch. Treat yourself occasionally in a restaurant and you will find that the platos are often cheaper than the Menu del Dia.
You won’t starve – but you might crave a home cooked vegetarian meal!
If you do a search in the forum, you will find many topics related to this.