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Vegan Food on The Camino Frances

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ShelleyW

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk mid Sept to end of Oct, 2018
I am starting The Camino Frances in Sept and would like to maintain my VEGAN DIET! Wondering how easy this may or may not be ? Do they make dietary accommodations in the Albergues ? My first stop is the Monastary in Ronscesvalles , I’m not sure if I should get the meal plan option or if I’ll have better luck avoiding animal products in the town . Love to hear from other WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED travelers
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
I am starting The Camino Frances in Sept and would like to maintain my VEGAN DIET! Wondering how easy this may or may not be ? Do they make dietary accommodations in the Albergues ? My first stop is the Monastary in Ronscesvalles , I’m not sure if I should get the meal plan option or if I’ll have better luck avoiding animal products in the town . Love to hear from other WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED travelers
I am not aware that the monastery in Roncesvalles serves food. It may have been added. The two restaurants will offer a non-meat fare. Whether it is vegan will depend on your specific identification of what you will eat. There is no market in town unless one has been added recently, so you will need to carry food from SJPdP to self-cater.

Many pilgrims eat vegan, and there are several threads in the Forum. Beware of the vegan food like lentils that will be cooked in a pig broth. Your best bet will be the produce section of the markets. Don't handle the produce; the clerk will do that for you. Many items are not self-serve as they are in other countries. When they scream at you, you will become a quick learner not to touch!! You can point at the piece of fruit or vegetable that you want, and the clerk will comply.

The meals in albergues often are "take it, or leave it." They are not mean about it, but they do not offer choices. Restaurants are better about it, but a mixed salad probably comes with a pile of tuna in the middle. Either quietly remove it, or request that it not be put there in the first place. High drama will not sit well in Spain, where proprietors are accustomed to doing things their way, not the customer's way. If you are confrontational about it, or raise your voice, be careful about what returns from the kitchen. ;)
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I am starting The Camino Frances in Sept and would like to maintain my VEGAN DIET! Wondering how easy this may or may not be ? Do they make dietary accommodations in the Albergues ? My first stop is the Monastary in Ronscesvalles , I’m not sure if I should get the meal plan option or if I’ll have better luck avoiding animal products in the town . Love to hear from other WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED travelers
Check out the recent posts in these current threads
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/vegan-on-the-camino.53235/

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/eating-vegan-diet-on-the-camino.46672/
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I am starting The Camino Frances in Sept and would like to maintain my VEGAN DIET! Wondering how easy this may or may not be ? Do they make dietary accommodations in the Albergues ? My first stop is the Monastary in Ronscesvalles , I’m not sure if I should get the meal plan option or if I’ll have better luck avoiding animal products in the town . Love to hear from other WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED travelers
falcon269 gave some good advice, Shelley. The Roncesvalles albergue food option is actually just a meal ticket for a spot at the 'pilgrim tables' in one of the restaurants who serve a set menu during a specific serving time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (July 2016), Primitivo (July 2018), Portuguese (March 2019)
We’ve walked both the Francés and the Primitivo recently. As we progressed along our journeys we became more and more committed to being vegetarian and then vegan wherever possible. We heard pigs squealing outside an abattoir, we were persuaded to eat octopus at a pulverised in Melide. That was the last straw. We bought fresh fruits and vegetables to eat picnic lunches and prepared pasta with homemade vegetable sauces in the Albergues. When we had no choice but to eat at bars/ restaurants, we chose fried eggs with bread or sometimes mixed salad, but without tuna. In Santiago we found a wonderful vegan restaurant called Malak Bistro, near Praza de Galicia.
 

Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés from St Jean Pied de Port (2017)
Camino Primitivo (2018)
Camino de Madrid (2019)
My husband and I have walked both the Camino Francés and the Camino Primitivo as vegans, and we had no problem finding food along the way. There are quite a few albergues that serve exclusively vegetarian/vegan food, and many more that will provide a vegan option on request.

I can only think of one albergue that was not able to provide a vegan meal when we requested it. Vegan meals are available at the following albergues (I have eaten at many of these myself, and others have been recommended by other vegan pilgrims):

La Vita è Bella in St Jean Pied de Port
Albergue Maribel in Cizur Menor
La Perla Negra in Azqueta
Parochial hostel in San Juan de Ortega
Albergue San Bruno in Moratinos
Cuatro Cantones in Belorado
Orion in Castrojeriz
San Antonio de Padua in Villar de Mazarife
Albergue Verde in Hospital de Orbigo
Casa Las Aguedas in Murias de Rechivaldo
Monte Irago in Foncebadón
El Trasgu de Foncebadón
Albergue de Ada in Reliegos
Alea in Ponferrada
El Serbal y La Luna in Pieros
Miriam Las Herrerías in Las Herrerías
El Refugio in La Faba
El Beso in A Balsa
Molino de Marzán at A Leda
Casa Domingo in Ponte Campana
Ultreia in Arzúa

I brought my own food to Roncesvalles and self-catered, so I'm not sure what the meal options are there. I do know that there are vending machines at the albergue that sell microwaveable food, and I was able to supplement my provisions with a pisto (a Spanish dish similar to ratatouille) from the machine. I believe there were one or two other vegan options too.

If you speak some Spanish and learn a bit about Spanish cuisine and which common dishes are already vegan or can easily be adapted, it will make your journey much smoother.

Do have a look at my article "6 Tips for Eating Vegan on the Camino de Santiago", linked in my signature below.
 

Delia90

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan - Camino Frances
My friend told me that on the way you could find a map with allergies that offers vegan food. Maybe someone has that map?
 

Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés from St Jean Pied de Port (2017)
Camino Primitivo (2018)
Camino de Madrid (2019)
My friend told me that on the way you could find a map with allergies that offers vegan food. Maybe someone has that map?
Yes, there is a map called The Vegetarian Way. You can download it here: http://heartofthecamino.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/vegetarian-way_heartofthecamino_v2.4-2.18.pdf

The last update was more than a year ago, though, so there are more vegan options than those listed on the map. In fact, it's not actually a map, even though they call it that. It's a list of albergues and restaurants that offer vegan options.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
When I stayed at Roncesvalles (2006) there was only one option for a meal, which was the same in both restaurants: "trucha a la navarra" (trout filled with ham and spices, cooked in red wine and French fries).

So it was "take it or leave it".

Some albergues offer vegan meals, but at restaurants it will be difficult. You can never be sure of the ingredients, e. g. vegetables cooked in meat broth, bread or pastry with eggs or milk in the dough ....
If you want to live strictly vegan the only secure option is self-catering and cooking from fresh products.
 

Delia90

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan - Camino Frances

Geodoc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (crossed Pyrenees then Sarria to SdC) 2018, Frances & Ingles Summer, 2019.
One thing I recommend is using Google Maps to find vegan restaurants (be sure to include the final "s" in "restaurants" as it will provide many more hits than leaving it out (trial by error). I also provide a free vegan cookbook to anyone that asks (very simple meals with simple tools). It is available in epub format only, though (good for phones).
 

Kos

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
non yet
This shouldn't be a problem, there is enough grass growing both sides of the road. But please don't compete with the cows.
 

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