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Vegan on the Camino!

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Natty81

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Hi folks,
I am due to start the Camino next weekend. I am a vegan though! I wondered do cafes and restaurants serve vegan options? E.g salad with no dairy, chickpea dishes, gazpacho?
If the worst comes to the worst I may have to eat eggs and cheese I guess. I’d rather not but if needs must!
Gracias fellow pilgrims :)
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
Hi folks,
I am due to start the Camino next weekend. I am a vegan though! I wondered do cafes and restaurants serve vegan options? E.g salad with no dairy, chickpea dishes, gazpacho?
If the worst comes to the worst I may have to eat eggs and cheese I guess. I’d rather not but if needs must!
Gracias fellow pilgrims :)
I did the Camino Francés last year as a vegan with no problems at all, but I met other vegans and vegetarians who were struggling for various reasons. My wife @Wendy Werneth put together some tips and resources for being vegan on the camino, which you can find here in blog and video form. If you follow these tips you should be fine.

MODERATOR ADDED: Please note that the link provided above requires providing an email address in order to obtain information. Many sites that require this collect the email address for future marketing. This may not be desired by many members and may be in violation of the forum rules on commercial type posts and links.

¡Buen camino!
 
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Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018), Mozarabe and more (2019)
The Camino does not cater for vegans; even vegetarians find themselves being offered foreign bodies in the soups and salads on the pilgrim menu. You will either have to accept the change in your preferred diet or buy the raw ingredients to prepare your own meal in the albergue, bearing in mind that the pans will have been used for cooking meat. Either way, you’ll survive!
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
You will either have to accept the change in your preferred diet or buy the raw ingredients to prepare your own meal in the albergue.
This isn't true in my experience. Last year on the Camino Francés we cooked dinner at albergues five times in 39 days and ate vegan dinners at restaurants or albergues all other nights. As my wife is fond of saying, if you look for abundance, you will find abundance; if you look for scarcity, you will find scarcity. Vegan travel, even on the Camino Francés, is no longer just about survival. It isn't that hard to find tasty vegan food anymore as long as you do some research in advance and know what to ask for (I'll admit that speaking the language does help a lot, too).
 
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D

Deleted member 12253

Guest
Hi folks,
I am due to start the Camino next weekend. I am a vegan though! I wondered do cafes and restaurants serve vegan options? E.g salad with no dairy, chickpea dishes, gazpacho?
If the worst comes to the worst I may have to eat eggs and cheese I guess. I’d rather not but if needs must!
Gracias fellow pilgrims :)

If you Hungary enough you will eat grass, after 30 km food wine water shower bed enjoy
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
Does one look for abundance on a pilgrimage?
It's just an expression that I think is instructive for vegan travel anywhere. The point is that being positive about what you're going to find as a vegan leads to positive results. Unfortunately, the way you portrayed the vegan options on the camino was quite negative in addition to being incorrect and unhelpful for the OP.

Beyond 6 Tips for Eating Vegan on the Camino de Santiago that I linked to earlier, here are some more resources from my wife's website, The Nomadic Vegan, that could be helpful for the OP and for other vegans doing the camino:

Two Secrets for Eating Vegan Anywhere (with more on the abundance mindset)
The Ultimate Vegan Guide to Spain

Edit: removed the link requiring an email address.

MODERATOR ADDED: Please note that the link provided above requires providing an email address in order to obtain information. Many sites that require this collect the email address for future marketing. This may not be desired by many members and may be in violation of the forum rules on commercial type posts and links.

¡Buen camino a tod@s!
 
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Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018), Mozarabe and more (2019)
the way you portrayed the vegan options on the camino was quite negative in addition to being incorrect and unhelpful
Everyone’s experiences are helpful - even those that differ from your own.
 
D

Deleted member 32363

Guest
There were many times when I had to take the fish off the salad, and pull the pork hunks out of my soup! It's all part of the Camino, and understanding the country your in! Once or twice I cried, the 1st Camino, but that's part of the Camino too! Basically, I was grateful that I didn't have to prepare and carry all my meals. I also ate some eggs as well. I also cried when the Lebanese restaurant (Which served real salads, and falafels!), in Santiago closed! It was the "carrot in front of my nose!" Pilgrims, that's what we are, in a carnivorous, friendly, generous, and amazing country.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
There were many times when I had to take the fish off the salad, and pull the pork hunks out of my soup!
Sorry to hear that. Fortunately we didn't have any incidents like that on our camino but we usually double checked to be absolutely sure before ordering.
 

jeffnd

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2014
Like others have said in this thread and before, many people have been served so-called vegetarian dishes only to find fowl and fish, or something made with a meat broth. Just something to be aware of.

Of course you can assure yourself of a meat-free meal if you do your own cooking.
 

KarolinaPo

Twins - Karolina and Evelina
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese coastal way (2017 July)
I've tried some best vegan meals in my life during the Camino! Had a few experiences in the smallest restaurants when chefs were very carrying and offered to improvise and cook random vegan dishes, if there were no options for vegans in the menu. Had some incredible pizzas, vegetable steaks and other food to die for!
 
Camino(s) past & future
"Del Norte 2020"
September 2018 CP /
Sept 2016 CF
Hi folks,
I am due to start the Camino next weekend. I am a vegan though! I wondered do cafes and restaurants serve vegan options? E.g salad with no dairy, chickpea dishes, gazpacho?
If the worst comes to the worst I may have to eat eggs and cheese I guess. I’d rather not but if needs must!
Gracias fellow pilgrims :)
Interesting! "Vegan" here, I completed the camino back in '16, you will have to visit the local tiendas to buy your own food. When you enter areas with a bigger supply of food you'll have to stock up and prepare. If you are serious about your commit to a "vegan" lifestyle you will endure and grow from the challenge. Integrity is staying true to your values, fasting is a spiritual practice. Pro tip, first day to Roncesvalles you will need to carry your dinner from SJPDP or walk the extra 3km after you reach the alburgue to go to the shop as the place you will probably stay doesn't offer vegan options unless they made changes over the past year. Message me if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer anything.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
Pro tip, first day to Roncesvalles you will need to carry your dinner from SJPDP or walk the extra 3km after you reach the alburgue to go to the shop as the place you will probably stay doesn't offer vegan options unless they made changes over the past year.
There's also a large vending machine at the albergue in Roncesvalles that has packet foods that you can cook, including some vegan options. We got pisto (a kind of Spanish ratatouille) from there to complement some food that we'd brought from SJPdP.
 
Camino(s) past & future
"Del Norte 2020"
September 2018 CP /
Sept 2016 CF
There's also a large vending machine at the albergue in Roncesvalles that has packet foods that you can cook, including some vegan options. We got pisto (a kind of Spanish ratatouille) from there to complement some food that we'd brought from SJPdP.
Didn't see any in the vending machine when I was there. But maybe I didn't look hard enough
 

Natty81

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
I've tried some best vegan meals in my life during the Camino! Had a few experiences in the smallest restaurants when chefs were very carrying and offered to improvise and cook random vegan dishes, if there were no options for vegans in the menu. Had some incredible pizzas, vegetable steaks and other food to die for!
Wow Karolina! I am excited for this! Thank you for your comment x
 

BShea

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(9/2013) Le Puy
(5/2015) CF
(5/2016) Le Puy
(5/2017) CF
(9/2017) Le Puy
(9/2019) RL Stevenson
My best find, Amanecer in Villarmentero de Campos. Not too impressive lodgings from the street, but the best vegetarian meal I had in Spain. The food just kept on coming - I compared it to Thanksgiving dinner in my blog.
 

Ballari

Walking Quietly
Camino(s) past & future
SJ-SdC Ap-May14
Navx-Muxia Mar-Ap17
SJ-SdC May17
SJ-Fterre F-Mar18
SJ-Muxia F-Mar19
Porto-SdC May19
I'm currently halfway from SJPP to Santiago. I'm been vegetarian for over 30 years and currently not vegan.
For my first Camino in 2014, I struggled with the tuna or ham that appeared in many meals.
This Camino it has not happened at all. In fact, about half the dishes that I've been offered as a vegetarian, have been vegan. Two nights ago, there were 2 vegan soups offered out of the 3 entree choices.
This picture from the heart of the way could help you.
Buen Camino
 

Attachments

MarkN

Mark
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago Oct 2016
Porto to Santiago Oct 2017
Porto to Santiago May 2019
I met and walked with two vegans last fall and while they had to ask for additional items not on the menu or make a request at restaurants it wasn't an issue. As well they did take advantage of the little markets on the way, but they ate well. There are vegetarian places along the way with vegan options too.
There is a vegan ice-cream shop in Santiago that was great!
 

Ballari

Walking Quietly
Camino(s) past & future
SJ-SdC Ap-May14
Navx-Muxia Mar-Ap17
SJ-SdC May17
SJ-Fterre F-Mar18
SJ-Muxia F-Mar19
Porto-SdC May19
I take chia seeds and dried fruit. I mix a couple of spoonfuls with water and protein powder each evening in my cup. By morning I have a great breakfast, which I top with nuts or anything I found the day before.
Protein powder mixed with water or nut milk, is also a great pick me up when I need a snack.
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Click bait
I did the Camino Francés last year as a vegan with no problems at all, but I met other vegans and vegetarians who were struggling for various reasons. My wife @Wendy Werneth put together some tips and resources for being vegan on the camino, which you can find (xxx) If you follow these tips you should be fine.

¡Buen camino!
 
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long trails

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012
I walked with a vegan for a while and she eventually quit due to ill health. She barely ate which I am sure contributed to her quitting.

I am not huge into processed meat/sausage or high fat food so found it a real challenge to find descent cooked food on the Camino that was not swimming in oil. I ended up eating a lot if mixed salads, tortilla and bread.

I must add that I had a much better food experience walking through Portugal. The cuisine is much more varied, vegetables are popular and they seem to embrace international food more.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
Here is a list of albergues where we ate vegan communal meals on the Camino Francés in 2017:

Parochial hostel in San Juan de Ortega
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
Alea in Ponferrada
El Serbal y La Luna in Pieros
Miriam Las Herrerías in Las Herrerías
El Beso in A Balsa
Molino de Marzán at A Leda
Casa Domingo in Ponte Campana
Ultreia in Arzúa (not exactly communal, but it was in an albergue and we shared a table with a Danish couple because there was no other place for them to sit)

Some of these places were vegetarian to begin with and others were not, but they were all able to accommodate us and serve us vegan meals on request so we could enjoy the communal dining experience, which is a special part of the camino.
 
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thesmiths2

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Madrid (2018)
I am traveling alone and staying in hotels (only traveling for a few days). If I don't stay at the communal albergues, would I still be able to pay to share the communal meal?

I LOVE reading how many vegans are on the Camino!!!
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
And in case you are heading to Madrid at some point, look how veganism is abundant - https://alternativetravelers.com/ultimate-vegan-guide-to-madrid/
Thanks for adding this link. I'm friends with Sam and Veren (the authors of the article) and I can confirm that they know their stuff! I've eaten with them at one of the places they list here - Viva Burger - which I think has not only the best vegan burgers in Madrid as they say, but probably the best I've ever had anywhere. Plus, Sam has walked the Camino del Norte before so she's also a peregrina!

¡Buen provecho!
 

thesmiths2

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Madrid (2018)
Thanks for the feedback on Viva Burger. I looked at their website and it looks like AMAZING food!
 

ecoespazo vitriol

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vegetarian way to Santiago (2018)
Hello! We have an ecological and vegetarian food center in Sarria (Lugo), on the road to Santiago. We offer vegan and vegetarian meals, juices, smoothies, vegetarian breakfasts and we also have a store with fresh and packaged products. Besides, we have massages, yoga, meditation, foot reflexology and other activities. Our contact information are: Ecoespazo Vitriol Calle Diego Pazos 18, 27600, Sarria (Lugo) Phone: 982886616/604004112 ecoespazovitriol@gmail.com A hug and a good way!
 

thesmiths2

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Madrid (2018)
WOW! That's amazing!! Muchas gracias!! I'll see you in about 12 days!!! ❤
 

Dawn Gibson

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago from SJPDP 2018
MASSIVE thanks to everyone. My partner and I are vegan and starting the Camino from SJPDP on 22nd April. Your posts have really helped us feel more relaxed about it all. We were happy to live off veggies, fruit and beans, but it sounds like it will be more exciting than that! thank-you sooooo much! :D
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Reality is frequently inaccurate
This might also be a good spot to post the Vegetarian food along the camino Francés-guide I found recently on the download section of the Dutch Society of St. Jacob.
 

VeganCamino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future Frances from Saint Jean Pied du Port to Burgos, starting in June.
My best find, Amanecer in Villarmentero de Campos. Not too impressive lodgings from the street, but the best vegetarian meal I had in Spain. The food just kept on coming - I compared it to Thanksgiving dinner in my blog.
Where is this magical place? Thanks
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Where is this magical place? Thanks
On the Francés, a bit past Fromista.

The point is that being positive about what you're going to find as a vegan leads to positive results
Maybe on the Francés, @jungleboy, but unfortunately that doesn't work so well off the beaten path - remote caminos are largely vegan deserts, no matter how cheerful you are about it. ;)
 
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Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
Hi folks,
I am due to start the Camino next weekend. I am a vegan though! I wondered do cafes and restaurants serve vegan options? E.g salad with no dairy, chickpea dishes, gazpacho?
If the worst comes to the worst I may have to eat eggs and cheese I guess. I’d rather not but if needs must!
Gracias fellow pilgrims :)
Hello. I am vegan and doing the Camino Frances next April. I have, as a result of this impending experience of a lifetime, reintroduced eggs and cheese in moderate amounts and not regularly so as to get used to it. So far so good. Like you I believe our choices will be somewhat limited.
 

VeganCamino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future Frances from Saint Jean Pied du Port to Burgos, starting in June.
Hi folks,
I am due to start the Camino next weekend. I am a vegan though! I wondered do cafes and restaurants serve vegan options? E.g salad with no dairy, chickpea dishes, gazpacho?
If the worst comes to the worst I may have to eat eggs and cheese I guess. I’d rather not but if needs must!
Gracias fellow pilgrims :)
I'm having a really hard time with the food. I also reintroduced dairy for this occasion. I'm living on cheap quality pastries, fried potatoes, and"salad" that's lettuce, onions, and maybe one half of a tomato. I had such an easy time eating in Italy. For me Spain has been really hard except for Barcelona and Girona. I wish you better luck thank I've had.
 

Geodoc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (crossed Pyrenees then Sarria to SdC) 2018, Frances & Ingles Summer, 2019.
I'm having a really hard time with the food. I also reintroduced dairy for this occasion. I'm living on cheap quality pastries, fried potatoes, and"salad" that's lettuce, onions, and maybe one half of a tomato. I had such an easy time eating in Italy. For me Spain has been really hard except for Barcelona and Girona. I wish you better luck thank I've had.
A better option is to cook vegan meals at the albergues in the evening. That's what I am doing. Beakfast is usually a banana, peanuts, and some bread.
 

tall_dude

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago 17/09/2018
Hi folks,
I am due to start the Camino next weekend. I am a vegan though! I wondered do cafes and restaurants serve vegan options? E.g salad with no dairy, chickpea dishes, gazpacho?
If the worst comes to the worst I may have to eat eggs and cheese I guess. I’d rather not but if needs must!
Gracias fellow pilgrims :)
How did you get on being Vegan on the Camino? I'm half starving, very few options for me or extremely bland.
 

Marc S.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012-2018 Frances, Norte, Salvador, Aragones, Portuguese, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakibspaad.

Natty81

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Hey! I did okay! I must admit I ate A LOT of mixed salads and bread 😂 But I guess it served as fuel for energy. I also bought nuts, bananas and vegan biscuits from shops whenever I could. Not maybe the healthiest diet but it got me through m. Buen Camino
 

tall_dude

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago 17/09/2018
Hey! I did okay! I must admit I ate A LOT of mixed salads and bread 😂 But I guess it served as fuel for energy. I also bought nuts, bananas and vegan biscuits from shops whenever I could. Not maybe the healthiest diet but it got me through m. Buen Camino
Yes, I'm eating an amazing amount of bread, I just needed to be reminded of how gluten intolerant I am. Glad you did okay, I'll eat more salads and fruit, will look around a bit more.
 

BShea

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(9/2013) Le Puy
(5/2015) CF
(5/2016) Le Puy
(5/2017) CF
(9/2017) Le Puy
(9/2019) RL Stevenson
How did you get on being Vegan on the Camino? I'm half starving, very few options for me or extremely bland.
Yeah, the overcooked pasta with a can of tomato sauce thrown on top can get pretty tiresome. I felt malnourished by the time I finished walking the first time. On the second trek, I used the lists that have been posted of vegetarian friendly places.
 

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