Moving to Madrid and need a hand finding vegetarian eateries, vegan supermarkets and sustainable fashion outlets? Or are you a long-term residing vegan or vegetarian family in the capital city who has decided to embrace a flexitarian lifestyle in order to create a lower environmental impact on the planet that your children are going to inherit? Whatever your motives, whatever your requirements, the good news is that Madrid has a wide range of establishments designed to facilitate the lifestyle you desire. Here is our short guide for vegan and vegetarian families in Madrid.
Changing attitudes towards vegetarian and vegan families
A recent article in El Pais featured a Spanish couple who decided to bring up their two daughters vegan and faced a certain level of criticism. Like many families who have made this lifestyle decision, they petitioned the authorities to allow their children to take packed lunches to school, something that is still incredibly rare in Spanish primary and secondary schools. They also had to do research to find a vegan-friendly paediatrician. However, one of our regular readers, a vegan Mom who has been residing in Madrid for over two years, commented that her Spanish medical doctor had no qualms about her decision to be vegan when he saw the blood test results and realized how healthy she was. She told me that her children regularly take home-baked vegan treats to school and their classmates are intrigued as these snacks look much more exciting than the default ham and cheese sandwich that most Spanish kids have as an afternoon treat. She describes her family’s aim to live as vegans as a journey and that her kids (aged 6 & 2) have not been discouraged by their peers, although so far they have not needed to identify themselves with the “label” of being vegan.
Touring the city for vegan restaurants
If you are visiting Madrid as a vegan tourist and simply need to find somewhere to eat while you enjoy this beautiful city, why not contact Madrid Vegan Travel so that they can provide you with a vegan concierge?
Available in Spanish or English, this personalized information service will tailor-make your eating itinerary to fit your plans and individual tastes.
From established vegetarian restaurant chains such as Honest Greens to personal favourites such as El Vergel (so alternative it doesn’t even have a website, this restaurant is on Paseo de la Florida 53, 28008 and are on Facebook @elvergel.ecologico), there are many options for eating out in Madrid where vegetarian and vegan meals are offered all around the clock. If you have a sweet tooth, you may be interested in this map where you can locate some of the best vegan bakeries in Madrid.
Vegan and vegetarian grocery stores & home delivery
Also of interest is the map locating some of the independent vegan shops that collaborate with Madrid Vegano including the fascinating My Vegan Land situated in the picturesque village of Navacerrada, who do free deliveries of orders over 30 euros to many of the satellite towns in the north of the Comunidad de Madrid and have a flat delivery rate of 5.50 euros for deliveries to Madrid/ rest of Spain. Another store that is highly recommended by expat vegans who live in the capital is Herbolario Navarro whose online store is the most comprehensive and competitively priced in the city.
In June the social enterprise Refusion Delivery began offering home delivery to city centre postcodes across the capital. You can also order the food online and pick it up from their address in Calle Capitan Blanco Argibay 65, 28029 Madrid. This unique catering service offers vegetarian and vegan meals prepared by refugee chefs from countries including Venezuela, Sudan and Syria. Set up by entrepreneur refugees who have made a new life for themselves in Madrid, Refusion Delivery is a welcome spin-off from the amazing work carried out by the charity Madrid for Refugees.
Conscientious slow fashion in Madrid
In this article I wrote about boutiques in Madrid that sell sustainable and environmentally friendly clothes shops for children. On this map Green Living Spain have pinpointed fashion outlets that stock alternative, sustainable fashion for adults across the city. For a comprehensive list of made-in-Spain slow fashion establishments and online retailers, check out this directory (only in Spanish) which has 17 venues in Madrid and follow the Asociación Moda Sostenible de Madrid on Facebook.
Family events to look out for
In October 2019 why not take a trip to Barcelona to visit Veggieworld, the largest consumer trade fair for vegan lifestyles in Europe (next due in Madrid in April 2020)?
Closer to home, in November 2019 the annual Biocultura fair returns to Ifema with a range of family-friendly activities which have yet to be published. This fair is a must for many families including those like my own who are self-confessed omnivores. This fair showcases organic farming, local, seasonal produce, sustainable fashion, eco-friendly toys, alternative tourism options in Spain and much, much more.