Before the coronavirus scared me into returning home and becoming a hermit, I spent six weeks in Lisbon and three days in Porto, trying out as many of these two amazing cities’ vegan offerings as I could possibly afford. I’m so glad I did. Here are my top 10 restaurant and café tips for Lisbon:
1. Moko Veggie Café: This tiny, inexpensive vegan bakery has way more stuff on offer than you would expect. They have delicious sweet and savoury breakfast options (definitely try the delicious croissants and chocolate chip muffins), fresh juices, breakfast bowls, and various hot drinks (I loved the ginger milk tea), as well as lunch options such as burgers, dumplings and soups. I went there lots of times and was never disappointed.
2. Sama Sama Crepe and Juice Bar: A very cool vegan restaurant which also happens to be a craft beer bar, I went to this place several times and still drool at the thought of their Mexican-style crepe and their crepe with apple pie and chocolate sauce. Fantastic food, friendly service, and a chill atmosphere. What more do you need?
3. Kong – Vegan Modern Food: Not one of the cheapest options, but definitely the restaurant with the best service and loveliest staff. I really enjoyed the Beyond Burger (I think on the menu it was listed as the “Kong Burger”) with vegan cheese and bacon, the Seitan Steak with Pepper Sauce, and the Oreo Mousse.
4. Vizza – New Age Pizzabar: A very stylish vegan restaurant with amazing pizza options – the dough and tomato sauce are simply incredible! – and the dessert pizza (with a vegan ‘nutella’ and hazelnut filling) was also fantastic. The first time I went, I mistakenly ordered a pizza with mushrooms and truffle oil which I wasn’t crazy about, but that’s only because I’m not a fan of truffle oil. The Pizza Margherita I had the next time was fantastic, and their pizza bread served with three dips was also delicious.
5. Eight – The Health Lounge: This spacious, friendly vegan restaurant offers healthy bowls, burgers, toasts, and tacos. I really enjoyed the tacos, the avocado toast, the tempeh burger and their `Vanilla Sky’ latte. I was less crazy about the bowl I had because it lacked flavour and sauce.
6. The Food Temple: I only had dinner from here once, and I had to take it to go because it was very busy, but I didn’t have to wait long and I enjoyed two of the three tapas for dinner and then also lunch the next day. Their jackfruit steak/schnitzel was so yummy that I devoured it within two minutes. It was probably the best schnitzel I’ve ever had. Please note that they have a changing tapas menu, which means I’m not sure when they are going to offer this incredible dish again.
7. Organi Chiado: Try to get a table outside if it’s warm enough, you’ll enjoy the view. This restaurant is a little pricy, but the portions are really big. I enjoyed their Caesar’s Salad and vegan cheese.
8. Bala (Saldanha Residence): Located in the food court at Saldanha Residence, thus place has decent vegan burrito and taco options.
9. Zarzuela Bakery: This (non-vegan) bakery offers the best vegan pastel da nata I tried in Lisbon. I had vegan pastel da nata at three other places, most of which were pretty good, but the ones from Zarzuela were, in my view, not only the yummiest, but also had the best consistency. Unfortunately, they were also more expensive than most of the other places (they cost 2,30 euros each), but they were worth it!
10. Fabrica Lisboa: A very nice cafe which sadly does not offer any vegan food options, but it’s worth going just to enjoy the decor, the cosy atmosphere, and a — good and very cheap — soy latte or a freshly squeezed orange juice.
There are a lot more vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Lisbon that I didn’t get to try. And I would definitely suggest you go to daTerra Bairro Alto, because daTerra is a chain and I went to daTerra Baixa in Porto four times (!) in the three days I spent there. I tried their breakfast, lunch and dinner options and all of them were amazing. It was honestly the best vegan/vegetarian buffet restaurant I’ve ever been to, and I have been to quite a few!
One last tip: If you make it to Lisbon, make sure to visit Sintra as well, and allow for a whole day, ideally two days, to go and explore this truly magical place.