The 6 Best Places for Vegan Food in Lisbon
Portugal has been on everyone's mind lately and we recently wrote about our experience living as digital nomads in Lisbon for two months. During those two months, our main focus was to hunt down the best vegan food in Lisbon. We ended up eating at as many restaurants as we possible could and even found one of the best vegan cakes we've ever eaten.
What we came to realize is that even though the Portuguese are known for their meaty cuisine and custard tarts, Lisbon boasts plenty of options for the vegan traveler. We tried many restaurants, but these were the spots that really blew us away.
1. Tweny Pancake/Tweny Leaf
This all-vegan pancake restaurant serves up stacks of thick American-style pancakes. You can get them with a generous selection of toppings such as chocolate, berries, ice cream, and jam.
Apparently, they recently re-branded as a vegan restaurant called Tweny Leaf, but the menu seems to be the same with a few more savory options.
You can buy your pancakes as singles, doubles, or as a stack of three. For 5 euros you get a stack of five pancakes, and that is probably more than most can handle.
Last time we visited they were holding an ongoing eating competition. At the time, the record was 11 pancakes with toppings and 13 pancakes without toppings. If you beat the record you get your picture on the wall and your money back.
The guy working behind the counter was really nice and patient when we spent ten minutes trying to figure out what pancakes to order. What can we say? The menu is overwhelming for two people with voracious appetites, a love for pancakes, and serious decision-making problems.
Price range: €3.80 - €5
2. Ao 26 Vegan Food Project
Ao 26 Vegan Food Project is one of the only all-vegan restaurants in Lisbon that offers a full menu. The restaurant is cozy with big beautiful archways and an open kitchen where you can watch the chefs at work. It is also immensely popular and always packed. It might actually be one of the most popular restaurants in Lisbon - once we had to wait three days just to get a dinner reservation!
The menu is varied with vegan cheese boards, burgers, seitan steaks, and one or two local dishes, as well as a few desserts. They also serve locally produced wine and craft beers.
For the most part, the food is good at Ao 26. The portions are also extremely generous. However, there were a few dishes from the menu that we did find a bit bland such as the cheese board.
Their desserts do deserve to be mentioned because they are both really well-made and filling, especially the Oreo cake!
What's cool with the owners of Ao 26 is that they're spearheading the vegan movement in Lisbon, and they are doing it well. Hopefully, they will inspire others to turn vegan and motivate more locals to open vegan restaurants in Lisbon.
Price range: €5.5 - €9 for appetizers and lunch, €9-€16 for dinner.
3. Veganeats Caffe
One of the best things we ate during our two months in Lisbon was the vegan chocolate cake from Veganeats Caffe. It is literally one of the best chocolate cakes we have ever eaten. It is moist and chocolaty with a layer of salted peanuts on top that takes the flavor to a new dimension. In fact, the cake is so good that we ordered a full cake (12+ slices) to take home on more than one occation. No shame.
Veganeats Caffe also serves a few light breakfast and lunch options, including a tasty quiche with salad. The lady that runs the restaurant is very sweet and the girl that helps out in the kitchen is a true cake-magician. Trust us, the cake is really that amazing and they also make other delicious desserts!
Price range: €4 for lunch and €18 for a chocolate cake.
4. Primo Basilico
Vegan pizza by the slice. Served like in Italy. Do we need to say more?
This tiny little pizzeria in Alfama is run by Italians and their pizzas are great! They are not all-vegan but every time we visited they had a least 5 ready-made vegan options and there was always more cooking in the oven. They usually have 1-2 vegan pizzas with tomato sauce as a base and 2-4 white pizzas with tofu cheese.
All the vegan options are clearly marked but we recommend that you ask them if they're preparing anything else since you might be able to get fresh pizza straight from the oven. Sometimes they even have miniature vegan calzones!
The white pizzas are made with a combination of silk tofu and thinly sliced zucchini. The simple mix really mimics the texture of melted cheese and is delicious!
Primo Basilico is very small and they only have a few tables with plastic chairs next door where you can sit. Just don't expect table service or to linger for long - the place is popular and seats are in high demand. We recommend that you stop by for a few slices for lunch or a quick dinner.
Bonus tip: they serve Peroni which is a nice escape from Lisbon's somewhat limited alcohol selection. Is there a better way to enjoy an Italian slice of pizza than with an ice cold Italian beer? Don't think so.
Price range: €2-€3 for a slice or $1-€1.50 for a half slice.
You might have heard about Amorino: Artisan Gelator Maker before. They operate a few dozen shops spread out across Europe, North America, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Africa. You could call them a modern day Gelato Empire!
They are not fully vegan but have enough vegan options to suit anyone. Firstly, all of their fruit sorbets are vegan. In addition, they also make a vegan hazelnut gelato, a vegan chocolate gelato, a coconut gelato, and sometimes vegan versions of local flavors. Also, all of their cones are vegan. As you can see, the gelato is served in the shape of a rose which creates some perfect photo opportunities.
We tried to stop by as often as we could which wasn't so hard considering they have three separate locations in Lisbon alone!
Price range: €3.50 for a small, €4.50 for a medium, and €5.50 for a large.
6. Sagarmatha Momo Restaurant
Who would have ever thought that we would find some of the most authentic Nepalese momos outside of Nepal in Lisbon? We sure didn’t. The truth is that we didn’t just find one place that served good vegan momos in Lisbon, we found several of them.
When we first walked into Sagarmatha Momo Restaurant it felt like we had traveled right back to Nepal. Everything from the incense burning at the entrance to the pictures overlooking the Himalayas on the walls, the tiny tables with the tiny chairs, the smells, the sounds... everything was just like in Nepal.
It was a small dose of South Asia in the most unlikely place.
The food was great and incredibly authentic as well. Sagarmatha serves several combinations of momos along with samosas, curries, and naans.
The best part was that it was both cheap and located about a 10-minute walk from our apartment. It usually took us 20 minutes to get back due to the hill we had to climb and because of all the food we’d eaten that was slowing us down.
Price range: €3 for veg momos and €4.50 for chili momos.
The Future of Vegan Food in Lisbon
All in all, Lisbon's vegan food scene wasn't exactly what we had expected. Compared to food we've eaten in other places around the world, it fell a bit short. While we acknowledge that Lisbon definitely has a vegan scene it hasn't reached its full potential yet. But it's getting there. The vegan chocolate cake from Veganeats Caffe was one of the best cakes we've eaten in our lives. We also love the fact that there is a vibrant Nepalese community in Lisbon serving up plates of delicious momos.
Even though there is an abundance of vegan restaurants in Lisbon, much of the food lacked flavor and creativity. We felt that most of the dishes that we ate out could have easily been replicated better at home. With that being said, the 6 places we mentioned on this list are definitely worth checking out.
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