I adopted a vegan lifestyle around 9 months ago now. Non-vegans, including me prior to changing my lifestyle, may believe that veganism equates to bland and boring meals and limited choice when it comes to food. I discovered that it was quite the opposite – you can still eat most of things you ate before, you simply use delicious and nutritious plant-based ingredients.
As I was preparing for my year abroad, I was silently bracing myself for the struggle of finding something to eat (unless I cooked it myself)! In the UK, I can rely more on shops to provide me with a quick snack, most restaurants have vegan options and some even have a separate vegan menu these days. While bigger cities in Spain do not pose much of a problem, smaller places prove to be more of a challenge. Fear not! It is possible to get by as a vegan food in Ronda. If your reasons for being vegan are important to you- wanting to avoid animal exploitation, health reasons etc. – then you will find a way!
You can find alternatives to a lot of things in Ronda’s supermarkets – plant milks such as soy, rice, oat and coconut milks as opposed to dairy milk, soy-based yoghurts, veggie burgers, agave nectar instead of honey…and don’t forget that a lot of the food that you already eat is probably plant-based – whole grains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Restaurants and cafes that provide vegan food in Ronda options
Café de Agata – Milkshakes (made with plant milk) and freshly made juices, a vegan sandwich and a selection of vegan tapas – check what is available with the staff. There is a ‘vegan’ crepe on their menu, but beware, I discovered that it contains egg!
La Lechuguita – This place is ideal if you are looking for somewhere cheap (most tapas are only 80 cents each!) to grab a quick snack. Choices include champiñones a la plancha, aceitunas and pisto de verduras.
Toro Tapas – a selection of vegan tapas e.g. gazpacho and patatas con tomate as well as ones that can be made vegan (check with restaurant staff).
Al-Zahra – A Moroccan restaurant located on Calles Las Tiendas which has some options that may be suitable for vegans, including hummus and tabbouleh.
In other restaurants, see if what you want to order can be veganised; e.g. if you are looking for pizza, ask for it sin queso. In Las Martirio, I asked for the wok de verduras without the langoustines. These are just a couple of examples.
Another tip: As veganism and the word ‘vegan’ may still be poorly understood by some, it is advisable to say “Me puede traer esto plato sin carne/productos lácteos/huevos etc.…” or “No como productos animales.”
Supermarkets and smaller shops vegan food in Ronda (for home cooking and snacks)
How to veganise some popular Spanish dishes
You can still eat your favourite Spanish dishes at home. Simply swap the non-vegan ingredients for plant-based ones! Some examples are:
– Gazpacho, Ajoblanco and Salmorejo cordobés – simply don’t include ham and cheese
– Churros – great news! Authentic Spanish churros are vegan, however the chocolate included with them often isn’t – use dairy-free chocolate to make the chocolate sauce
– Tortilla de patatas – Spanish omelette – many vegan versions replace the eggs with gram flour (also known as chickpea flour) – a range of vegan versions can be found online
And let’s not forget:
– Paella de verduras – vegetable paella – it’s often already vegan!
– Garbanzos con espinacas – Chickpeas and spinach – a popular dish in Spain, this is delicious!