We have just returned from a fortnights holiday in Southern Spain, staying on the Costa Blanca in a lovely villa with our own pool and tennis court! A real treat for my husbands’ upcoming 40th birthday.
Like many, my first trip to Spain was as a 15 year old on a school trip. Back then I was a veggie, not a vegan, but even as a vegetarian I really struggled to find foods that I could eat in Spain. Even a simple salad would be sprinkled with tuna and global fast food joints (which my 15 year old friends naturally loved) didn’t offer the vegetarian options that I could get in the UK at the time.
Skip forward 25 years and my husband and I enjoyed a fabulous city break in Madrid in 2017, just as the vegan revolution was really happening in the UK and we had been vegan for 2 years. I was blown away by the vegan food in Madrid, which was quite simply amazing, from the most delicious dirty burger I’ve ever eaten to really posh nosh. We spend 5 days in Madrid and ate out in a different vegan or veggie restaurant for both lunch and supper each day.
However, when booking a trip to the Costa Blanca I didn’t expect to be quite so lucky, after all, it is always pretty easy to eat well as a vegan in a large city, but would it be so easy in a seaside resort? We opted for a self-catering villa because really we didn’t think it would be.
But, we shouldn’t have worried. With the help of Happy Cow we were able to eat like lords for a fortnight! From a lovely independent vegan restaurant tucked away in a small Spanish town, to a traditional tapas restaurant with a vegan menu, to a fully vegan coffee (and cake) shop in Alicante. We visited totally vegan fast food joints in Valencia and a huge ice-cream parlour at the beach resort of Moraira with several vegan choices. Not to mention our local Lidl which had more vegan options than you could shake a stick at, for days when we didn’t feel like cooking from scratch or going out.
With all this wonderful food, Spain really did feel like a different country to the one I visited as a self conscious (and hungry!) vegetarian almost 30 years ago.