A Guide to Eating Vegan in Madeira

If there’s one thing I don’t enjoy when going on holiday, it’s searching around for somewhere where I can actually eat. Trying to scrape together some places to get some lunch off of Google maps and trip advisor can be tricky sometimes, so here’s some of the places that I managed to eat at in Madeira, and my thoughts on them:

Gavino

This was our first dinner on the island and we were STARVING when we arrived. The menu itself is quite unique in that it’s really simple but can be adapted in so many different ways.

They had a decent sized vegan part of the menu that had a good variety of options, however when I visited there were a couple of dishes that were unavailable. I couldn’t decide so I asked the waiter what one is usually popular and he recommended the risotto – for this you can choose two ingredient options; I went for the sundried tomatoes and red peppers. The presentation was really cute with some decorative flowers on top too! I was overall really impressed with Gavino!

Do Mercado Hamburgueria

We ended up here on our last day when we were originally walking to Burger King but came across this burger restaurant that I had actually previously seen when researching vegan places to eat. The burger that I had did come with tartar sauce so I had to ask for that to be removed to make it vegan, which did make the burger a little bit dry so you can probably ask for another source to avoid that. The chips were really good, and since this place mostly served meat burgers, my husband was also happy with his non-plant based meal!

The Snug Smokehouse

We headed to this restaurant after a long day of hiking wanting some good food and a lot of it. The menu shows to have a ‘vegan chickpea patty’ which comes with pico de Galo and guacamole. Guac usually has sour cream in, so I asked if theirs does and was told no, it was just avocado. However after a bite or two into the burger, I don’t think I completely believed the waiter as it tasted really strongly of sour cream. So, I stopped eating the burger and just had the chips. Considering vegan options seem to be so limited in Madeira I really wanted to give this place a try but I’m just not too sure if it is reliable!

Gelateria Mil Sabores

Does anyone else just REALLY fancy ice cream or sorbet after dinner? Are you really on holiday if you don’t eat a cup of gelato whilst strolling the streets in the evening?

I did find it incredibly difficult to find sorbet; in fact, we visited 2 or 3 gelato shops before finding one that sold it!

Overall I actually found it considerably more difficult to eat vegan in Madeira compared to other places I’ve visited. It was a bit of a struggle to find anywhere with a vegan part to the menu or where I wouldn’t have to make my own adaptations to dishes!

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