Portugal has passed a new law that requires all restaurants to offer vegan options on their menu. This is excellent news for those who don’t eat meat or dairy products, and it’s also good news for the environment. In Portugal, it is illegal not to offer vegan food options! Here are all of your questions about this topic answered. Find out what it means to be vegan in Portugal, home to one of Europe’s largest vegetarian festivals.
How it all started
The Portuguese Vegetarian Society is finally being heard! With 15,000 signatures and the help of three left-wing political parties that advocated for this law to pass, a nationwide ban on animal slaughter was approved in March 2017. While it has been difficult at times with various pushbacks from Portugal’s meat industry against the idea–the advocates have not given up.
The country of Portugal has passed a law that specifically mentions vegetarianism, which is the first time they have done this. This will promote diversity in eating habits and encourage more people to choose the veggie option as it becomes available to them. The population’s health should improve significantly.
Nuno Alvim is not the only one working to make veganism a more widespread and accepted lifestyle. He went on in his comment to note that “It will promote diversity of eating habits and encourage more people, especially those with restricted diets such as vegans or vegetarians, to choose the veggie option.”
From an ethical standpoint, many are beginning to feel compelled by their conscience alone towards this way of living. Nuno goes further into what he believes might happen should we start seeing food change be made available across all restaurants: “There is, however, a concern that there will be an increase in the number of vegan restaurants, which may lead to some people overeating processed food.”
5 of the Best Vegan Food Cities in Portugal
The vegan food scene in Portugal has been rapidly growing over the last decade, with new restaurants popping up all around the country. It’s never been easier to find excellent vegan food. Many great restaurants offer an entirely plant-based menu or many options for the occasional meat dish. These eateries include everything from Asian fusion dishes to French cuisine with pasta and salads made up primarily of plants instead of eggs and dairy products traditionally used in these meals.
Here’s our list of favorite cities to find delicious plant-based dishes:
Lisbon is the vegan paradise of Portugal, with more than a dozen restaurants serving up dishes from all over the world.
Unlike so many other capitals around Europe, where it’s near impossible to eat out without sacrificing your dietary choices and doesn’t satisfy you, Lisbon has never been better! Indian spots like Sansakar Nepal and Ola Nepal (the best in town) and Italian gems at Eight – The Health Lounge. At the same time, Ground Burger serves up some incredible burgers – one even topped off with roasted vegetables on homemade bread served alongside fries made. Located just down the street. And don’t forget to stop by the vegan supermarket, Aldi Lisbon, when coming to this city!
Long-time vegan Emily Bourne told reporters that “Lisbon now has an amazing selection of vegan food to offer. It’s pretty easy to eat out here.”.
The fantastic Mediterranean vegan options at Porto will have you drooling. Try their Italian-inspired dishes, like pizza and pasta, or get a bite of brunch with some eggs benedict on weekends!
The vegan food scene in Cascais is thriving with culture and flavor. The veggie dishes at the top-notch restaurants offer a great variety, including Moroccan hummus wraps for lunch or Italian pizza dinner. Unique fusion complements its traditional Portuguese cuisine.
Located in the Northeastern region of Portugal, Fatima is a city that offers some great food. They have vegan options from all over the Mediterranean, and it’s considered one of the most beautiful cities to visit!
Aveiro is the perfect destination for any vegan who wants to enjoy a hearty and delicious meal. Visitors looking for more variety should head inland towards Aveiro, where they’ll find an array of delicious vegetarian restaurants with options from around the world sushis tandoori meats–from India through Asia Minor (the region between West Asian countries like Iran) along trade routes into North Africa and eventually Europe–as well as some other nonmeat delicacies such as fried.
UK citizens saw it coming.
UK citizens are also keen to have this option, with a similar petition garnering over 27,000 signatures.
A vegan dietitian from the UK’s Vegan Society has said that “hospitals and prisons need to cater in ways that respect equality and diversity.” She further explains: “Staff training contributes to these issues as people working at institutions may not know about a vegan diet.
To witness more nations, especially those with the power to cause influence on a worldwide scale, following up and bringing forth vegan options at schools is an exciting prospect. Seeing it happen in universities, hospitals? A welcome sight indeed!
Interested to learn more? Check out our Short Guide to What you can eat as a vegan.