Being vegan or vegetarian is not easy in Portugal, where one of the most typical dishes, cozido à portuguesa, mixes five or six different types of meat. In most of the old school restaurants vegetarians can only get an eye-rolling look and a side dish, which is usually plain rice or potatoes, sometimes a poor salad made of lettuce and tomatoes. Good luck if you ask for anything more elaborated in a traditional restaurant. Simply, in Portugal, the fourth fish consumer per capita in the world, many locals are still not aware that a meal can be complete even without meat or fish. When it comes to desserts, most of them include eggs, like the most famous ovos moles. Luckily, thanks to the numerous tourists recently visiting Portugal, finally there are some veggie options. Although I am not 100% vegetarian, I often eat meat free meals and so I will share with you a few great places to go vegetarian/vegan in Aveiro.
I will start with my favourite - Green City. This pretty, cozy, tiny and affordable restaurant is quite popular among student because it's close to the University. Everything here is homemade and fresh, including juices. Salad bowls are delicious and loaded with fresh ingredients. It's a family business, run with great dedication and passion, and the employees will be able to answer your questions about every detail regarding your meal, help with allergies, etc. Please note that Green city is not exclusively vegan/vegetarian, but offers many meat free options.
Musgo Vegetariano was the first real vegetarian and vegan restaurant to be opened in Aveiro, only two years ago, in the very city center near Praça do Peixe (Fish Market). Nowadays, it's most of the time full of people, locals and foreigners, so it's recommended to make a reservation as the place is quite small. They cook "with the soul" and this is exactly how food here tastes - like a soul food. Try veggie burger and one of the teas inspired by yoga. Great music is a nice bonus. Musgo in Portuguese means "moss" but that's not on the menu. Their colourful plates are inspired by different tastes from all over the world, so you may find here fried bananas, moussaka, pho or ghiveci, maybe even on the same day.
DaTerra opened recently, in Fonte Nova neighbourhood, around 1.5 km from the city center, near the train station. This is actually a chain and DaTerra in Aveiro is the 10th restaurant in Portugal. I recommend it especially to those who can eat a lot, because it's a buffet concept, and for just 7,50 euros you can have a marvellous lunch of mostly organic and certainly fresh ingredients. I love DaTerra because it's full of surprises, offering kind of food that I rarely eat at home. From pink hummus to eggplant with chilly, from corn jelly to sweet potato pudding. Although it may sound strange and improbable, usually everything here is tasty. The buffet doesn't include drink, but soup is included. Also, if you still have some space, there are healthy desserts.
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