Menorca - a Vegetarians Guide
Restaurants and food shopping
Good to Know
As the Menorcan and Spanish generations change there is an increasing awareness of Vegetarianism and so more offerings... learn more
What to look for in Shops and Supermarkets...Vegetarian Shopping Guide
Vegetarian Dishes & Restaurants
What to expect,how to order. Spanish vegetarian dishes in english ... Vegetarian Dishes in Restaurants
Good to know
There is good news and bad news for 'Veggies' . Menorcan Hotels and resort restaurants have only a vague idea of what it means to be a vegetarian – you'll see many dishes advertised as vegetarian which contain fish and they don’t seem to know the meaning of the word “vegan.” So beach resort restaurant choices can be limited and not guaranteed to be free from animal products while being cooked if you are a vegan. Self Catering is a better option?
The good news? The locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables on Menorca are soooooo much tastier and ripe. Also things are improving as more Spanish from the younger generation go vegetarian. The effects are mostly seen in Menorca's town's restaurants and food shops ( unfortunately no beach resorts are TOWNs on Menorca! )
Some Spanish helpers
Vegetarian cuisine = Cocina vegetariana and vegetarian restaurants = Restaurantes vegetarianos
Two short phrases: “lleva carne?” (does it have meat?) and “sin carne, por favor” (without meat, please).
Vegetarian Shopping Guide
Fact is on Menorca few beach resorts have a local population. So local resort markets only cater to general holiday tourists needs, so choice and variety may be quite limited. Travelling to a local town will offer an much bigger choice.
The locally grown vegetables and fruit ( almost never in plastic packaging) in Menorca are excellent. Grown in Menorca's mineral rich 'red' real soil with imparts it's own flavours (not Hydromats ) so IMO they taste so much better than many back home or imported from mainland Spain. In the towns, you will find the shops that sell a local farm's fruit and vegetable produce as well the general fresh food markets . There are an increasing range of vegetarian, vegan products on the supermarket shelves, though this is more so in the towns.
'Quorn' and Soya based Products are common place in larger Supermarkets - Look out for signs 'Productos Ecologicas'
There are ready made vegetable 'side dishes' in the cold cabinets which make great meals.
The unpacked 'mishapen' fruit and veg will have the most taste!
Vegetarian Dishes and Restaurants
Here is a list of some other commonly found vegetarian ( / fish) dishes in Menorca:
Patatas bravas (potatoes with Spicy chilli Mayonaise )
Paella de marisco/verduras (seafood/vegetables)
Empanadas de atún/bacalao (tuna/cod)
Gambas al ajillo (shrimp served with garlic in olive oil)
Verduras a la plancha (grilled vegetables)
Tortilla de Patata (Spanish Potato Omelette)
Espárragos con Huevos (Asparagus with Eggs)
Gazpacho (Cold Tomato and Vegetable Puree Soup)
Espinacas con Garbanzos (Spinach and Chickpeas)
Croquetas de setas/gambas/bacalao (mushrooms/shrimp/cod croquettes)
A croquette is basically a small mash of chopped ingedients ( with potato ) in a beacrumb coating and fried into a small portion. S you can usually find vegetarian croquettes in most restaurants. Among my meatless favorites: croquetas de setas (wild mushroom croquettes), de cabrales (made with a strong cheese), de Roquefort y nuez (Roquefort cheese and walnut), de espicacas y piñones (spinach and pine nuts).Berenjenas Fritas (Fried Aubergine)
Pisto con Huevo ('Ratatouille' with Egg)
Pisto is basically chopped and roasted vegetables (garlic, olive oil , onion, pepper, aubergine, and tomato). Often with an egg served on top.
Resort restaurants will offer vegetarian options but you cannot always rely on it being cooked without meat based products/fats. Spain has a long tradition of rice dishes ( Arroceria ) and Paellas and all of which can be vegetables only.
The standard fall back of green salad ( Insalada Mixta ) is often very uninspiring and personally many of the salads lack any imagination unless you are in a vegetarian restaurant. Lechuga ( Lettuce ) on the menu is a sure sign of a basic Vegetarian option.
Beach resorts will generally not have a true 100% Vegetarian/Vegan as it only makes sense for them to be where locals live eg Town/City