We had low expectations of how well we would be catered for in the Algarve, following a Vegan Gluten-free diet, but I have to say we were pleasantly surprised. We used Google Maps as our mainstay guide, but also checked the blogosphere as well.
Whilst certainly not mainstream, it did prove possible to find a Vegan place, or one with good Vegan options in most places.
First off we found Earth Shop & Café. This is at Praia Do Carvoeiro which is a nice town with a number of bars and restaurants. It also has a fabulous boardwalk just down the road, with stunning coastal views. It is a bright modern restaurant with friendly staff. The menu is mixed, but they do have some vegan options. And for those with a sweet tooth, they do a delicious All Vegan Brownie and Ice Cream.
Next day we set off into Faro and found the Outro Ladro in the narrow lanes of Faro. We were driving, and even off season, it was still a bit tricky to park. Once you get there, the place has a rustic feel, decorated with honesty and conviction. The young couple that run the café are keeping to Vegan only and freshly prepared dishes. We ordered Lentil Stew and Mushroom risotto from the menu.
Albuifeira is the largest tourist destination in the Algarve and has a few choices for Vegan restaurants. We visited Veggie Momi. This is a little gem, but you might need to come early in the season as it is small and will have limited seats. Monica runs it and works miracles in a very small space. She had a good all round menu, which is innovative. We were particularly impressed with her house dessert, which was about as close to Tiramisu that you can get without the dairy.
We went to the Mar shopping village in Loule one day. This is the same as any shopping mall anywhere. It’s nicely designed and had a good range of shops. We took lunch in the food hall and found a few vegan options amongst the food outlets there. In the end we went for an Asian dish of Tofu and Vegetables.
On our last day we went to Sagres – the end of the world, or at least the end of the Algarve. Here we had lunch at the Terra Restaurant, which has a lovely location overlooking the coast. This is not a Vegan restaurant, but it does have good vegan options. There was even a desert choice. The food was tasty and beautifully presented. One dish was Seitan and the other was Sweet Potato Falafel. I have seen mixed reviews on service at Terra.. On the day we went there were two servers. One enjoyed her job more than the other and that showed. Still highly recommended.
So there you have our Vegan adventures in Algarve. There were certainly plenty of other restaurant choices, but we ran out of time to try them, so we’ll leave it to other Vegan travellers to explore them.