If you ever want to prove to someone that vegan food is just as delicious as “regular” food (or more delicious!), give her/him a big fat slice of vegan cake and I’m sure they will be begging for another. It’s been a personal mission of mine for a while and has worked every time.
Despite being in the country of Iberian ham and 12-egg omelettes, Madrid is becoming more and more vegan friendly, and vegan cafés and restaurants are populating the streets like mushrooms. Not too long ago, I rounded up a handful of non-vegan friends and took them on a vegan cake tour throughout Madrid. We visited 4 different venues in the neighbourhoods of Las Huertas and Lavapies, and at each and every location I had the pleasure of hearing someone say, “this is vegan?”
Can you say mission accomplished?
There, I said it!
From beginning to end, the entire route is 1 kilometre long and a 12-minute walk. As for the cakes, they all have a price tag between 2€ and 4€ with tax included. However, I urge you to check each restaurant’s opening hours before you go – this is the land of siestas after all. But if you are looking for something to do in Madrid on a Saturday afternoon, you can’t go wrong with visiting some or all the restaurants from this vegan cake route.
Vegan Carrot Cake from La Huerta de Almeria
Calle Moratín, 25
As the name “la huerta” suggests, stepping into this small chain restaurant is like stepping into a garden, more specifically the gardens of Almería, a province in Andalucia.
At 7:00 PM, I started my early Spanish dinner with their carrot cake. The waiter not only looked at me funny, but also asked me twice if I was sure.
Yes, young lad. You heard me right. I want carrot cake for dinner.
The cake was served chilled and moist, with a creamy icing and walnuts. My taste buds guessed the icing was made out of cashews, but the waiter unfortunately couldn’t confirm. Nevertheless, this was the cheapest cake on the tour so I can’t complain.
Their location in La Latina is more of a café and usually has a wider range of vegan cakes than this location in Las Huertas. If you are ever La Latina, I highly recommend checking them out.
Vegan Algarroba Cake from La Biotika
Calle Amor de Dios, 3
After devouring the carrot cake from La Huerta de Almería, I met my non-vegan friends at La Biotika, Madrid’s palace for all things vegetarian and macrobiotic (Zen Buddhist food). If you haven’t gone already, La Biotika will blow you away. It is not only a restaurant but also a community. Next door, they have a supermarket and down the street they have a school where they hold workshops and courses, from Feng Shui to mindfulness to nutrition.
There we ordered the vegan algarroba cake and all lost our algarroba virginity. Algarroba is a bean that comes from the mesquite tree and gives off a sweet and nutty taste. As the waiter explained, it is often used as a chocolate substitute and is suitable for those with diabetes. La Biotika’s vegan algarroba cake is a must-try.
Vegetarian and Gluten Free Carrot Cake from Viva Chapata
Calle del Ave María, 43
Yes Daniel, they do.
But they also have 3-layer high, gluten free and vegetarian carrot cake topped with sweet cream cheese icing and dark chocolate syrup.
Although this was the second carrot cake we had, Viva Chapata did have something that La Huerta de Almería didn’t have, and that was vegan and organic beer.
Vegan Chocolate Cake from La Oveja Negra
Calle Buenavista 42
Although La Oveja Negra is tucked away in a hidden alley, don’t let its location scare you because this spot is a super star in the LGBTQIA community. The entire joint is decorated with pro-queer art on the walls and has such an ambience I haven’t seen much of in Madrid.
I would describe the vegan chocolate cake at La Oveja Negra as more of a mousse, but very rich and delicious nonetheless, and the very generous portions they served us were a pleasant surprise.