Yerbabuena: Inventive vegetarian cuisine in Madrid

Eating out & Madrid Restaurants, Madrid de los Austrias (Historic Center), Vegetarian

by Julie Espinosa

Great Vegetarian Food in Madrid

As mentioned in a previous post, eating vegetarian in Madrid is a fool’s errand or a compelling challenge, depending on how you look at it. There are many establishments that throw ham into every single dish and a large contingent of madrileños that don’t consider fish or seafood to be meat.

But there are some great vegetarian places to try in the city, and their success will increase as the idea of meatless diets gains traction in Spain. This is the latest in a series of posts on eating vegetarian in Madrid.

Seitan foie, pumpkin chutney, seawead caviar, avocado tartar, these are just a few of the ingredients featured on the menu of Yerbabuena, a surprisingly affordable restaurant featuring vegetarian food.

The food is influenced by Mexican, Japanese, French, Italian and Chinese cuisine. Still, there are some vegetarian versions of traditional Spanish cookery, including a vegetarian paella and a La Mancha style vegetable and “sausage” stew. They also have a crema catalana (vegetarian, as normally prepared).

Try the exquisite mousseline and poppyseed crêpe, filled with a quinoa-spinach mix (pictured) or, on weekdays, opt for the filling menú del día–it includes two dishes, rye bread, a drink and a dessert–for 12€.

The interior dining area is a tad cramped but the bright green and salmon décor does help offset the feeling. The staff are unobtrusive and have well written English menus on hand. Reservations are recommended, especially on the weekend.

Metro: Ópera. Tel: 915 480 811. Address: Calle Bordadores 3. See map below:

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Comment from gary
Date: January 2, 2008, 5:40 pm

The last three excellent articles posted by Julie Katie and Amy have left me in no doubt that I can eat well as a vegetarian in Madrid.

On behalf of us carnivores and omnivores (most of the world) is there any chance of reviewing places that serve the kind of delicious dishes that are not so good for us?

Hylogui or Tabena Almendro anyone?

Comment from Janice
Date: January 2, 2008, 6:45 pm

I am a long time vegetarian. I spent two weeks in Madrid this past July and survived although I did have to repeatedly tell the waiter, no, no como mariscos o pescado.
Thank you for the articles for us vegetarians (a small but growing minority). Most of the sites which review restaurants in Madrid are only geared toward carnivores (omnivores). I will be returning to Madrid again this summer (can’t wait) and will try Yerbabuena. I wanted to go there this summer but ran out of time.
I did eat a few times at Fresco, Maoz and a few places off the standard tourist track and found a lot of good food sin carne.
Thank you again. Keep up the good work.

Comment from ben
Date: January 2, 2008, 10:32 pm

@Gary – we’ll do a carnivores series too!

@Janice – you have to try El Granero on Calle Argumosa in Lavapies – we’ll do a full review soon, it’s really wonderful.

Comment from Julie E.
Date: January 2, 2008, 11:53 pm

@Gary–I wanted to point you to an earlier NFM review of Taberna del Almendro (of meaty rosca fame) at Is that the one you were referring to?

Comment from gary
Date: January 3, 2008, 6:34 pm

@ Julie – yes it is the one we had a good lunch there last time in Madrid.

@Ben – I knew that…. ;-)

@ Janice, yes the articles are excellent and well written and worthwhile and will come in really handy when I take my son and his girlfriend to MAD. We struggle when she goes out for a meal with us – here is too little consideration given to vegetarians in English restaurants and I can imagine that Spain is worse.

Comment from Charisma
Date: January 9, 2008, 8:02 pm

That is an excellent-looking meal! I can obviously vouch for the bread…