Spain may seem like a difficult place to eat vegetarian food, but when you know where to go and what to eat, it can become a true foodie haven! Vegetarians might be put off by the menus featuring meat in all its glory, but we’ll tell you all about the tapas dishes that will get you excited about your trip to Santiago! Have a look at our list of the best vegetarian tapas in Santiago!
Pulpo a Feira
This Galician dish is one of our favorite vegetarian tapas in Santiago because of its fantastic flavor. It’s not the easiest dish to get right because the octopus should be cooked perfectly—tender, not too hard or soft. The secret to getting this Galician staple right is to freeze the octopus before cooking it. The simple finishing touches of good quality Spanish olive oil, spicy paprika and rock salt brings this humble dish to life and gives you that melt-in-your-mouth experience this dish should be!
Did you know our food tours and experiences in Santiago de Compostela can all be adapted to your dietary needs? We’re happy to accommodate, so let one of our local experts help you truly discover this beautiful city!
Pimientos de Padrón
These bright green little peppers are perfect when eating vegetarian tapas in Santiago! Most of these peppers are mild, but every so often you might get a hot one! Because they all look the same, it’s impossible to tell which are hot and which are not. In fact, there is a popular Galician saying about these little peppers: Os pementos de Padrón, uns pican e outros non (Padrón peppers, some are hot and some are not!) There isn’t much mystery behind this delicious vegetarian tapa in Santiago—fry the peppers in lots of olive oil and then sprinkle with a little rock salt. Simple but delicious!
Spanish tortilla is a bit different to its Mexican cousin of the same name! Spanish tortilla is a delicious mix of eggs, potatoes and onions. Similar to a frittata, it’s one of the most popular vegetarian tapas in Santiago. Locals love to eat it for dinner with a salad and a chilled glass of wine too! Tortilla-enthusiasts almost always have a preference for how they like theirs; firm and cooked through or soft and runny on the inside! If you’re making this at home, the original tortilla recipe is as simple as can be—made with just three ingredients and a big pinch of salt!
Galician mussels are so special they have their own European Union (EU) Protected Denomination of Origin seal, which is a guarantee of the quality and origin of the mussels. They were the first seafood in the EU to have this prestigious seal so they’re definitely worth trying! We love them the Galician way, which is to cook them simply of course! Many tapas bars will serve them in one of three ways; steamed with a wedge of lemon, in a spicy tomato sauce or in a vinaigrette. No matter how they’re prepared, they should always be served in their shells. If you want the true gallego or Galician experience, order them steamed, because as the locals say, it’s the best way to enjoy the true flavor of the mussel!
These small scallops are delicious cooked on the plancha or grill with garlic, parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. They’re a typical vegetarian tapa in Santiago, and as they’re two to three times smaller than a scallop, they have a milder flavor. Sweet and tasting of the sea, it’s a must-try tapa in Santiago. They’re popular in Galician cooking and as always in Galicia, the simpler the recipe the better!
Want to know more about the fantastic tapas in Santiago? Join us for an Insider’s Tapas & Wine evening tour and learn how to order and “go for tapas” in Spain! We’re happy to modify our experiences to suit your dietary needs, so if you’re on the lookout for vegetarian tapas in Santiago, we’ve got you covered!