Aveiro, Portugal is a beautiful place to visit. In this article, I am going to share with you my dining experience at the vegan restaurant Musgo as well as some of the tourist sights you can see during your day trip. Keep in mind that vegan travel through Portugal is not always easy. The positive thing about dining at a café or restaurant is that you will always find a friendly staff member who is willing to accommodate your dietary needs.
Aveiro in A Nutshell?
Located on the west coast of Portugal, Aveiro is known for its canals that run through this charming and colorful city. It’s definitely worth spending the day here! It reminded me a little of Venice Italy because you can ride around the city in a traditional gondola.
Weather in Aveiro
The weather in Aveiro depends on the month of travel with the city experiencing comfortable summers during June and September making this the best time to visit.
Gondola Rides – A Must Do
The canals flow from the lagoon running through both the new area of the city and the historic part of town. You will have the opportunity to take a tour by gondola and I highly recommend doing so with a moliceiros (a traditional colorful boat).
Train Stations, Lighthouses and Museums
After enjoying the sights from the canal, you can wander around and see some of the most famous tourist attractions in Aveiro. These include the Old Train Station, Praia da Barra Lighthouse, Museu Maritimo de Ilhavo, Museu de Aveiro and the Mosteiro de Jesus. The Old Train Station was completed in 1916 and is a part of the town’s 20th-century history. The Praia da Barra Lighthouse has 271 steps and was used to help ships due to Aveiro’s dangerously shallow coastline. Museu Maritimo de Ilhavo shows you everything about Aveiro’s fishing history. The Mosteiro de Jesus is a monastery which was built between the 15th and 17th century and is where Joanna, Princess of Portugal resided.
The Musgo Experience
If you are searching for vegan food options, you will have a small number of places where you can enjoy a plant-based meal. I decided to dine at Musgo, an all-vegan restaurant that opened recently in 2017. The vegan menu also offers gluten-free options including gluten-free beer. The main course and soup change daily.
I ordered the vegan Feijoada, which is a dish that usually consists of beans, beef, and pork but the vegan version was made with beans, greens and pieces of bread. It was really fresh and tasty!
Always order some olives while in Portugal, they are delicious!
The buddha bowl was a mixed salad with quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and sweet mangoes. A lovely light meal that was perfect for sharing.
The Tempeh Burger
The tempeh burger was served with vegan mayo, tomato, lettuce, salted onions, and vegan cheese. It featured a side salad and sweet potato chips and was made on their signature bread called caco. The bread is light and very delicious.
Soy and Mushroom Burger
The mushroom burger was also served on the caco bread with vegan mayo, tomato, arugula zucchini, vegan cheese and a side of sweet potato chips and salad.
The meals reflect homestyle cooking but with a vegan twist making the food fresh and healthy. The chips served on the side of the burgers are called Batatas Fritas which are potato chips and the salad is also a nice addition to the meal. The caco bread is made from flour, sweet potatoes, yeast, water, and salt and is a traditional Madeiran bread. No matter what you order, you will have a great experience here with the friendly staff and cozy atmosphere.
To finish off our food experience I ordered a delicious chocolate and peanut mousse which was exactly how I wanted to finish the meal. The mousse was light and airy, and the addition of the crunchy peanuts was perfect.
Other vegan and vegetarian cafes in Aveiro:
DaTerra – An all-vegan buffet-style restaurant serving a changing menu for lunch and dinner. Dessert is also available. Open Monday – Saturday 12:00 – 3:00 and 7:00 – 22:30 and Sunday 12:30 – 3:00. The vegan buffet is all you can eat with great reviews for value for money. It is recommended to try the vegan cheesecake or banoffee pie.
Ki Macrobiotic – A vegan macrobiotic restaurant that is open for breakfast and brunch Monday – Friday 11:30 – 15:30. The menu features a dish of the day with combination options for soup as well as a variety of sweet options to enjoy with tea. It is recommended to eat here for lunch for a fresh and healthy meal that is good for you! There are not many menu options, but it is still a good location when you want a fully vegan lunch.
Aconchego do Quintal – A health food store that also serves vegetarian and vegan organic food for lunch. Open Tuesday – Friday 09:00 – 6:00 and Saturday 09:00 – 3:00.
A’Capela Bar – This is not a vegan or vegetarian restaurant though they have one vegan meal option on their menu every day.
Green City – This restaurant is not vegan or vegetarian but does provide a vegan option including a variety of salads and smoothies.
Saladas – A salad bar that serves meat but allows you to create your own meal making it easy for vegan diners to enjoy lunch. Also sells fresh fruit juice and a small selection of vegan desserts.
Additional vegan tips for Aveiro
- Search around for a cornbread called Broa de Milho that goes great with the local olive oil.
- Look for baked chestnuts as well as a variety of seasonal fruit.
- If you order soup, make sure you ask for a green stock – which means that the stock is made with vegetables (mainly potatoes and greens as well as lots of onions and garlic).
- Look for lupini beans called Tremocos. The best place to get them is at the bar because they will usually be served with a cold beer to be eaten as a snack.
If you would like to buy some souvenirs you can do so at Rua do Batalhão de Caçadores where there is a large outdoor mall called Forum Shopping Centre. End the day relaxing in one of the peaceful garden areas in Jardim do Rosso. To your vegan success!