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A Vegan Visit To Mallorca by Harry Mather, Vegan Views 96 (Spring 2003)

I was lucky enough to take a week's winter break in Mallorca in February. Self-catering made veganism easier, but we noticed a Vegetarian Restaurant from the bus in Palma and decided to explore it. Jardin de la Gloria, 23 Plaza Progres, was not large but it was smart. The word vegan was not understood, but we were able to make them understand what we wanted (or rather what we didn't want). The waitress was friendly and helpful and the lady at the next table helped to explain. She explained she was vegetarian for the animals otherwise she would not be smoking. She was in fact kind and friendly and told us there were many vegetarian restaurants in Palma and gave the addresses of three (after consulting another customer), marking them on our street plan.

Next day we found Sa Bousana, 4 calle Santa Barbara in the fascinating old town near the Cathedral. Here the food was excellent and portions large. Once again it was possible to go vegan, though only couscous was available for the main dish (but it was light and fluffy). As with Jardin de Gloria, the meal was four courses for 10 Euros.

Encouraged in our quest we went looking for Julivert, 13 calle Santiago Russel, a street north of the Misericordia. This was self-service and the lady understood the word vegan. Two vegan dishes were available that day and the menu changes daily. We intended to eat there that day but, walking through streets near Plaza Mayor we came across a sign for a small vegetarian restaurant, 'Atisha' 4 bis calle Hostels. They also serve fish. A single dish cost 6 Euros. They were eager to please and open evenings. Walking around afterwards we were surprised to see yet another sign for a vegetarian restaurant - Bon Lloc 7 San Felice a large and busy restaurant which advertised that it is open some nights from 2030 to 2300 hours and obviously also open for lunches.

Lunch in Spain comes in siesta time between 1 and 4 pm and evenings meals are quite late. I doubt whether these restaurants are open on Sundays. English is not generally spoken, though someone may be able to understand a very little and the word vegan is not understood but 'sin leche' and 'sin huevo' means without milk and without eggs and the idea seems understood. One waitress wagged a disapproving finger when I tried to taste a 'dip' which had mayonnaise in it and brought me a sauce made from almonds instead. The food was tasty and well presented. The service was pleasant.

A café advertised Horchata da Chufa (Tiger Nut 'Milk') but this apparently is only available in summer. Roast chestnuts sold in the street turned out to be hard and inedible.

Update (from an email by Bob Wyman 24 Aug 2005)...
I recently visited Palma, Mallorca and used the article by Harry Mather as a guide to find Vegetarian restaurants. Unfortunately, all the restaurants named in the article were no longer in business except one, Bon Lloc - and that was closed for holidays. The 2 mile walk was interesting. We did have vegetarian paella in a small restaurant in Porto Christo and it was very good indeed. This seemed widely available and we were assured it was not made with fish or meat stock.

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Cross-reference: Travel