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  • Writer's pictureAround the World in Vegan Eats

WE TRIED VEGAN ALBÓNDIGAS EN SALSA IN GRANADA, SPAIN!


Hi everyone, and welcome to Granada! If you've been following our journey through Spain, you'll know that we started in Barcelona, before setting off on our current Andalusian trail. From the stunning city of Seville, we journeyed on to the cultural hub of Córdoba, then onto our final (and current) destination, Granada.


We have eaten so many incredible Spanish dishes made vegan too: thing that we'd heard of before (paella and Spanish omelette, for example), and plenty that were entirely new to us too (salmorejo and espinacas con garbanzos really come to mind here!) And one thing is for sure: we haven't been disappointed by any of the plant-based versions of these classic dishes. Spain, your vegan food rocks!!


Will our 100% satisfaction rate continue into Granada? We have one Spanish dish left to try, and it's a big one - one that we've been pretty excited about, ever since we started researching Spanish food! This classic Spanish dish is albóndigas en salsa. We've seen it on menus across Spain, but here in Granada is our first chance to try a fully plant-based version. Read on, then watch the video at the end of this blog, to see these albóndigas, and our reaction to them, for yourself!


But wait, what exactly are albóndigas en salsa?

Thought to have been brought to Spain via Andalusia during the Moorish rule in the 8th century, this dish comprises of large meatballs usually made with ground beef or pork mince) in a tomato-based sauce. Though they have lots in common, these meatballs differ from those served in other cuisines across the world in several ways.


Albóndigas en salsa is one of many dishes that perfectly demonstrates that mixed Spanish culinary heritage. In this dish, Mediterranean and European flavours mingle with the tastes of Morocco, to create a delicious, warming, and comforting dish. With their versatility, these meatballs can be served as a tapa, as a starter, or a main course... so let's give them a try!


Where did we try vegan albóndigas in Granada?

We found a really excellent place to try albóndigas! El Piano is a fully vegan restaurant with a very convenient location in central Granada. And as well as a comprehensive drinks menu, they have a very thorough gluten free range too!


The restaurant is named after the piano that sits proudly at the back of the restaurant, promising a wonderful live soundtrack to your meal from time to time. With lots of character, and really friendly service, we found El Piano a very pleasant place to spend time. It was arty, vibrant, and the counter was packed with lots of delicious treats! Regardless of whether you're heading over to try albóndigas or something different, we'd really recommend giving El Piano a try when you're in Granada.


So come on - tell us all about the albóndigas! How did they taste?

The first thing to say about these albóndigas is that they were absolutely delicious! We ordered the full plate of meatballs, which gave us a total portion size of eight, and we ordered some crispy flatbreads on the side too. This was definitely more than enough food for the two of us, as these albóndigas were dense!


Using a mock meat that did a good job of replicating the texture of a homemade meatball, El Piano have created a really flavoursome plant-based version of this classic Spanish dish. The meatballs themselves tasted meaty, with subtle flavours of herbs and spices... but my favourite thing was the sauce that they were in. Though this sauce was fairly thin (perfect for dipping those flatbreads in!) it was packed with flavour: this rich tomatoey taste contained some warming spices, and had a fresh and sweet hint to it too. These vegan albóndigas en salsa were the hearty comfort food I didn't know I needed in Spain - we found them so enjoyable to eat... so much so that we kept eating them until we were stuffed!


How much did the albóndigas cost - and were they worth it?

Though, on the face of it, the food here looked a little more expensive than some of the other things we have eaten across Andalusia, the sharing portions meant that in reality the food was still relatively inexpensive. For the full plate of eight albóndigas, we paid €16.95 (approx. £14.50 or $18.46) - but we must stress, this was enough to feed us both, and half portions are available too.


We were really impressed by how flavoursome and filling these vegan albóndigas en salsa really were. The restaurant itself was a really friendly and cosy place to spend an afternoon, so we would absolutely go back and eat these meatballs - or something else from the menu too - all over again! For a rich and hearty Spanish dish to fill you up for a day of sightseeing in Granada, albóndigas en salsa would come top of my list of recommendations - and if, like us, you're looking for a high quality vegan version, El Piano is definitely where it's at!

Have you tried vegan albóndigas in Spain? Or elsewhere in the world! Where did you go and what did you think of them? Let us know in the comments below.




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The centre of Vienna with tall, historic buildings all around
Granada is home to some stunning sights!

Where should I stay?

After our trip to Barcelona, we were relieved to discover that accommodation is much more affordable in Andalusia! There is an excellent choice of hotels, hostels, B&Bs, and everything in between in Granada! If you are looking for an inexpensive and social experience, El Granado Hostel is one of the most popular in the city, with frequent events and excellent facilities!


For a more private experience, check out Rooms VITA, which boasts modern and comfortable rooms with en suites, helpful reception staff, a bar on site, and a great location. It's no wonder this place gets such consistently high reviews and ratings!


Tours & Experiences

Granada is all about the Alhambra! So even if you didn't manage to secure your tickets in advance, there are loads of tour companies offering guided and skip-the-line tickets too. You can find some of the most popular Alhambra and Granada tours on the left.


However, there's a lot more to this stunning Andalusian city than just its famous fortress and palaces. Have you been to see a flamenco show yet? This is one of the most highly rated flamenco shows in Granada. With the performance style originating amongst the Gypsy families that have a strong history here, what better place to sample this part of local culture and heritage?


Please note that the tours displayed on the left are automatically selected for their popularity by Viator, not chosen or recommended by us. Please check whether any food or drink based tours are suitable for your dietary requirements, and any animal-based experiences are ethical, before booking!

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