In just one week, I leave Granada. So it’s about time I wrote a post about the city that has made me the way I am. Especially after what happened to me this week.
Being vegan in Spain isn’t easy. I made the change almost three years ago and straightaway found it really difficult to eat out. Why? Because typical Spanish food, especially southern Spanish food, focuses on meat and fish. Whenever I went to restaurants in Granada, all they could offer me was chips and bread with some fried and oily vegetable on top. An attempt at vegan tapas, I suppose.
It was so hard to be social and eat healthily (plain lettuce with a side of tomato gets boring). And even harder to find a suitable ‘date night’ restaurant to enjoy with my boyfriend. In the last couple of years, more and more vegan places have popped up in Granada. But nothing quite right for a romantic meal in a pretty dress.
A few times, I’ve felt very discouraged and feared I wouldn’t be able to stay vegan. Last week, however, that all changed.
On a freezing morning while my boyfriend was here visiting from London, we woke shivering without electricity or heating. The only option for breakfast was eating out. But it was a bank holiday, so I feared we wouldn’t find an open restaurant or café with vegan options. I checked HappyCow for “vegan options near me” just in case.
I saw a name I’d never seen before: Wild Food World. It was in the heart of Granada, so we decided to give it a shot.
I have no words to describe how I felt when I walked inside. It was so beautifully designed. And so different to any other restaurant I’d been to in Granada. I insisted on checking the menu, because I didn’t believe such a delightful restaurant could be vegan-friendly. I was wrong. It was vegan and wonderful.
We had scrambled tofu with vegan cheese and toast. But the whole time I was thinking how frustrated I was because I didn’t have my camera with me. So, before leaving, I asked to see the manager.
I was introduced to Rocio Maldonado, the hotel director and manager of the restaurant. I asked her if she would mind me going back to the restaurant with my friend and photographer, Thorbøn.
She was incredibly kind and invited us for lunch this week.
It’s my pleasure to announce: Granada now has an exceptional, beautiful, classy and delicious vegan restaurant. It’s ideal for emergency breakfasts, casual lunches and date nights!
The Wild Food Restaurant Experience
Wild Food World opened last September on the ground floor of the Marquis Hotel Issabel’s. As you walk inside the lobby, you forget you’re in Granada. This is a one-of-a-kind hotel and restaurant with its own personality. From the jungle ceiling to the window walls and carefully placed modern decoration, it’s obvious that the hotel aims for excellence, and pays attention to every detail.
Rocio explained to me that they wanted to bring something completely different to Granada. In her opinion, the plant-based diet is not a trend that will come and go. It’s an evolution. She saw the need for places like this in Granada, and gave everything she had to make it what it is: a very high-quality restaurant.
“We wanted to make that effect on people. Once you walk in you can tell we’re different”, she told me.
Their hope is to grow with the plant-based movement. Not just grow a successful business, but also a supportive and engaged community in Granada. How? One way is to use ingredients from Granada to help small local businesses. Rocio made it very clear that this is the way forward. She can only see the positives of investing in local products.
This aligns Wild Food World with their environmentally friendly image. None of the organic food served in this restaurant has travelled far to get to the restaurant. This combined with a plant-based menu offers a sustainable option for locals and tourists.
I asked Rocio whether they were focused more on the health benefits, the environmental impact or the fact that they don’t use animal products. She answered with something that will stay with me:
“Wild Food World chooses to offer organic food made with local ingredients because it’s something we believe in,” she told me. “Because it’s better for our health, the environment and the animals.”
It doesn’t matter why you go there, everybody wins: customers, their health and their tastebuds, the local farmers, the environment, and the animals. I find that very inspiring.
These ethics along with the peace I felt when I walked through the door made my dining experience at Wild Food one of the best I’ve ever had.
Their Delicious Vegan Food
Now to my favourite part… FOOD!
Thorben and I tried a total of six different dishes. Each was everything an Instagrammer would want on their feed, plus they tasted heavenly. The flavours Wild Food World manage to bring out of non-processed ingredients blew my mind. The quality was impeccable.
Their menu offers every option you can think of: raw, cold-pressed, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free… It’s perfect for anyone with a food allergy. They also follow a strict food-handling policy to avoid any traces.
Now, let’s get to the amazing organic, locally sourced, cooked-with-filtered-water deliciousness we enjoyed:
Sweet potato soup with coconut milk and ginger
Creamy and warm, it was the perfect food for the cold weather as it warmed us up. It came beautifully presented with a mashed potato and spinach topping and some pumpkin seeds. It was just the right balance of flavours and a great starter.
I’m a lover of asparagus so this one was 100% going to be right for me! The dish, full of greens, came with pak choi, cherry tomatoes, red pepper… and a bright beetroot sauce.
Wild Food has yet to explain to me how kale, usually so bitter, can taste so good. The kale leaves had a coloured cashew cream coat. And we finished the whole bowl instantly. We literally fought for them.
This one is for you if you haven’t eaten healthily for the past couple of days. Or maybe if you’d like to finally get your 5-a-day. Or if you’re just an Instagram foodie who likes pretty food. This rainbow dish was a nutritional high!
Wild burger with sweet potato chips
Let’s get serious now. Getting a burger right is very important. I’d already tried amazing burgers elsewhere, so my expectations were pretty high. I asked but they wouldn’t tell me how they made it taste so delicious. The moment I bit into this burger my tastebuds threw a party. The turmeric bread, red rice burger, the caramelised onions, the mustard… just perfection.
We couldn’t eat more. But everybody knows that dessert goes to the soul, not the stomach. So we had this raw brownie that came with vanilla and raspberry ice cream. It was dreamy. The perfect balance of chocolate and walnuts. The meal couldn’t have possibly finished better. It was the cherry on the cake!
All in all, I can’t recommend Wild Food World enough. It’s open all day, does takeaway vegan food, and I found it’s a great place to grab a smoothie and work. Furthermore, the prices are very reasonable – what you’d expect in Granada. It’s really worthy giving it a try. In my opinion, this is one of the best restaurants in Granada.
I feel incredibly thankful they opened their doors to us, let me be nosy, answered my questions and gave me the freedom to take photos and write about them. I wish this new spot in Granada the best of luck! I’ll be sad to say goodbye to it having just discovered it.
Wild Food has definitely raised my standards and expectations for vegan restaurants. Who do you think I should visit next?