London in Photos

This gallery contains 29 photos.

Fact: London is HUGE Fact: English does not make it any easier Fact: London is really really expensive. Fact: I still love it. I’m too exhausted after walking the streets for 7+ hours to explain in detail what my day … Continue reading

Foodie Haven in Prague

Hey everyone!
I’m counting down the days: only 19 more to go before I’m back in Canada! And yes, despite all of the awesomeness that is Europe I am really looking forward to being back home; but more on that later!
FOOD!
I had done my research prior to coming here, so I knew that there were plenty of vegetarian options in the city. For instance, The Vegan Backpacker has a post from 2010 and it made me drool.
So what have I found?
First of all: PEANUT BUTTER! I literally eat PB everyday back home, so finding it was the highlight of my day! Also, in the large Tesco Supermarket they have soy-meat! Awesome! So, if you have access to a kitchen, cooking for yourself is really simple!
Anyways, back to the important bit.
Dhaba Beas

20121110-135726.jpg
Lucky for me this place is less than a minute walk from my hostel and it’s really affordable! I’ve spent less than 100 Czech koruna ($5 CAD) each visit, and I’m always in a food coma by the time I finish eating.

20121110-135941.jpg
Pictured above: some sort of bugler-wheat salad, cabbage rolls in a tomato sauce, a samosa and some mango chutney (yummy!) and a sweet bread pudding. Obviously it’s an Indian restaurant, so curries and potatoes are plentiful. I’ve eaten here 3x already, not only because of the price, but because the options change, so it’s a surprise each visit! So far, Dhaba Beas is my favourite veg find: delicious, nutritious and affordable! Also, vegan items are clearly marked!

Country Life – Cafe and Store
I read about this place on Vegan Backpacker, and I was really excited to try it out! So, what did I think?

20121110-140539.jpg

20121110-140550.jpg

20121110-140559.jpg
Just like Dhaba Beas, Country Life is buffet style and you pay by weight. The options were plenty-a salad bar, a variety of hot dished including a vegetarian style goulash typical in Czech. There was also Pizza, lasagna and roasted potatoes with a spinach sauce. They also had many dessert options, but I was looking for the highly acclaimed Vegan Kokoska (look at this Vegan Backpacker post). But, no luck! There were cakes, but none really caught my eye.
I (stupidly) did not take a picture of my purchases but it was less than what I usually get from Dhana Beas. A cucumber-dill salad, some ‘tenderloin sauce with chick-peas’ and some potatoes with spinach sauce. Cost: 193 Czech Koruna – double the price of Dhaba Beas, and not worth it. The only reason I plan on returning is to look for the dessert!
The store was small but had a lot. But, unless you are staying a while or cooking for more than one, I think a $5 dinner from Dhaba Beas is a way better idea.

20121110-141402.jpg

20121110-141409.jpg
*sidenote: Country Life is closed Saturdays*

Friend’s Coffee House
I have a ‘secret’ to share: I usually find hidden gems via the website Spotted by Locals. There is a version for many major European cities: London, Berlin, Paris, Prague, Barcelona and Lisbon (just to name a few).
I found a write-up for this cafe via this site.

20121110-141751.jpg

20121110-141800.jpg
I had some fresh ginger tea with honey (so good) and treated myself to a home-made carrot cake. The cake was perfect: fluffy, cream-cheese icing in the middle and on the sides and soft raisins and pieces of walnuts to add a bit of crunch. It was fairy large, and it was the type of place I felt like I could sit for hours reading or writing. And, they have free wifi! I hope to return one more time: I just read on their site that they have a library and a food menu!

Globe Bookstore and Cafe
This isn’t really a hidden gem, as most English speaking expats in Prague surely know of its existence. It’s not just a cafe, but also a bookstore (English), bar and restaurant!
I stopped in to look for the third installment of Game of Thrones (no luck) and decided to stick around for some more ginger tea.
Their menu is extensive and includes many vegetarian and even vegan options! The staff are all English, and they also have happy-hour specials. It can get fairly busy, and the crowd is a mix of students, professionals and travelers. They play jazz in the background, and there is enough light to read, but it’s dim enough to have a feeling of intimacy. 45 Koruna for a tea isn’t the best, but given the atmosphere and the area I would definitely pay it again! And yes, I do plan on returning to nibble on some menu items, so stay tuned!

20121110-142930.jpg

Campanulla Cafe
When you head over the the John Lennon Wall, you’ll pass an adorable cafe.

20121110-143253.jpg

20121110-143309.jpg
Had myself a ginger tea with lemon and honey, and because the staff was so very friendly I’m going to suggest that you stop in and do the same!

20121110-143609.jpg
Trdelnik is a typical pastry made by rolling dough around a stick, roasting it over a fire then rolling in while it’s still hot in sugar and walnut pieces.
I didn’t need to eat it, but the smell was too much to resist.

20121110-144605.jpg

The Food of Portugal

I am a foodie.
Initially I was confused as to how people gain weight while traveling. But, after Portugal, I now understand.
First of all, it is all about pastries in Portugal! Each region and each city seems to have a pastry that they are known for. Now, eating a treat now and then is okay, but as a traveler you have to eat a treat everyday, sometimes twice! Sure, some people would be okay if they didn’t try a Pastel de Nata from the famous Pastéis de Belém, but not me! Oh no, for me food is the culture of a country.

20121102-105502.jpg
So, I’ve compiled a list of my top five favourite meals/pastries I had in Portugal.
Top Favourite dishes in Portugal
1. Pastel de Nata (pictured above) specifically from Pastéis de Belém.
2. Acorda de Marisco
I had this at the restaurant down a few doors from ‘Super Mario’ (refer to the bottom of this post). I didn’t take a picture of my own meal, but what it is is a bread paste with garlic and coriander and shrimp and then they put a raw egg on top and mix it in the warm mixture. No, it doesn’t sound or look appetizing but I loved it! It is popular in the Alentejo region of Portugal.

20121104-002142.jpg
Image link
3. Nahnahbah – Veggie Burger
No, this isn’t a traditional Portuguese meal, but this particular restaurant is known for having a burger rated in the top 50 in the world.

20121104-002341.jpg
The Toucan Burger is it’s name and my fellow traveler’s all raved about the taste! But, if you are a vegetarian, their veggie burger is definitely in the top 10 for me. It tastes like a burger, which is perfect when you are trying to cure a hangover and prepare yourself for drinking again.
You can find Nahnahbah in Lagos.
4. Olives.
Seriously, the olives in Portugal are tastier than anywhere else! My advice: plan a picnic ( or 5) and buy olives, cheese some crackers/bread and fruit and you have yourself a meal! Top it off with a cheap bottle of regional wine and honestly with a great view you’ll remember it as your best meal in Portugal.

20121104-003123.jpg

20121104-003142.jpg
5. Espresso
The coffee in Portugal is some of the best (and cheapest) in the world. Every cafe, no matter how small, has the best espresso equipment money can buy. Combine that with delicious beans and an old man who has been serving ‘bica’ for many generations and you will swear you’ve never had anything so satisfying. End a meal with an espresso or be a local and stop in at the many pastry shops and stand at the bar and enjoy a bica for only 60 cents.

20121104-003538.jpg
6. Roasted Chestnuts

20121104-003816.jpg
Yummy! For only 2 euro you can have a tasty dessert that even the locals eat!
7. Encharcada do Convento de Santa Clara

20121104-004313.jpg
Image link.
So sweet. So fattening. So delicious! Egg yolk and sugar.
8. Noori Sushi
Sherry showed me this gem during my last day! A small take-away or eat-in sushi place. I disliked the all-you-can-eat sushi, so I was happy to pay extra for good sushi. Also vegan and vegetarian options are clearly marked! The vegetable tempura roll was AMAZING!
9. Lost In Restaurant
Amazing views, awesome food and delicious wine. This is a MUST! Check out this post for more info. Try the pumpkin butter, goat-cheese tartlets and the soup of the day.

20121104-005148.jpg
10. Nakite – Porto
My favourite meal, and possibly healthiest, was a tofu pizza from Nakite. Their menu looked awesome and their tea was also tasty. As a vegetarian I highly recommend this and the vegetarian restaurant in Guimaraes.

20121104-005900.jpg

20121104-005919.jpg
How hungry are you right now? I’m starving!!

Road Trip Day Two: Picnic at Marinha

After an amazing first day (click here for that post), we woke up Thursday ready to explore Lagos and other beaches in the Algarve.
First, Mama of the Rising Cock made us an amazing crepe breakfast with her ‘magic drink’. Just say ‘tika tika tika’ and remember: “No plate, no crepe!”.

20121027-132639.jpg
Feeling re-charged we headed to the ‘awesome’ beach that Nick of the Gspot told us about. Of course, it was located down a very rough looking road and there were signs all over saying ‘danger’ but we were told it was a place most tourists didn’t frequent.

20121027-132845.jpg

20121027-132907.jpg

20121027-132922.jpg
Look very picturesque?
Wait for it…

20121027-133019.jpg
Yes, I have used instagram on some of these photos but it really was amazing!

20121027-133126.jpg

20121027-133137.jpg

20121027-133152.jpg

20121027-133221.jpg

20121027-133235.jpg
From there we headed one more beach over which had a cafe where we sat and enjoyed an espresso on the beach, looking at the ocean.
We made a game plan to grab some food and have a picnic at the next beach. It had been raining but the clouds were dissipating so we had high hopes. A trip to Spar and we bought ourselves a hearty lunch for only 4 euro each! Wine, meat, cheese, bread, olives, plates, cups, carrots, apples, plums and cucumber were all on the menu.
We drove about 45 minutes east and followed the signs to Marinha beach.

20121027-133635.jpg
At this beach we found a cave! We walked through it and at the end were crashing waves!

20121027-133721.jpg

20121027-133734.jpg

20121027-133755.jpg

20121027-133804.jpg

20121027-133826.jpg

20121027-133833.jpg
We sat and ate our lunch on the steps of a cafe on the beach and chatted. Written down it doesn’t seem like something out of the ordinary, but in that moment I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.
Sadly Natalie had to leave to go back to work (at the Gspot), so we drove over to Albufeira, a town another 20 minutes east from the beach.
It felt like I was in a resort in Mexico. I hated it. We all hated it. Words cannot really describe the negative energy we all felt while we were there.

20121027-134414.jpg

20121027-134431.jpg
I will not tell you to not go, but I definitely will not recommend it.
Stay-tuned for Day Three: West to the Surf.

Sunny days in Porto, Portugal

This gallery contains 21 photos.

After yesterday’s trip to Guimarães, I was feeling sore, tired and ultimately unmotivated to do another day trip from Porto. Instead, I opted to spend another day in Porto while the sun was shining. Weather really does make a difference … Continue reading

Day Trip: Guimarães, Portugal

This gallery contains 31 photos.

Before coming to Portugal, I knew little about the country. I knew it was beside Spain, that the language was Portuguese and that the capital was Lisbon. So, imagine my surprise when I arrived in Portugal to discover that it … Continue reading

Eating my way through Lisbon, Portugal

Heyo!
Well, I’m in love with Lisbon.
I know I fall in love with every city I visit, but this is the real deal! I’ve walked around tons (check out this post), and I’ve managed to see quite a bit.
But, more on all of the sites later!
First, I want to tell you about the food!
Traditional Portuguese Meal

20121011-185210.jpg

20121011-185256.jpg

20121011-185411.jpg
Bacalhau à Brás is a dish composed of shredded salted cod (bacalhau), onions and thinly chopped (matchstick sized) fried potatoes in a bound of scrambled eggs and garnished with black olives. Verdict: pretty good! My friend, who has eaten it before, said that it wasn’t the best, so I’m going to go out for cod again.

Above is buttered toast with a pumpkin jam. Oh-my-goodness! Delicious! The jam was sweet and spicy, similar to a chai tea. Yummy! We had this at a really cool spot: Lost In Esplanada. It had an awesome view, and really awesome decor.

20121011-185234.jpg

20121011-190203.jpg
Looks awesome, eh?
Next we headed to the Noobai Cafe. This was tucked away beside an alternative viewpoint. We just had a cafe, but the menu looked delicious! Vegetarian options available.

20121011-185249.jpg

20121011-185241.jpg

20121011-185227.jpg
So far so good?
Now, are you ready!?
I found a store that sells VEGAN products! Woo!
It’s called Celeiro Dieta, and it is a chain in Lisbon (maybe Portugal?). I was so excited!

20121011-185359.jpg

20121011-185411.jpg

20121011-185348.jpg

20121011-185341.jpg

20121011-185333.jpg

20121011-185324.jpg
Are you excited for me!? Faux-meat products, quinoa and chocolate soy milk!
It was right across from El Corte Ingles so I went there as well and surprise, they also have vegan products! I preferred the smaller store myself (they had a cafe too!), but it’s good to know that Ingles has some options too.

20121011-185315.jpg

20121011-185307.jpg
PS–the terra chips in the photo above are so yummy! You can buy them in Canada 🙂
And there you have it! That’s been my food adventures so far! Today I’m off to Belem to try some of their famous pastry! Jealous? 😉

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy

This week’s photo challenge is ‘happy’. All of this makes me happy. Hope you enjoyed! Tay xo Other entries: Weekly photo Challenge: Happy. « HeART SHAKE DUBLIN! Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy « Bouncing Beardies Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy I « … Continue reading

Vegan in Seville, Spain

I am so excited!
I just had some of the BEST vegan baked goods EVER!

20120927-162929.jpg
Welcome to Veganitessen located in an indoor market at c/ pastor y Landero s/n Puesto 32.
I looked it up on Happycow and read about it on a few other travel-veg blogs and immediately became excited.
My best-friend is Vegan, and if you browse through my site you can find some really yummy recipes!
Anyways, VEGAN BAKERY IN SEVILLE, was super awesome! And the woman there is lovely, and despite the language barrier I managed to ask her: ?Donde esta el supermercado? Por vegan y tofu?
And, she kindly wrote down the name and address of the place!
Anyways: the food was fantastic! The boys had a chocolate croissant. Sherry from Australia had some delicious cocoa – coconut topped deliciousness.

20120927-164737.jpg

20120927-165004.jpg
Doesn’t it all look delicious!? And 100% vegan!

20120927-165100.jpg
I had a Limon y demillio de anrola.

20120927-165230.jpg
Moist, dense and not too sweet. I also bought a Donuts rellenos which looks like a chocolate covered donut.

20120927-165402.jpg
I saved the donut for the hostel and shared it with the group. It was similar to a Boston Cream, with a custard filling on the inside. It sadly wasn’t very fresh/really dry, so although it was yummy, my fellow non-vegan friends at the hostel weren’t that impressed. Oh well! I also got a chai tea and this is what it cost:
Limon y demillio de anrola 1.99
Donuts rellenos 1.75
Chai tea 1.80
Total 5.54 euros!
Relatively inexpensive!

Needless to say, I will be going back there! I always wondered how people gained weight abroad. Now I know-bread, cheese, bread, pastries, bread, chocolate and more bread. Oh, and beer, wine, sangria, and beer.
So, if you’re in Seville, vegan or not, this is an inexpensive cafe. They also have a menu where they have breakfast items, including smoked tofu! What are you waiting for!? Get over to Seville RIGHT NOW!