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LX Vegan Tour Review




Summary:


💶 Cost: 55 Euros

👪 Max People: 6

🍲 Number of Tastings: 3

🛒 Market Stop:

⏲ Duration: 4 hours

🌎 Languages: 🇬🇧 🇪🇸 🇵🇹

📅 Closed on: Only open on Tuesdays

🥕 Vegetarian/Vegan/GF: ✅ ✅ ✅

🎟️ Link to Book: Click Here.


Overview:


🏆Overall Score: 78/100


This tour is a fantastic option for vegan and vegetarian visitors to Lisbon. Many mainstream food tours in Lisbon do not accommodate vegetarians, and none of them offer vegan options. The LX Vegan tour thus fills a hole in the market, but it also offers much more than a veg-friendly dining experience.


In addition to the food, you will also get to explore some of Lisbon’s lesser-known neighborhoods where tourists rarely venture. Street art and miradouros (lookout points) are a big focus of this tour, and the guide Tatie is very enthusiastic and eager to show her guests a different side of the city.


LX Vegan Tour Review


🍽️ The Food

Food Score: 40/50


First Stop: Moko Veggie Café


Our tour met at 11 am at the Anjos metro station, and from there it was an easy walk to our first food stop, the Moko Veggie Café. This is a tiny, family-run café with just a few tables. I understood why our guide Tatie limits the number of tour participants to six. If she allowed larger tours, she wouldn’t be able to bring them to this special place.



Although Moko Veggie does offer several savory lunch options, their specialty seems to be breakfast pastries. It’s one of few places in Lisbon that offers a vegan version of Lisbon’s famous pastel de nata. These came served with a shaker of cinnamon to dust over our pastéis de nata, as is traditional.



We each had one of these flaky, custard-filled pastries, and I was pretty amazed at how the Moko pastry chefs were able to make something that tasted so creamy and eggy, without using any cream or eggs! It was the perfect start to the tour.


Usually, pastéis de nata are eaten with coffee, but since I’m not a coffee drinker Tatie suggested I try the golden latte instead. Made with turmeric and oat milk, it was a great alternative with a mild flavor.



Second Stop: Botequim da Graça


As mentioned above, this tour is not just a food tour; it also focuses on street art, history and culture, and some unique views of hidden parts of Lisbon. So we actually saw and did quite a lot in between our first and second food stops.



We started by walking through the Anjos neighborhood, which is where Tatie lives. She knew it very well, of course, and told us about current events and challenges the locals face, while pointing out small details that I never would have noticed if I’d walked through here on my own.


For example, we passed a series of azulejo tiles, and on each one was written the story of a local resident who had lost their home. Tatie told us about the problem of gentrification in the neighborhood, largely fueled by the conversion of long-term rental apartments into short-term tourist rentals.


We also passed by a local community association, and Tatie told us more about the important role these associations play in bringing the community together. Apparently they can also be a great place to eat at a very affordable price!



Some of the associations essentially work like informal restaurants, run by volunteers. There’s even a fully vegan one, called Disgraça, which serves meals for just three euros.


We stopped at Miradouro Monte Agudo, which Tatie told us was her favorite of Lisbon’s many miradouros (viewpoints). This one is much less crowded than the others, and the flowers in bloom made it especially beautiful and peaceful.



As we slowly made our way from the Anjos neighborhood to Graça, we stopped to admire many works of street art along the way. These included smaller murals as well as large ones by internationally renowned artists like Vhils and Shepard Fairey.


Feminism was a theme that came up in many of the artworks, and that became a catalyst for more interesting discussions in our small group.



One of the streets we walked down was called Rua Natália Correia, and Tatie took the opportunity to tell us about this important female poet and activist. It turned out that there was a close connection between Natália Correia and the café where we would make our second food stop.


The name of this café was Botequim da Graça, and it was located inside a historic building called Vila Sousa that was originally built as housing for factory workers. In the 1970s and ‘80s, Natália Correia owned this café and used it to host “tertúlias”.


This Portuguese word is difficult to translate, but it’s a kind of social gathering where a circle of friends get together to discuss literary or artistic subjects. Correia was ahead of her time, and much of her art and poetry pushed the boundaries of gender norms.


In 1966, she was sentenced to three years in prison (the sentence was later suspended) for publishing an anthology of erotic and satirical poetry. Two decades later, though, she was elected to parliament.


Regardless of how the food tasted at Botequim da Graça, dining in such a historic place was already a very special experience. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 precautions only outside dining was available. But the outside terrace was also a lovely setting for a meal, and we were able to peek inside to see what the café interior was like.


Our lunch was a prego no pão, which is a very typical Portuguese sandwich. Of course, it’s usually made with cow or pig meat, so it was a rare treat to taste a vegan version!


Botequim replaces the meat with seitan, which they actually make themselves in house. They also add mushrooms to the sandwich, which apparently is not very traditional, but it was an addition I really enjoyed.


The seitan and mushrooms, marinated in a special sauce of vinegar, onion and lots of garlic, are served between two slices of bolo do caco. This traditional bread is already vegan by default and is made with a surprising ingredient -- sweet potatoes!



Tatie told us more about the history of this dish, including how it was invented in the 19th century by a man who ran a tavern at the Praia das Maçãs near Sintra.


A sandwich served with potato chips is obviously not a gourmet lunch, but it’s a very authentic Portuguese one. I much prefer these local dining experiences over fancy restaurants anyway, and the chance to taste a vegan prego no pão is quite rare in Portugal.


While there are many vegan restaurants in Lisbon, most of them serve a menu of “healthy food” or “international food”. Very few of them veganize traditional Portuguese dishes, so I appreciated that Tatie had sought out the few places that do.


Third Stop: Nutrilover


Botequim da Graça was just around the corner from another miradouro with a fantastic view of Lisbon. Known by most people as the Miradouro da Graça, its official name is the Miradoura Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, named after another female Portuguese poet.



We had seen her portrait in a beautiful work of street art earlier in the tour, so it was good to be able to connect the place to something we had just learned about. This was my personal favorite of the three miradouros on the tour.


The third one was the nearby Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, which, although higher than Graça, looks down over a less attractive part of the city.


Our last food stop on the tour was Nutrilover, just a short walk away from the Miradouro da Graça. Lisbon is full of little kiosks where you can sit and have a drink or a snack. Nutrilover looks very much like one of these kiosks, but what makes it unique is that it serves healthy and nutritious food.



Vegan options include beetroot hummus with cucumber sticks, and a guacamole tartar served on a base of quinoa and hemp seeds. But we were there for dessert, which came in the form of an açaí bowl topped with granola and fresh bananas and strawberries.


It’s worth noting that they also serve vegan pastéis de nata here, but of course, since we’d already had one of those at Moko Veggie Café we opted for the açaí instead.


While açaí is not a Portuguese dish, it is a Brazilian one, so it’s connected to Portuguese history through the Age of Discovery and Portugal’s colonization of Brazil.


And Tatie is Brazilian, so it felt natural that she would add some of her own background and heritage to the tour. She taught us about the history of açaí, and I learned that, in Brazil, only in the cities is it eaten as a sweet smoothie bowl.



In the Amazon jungle, where the açaí berry grows, it’s made into a savory sauce! And the berry is actually not sweet at all. When used to make sweet açaí bowls, it’s mixed with guaraná, another Amazonian plant.


This usual (to me) sweet form is how we tasted the açaí, served in a coconut shell bowl with granola and fresh strawberries and bananas on top. Since I took the tour in the height of summer, it was a very cool and refreshing way to finish our explorations of Lisbon.


Tatie does adapt the tour to the seasons, so if you come in the winter you might be offered vegan cheese with wine instead of açaí. If you have a preference, you can always let her know in advance.



💵 Cost:

Cost Score: 16/25


Number of Stops

If the number of stops was the only criterion when judging the cost of this tour, then it wouldn’t seem like much of a bargain. With just three stops, it offers less than most food tours when it comes to the quantity and variety of tastings.


That said, you certainly won’t be hungry by the end of the tour. And it should be obvious from this review that the LX Vegan Tour is much more than just a food tour. On the tour, you’ll also see incredible street art, visit neighborhoods that tourists rarely see, and learn about some of Portugal’s most talented female artists and writers.


Duration of the Tour


The tour is scheduled to last for four hours. In my experience, it was more like four and a half, but that’s because our group got along really well and ended up talking a lot.


Number of Guests


The maximum number of guests is six, which is half what some other tour companies allow. I really appreciate the fact that the groups are small, as it allows for a more intimate experience. Plus, with larger groups I really don’t think it would be possible to visit some of the stops, particularly Moko Veggie Café.


Cancellation Policy

The tour is fully refundable if you cancel at least 7 days before it starts, or within 24 hours of booking. This is the standard cancellation policy for all AirBnB experiences.


💁Guide

Guide Score: 22/25


The guide Tatie is not just an employee of a tour company; she actually created the tour herself, based on her own knowledge and experience. Her passion really shines through, and it was her stories and unique insights that really made the tour something special for me. Even after living in Lisbon for 3.5 years, I learned a lot about the city and saw areas that were completely new to me.


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