During our Spring vacation to Andalucia, we were planning a day trip to Malaga. I was even more excited than usual about this trip as I’d recently discovered that El Piano had a cafe there. After a glorious morning of sight-seeing, I couldn’t wait for lunch!
El Piano is a small tapas café and take-away located on Calle San Juan de Letran. Despite being tucked away down a side street, we had no trouble finding it. There are a couple of small tables inside the café and a couple more outside. Fortunately, we were early enough to grab a table right next to the food counter.
The girl that served us was super friendly and spoke great English. She explained how all the food options at El Piano are 100% vegan and gluten free. They’re served in tapas bowls and you basically decide how many you want – 2 tapas for 3.50 euros, 4 tapas for 5.95 or a set menu of soup, 4 tapas, dessert and drink for 9.95. The three of us decided to go for the set menu option, which meant we could share 12 bowls of tapas between us.
There was a fantastic selection of food available, including Waldorf Salad, Maize Balls, Falafel, Mushroom Fried Rice, Pesto Spaghetti, Plantain Curry, Indian-spiced Spaghetti Squash, Moroccan Couscous, Chilli, Tabbouleh, Refried Beans and Fried Mushrooms.
The tapas is ready-prepared and you can choose to have it served cold or warmed up in the microwave. (We chose to have it warmed up). By the time we’d finished, there wasn’t a single scrap of food left in a bowl.
It was so great to try 12 different dishes in one sitting! My top three favourites were the Maize Balls, Plaintain Curry and Refried Beans. I adore refried beans but sadly haven’t perfected the recipe at home yet. To me, the refried beans at El Piano were total perfection ♥
For dessert, we had Carrot Cake and a Lemon and Ginger Slice. The carrot cake had that slightly ‘grainy’ texture that I often find in gluten-free baked goods (I’m probably overly sensitive to it as I’m not used to eating gf cakes) but I found the Lemon and Ginger Slice absolutely delicious (something I definitely need to try and recreate at home).
Soon after we installed ourselves at El Piano, the café was suddenly bustling with people arriving for lunch. The remaining tables were soon filled and lots of people came to order take-aways too. It’s such a small establishment that it’s definitely worth getting here early.
Calle San Juan de Letran, 13 Malaga, Spain Tel: 660755873
Opening hours (at time of writing): Tue-Sun 12:30pm-4:00pm, 8:00pm-11:30pm
The second vegan café/restaurant we visited during our trip to Andalucia was Hicuri in the beautiful city of Granada. After hiking up the hill to visit the Alhambra, we’d worked up very big appetites so Lil’ L and I decided to go for the set menu. This included a drink, aperitif, starter, main and dessert for 12.80 euros.
The aperitif consisted of a bread basket and carrot sticks, served with mayonnaise dip. For starter, we chose the Chilled and Creamy Tomato Soup with Avocado and for the main course, Lil’ L chose Lasagna and I went for the Oriental Seitan with Vegetables, Basmati Rice and Curry Sauce. Instead of the set menu, M chose a delicious Green Detox Juice for his starter (apple, lemon, celery, spinach), followed by the Gourmet Gluten-free Burger and Fries. (It’s all about balance right 😉 )
For dessert, the boys both chose the Chocolate Cake, while I had Almond Tiramasu. I adore Tiramasu and this vegan version was the best I’ve ever tasted. Honestly, it blew me away.
In addition to the café/restaurant, Hicuri has a small shop area selling vegan staples (including chilled and frozen goods). While we were eating our meal, people were popping in to buy cartons of milk and other groceries, so it’s clearly a popular establishment with locals as well as tourists.
I loved the cool relaxed vibe of this café and the ‘home cooked’ feel of its dishes. The staff were really friendly and spoke good English. If I ever return to Granada, I’ll definitely be heading back to Hicuri. There are so many options on the menu that I’d love to try, plus I’m already dreaming about another slice (or two) of that almond tiramisu 😉
Calle Santa Escolastica Esquina, Plaza de los Girones 4, Granada, Spain
Opening hours (at time of writing): Mon-Sat 11:00am-11:00pm, Sun 12:00pm-4:30pm