CLOSED: Isla del Tesoro -...

Overall rating: 4.0 stars 26 Reviews
The first of its 2 vegetarian restaurants. Vegans to specify. Reservation suggested. SEPT 2013 REPORTED SHUT DOWN. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Asian, Spanish, Western, Beer/Wine
Manuela Malasana 3 (Metro Bilbao)
Madrid, Spain 28004
915931440

Open Sun-Mon 1:30-4pm, Tue-Sat 1:30-4pm, 9-11:30pm, closed August.

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reviews

Reviews

First Review by nottsvegan
dahacouk
dahacouk
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+16

Tasty food!

4 Posted on 04 / 17 / 2013

Not eating wheat, cheese or tofu/seitan I was a bit limited with my options but found the croquets, paella and curry to be great tasting and filling. On the whole this place provides a good middle way between cheap and expensive, complex and simple food.


flormadel
flormadel
  • vegan
Contributions
+49

Nice to look at

2 Posted on 12 / 11 / 2012

I went here for a birthday dinner, and it was a really quaint and exotic place. It's visually appealing, and the food is also pretty to look at. However, there weren't many vegan options, and it was a bit overpriced. I would suggest going for drinks, or perhaps a (non-vegan) dessert since it's a nice place, but wouldn't really recommend it for the food.

Pros: beautiful
Cons: overpriced, not a lot of vegan options, small portions
BanjoGirl
BanjoGirl
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+45

Colorful and friendly

4 Posted on 11 / 09 / 2012

My husband and I ate here when visiting Madrid. I loved the interior of this place. Very colorful and lots to look at. Had a much homier feel than any other restaurants we went to during our trip. The waiter was laid back and friendly. We shared a jungle burger, potatoes, and a salad. Both were good, but not the most amazing thing ever. My favorite was actually the roasted onion and chickpea dish with bread that came as an appetizer. I definitely want to make it!
I would go back if I was in Madrid.

Pros: love the decor, friendly

vinconia2904
vinconia2904
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+15

Great food

5 Posted on 05 / 19 / 2012

What a great restaurant!
I had the menu of the day:
Vino y agua, Aperativo, entrada, plato principal, cafe o postre. The food was from japan. The staff was very friendly and the atmosphere in the restaurant nice. I had everything for only 14 Euro. I would absolutely recommend to go there.

Pros: Good quality, Big portion, Good atmosphere
gobblegook
gobblegook
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+11

extremely disappointed

2 Posted on 04 / 30 / 2012

After reading the effusive reviews from happy cow, I went to Isla del Tesoro with high hopes. I brought along a non-vegetarian friend, who I am trying to introduce to good veg food. We were both let down by the experience.

We went to the Malasaña location, which is well situated, right off metro Bilbao. We ordered a chapatina for starter and combo de luxe and pachimama for entrees. For the starters, they brought out bread and a garbanzo dish. Be careful with the bread, because they charge 1.50euros per person, even though they won't tell you beforehand.

The chapatina is similar to a pizza. It had nice flavors, but the chapati and general texture was soggy. It tasted like a frozen pizza that had been heated.

The entrees didn't get any better. Both felt like dishes that had been kept in the fridge then heated right before serving. The combo de luxe was soggy and not fresh, and the pachimama had an uninspired salad and small portion of seitan.

To top it all off, the waiter was unfriendly. He was not helpful in explaining the dishes and was angry when we changed our order. It felt like we were bothering him by eating at that restaurant. During our meal, my friend overheard him complaining to the other restaurant workers about us as well. Highly unprofessional.

When we were ready to pay, we realized we had been charged extra for portions we didn't order.

To recap: hIghly disappointed with the experience. The food is not fresh, it's overly expensive, and the staff is not friendly. Definitely not going back. I would give this place 1 cow if I could.

Pros: colorful decor, good location
Cons: bad food, unfriendly staff, expensive
kortney.ellen77
kortney.ellen77
  • vegan
Contributions
+16

AMAZING!!!

5 Posted on 04 / 06 / 2012

I am an American student studying abroad in Madrid and as a veghead, vegetarian for 5 years now, vegan for 9 months eating out in a foreign country can be a little difficult. Isla de Tesoro was by far one of the best vegan/vegetarian restaurants I have been too in my life. Now it caters more towards vegetarians than vegans their menu is wonderfully labeled, the food is spectacular. I have gone back 4 times since moving here 3 months ago. They serve an outstanding chickpea dish before the meal, unlike anything I have ever had and I am dying for the recipe it was that good. Celiac friendly restaurant as well. My friend has a gluten allergy and loved it!! It is a little on the pricey side but then again I am a broke college student. I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS RESTAURANT. It was so wonderful I created an account just so I could share with all of you! The decore is even bohemian beachy - just my style:)

Pros: DELICIOUS!!!!, Celiac friendly-well labeled menu, great service for Spain's standards
Cons: pricey
rjmehra
rjmehra
  • vegan
Contributions
+77

Amazing food, reflected in cost!

5 Posted on 03 / 02 / 2012

Although the vegan options are limited (a common them in Madrid's veggie eateries), those that exist are amazing. Really amazing.
My friend and I shared the following. A Zanzibar salad, a jungle burger, and a Spanish noodley thing.
It really was fantastic food and it's a shame we couldn't finish it.
The decor is nice, it feels like a very established restaurant.

Pros: Quality, Seating, Atmosphere
Cons: Expensive, but still good value
aifos
aifos
  • vegan
Contributions
+33

Not bad

3 Posted on 02 / 23 / 2012

I'm vegan and after reading the reviews I was a bit scared.
They are right, very few vegan options.
The service was not great, they didn't pay much attention when after ordering 2 vegan dishes they brought us a non vegan appetizer... fortunately my boyfriend is not vegan and I wasn't really hungry.
I had the Fideua Isleña which was spectacular and my boyfriend the Jungle Burger.
Of course, as everyone says, the atmosphere is amazing and the decoration very fun and original.
I would recommend this place to vegetarians, not so much to vegans.
The price is a bit higher than the average veggie place.

Pros: cool decoration, nice atmosphere
Cons: not many vegan options, service, pricey
Josto
Josto
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+11

Delicioso!!

5 Posted on 06 / 21 / 2011

I am from the UK but currently living in Madrid and I have been to this restaurant three times now because the food and service are so good. The food is full of flavour and each time I have been I have ordered a different meal and have not been disappointed. The menu del dia which is available lunchtimes Monday to Friday is excellent value for money and delicious. The food was plentiful to the point that my friend and I could not eat dessert we were so full. There are menus in English if you ask. I will definitely be visiting again and again whilst I am in Madrid.

Pros: Excellent food, Value for money (menu del dia), Friendly staff
Cons: No cons
Blacklizard
Blacklizard
  • vegan
Contributions
+64

We wanted to like it . . .

2 Posted on 12 / 10 / 2010

We have been living in Madrid for two months, and just ate at Isla Del Tesoro for the third time. We purposely chose an apartment near this restaurant because it sounded so good in online reviews. The location is great, the decor is unique, and the atmosphere very pleasant. It is almost always fully-booked, so it is advisable to book ahead (you can do it on their web site) if you don't want to be turned away. They have an interesting menu, and a Menu del Dia lunch special that features a different cuisine each day.

However, as much as we want to like this restaurant, we have been disappointed by the food every time. To our taste, everything we have ordered has been too bland, salty, and overcooked. We are full-time vegans/vegetarians, and we love good vegetarian dishes, but that is not what we have found at this restaurant. We both left our entrees (mine the Jungle Burger, my wife the Japanese noodles) half-finished on our last visit, and the wait staff did not seem to care.

Pros: Good location, Decor, Atmosphere
Cons: Food is not good, Uncaring staff
necropalice
necropalice
  • vegan
Contributions
+87

Very disappointing...

2 Posted on 11 / 17 / 2010

My friend and I ate in Isla del Tesoro for our last meal in Madrid. The decor was fabulous - it has a great interior, lovely staff and an English-language menu. We enjoyed our free appetizer of Moroccan-style chickpeas with bread, and I had a mango juice that was delicious. For our entrées, I had a pasta "wrap" - kind of like one huge piece of cannelloni - whilst my friend had Thai-style noodles. Both dishes were really disappointing and incredibly bland. My pasta "wrap" was huge, but flavourless, and came with no salad, which would have been a welcome addition. My friend's noodles were nothing special. We both left our plates half-finished, despite knowing we'd be unable to eat again for ten hours, and agreed we'd not return to this particular restaurant.

Pros: great interior, friendly staff, good value
Cons: bland-tasting food, dissatisfying portions
Flick27
Flick27
  • vegan
Contributions
+25

Great, cheap food!

5 Posted on 10 / 03 / 2010

We went here a couple days ago. We arrived at 1:30pm and were the first there. all seemed very empty, but the place was full by 2pm. We had the Menu del Dia for 11 euros. 3 courses, and as it was a friday it was morrocan food. Vegan too. Great salad with chickpea stuff, then cous cous, then a sticky nut fruit pudding. Was really good food, and very cheap for all that! We came here before our flight and worried we might have to rush to get out in time, but the food came out straight away, and after we finished each course, out came the other.
Very impressed and would recommend!
Not sure if there was an English menu tho.

Pros: Great food, Cheap, Friendly
Cons: Not open all day!
sbszine
sbszine
  • vegan
Contributions
+146

No vegan food, but otherwise excellent

3 Posted on 07 / 30 / 2010

Great food, wine, and atmosphere, but a difficult place to get vegan food. All you can do is say "sin queso" and hope for the best.

If you're a lacto-ovo type, it's the perfect place to eat.

Pros: Value, Atmosphere
Cons: No vegan food
estefinparis
estefinparis
  • vegan
Contributions
+276

Definitely worth a visit

5 Posted on 02 / 04 / 2010

This restaurant, which gives no tips about being vegetarian from the outside but describes itself as "healthy cuisine", was recommended to us by the concierge at our hotel, so we had no idea what to expect. The concierge really knew what he was talking about: the street where it is located is very pleasant, the decor was charming and the food was really good. The menu is not very extensive but includes a fair amount of alternatives both for vegans and vegetarians. We had the "Island croquettes" (quinoa, oats and polenta with a green tomato sauce - excellent!), the Zanzibar salad (bulgur and dried raisins with marinated tofu, eggplant and other raw vegetables on a green salad bed and hummus sauce), the Jungle burguer (azukis and vegetables on whole bread with baby potatoes and salad) and the "combo de luxe", which was a combination of sushi and futomaki-like rolls and some really delicious gyozas. All accompanied by an organic red wine. The servings were so generous we couldn't fit in dessert, so instead we picked a tea from the extensive tea selection.

Isla del Tesoro is most definitely worth a visit and I believe this is one of the best veg restaurants in Madrid (even in Spain) earning plus points for the creativity of the menu. It is a great place to bring your non-veg friends as they will surely not miss the meat!


kympatterson
kympatterson
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+51

Fantastic creative vege food

5 Posted on 01 / 10 / 2010

This place offers both creative and delicious vege food. I tried several vege places in central Madrid and this was by far the best!
The Asian-inspired dishes were delicious....a great combination of flavours and fresh produce. It was fantastic to find such 'clever' vege food in Spain.
The restaurant has a lovely setting and the staff were very friendly.
As per a previous reviewer, I would recommend booking as we arrived at 9.20pm and were lucky to get the very last table in the place. And, it is worth the effort!

Pros: Delicious food, Lovely setting, Great choice
Cons: Need to book
emsr2d2
emsr2d2
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+38

Absolutely stunning

5 Posted on 07 / 24 / 2009

A friend of mine found the listing for this place. Despite living in Madrid for 4 months I'd never heard of it.
What a find!
Our first attempt to eat was thwarted by out-of-date opening times, but we went there for Sunday lunch. No reservation required - we got there at 1.45 pm.
The place itself is beautiful inside. Lit with candles or low lamps, there are lots of little niknaks (not to mention the purple velvet double bass just inside the door!)
It is based on Pacific Island cuisine and culture which leads to an interesting fusion of Asian and Indian. It's also macrobiotic.
The aperitif that is automatically brought to your table was gorgeous. Warm cooked chickpeas in olive oil and (paprika?) with caramelised onions, topped with garlic mayonnaise, with a basket of fresh, dark, nutty and/or fruity bread.
My friend had the jungleburger and home made fries - very tasty, and I went for glass noodles with red curry and cashew nuts. I can safely say it was the best veggie meal I have had in years. Both dishes were cooked to perfection, beautifully presented and interesting.
We were so full, we couldn't even consider dessert, unfortunately (!) so we went for fresh mint tea. Divine.

Just a week later, I went again with a different friend, this time for Sunday dinner (9.30). We'd reserved, which was a good idea as it was fairly busy. The aperitif was the same (fortunately as I'd been really looking forward to it!).
This time I had kinotto (risotto made with quinoa instead of rice) with green leaves (chard and chicory we think!). My friend had the Energy Wok - a stirfry full of healthy, energy boosting veg and spirulina.
We had a bottle of the house white wine (organic and vegetarian) which was perfectly drinkable, and only €10.
The staff are friendly, unobtrusive, and wear beautiful blue crossover almost kimono-style tops, and black trousers.
Over the back tables, hangs a sort of fishing net strung with twinkling white fairy lights.

If you're in Madrid, I would say this is a must but I would recommend booking. Check the opening hours too (the website is currently distinctly lacking in up-to-date info).

Pros: Amazing food, Atmosphere/ambience, Staff
Cons: Website needs updating
Ruby X
Ruby X
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+60

yummy yummy yummy and more yummy

5 Posted on 07 / 09 / 2009

This was one of the best veggie restaurants I have ever been to. We arrived right at opening time (21h) without a reservation. Bad idea! But they managed to squeeze us into their schedule if we agreed to leave by 23h. Two more couples managed to get in this way but by 21.30 the place was completely full.

And it's popular for a good reason: the food is absolutely delicious! I had croquetas and a jungle burger. Not a very adventurous option, considering the decor, but they were delicious and not liek anything you'll eat at a fast food place. My boyfriend had something more daring (don't remeber the name but it had weird mushrooms and sushi rolls) and he was very enthousiastic as wel.

Conclusion: try it if you get a chance, you will not regret it. But do make a reservation, or you might not get in.

Pros: very yummy food, lovely decor, lot of choice
Cons: you need te make a reservation
kathyv181
kathyv181
  • vegan
Contributions
+79

Treasure Island - it's true!

5 Posted on 06 / 04 / 2009

Very very very good food! The price is worth it and justified and moderate. Every friday they have a menu which has great offers AND is cheap.
It's an amazing place, has a wonderful atmosphere, has nice art on the walls and makes you feel like in a special place, which it is.

They have many options for vegans as well. It is absolutely delicious and I recommend it to everyone who is coming to Mdrid! You won't regret it!

Pros: great food, great atmosphere, price is justified, moderate
Cons: I can't go every week
atlantis-gaia
atlantis-gaia
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+16

Better than the British Veg places!

5 Posted on 04 / 10 / 2009

I loved the dinner I had here, left feeling well fed and healthy. Prices reasonable. Would love to return!


helenmono
helenmono
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+15

Absolutely brilliant!!

5 Posted on 09 / 23 / 2008

Me and my boyfriend visited here recently after seeing it on happy cow. The 'indian, thai' description is misleading and nearly put us off visiting. Thank god we went as it was superb! The decor is amazing and the waiters are extremely helpful. We were given an English language menu when they realised we ciouldn't speak Spanish and they squeezed us in despite us not having a reservation. The menu is wide and varied, all wholesome and exciting ingredients. When you sit down you get bread and chick pea dip on the house so a starter is not necessary!! I ordered the aduki burger and my boyfriend had the seitan. Both were superb. There is a good selection of wines including organic. If it wasn't our last night we would've visited there again. Visting this restaurant is a must!!!

Pros: Gorgeous decor, Amazingly varied ingredients, Helpful staff
billyhulting
billyhulting
  • vegan
Contributions
+14

Second Best Restaurant in All my Travels

5 Posted on 07 / 16 / 2008

I travel all over the world and try to hit as many veggie restaurants as I can. Isla del Tesoro is now my second favorite anywhere. I am vegan (vegano) and they were very good with it. They explained to me what was already vegan and what could be made vegan.

The food: First - they bring you raisin bread with a chickpea dish covered in a garlic sour-creme sauce (soy) which was out of this world. I wanted to bring a five pound bag of it back to my hotel room! We ordered the croquetes appetizer which they made a vegan version of. It was six croquetes of different kinds - seems like beets, quinoa (maybe) and and olive one. It was hard to tell exactly but they were all great with the greeen sauce they came with. We also ordered the Ensalada Zanzibar. The sald and dressing portion was fantastic and there was a tofu and grain portion that was elegant and flavorful. Got this one!

For our main course we ordered the combo and the Tan Tan de Seitan. The combo was pretty good with two fresh rolls, three wontons (rice paper) and some sushi rolls. It was a nice clean compliment to the very rich Tan Tan Seitan. The seitan was sovered in a whipped potato ring with vegetables and the whole things was topped in sauce with these crunchy flake like things on top. imagine a vegan fish flake from a Japanee restaurant but without the fish taste. This was Fantastic!

Also - we had some "eco beers" which were good. I'm going back tomorrow to find out the name of it.

I don't say this lightly - this was the best dining experience I've ever had outside of the U.S.. Not only was the food good but the staff was helpful. When we got there we didn't have a reservation but they let us dine under the plan that we'd be out by 10pm when the reservations came in. I thought that was cool of them. Make a reservation - if you are in Madrid go here!!

Pros: flavor, service, beer
Cons: need reservations (is this a bad thing?)
Caryne
Caryne
  • vegan
Contributions
+177

Useless for vegans

2 Posted on 07 / 12 / 2008

This place is not vegan friendly at all. Despite having my 'Vegan Passport' (which translated my requirements into Spanish) they still seemed to have no knowledge what a vegan required. They claimed dishes were ok and then bought meals covered in cheese. Probably fine for vegetarians but vegans should avoid.
They also brought items at the wrong time, starters as main courses and vice versa!!

Pros: Centrally located, Good for vegetarians
Cons: No idea what vegan means, Wrong dishes brought
lorihs
lorihs
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+18

UNBELIEVABLE! YOU CANNOT MISS THIS PLACE!

5 Posted on 01 / 08 / 2008

we went there twice in our 6 day trip to madrid, once at lunch, once at night. you really need to make reservations if you can, especially at night otherwise you will for sure not get a seat. the food was incredible and the staff were friendly-ish. there is an english menu so you can understand wha tyou are ordering. the food is inventive and combinations unique, we truly felt it was gourmet.
i am in love!!

Pros: everything!
Cons: need reservations
Guest
Guest

Fully satisfied!

5 Posted on 07 / 21 / 2007

We found this restaurant on this web site, and called to make a reservation. We got a table for 2 at 11:00! The restaurant has such a wonderful funky feel...GREAT decor! And the food was excellent!!! Two of us shared one starter, one first plate, one second, a dessert and a bottle of wine. For 56 euro, we were fully satisfied with our meal, the service, everything. Great atmosphere for a date night, but, me and my friend (a meat eater at that) were very happy too! The portions were generous, and beyond that, let me repeat, that the food was EXCELLENT!!


nottsvegan
nottsvegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+36

Wonderful food

5 Posted on 04 / 05 / 2007

Wow! The food here is amazing. Imaginative and beautifully presented. This restaurant is very popular so book ahead. We didn't book but just turned up on the dot of opening time on Friday night and luckily managed to get the last table! Staff weren't particularly friendly or helpful, but that was par for the course for Madrid. Quite a lot of vegan options (though you will need to ask for them in Spanish) including some lovely desserts. The menu has four courses but we were warned by the staff not to order more than two and they were right - the portions are large and very filling. The restaurant is in the Bilbao neighbourhood, which is good for bars.

Pros: Vegan options, Big portions, Amazing food
Cons: Very busy at weekend

 

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Last updated: 2013/09/23

 

Added: 2007/08/01

 

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