Traveling as a vegan can be tricky, but it is easier today than it’s ever been. The outburst of conscious living, plant-based diets, and eco-friendly lifestyles has paved the way for an increasing number of vegan food options around the world.
How to Connect with Vegan Travelers
Connect with other vegan and vegetarian travelers can make traveling as a vegan so much easier. There are many Facebook groups and Couchsurfing vegan meetups that help connect like-minded travelers who share values. As a vegan traveler for many years it was a relief to meet other vegans and vegetarians. We would grumble about when we’d eaten nothing but bread and oatmeal for three days, or what it’s like trying to explain the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan for the zillionth time. It’s nice not to have to explain why tofu is delicious or what seitan really is (does anyone actually know?).
How to Find Your Go-To Vegan Staple Foods
To make traveling as a vegan more stress-free, seek out international supermarkets for items a local grocery might not carry, like soy milk or peanut butter. It’s great to support local business but it’s also important to have a balanced diet with enough protein, and to eat vegan staples you enjoy.
How to Find the Best Vegan Restaurants While Abroad
The Happy Cow is a great resource for finding vegan friendly restaurants and cafes in your area. You can filter options by location, price, and reviews. They rank restaurants all over the world, and it’s much easier than googling vegan restaurants nearby. I always know that the reviews are written by others who follow (or appreciate) plant-based eating.
How to Find Vegan-Friendly Accommodation
If you want to stay somewhere that will cater to your dietary needs, there are online resources for veggie-friendly accommodation. Vegetarian Vacations is an online guide with the best vegetarian and vegan destinations worldwide as well as veggie-friendly tours, hotels, and retreats. Veggie Hotels is another great site that ranks vegan hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses in over 60 countries.
Overall, the key to successfully traveling as a vegan is planning in advance and sticking to your guns. As a vegetarian traveler it was sometimes hard for me to remember why I was vegetarian. I was tempted to eat dairy out of convenience in places like rural France and Eastern Europe because it felt like the center of my travels were focused on where to find a meatless meal. When things get tough, remember why you’re vegan – for the animals, for your health, for the planet.
Be prepared – Bring some quick protein bars or trail mix to stay sane while traveling. There’s nothing worse than spending 12$ on hummus and crackers at the airport, or having nothing to eat but an airplane bread roll.
Make things even easier for yourself as a vegan traveler by going to destinations that are veggie-friendly in the first place! Here’s a list of destinations around the world that will make traveling as a vegan a whole lot easier.
Traveling as a Vegan in EUROPE
Yummy food: Coox on the Piazza Vittorio Vegeto (a fresh spin on Italian classics!)
It might surprise you that the birthplace of the cheesiest pizza and creamiest gelato is easy to navigate for vegans. Italian food uses simple, wholesome ingredients which makes it simple to avoid dairy or meat. Bruschetta, salads, and sorbets are often vegan, just be sure to ask for “niente formaggio.” Opting-out of cheese on veggie pastas and pizza is also an easy solution. Make sure to clarify that your salad dressing or pasta sauce is made without anchovies, and ask for olive oil instead of butter.
Yummy food: Hank Burger (fast-service, innovative and tasty vegan comfort food)
You might think of France as a tricky place for a vegan, but Paris has seen a recent rise in vegan eateries alongside buttery bakeries and cream-filled locales. Paris is such a tourist hub that you will have little trouble in restaurants asking for a meat-free choice. Or try out that rusty high school french if you’re feeling confident!
Yummy food: Curry at the Wall in Mitte (try the vegan currywurst!)
Berlin is a hipster city of cutting-edge architecture with a vibrant yet gritty culture. There is such a diverse food scene here that you will never go hungry! With over 80,000 vegans living in Berlin, veganism is more than a diet, it’s a way of living.
Yummy food: Kin Cafe (ever-changing menu with superfood salads, bowls and sandwiches)
Veganism is one of the UK’s fastest growing lifestyle movements and this is reflected in London’s flourishing vegan culinary scene. With an abundance of vegan-friendly market stalls, restaurants and cafes, you are never more than a tube stop away from whatever cuisine you are craving.
Yummy food: Tel Aviv Urban Food (delicious & kosher vegan food served in a classy atmosphere).
Warsaw was named the third-most vegan-friendly city in the world by HappyCow Vegan Guide. Throughout the past decade, Warsaw has seen an emerging vegan restaurant scene (popular with carnivores as well).
Traveling as a Vegan in NORTH AMERICA
Portland, Oregon USA
Yummy food: Blossoming Lotus (Organic vegan fusion with raw food options in a stylish room (and bar!)
Portland is one of the best vegan cities in the world. Here you can find anything your heart desires, from vegan macaroni-and-cheese burritos, a vegan mini-mall, and a cruelty free Thanksgiving day fun run ! Veganism here isn’t just a way of eating, it’s a lifestyle.
Los Angeles, USA
Yummy food: Doomie’s Home Cookin’ (Deliciousness offering meat-free versions of classic comfort foods: fried chicken, tacos, burgers & more).
Although these options are spread out over a large area of the city, it’s no wonder why LA is often referred to as a vegan haven. To coincide with the Hollywood culture you can find tons of cafes offering fresh pressed juices, açai bowls, paleo plates, and gluten free dishes. Basically anyone with a dietary restriction can find something to eat in LA!
New York, USA
Yummy food: Champs Diner in Brooklyn (Vegan baked goods & comfort-food items in a retro diner!).
New York is one of the hippest cities for veganism. There are tons of vegan cafes and restaurants everywhere you go, from vegan confectionary shops to plant-based street foods. There has been a recent rise in vegan grab-and-go lunch spots in downtown.
Yummy food: Apiecalypse Now!(Take-out spot offering vegan pizza & heroes, donuts & ice cream).
Large cities in North America always offer a variety of cruelty-free choices for vegans. Toronto is unique, however – they have a vegan neighborhood! “Vegandale” is section of town along Queen Street known as a mecca for ethically minded ( and hungry) vegans. Check it out for delicious plant-based treats!
Traveling as Vegan in CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA
Yummy food: Sana Vegan Café (fast and friendly service provide refreshing smoothies, soups, salads, and rice dishes. Bring your own box to be more sustainable!
Although Peruvian dishes might be easier to navigate for pescatarians, there are still lots of vegetable-based dishes available. Try vegetarian stuffed peppers, fruit salads, or simple sandwiches to have the optimal experience in Peru.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Yummy food: Bio Orgánico (raw pizzas, vegan curries, salads, empanadas, and desserts).
It may be surprising to hear that the city with world-famous empanadas also has some great vegan options. It is true that most tourists are looking for the well-known Argentinian grilled meat, but there are many vegan restaurants located in the Palermo neighborhoods.
Traveling as a Vegan in the MIDDLE EAST
Tel Aviv, Israel
Yummy food: Anastasia (creative vegan dishes including vegan cheese plates, fresh squeezed juices, and raw desserts).
Israel is one of the easiest countries I’ve visited as a vegan. Without even asking restaurants often serve hummus, pita, and small salads as soon as you sit down! Dishes are mainly cooked with olive oil, and the Israeli diet uses staples like vegetables, lentils, and chickpeas. Don’t pass up a freshly-fried falafel pita with tahini. The food is always super fresh and healthy.
Traveling as a Vegan in ASIA
Yummy food: Joie Restaurant (delightful, fancy vegan food with options like lime tofu, truffle risotto and liquid chocolate for dessert).
There are more than 300 vegan-friendly restaurants in Singapore as well as countless street food options that cater to vegan needs. Ask for vegetarian versions of popular Singapore cuisine to have an authentic experience without compromising your diet choices.
Yummy food: T’s TanTan (large portions, lots of noodles, and delicious ramens!)
Tokyo might not be the #1 city for vegan cuisine but it is certainly known worldwide as a foodie’s heaven. An amazing and fun way to explore the vegan side of Tokyo is through a Vegan & Organic Food Tour. If you want to try traditional Japanese sweets, vegan ramen, or local vegetable plates, find a local guide to show you restaurants and dishes that accommodate your dietary restrictions.
Yummy food: Shree Thaker Bhojanalay (this well-known thali restaurant has been offering traditional Indian fare since 1945).
India is a vegan haven with a variety of healthy and satisfying cuisines. Curries are often made with legumes and vegetables which is both rich in protein and nutritious. One of the healthiest things about Indian food is the diverse spices and herbs. To veganize common dishes ask for ghee to be replaced with vegetable oils, or substitute meat and cheese for tofu.
Yummy food: Peloton Supershop (a plant-based cafe and bicycle shop with breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Vegan food in Bali is at the top of the list! I have heard so many amazing things about the fresh, high quality, and healthy vegan options in Bali. A lot of traditional cuisine uses tofu and tempeh so it is very vegan-friendly on it’s own.
Traveling as a Vegan in OCEANIA
The fact that Melbourne is such a diverse, cosmopolitan city with a high student population means that it attracts lots of vegans and progressive lifestyle choices. This city is chockfull of vegan-friendly cafes, coffee shops, and completely plant-based restaurants.
Traveling as a vegan can be tough but these destinations make traveling as a vegan easier and more convenient and stress-free.
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