When you’re traveling, food is one of the most important aspects. Food is one of the main reasons why we travel – to be able to try authentic, local food, which tastes like nothing we’ve ever tried before, is an incredible experience. But if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, like me, you’ll notice that it becomes a bit more difficult to travel.
Some countries have adapted to veganism and vegetarianism though, and there’s an abundance of restaurants where you can eat. Gone are the days when you have to eat either pizza or pasta every single day because there’s nothing else for you on the menu. I’ve traveled to more than 60 countries in the world and these are the countries I think are the best to travel in if you’re a vegetarian.
Strangely enough, Vietnam hasn’t gotten much recognition when it comes to vegetarian food, but they have an abundance of it. If you just know what to look for. The keyword here is to find places which says “Com Chay”, which translates to vegetarian food. There’s plenty of locals who only eat vegetarian and vegan food, and in the bigger cities such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, you can find them in plenty. What’s so good about Vietnamese food is that they eat a lot of vegetables, so even in “regular” restaurants, you can probably get a vegetarian meal. Just be careful so they don’t put any fish sauce in your dish. A meal you can almost get everywhere is rice with sautéed water spinach and tofu. It’s a simple dish, but so filling and flavorful. As for desserts, Vietnam also does lots of vegan ones. It’s a haven for vegetarians and vegans! The best thing? The food is one of the best in the world.
This should come as no surprise as approximately 30% of Indians are vegetarians. The Indian kitchen is flavorful, spicy, delicious and diverse. There’s some famous dishes such as palak paneer with cheese, but you can also get many vegan dishes. Traveling in India is by far one of the best countries to be a vegetarian in and you can be sure that every restaurant serves vegetarian food.
Did you know that Tel Aviv has been named as the “Vegan Capital of the World”? Well, it has, and when you go there, you’ll see why! In almost every restaurant, they serve vegan food, and there’s even times when there’s more vegan options on the menu. One thing you must try when in Israel is hummus and falafel. Locals say the best hummus can be found in Yafo, in a small shop called “Abu Hassan”.
Berlin is another capital where you can find an abundance of vegan and vegetarian restaurants. Not only do they have restaurants, but you can also find a ton of vegan products in store if you want to cook meals yourself. Berlin prides itself in being vegan friendly so come with an empty stomach and a thick wallet – you’ll need it!
Perhaps one of the more unexpected countries on this list, Sweden is actually one of the most vegetarian friendly countries in Europe, and perhaps also in the world. Every year, more and more Swedes change from eating meat to plant based food, a change that can be noticed when going to restaurants and markets. You can also notice it in their fast food chains, such as Max Hamburger, which has introduced a fully vegan meal. You can also find lots of vegan desserts and ice-cream, which tastes just as good, and sometimes even better, as the dairy based ones.
Not only does Taiwan have some of the best food in the world, they also have lots of vegetarian options. About 13% of the population eat plant based food and the government has even encouraged the residents to eat vegetarian at least once per week. Taiwan has more than 6,000 vegetarian restaurants spread around the country, so you’ll be sure to find something to eat here.
This might come as a surprise, but Italy actually has the highest rate of vegetarianism in the EU. With about 10% of the population eating a plant based diet, you’re bound to find lots of vegetarian dishes in Italy. Of course, you can always be sure to find delicious pasta and pizza, most without any meat in it, but rather rich vegetables. If you’re a vegan, it might be a bit more difficult, but definitely not impossible.
The best thing to do while traveling is to do proper research before you get to a place, see if they have an all-vegan restaurant for example, or which restaurants are vegan friendly, and you’re good to go. Enjoy!