The term “vegan” was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson, a British woodworker. He wanted to distinguish those who abstain from consuming any animal products, including dairy, eggs, and honey, from vegetarians who may still consume some of these items. In 1994, November 1 was another milestone as World Vegan Day, further raising awareness and celebration of the vegan lifestyle.
Veganism is no longer just a fad, but a rapidly growing movement. Europe and the West are surprisingly taking the lead. Even in the Middle East and Far East, where meat and dairy dominate the menu, have joined in the bandwagon. Vegan travelers passionate about their diet even when they’re planning travels. Therefore, these regions have embraced the trend by offering more vegan-friendly options for these travelers.
With that in mind, here’s a list of 10 vegan-friendly travel destinations around the world. The list of countries and cities is a mix of sources, and we’ve added at least one reputed vegan restaurant in each city for our readers.
Undisputedly, the NumeroUno when it comes to veganism and vegan restaurants. London was the first city to reach the mark of more than 200 vegan restaurants, and now has more than 400 that offer vegan dishes. Our recommendation for gourmet vegan dishes is Gauthier Soho. The restaurant is located on Romilly Street and is hugely popular with discerning vegan diners. Most popular vegan restaurants are located in the Soho district, so you can blend entertainment with good vegan food.
Germany isn’t a name that usually comes to mind when you think of vegan food, but Berlin has shown a fondness for vegan food and a rapid growth of restaurants associated with it. Kopps is a top-notch vegan restaurant that serves both German and international vegan cuisine. If you want to grab a vegan burger on the go, you should visit Vedang in the Bikini Berlin Mall on Budapester Strasse. While you’re visiting the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag, you can now dine in style and enjoy quality vegan food.
Although a high percentage of Indians eat meat and consume dairy products, the number of vegetarians is very high simply because of the size of the population. In addition, Indian cuisine is more vegetarian than vegan, but more and more people are choosing a vegan diet, and more restaurants are springing up to meet the growing demand for vegan food. If you’re in Delhi, you should try Nut and Bowls, a vegan restaurant in the Greater Kailash II area (M Block). The restaurant is highly rated and offers international cuisine and great takeaways, too. Greenr Café in the same area is a great vegetarian restaurant that has great dishes.
New York & Los Angeles, USA
We’ve picked two cities on both sides of the American coast to make sure you don’t miss anything when you visit the USA! The country is too big and deserves its own list, but here is a selection each from New York, the city that never sleeps, and Los Angeles, the city of dreams.
When you’re in the Big Apple, you should visit NY Dosa, a restaurant that sits in a van on the side of the road. This Indian menu is listed as a favorite in many reviews. If you’re into classy dining, you should try Cadence in the East Village, a new restaurant that has already made a name for itself. There are many other restaurants in New York, so now you can combine Broadway with Bunna Café or Buddha Bodai.
After you finish your tour of Hollywood, you should visit Gracias Madre in West Hollywood. This is a beautiful restaurant that serves Mexican and vegan dishes. Their guacamole is worth dying (or traveling) for. If you prefer a simpler menu that’s also reasonably priced, you should stop by Burgerlords in China Town or Highland Park.
From the very top, we travel Down Under and to the city of Melbourne, Australia! Melbourne is home to a world-famous zoo and other attractions like Pentridge Prison, which dates back to 1851. You can take a drive on the Great Ocean Road and meet the 12 Apostles or watch the Penguin Parade. When you’re done sightseeing, have a delicious vegan dinner at Smith & Daughters on Cambridge Road and enjoy the ambiance and cuisine with its Mediterranean influences. If you want a quick dumpling, you should visit ShanDong MaMa on Bourke Street. The best time to visit? September-November or March-May.
Tel Aviv, Israel
There is plenty of room for vegetables in Israeli cuisine, thanks to world-leading advances in agriculture. Visit the ancient port city of Jaffa and the Tel Aviv Art Museum, or take a day trip to Jerusalem and Bethlehem and many other biblical sites. Tel Aviv has a modern nightlife and dining scene, and vegan restaurants abound. Try a quick bite at Anastasia on Frishman Street, recently voted the most popular vegan restaurant by the Secret Tel Aviv Community. If you prefer a plant-based menu, check out Bana on Nachmani Street.
Singapore is a vibrant and bustling city-state known for its trade and maritime commerce. Visitors will appreciate the stunning gardens, excellent shopping, and efficient transportation system. Despite the relatively high cost of living, Singapore’s safe and crime-free environment makes it an ideal vacation destination. A melting pot of Malay, Chinese, and Indian (Tamil) cultures, Singapore’s cuisine is diverse and reflects this blend of influences. Whether you want to explore the city’s rich history and culture or simply relax and enjoy its many amenities, Singapore is a must-visit destination.
There are many vegan restaurants in Singapore and you should definitely visit The Genesis Place at Raffles Place. This restaurant combines vegan with local cuisine and is also reasonably priced. If you’re in the mood for cocktails and finger food, you should visit Analog at City Hall.
Singapore has a tropical climate and is humid all year round. Plan your trip with the season and climate in mind.
Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia and home to the famous Barcelona soccer club, is a city that should not be missed. It’s a treasure trove for architecture lovers, with the Basílica de la Sagrada Família and the Gothic Quarter being particularly noteworthy. The Basílica de la Sagrada Família is a sight to see and if you’re a Dan Browne fan, you’ll quickly connect. Another must-see attraction is Parc Gueell, a surreal and breathtakingly beautiful creation by Gaudi. Of course, no trip to Barcelona would be complete without mentioning its most famous former resident, Lionel Messi. Whether you’re a fan of soccer or just want to soak up the culture and history of this wonderful European city, Barcelona has something for everyone.
Barcelona demands a week-long tour, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy this vegan-friendly city. Try the CactusCat bar on Calle Valldonzella. This gastrobar serves both Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine and also offers take-out dishes. L’Encant Vegetaria on Carrer de los Castillejos serves a 3-course menu, as well as pasta and cakes.
This tourist haven is one of the most popular destinations and very affordable for most travelers. Other attractions include Phuket and Bali, and Thailand is the party capital of the world. Traditional Thai cuisine has a strong vegetarian base and combines the spice of the East with the freshness of Far Eastern cuisine.
While you’re enjoying the culture and beaches, check out Bonita Cafe and Social Club on Soi Pramote, an American-style café and juice bar. This place is popular with expats and serves great vegan pizzas. Tonklar Facai – Chula on Angredunang Rd, Khwaeng Pathum Wan offers a mix of Western and Thai cuisine that travelers love.
We end our journey with the country known for its special cuisine. Italy, known for its cheese and wine, has made rapid progress and embraced the vegan movement in a big way. Rome, the capital, is one of the most popular destinations in the world. Now, it has vegan restaurants to woo travelers who pick their destination to be vegan-friendly. After seeing the Colosseum, Vatican City, and many other sights, you’ll be hungry. Remember, Rome takes a whole weekend to do justice to all its glories. So, try these restaurants—you’ll love them!
Romeow Cat Bistrot in Ostiense has a preference for vegans and cats! Try the Spaghetti Gragnano with macadamia nuts, and you’ll be closer to gastronomic heaven than you’ve ever been! If you have a big appetite and want to try a vegan buffet, you should visit Ops Restaurant on Via Bergamo. This restaurant serves both Italian and international dishes, and you can pay for your meal by weight!
All travelers choose their destinations based on what interests them, such as culture, architecture, or history. These ten destinations not only offer a lot in the above segments, but are also great places to visit if you’re vegan. These are the top 10 vegan friendly travel destinations around the world!
Mohan Raj is an associate at Swag Swami, a blog that reviews the vegan brands of India. Being a Vegan himself, he has been exposed to some of the most delicious South Indian Vegan recipes that have been passed on for generations in the family. He also practices Yoga and meditation regularly and teaches Yoga at the Cosmopolitan Center in India.