I wish I was travelling somewhere right now, somewhere hot and warm, away from this grim weather that seems to have descended over the UK/Ireland today! Alas, I have to content myself with browsing the internet to get my travel fix. I came across this article on the BBC about travelling as a veggie and thought it would be interesting to have a little look at the ‘so called’ best and worst destinations for the veggie traveler.
The article lists places like Singapore, India and Thailand as hits for veggies. While I can say I haven’t traveled to any of these places-yet- I have heard great things about their cuisine from friends and family, who have said that the veggie food on offer is amazing.
Morocco and Lebanon are also listed as winners for us veggies/vegans, and I have to say that is my favourite type of cuisine, and wherever I am in the world I can always rely upon this type of cuisine to provide delicious veggie/vegan fare.
From my travel experience I would have to agree that San Francisco is amazing, especially for Vegans! I’m used to being provided with limited to no options in most mainstream restaurants in the UK, so San Fran was a breath of fresh air. There are so many amazing veggie/vegan restaurants, and even in places like a burger bar where you would hardly expect a veggie burger, there was vegan burgers on offer. My favourite place I went to in San Francisco was Gracias Madre, a solely Vegan Organic Mexican in the Mission district. This place is amazing, the food is outstanding, and as a bonus they grow most of their own produce on their farm.
Of course wherever you are in the States Whole Foods can always be relied upon for veggie/vegan goodies, and of course the salad and hot food bars offer up so many great options.
There are an array of amazing veggie/vegan restaurants in San Francisco, and I would definitely like to try out more should I go back (hopefully this Summer!!). There are also plenty of options for raw foodies in San Fran too, and it is definitely a place that seems ahead of the rest of the world in terms of food movements. Food trucks are also a great option in San Fran:
Although Germany is listed as a miss in the BBC’s article, Berlin was probably the best place-outside of SF-I have ever been for vegan food.
German cuisine is not particularly friendly-ie currywurst- however like the UK, Germany seems to have adapted many of the cuisines of other cultures, and being such a cosmopolitan place, there are great restaurants offering all types of interesting-and veggie friendly-cuisine.
My particular favorites in Berlin were Dolores California, an amazing burrito place modeled on San Francisco’s burrito offerings. It is not even vegetarian but actually had loads of vegan options on the menu!
There are also loads of great Indian and Thai restaurants, my favourite was Good Time which was in the middle of nowhere, but offered amazing Thai food and had a great atmosphere to boot.
Of course you can’t go to Berlin and not have falafel, it is literally everywhere! My favourite was Dada Falafel :
The country I have spent the most amount of time travelling in is Bolivia, where I spent nearly 3 months. Although South America has a reputation as a very meat heavy continent, I had no trouble getting veggie food wherever I went. I was veggie at the time rather than vegan, and did eat a lot of omelettes, cheese, bread and pasta during the trip. However with careful planning, and a few amendments you can definitely work around things and a vegan diet would be possible to accommodate.
Supermarkets are great places to pick up stuff, cooking for yourself is always a good option, and just being prepared and flexible in terms of your options in general. Even in the remotest little villages, with places that didn’t even have electricity, I still managed to get good veggie food.
Pucon in Chile had one of the best veggie restaurants I visited during my South American travels Ecole. So good we went back again during the short time we were in Pucon.
Yes there are a lot of meat heavy places in Argentina/Brazil/Uruguay/Peru, however a large amount of the South American diet is based around things like rice and beans especially in more rural areas, so it isn’t difficult to get by as a veggie.
Misses- I can’t really say I have had too many misses as a veggie. Spain and Greece are not particularly great, especially for Vegans, and Italy-though I haven’t been since turning Vegan- though great for veggies, is probably not fantastic for Vegans either.
The worst place I have been since becoming Vegan though had to be Las Vegas. As a Vegan I found it pretty difficult and mostly just ate snacks like clif bars and pretzels, but despite this we did manage to find a few vegan offerings with some amendments. However, even Vegas is changing and more veggie/vegan options are cropping up all the time. The Wynn is now offering vegan dining, and things are changing so quickly, which is great for any travelling veggies/vegans.
The UK of course has its own great options for veggies/vegans. In my experience a lot of places that don’t specifically cater to veggies/vegans can be very accommodating as long as you ring them up and inform them of your dietary needs in plenty of time.
I think things are changing rapidly, and there has never been a better time to travel as a veggie/vegan. Of course there are still places that it will be pretty difficult but more and more travel destinations are becoming extremely veggie friendly. I think most important is the need to keep an open mind, and be flexible, you can almost always amend a dish on a menu to suit your dietary needs, and as long as the place is accommodating you are onto a winner. Supermarkets and cooking for yourself are always great options when travelling, as are food markets where you can often find more varied and alternative cuisines.
Where is the best place you have traveled in terms of veggie/vegan cuisine?
Any places to avoid as a veggie/vegan?
Worst travel experience as a veggie/vegan?