It’s now easier than ever to find countries geared towards a plant-based lifestyle, and vegan travelers can start with those destinations.
Move over meat eaters; There’s a new sheriff in town. Veganism, i.e. not eating meat products, is on the rise. This diet movement has gained popularity around the world in recent years. Whether for personal reasons or medical reasons, the world is slowly becoming vegan. Grocery stores are stocking up on plant-based nuggets, fresh produce and more. In short, veganism is becoming more and more accessible. It offers many more menu items than the standard salad.
Despite its growing popularity, the truth is that vegans may have limited options when traveling compared to meat eaters. However, there is a whole new world out there. There are chefs who are determined to invite tourists to their international kitchens to try new cuisines. Vegan travelers, these countries will welcome you with open arms because of their plant-based cuisine! These countries are also starting a movement more focused on eating plants and reducing meat consumption.
India has the second largest population in the world and is home to dozens of states, each with a unique history and cuisine. Many people do not consume meat products; some identify as lacto-vegetarian (they do not eat eggs), especially in places like Punjab, Telangana, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, states with a high proportion of vegetarians. Travelers who follow a plant-based diet will also be happy to eat at restaurants that are strictly vegetarian (also known as “Vaishno Shaba”) and avoid meat-based ingredients such as lard or beef broth. Vegans traveling to India, on the other hand, will know that the population still consumes dairy products or honey.
7 United States
The USA is known to be a melting pot of cultures. Cuisines from all over the world can be found in North America, particularly in New York City, USA, rumored to be the “International Food Capital of the World”. According to HappyCow, there are about 111 vegetarian restaurants within a 5 mile radius of New York! Travelers can otherwise head to the famous city of Los Angeles, California. This sunny city is home to a host of celebrities (some of whom happen to be vegan). The sunny California city is full of vegan restaurants despite the fact that the US is one of the biggest meat consumers in the world.
Thailand is the land of smiles and Bangkok is perfect for vegan foodies. Not only is Thai cuisine full of healthy vegetables, some restaurants even sell exclusively vegan food, known as “Jay” restaurants. Although Thai cuisine is very vegetable-heavy, it is also known to contain a lot of fish sauce because of its flavor. So be sure to ask “no fish sauce” when ordering a dish at a restaurant, and be sure to add some seasoning to the food for flavor. Once travelers have tasted authentic Thai food, they’ll understand why it’s so popular!
Israeli vegans make up 8% of the population, over 400,000 people! Many of these vegans settle in Tel Aviv. With a large majority of the Jewish population, the kosher-centric diet of many Israelites has enabled them to embrace veganism. Israel is home to one of the best vegan cafes in the world, Anastasia. They are also home to the world’s only vegan chocolate shop, COCO Vegan Chocolate. It is also easy for vegan travelers to buy groceries here as there are 2 vegan grocery stores in Tel Aviv known as Taam L’Chaim (Flavour for Life) and Makolet Teva. And best of all, Israeli and Mediterranean cuisines have some vegan favorites like falafel or baba ganoush.
4 United Kingdom
This internationally recognized country is leading the vegan movement, with the highest number of people converting to veganism in several years. In 2019 there are around 600,000 vegans, accounting for 1% of the UK population. This number is expected to grow and become even more attractive during the pandemic. In London, it’s easy to find a vegan restaurant or grocery store within a few blocks. They even house the world’s first vegan cheese shop, La Fauxmagerie! From plant-based milks to meatless meat alternatives, UK citizens are the largest consumers of these plant-based products in the world. Aside from seeing London’s most famous landmarks, vegan travelers can let their taste buds travel when they stop by the international city of London!
Canada’s cultural diversity is often praised, and that diversity seeps into its food scene. Vegans don’t need to trawl the streets of Toronto to find a good restaurant, there are ones all over the city! The city hosts one of the largest vegetarian food festivals of the year, also known as Toronto’s Veg Food Fest. Canada has also launched some famous national vegan chains, like Branch Copper (which has a good shiitake teriyaki burger) and Fresh, which has even made it as far as Los Angeles!
Germany is one of the leaders of the vegan movement (although the UK toppled their litter). Although German cuisine has traditionally been heavily based on meat, recent trends show that Germans are more conscious of reducing their meat consumption. This number is expected to increase; Vegans make up 1.6% of their population. Vegans in particular can easily find vegan-friendly (and even exclusively vegan) restaurants in the capital Berlin. According to reports, there are 333 vegetarian restaurants in the capital, 202 of which belong to Berlin!
Australians are heavy meat eaters (one of the largest meat consumers in the world). Citizens want to change that, however, and are one of the fastest growing countries in the plant-based market – home to inventions like carbon-neutral ground beef. Vegans traveling to the beautiful country of Australia will even find a Seven-Eleven serving vegan sandwiches!
NEXT: Here’s why Japan is the perfect place for vegetarians (try these dishes there)
10 Happy Asian Foods to Try in 2022
About the author