From the outside, traveling while vegan might seem like a hard task: venturing through places like Germany and China and the United States — whose diets are traditionally entrenched in meat — on a strictly animal product-free bent. In reality, though, a lot of vegan travel bloggers say it’s actually pretty simple and — bonus — that some of their favorite vegan-friendly cities are popular destinations that are super accommodating! If you’re a vegan traveler or if you’ve ever thought about cutting animal products out of your diet, have a look at these six surprising cities that make traveling while vegan a total breeze.
“What?” You say. “The land of seafood and hot dogs is a vegan paradise?” Yes. First things first: there is an Icelandic Vegan and Vegetarian Society and they awarded this Vegan Guide to Iceland a “Best of 2015” award — so that’s important. Though there are no 100% vegan restaurants in Reykjavik as of yet, there are plenty of 100% vegetarian joints with lots of vegan options. So what’s the one dish you can’t leave without trying? There’s an Indian street food place that looks absolutely mouthwatering — get the vegan Thali. You won’t regret it.
Yes, in the same place where you can feasibly eat an entire cow in one meal, you can also venture as a vegan easy-peasy. As veganism as a trend grows, so too does its international outposts. Taipei has seen a huge growth in vegan restaurants — blogger Vegan Taiwan has an extensively researched guide to eating as a vegan or vegetarian in the country, along with a helpful tour of major areas of interest and the nearby vegan-friendly restaurants. What dish should you not leave without trying? Check Ooh Cha Cha’s eggplant bacon dish (so good)!
No bull fighting here! When you tour Madrid as a vegan, you get to taste the very best of Spain’s Mediterranean-European fusion cooking. In general, Spanish food is actually pretty accommodating to a vegan lifestyle — from simple breakfasts consisting of coffee and toasts to decadent veggie-based tapas, it’s becoming much easier to get a taste of authentic Spain while keeping to your vegan diet. What do you have to try when you pass through? Try Rayén Vegano’s pistachio mousse cake!
Weisswurst und bier? Just beer, please! Surprisingly, you can enjoy Berlin to the max without indulging in a single one of its famous meaty dishes. A quick walk around the trendy Freidrichshain (or the newly hip Kreuzkölln) neighborhood will show you just how vegan-friendly Berlin is — vegan-only restaurants and cafes are all around and the dishes on display shows that you will not be left wanting. What can you absolutely not leave Berlin without tasting? Indulge in traditional German fare with a twist — vegan dumplings!
São Paulo, Brazil
This city keeps a traveling vegan happy with its abundance of animal-free meal options. Although there are plenty of small vegan cafes and restaurants scattered about the city, the real saving grace for the vegan traveler on a budget is the popularity of Por Kilo restaurants which are — maybe you’ve already guessed it? — buffet-style places where you pay for your food by its weight, not by a set price. With the added bonus of being able to see for yourself what you’re ladling onto your plate, a lot of vegan travelers cite this as a real lifesaver in Brazil! What should you try before you leave? A meal that keeps traditional flavors without the traditional accompanying meats.
San Francisco, California, USA
All that walking making you hungry? If you’re a vegan, finding a convenient and yummy spot to grab a bite has never been easier! Okay, so maybe this one wasn’t a surprise, but we still want to highlight this destination for its incredible vegan scene. From traditional American food to Mexican to Japanese… San Francisco is certainly not lacking in vegan options around the city. And the best part? It’s literally everywhere, so the traveling vegan will never go hungry in San Fran! What’s one of the top spots? Organic vegan Mexican restaurant Gracias Madre — order the Mexican chocolate cake and thank us later.
Are you a vegan traveler? What are you favorite cities to visit?