As our 30 day vegan travel challenge has gotten well under way, I decided to ask a bunch of my favourite vegan travel bloggers to share their favourite vegan travel destinations with me. I was surprised to find their top vegan travel destinations span all over, from Kuala Lumpur to Iceland, and Texas to Rome.
Luke and I never pick the countries we travel to based on our dietary requirements because if we’ve learned anything from travelling, it’s that there’s always something awesome to be discovered. But there’s no arguing that being vegan means that food is much harder to play by ear, so I was interested to hear about all the places that really shone our to vegan travellers as the best.
Careful, your stomach is about to start growling…
Best Vegan Travel Destinations in Asia
Chiang Mai, Thailand
says Charlie (that’s me!), slow travel blogger and vegetarian who’s currently taking on a 30 day vegan travel challenge.
The rumours are true: Chiang Mai is a haven for vegan travellers. There are vegan restaurants all across Thailand, but Chiang Mai is brimming with vibrant and creative vegan food that is second to none. There are budget joints serving up traditional yellow, red and green Thai curries and spicy stir-frys, healthy salad bar concepts, vegan restaurants serving fresh raw vegan spring rolls and delicious purple sticky rice, and even farm-to-table cooking schools that cater for vegan travellers.
My absolute favourite vegan place was Imm Aim, a courtyard cafe serving up simple, fresh and healthy dishes. For budget vegan food, I’d recommend the “Organic Vegetables Food & Drink” place in the Nimmanhaemin neighbourhood across from The Salad Concept. Cat House had amazing colourful salads served up with purple sticky rice and Free Bird Cafe deserves a mention for it’s awesome breakfast options including coconut milk porridge with dates and banana.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
says Amélie from Mostly Amélie, a vegan travel writer who ditched the 9-to-5 lifestyle two years ago in favour of roaming the world on her trusty bicycle.
Kuala Lumpur is one of those places where, in the midst of a meat-eating nation, you barely have to scratch the surface to unveil an exciting health-minded paradise ripe for exploration. I literally felt like I hit the vegan jackpot when I started researching vegan restaurants!
Unfortunately, I was only staying a week and the options were almost endless (quite a feat for a South East Asian city), so I had to do some elimination and curate a list of the places that I thought sounded the best. My favourite discovery was without a doubt Ashley’s, an innovative restaurant serving healthy yet decadent vegan and raw vegan options such as a living mushroom foie gras and a Black Forest brownie with a creamy cashew icing. This is possibly my most memorable meal in two years of travel in what I feel is one of the most vegan-friendly cities in Asia!
says Amelia from Plant-Powered Nomad, a nomadic solo-traveller who wanders the world teaching English and Yoga, and eating awesome vegan food along the way.
When you recognise the characters for vegetarian restaurant (素食) you’ll start finding vegan food places on almost every street you walk down in Taipei. While these are mainly cheap and cheerful local vegetarian buffets, there’s also a thriving vegan scene in Taiwan which has allowed many more Westernised restaurants to spring up.
My favourite places are Soul R. Vegan, which does amazing burgers and waffles, Vege Creek has the best noodle soup in the world, and Fresh Bakery and Cafe with its endless selection of cakes, mousses and tarts. Despite living in Taiwan for over a year, I feel I barely scratched the surface when it comes to eating all the vegan food this cool and relatively untravelled little island has to offer.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
say Caryl and Paul from Vegan Food Quest, who are on a mission to find the best vegan food in the world, whether it’s on the street, in a local market or in a fine-dining restaurant.
Siem Reap might be best known for the Angkor Wat temple complex but it also deserves some love for being really vegan friendly. You can find everything from freshly baked 7 grain vegan sourdough to traditional Khmer food (veganised) in one of Asia’s 50 best restaurants.
Our favourite place to eat in town is Kroya, the restaurant at the beautifully designed Shinta Mani Club. Their Khmer chef has created a vegan tasting menu that includes modern interpretations of Khmer classics and it’s all delicious. There are also Western options in town including raw vegan food at ARTillery Cafe and the popular Sister Srey Cafe, a social enterprise that supports the community, is very environmentally friendly too. You can read more about the best places to eat in our Vegan Guide to Siem Reap.
Best Vegan Travel Destinations in Europe
says Sam from Indefinite Adventure, who’s originally from London, but now based in Berlin. He travels often with husband, Zab, looking for all the best vegan food, the coolest cafes and quirkiest street art.
says Amanda from Burger Abroad, a full-time, solo vegan traveller.
Surprisingly enough, Reykjavik in Iceland is actually a great spot to find lots of yummy vegan food. There are several vegan-friendly restaurants all over town. You can find delicious Icelandic comfort food meals such as hearty soups, chillis, nut loaves and pies, as well as the more common burgers, pizzas and desserts.
Gardurinn and Glo have many vegan food options and even make homemade vegan treats like snickers bars and brownies. Local coffee shops often stock soy lattes and vegan baked goods, there’s vegan cashew cheese sauce for your fries at Reykjavik Chips, and vegan mozzarella cheese pizza at Saffran. You can even get vegan meatballs at the local Ikea!
says Dale, one half of Angloitalian – Slow Vegan Travel Blog. When he’s not eating vegan food, Dale can usually be found browsing Reddit for far too long.
Everyone doubts me when I say that Rome is one of the best destinations in the world for vegans. There’s this well-established stereotype that Italian food is all about meat, meat, and more meat served in a variety of different shapes and forms — but the reality is quite different. Italians love their veg. Open up any menu you find within Rome and I can guarantee you that most of what you find will be made with fresh vegetables. Sure, there’ll be some fish or meat thrown in too, but for the most part it’s a vegetable-based dish.
Rome has one of the fastest growing vegan communities in Italy at the moment, with new vegan-friendly and fully vegan restaurants opening almost every week. The new chain of health food stores called Zazie have gained popularity through selling delicious and healthy food made fresh daily, in the true Italian way. By putting a few minutes aside before visiting Rome to learn a little of the language (without cheese is ‘senza formaggio,‘ for example), you can navigate around the menu and talk with the staff to know what’s edible or not.
says Lauren, one half of vegan travel blog Justin Plus Lauren, and lover of plant-based foods, nature, animals, outdoor adventures, coffee, and her cats, Chickpea and Peanut.
One of my favourite places in the world to find vegan food is in Florence, Italy. While Florence may be best known for its history and art, this city should be on your radar for delicious plant-based cuisine. We were able to find classic Italian dishes prepared using only plants, but plenty of diverse vegan cuisine too.
At Brac, we dined beside a quaint courtyard at a table surrounded by shelves of books, eating delicious pasta. Just beyond the Ponte Vecchio, 5 e Cinque served up Italian favourites made completely vegetarian. I enjoyed the asparagus risotto so much that I copied it in my own kitchen when we returned home. Panino Vegano served up yummy sandwiches, decadent vegan desserts, and soy lattes. Konnubio had a very memorable vegan lasagna made of seitan and creamy cheese made of rice milk. At Dolce Vegan, we indulged in hearty veggie burgers dripping in melted vegan cheese. Perche No! was the place to go for heavenly vegan chocolate and hazelnut soy gelato.
says Caitlin, a vegan food and travel writer from The Vegan Word, who has travelled to 30 countries (and counting).
In spite of being in the land of jamon, Barcelona is surprisingly vegan-friendly and growing more and more so by the day. Catalonia became the first region in Spain to ban bullfighting several years ago, and the number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Barcelona has been steadily growing.
In the city, you can find several vegan grocery stores (Ecocentre, Veganoteca), an all-vegan bakery (La Besneta), a vegan deli (Vegetart), a vegetarian and vegan pizzeria (Dolce Pizza y los Veganos), a vegan shoe and bag shop (Amapola), and a vegan bar (CatBar) among a number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. More and more restaurants are offering vegan options too, and clearly marking them. Since I relocated here in June, six new veggie shops and restaurants have opened, four of which are 100% vegan. Veganism is definitely on the rise in Barcelona!
(P.S. My awesome friends from Barcelona Slow Travel are locals in Barcelona who super recommend checking out Petit Brot, and you can also read my delicious post on the best veggies places in Barcelona too!)
says Wendy, a vegan foodie and polyglot from The Nomadic Vegan who is on a mission to show the world how fulfilling vegan travel can be.
Athens holds a special place in my heart because the day I stepped off the plane at the Athens airport in September 2014 was the day that I became vegan — a decision that would change my life for the better in ways I couldn’t begin to imagine at the time. Worried that becoming vegan would ruin travel, I had decided to do a trial run for the duration of my three-week stay in Greece. I had no idea how easy it would be, or how many delicious, naturally vegan dishes there were in Greek cuisine!
Since then, there has been an explosion of new vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Athens, but at the time there were only two — Avocado and Rosebud. I loved the food at Avocado so much that I didn’t want to eat anywhere else. My favourite dish there is the Vibrant Vegan Pizza, topped with creamy slices of… wait for it ….avocado! Of course, the many local bars, taverns and restaurants in the cobblestoned Plaka district are the perfect place to soak up the city’s vibrant nightlife and sample traditional, naturally vegan Greek specialties like gemista, skordalia and imam bayildi.
Best Vegan Travel Destinations in USA & Canada
Austin, Texas, USA
says Ann, a landscape architecture student and food photographer who loves capturing beauty in everyday experiences. She lives in North Texas and shares vibrant content about her vegan lifestyle on plantcrush.co.
Despite its reputation for barbecues and rodeos, Texas has a few key cities with tons of vegan options, and Austin is one of them. Austin will always mean a lot to me, because it was the setting of the last Vida Vegan Con, a convention for vegan content creators and entrepreneurs. I couldn’t have imagined a better place for a bunch of vegan creatives to convene!
Imagine having access to vegan comfort food around the clock. That’s what being in Austin is like. There is an abundance of breakfast food (Kerbey Lane Cafe), bac’n cheeseburgers (Arlo’s) and ice cream (Sweet Ritual). And let’s not forget about tacos! After all, this is the birthplace of The Taco Cleanse. Vegan tacos abound at places like The Vegan Nom, Cool Beans and Mr. Natural. There are so many vegan tacos in this city that I have yet to try them all, but one of my goals is to try new tacos with each trip so I can hit every place on this Austin Vegan Taco Guide.
says Giselle, one half of Mindful Wanderlust‘s vegan travelling couple, who loves Toronto for it’s diversity, and vibrancy.
When we’re not travelling the world, you can find me getting tattooed, and wandering around Toronto. T.O. is filled with art, style, and an abundance of vegan food.
Cody and I consider ourselves to be more on the health conscious side of eating, but we don’t deprive ourselves either. Toronto offers the best of both worlds-from healthy raw living foods-to hearty, and not so healthy vegan eats. One of our favourite haunts is The Hogtown Vegan. One of us always orders The Philly Cheese Seitan Steak Sandwich with Fries Supremacy. We also gravitate towards the Un-Chicken and Waffles as well.
Feel Good Guru on Queen Street West is great for delicious raw meals. Their No Bull Burrito is so tasty! Taco spiced nut meat sauced, and rolled in collard greens. We also love that they rent out blankets so you can cross the street to people watch, and picnic at Trinity Bellwoods Park.
Can you believe how many awesome vegan travel destinations there are around the world? Do you have a top vegan travel destinations that’s not on the list? I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments!