Plant-based living is on the rise, with more people than ever now following a vegan lifestyle. And that means there’s more vegan eateries than ever serving up delicious vegan food. Gone are the days when vegans were limited to sad salads and cold french fries. Now you’ll find everything from vegan fine dining to malls and markets, and restaurants serving up a huge variety of vegan international cuisines. So where to find these plant-based paradises? To celebrate Veganuary, we’ve gone around the world in search of the world’s best vegan food. From the famous vegan meccas of London and Portland to the plant-based hot spots like Chiang Mai and Mumbai, here are seven of the best vegan travel destinations.
London, United Kingdom
With around 3% of the UK population now following a vegan lifestyle, London has become a plant-based mecca. This veg-friendly capital city is home to hundreds of vegan eateries serving up some of the world’s very best vegan food. You’ll find places catering to all types of tastes and budgets, from the vegan “junk food” like burgers and wings using jackfruit at Biff’s Jack Shak, to Ethos where diners pay by the weight of their meal. If you’re after plant-based international fare, try Stem & Glory, or tuck into curries, burgers, and bao buns at Wulf & Lamb.
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For a real English pub experience, head to The Coach & Horses in Leicester Square. It’s the city’s first vegan pub where you’ll find amazing vegan fish ‘n’ chips. Or if you’d like to indulge in a fine dining experience, head to Gauthier Soho, a French restaurant that turned 100% vegan in 2021. From vegetarian curry houses and pizzerias to sushi bars and even a vegan ‘butcher’, you’ll be spoiled for choice in London. You can even wander through the Vegan Nights market in East London held every month.
Want more? Why not make the two-hour drive to the city of Bristol in England. It’s often ranked as the world’s best city for vegans… And with hundreds of vegan eateries, stores, markets and more, it sounds like paradise!
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Portland, United States
If you’re wondering where to travel as a vegan to find the world’s best vegan food, you can’t go past Portland, Oregon, in the United States. As one of the world’s best cities for vegans, Portland is all about green living and plant-based lifestyles. You’ll find a huge variety of dining options here, from restaurants to food stores and vegan-friendly B&Bs. You’ll even find the world’s first all-vegan mini strip mall, selling coconut bacon, cashew cheese, vegan soft-serve, and more!
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Try some delicious vegan doughnuts at Doe Donuts, or a vegan barbecue at Homegrown Smoker. Once you’ve satisfied your appetite, head to Herbivore Clothing, where you can find a bunch of vegan items including vegan cookbooks.
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With over 50 fully vegan restaurants and over 300 eateries serving vegan options, Berlin is one of the best vegan travel destinations. The city is also home to almost 100,000 vegans, one of the highest rates in Europe. And while Germany may be known as the country of schnitzel and sausage, it’s also an up-and-coming producer of vegan meat substitutes. In Berlin, head to Kopps for a stunning five-course vegan menu, or Vöner to get your fill of classic German foods with a vegan twist. Indulge in vegan Korean cuisine at Feel Seoul Good, or tuck into a sweet treat at Brammibals Donuts.
Be sure to stop by Ataya Cafe for a delicious blend of Sengalese and Italian cuisine, or stock up on snacks at the Veganx grocery store chain. You can also head to the Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhood where you’ll find dozens of vegan restaurants, bars, markets and clothing boutiques. Start at Schivelbeiner Strasse, famed as the “vegan avenue”.
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Chiang Mai, Thailand
No vegan food travel guide is complete without mentioning Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. It’s a plant-based paradise, home to a range of vegan and vegetarian restaurants, from traditional Buddhist restaurants to international fare. If you’re looking for the best Thai vegan eats, be sure to look for the red and yellow “Jay” sign. It means you’ll find Buddhist vegan food inside, often served buffet style. Even eateries that aren’t 100% vegan always offer vegan options like pad thai, curries, tom yum soup, and more.
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You’ll also find almost any cuisine here, including vegan Indian, Japanese, Italian and Middle Eastern food. There’s healthy salad bars, a la carte dining at Rustic & Blue, and vegan “junk food” spots like Munchies. Be sure to try all the incredible plant-based restaurants like Goodsouls Kitchen, Vegan Heaven and Mr Green. We also love Free Bird Cafe and May Kaidee. You won’t want to leave!
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Tel Aviv, Israel
With more vegans per capita than any other country, and 5% of the population following a vegan lifestyle, there’s no doubt Israel is home to some of the world’s best vegan food. The country’s traditional Mediterranean diet already has plenty of vegan-friendly dishes like falafel, hummus, sambusak, basbousa, and khinkali dumplings. And as a predominantly Jewish country, the dietary rules of Kosher food separate meat, dairy and pareve products, making it much easier to follow a vegan lifestyle here.
The coastal capital Tel Aviv is the best place to start your vegan exploration. There are dozens of vegan eateries serving everything from Ethiopian food at Tenat to vegan sushi at The Green Roll. Tuck into veggie shawarma at Veg Shawarma and be sure to get your fill of falafel. If you’re after some fast food, you’ll find vegan pizza at Dominos and vegan ice cream at Ben and Jerrys… And many more major food chains have pegged Israel as the go-to country to launch their new vegan products. If you want to learn more about a plant-based lifestyle, head to City Tree where you can learn about sustainable living or attend workshops on vegan food.
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While Australians still consume more meat per capita than almost anywhere in the world, the country also has one of the world’s largest vegan communities. As veganism continues to rise in popularity, dozens of vegan eateries have popped up over the years across Australia. The coastal city of Sydney has become a true plant-based oasis, with a thriving vegan foodie scene.
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Head to Peppe’s or Otto Ristorante for pasta or Bad Hombres for Mexican food. Stop by the Flying Saucer or Gigi’s Pizzeria for vegan pizza, Soul Burger for plant-based burgers, or the Little Turtle for a Thai feast. If you’re looking for a classic Australian pub experience with a vegan twist, head to The Green Lion – the first vegan pub in Sydney. And don’t miss Shift Eatery, where you can buy housemade vegan meats, cheese and sauces, plus pick up a delicious smoothie or toastie to go. Scrumptious!
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India has the world’s largest vegetarian population, so it makes sense that the country also serves up some of the world’s best vegan food. You’ll find plant-based delights all over the country, but Mumbai is a great city to start your vegan journey. You’ll find hundreds of delicious vegetarian restaurants, markets and food stalls here.
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There are all kinds of fragrant curries and rice dishes to try… But be aware that the 80% of Indians who practice Hinduism are lacto-vegetarians. That means they avoid meat, fish and eggs, but do eat dairy products. If you don’t eat dairy, it’s easy to avoid it and ask for dishes without yoghurt, milk or cream. If you’re looking for 100% vegan eateries try Birdsong Café or Under the Banyan Tree. You can also experience a vegetarian wilderness-to-table foraging restaurant at Masque. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, head to Amore Gourmet Italian Gelato for dairy-free ice cream!
What are your favourite vegan travel destinations? Let us know in the comments below…