Veganism: no longer a mythic or trendy diet that draws up ideas of hippies eating salad bowls. Instead, thanks to the advancements in imitation meats such as Beyond and Impossible, wider availability of vegan products in chain restaurants, and the rise of Veganuary (a challenge that sees people go vegan for the month of January), this climate-conscious lifestyle has now become somewhat mainstream. And even if you haven’t fully given up meat, eggs and dairy, we could all live a little greener by simply cutting back on those animal products.
However, some countries have been slower in the upkeep than others, meaning you may be wondering where you can travel to and still avoid consuming animal products. To help you decide, we’ve pulled together a list of the best cities to visit as a vegan, plus some top restaurant recommendations to add to your itinerary.
Germany may be known for its meat-heavy cuisine, but in 2018 it launched the most vegan products of any country, responsible for 15% of new releases worldwide.
So, if Germany is already vegan-friendly, Berlin is practically vegan-fantastic! The city has 99 completely vegan restaurants and cafes listed on Happy Cow, including specialist donut shop Brammidal’s, plant burger favourite Vedang, and a cafe-bookstore hybrid called Plant Base that also holds cooking classes and book clubs.
Be sure to take a trip to Schivelbeiner Straße, a well-known vegan avenue that’s lined with vegan clothing, shoe and grocery stores.
Barcelona has largely flown under the radar when it comes to vegan cuisine, but as a multifaceted city that continues to change with the times, plant-based foodies will be spoilt for choice. You’ll find acai shops such as beach-based Oakberry selling smoothie bowls, brunch favourites like Flax & Kale with daily specials and creative desserts, and surprising spots such as Roots & Rolls preparing meat-free Asian cuisine since 2018.
However, it’s important to note that while there are so many great vegan restaurants and cafes to try here, you won’t find quite so many options when dining at ‘regular’ eateries. All the more reason to try out the dedicated vegan establishments instead!
Just a few years ago, London was known for having a select few go-to vegan joints, but has since blossomed to boast a thriving plant-based scene. Pick from casual dining classics like Mildreds, which now has several locations across the capital, plus health-conscious cafes such as Farmacy and Redemption, offering menus that are bursting with specialist ingredients you’d expect to find on a Goop blog.
However, even restaurants that typically serve meat are offering more and more options to vegans here. Honest Burgers, which is notorious for their rosemary fries and juicy beef patties, opened a fully vegan shopfront in 2022, rivaling vegan-only spots like Neat Burger, Clean Cut Kitchen, and mock fried chicken favourite Temple of Seitan.
4. New York City
Often seen as the American version of London, it’s unsurprising that this sprawling metropolis similarly offers ample options to vegans – if the plant-based diet can make it here, it can make it anywhere! Just like the city’s population, you’ll find that the vegan cuisine here is a true melting pot, with everything from Southern-inspired dishes at Cadence on 7th Street, to Indian takeout at NY DOSAS, a Washington Square food truck.
For something sweet, hit up Erin McKenna’s BabyCakes – their sweet treats may be vegan and gluten-free, but you wouldn’t know it upon first taste!
You may resign yourself to a diet of fresh baguettes and coffee when holidaying in Paris as a vegan, but you’d be missing out on all the plant-based goodness that *secretly* awaits! For the best fresh pastries, breads and patisserie, head to Land&Monkeys – their monkey cookie comes stuffed with chocolate chips, hazelnuts and ooey-gooey caramel.
Check out Acai & You to meet all your brunch needs, La Palanche d’Aulac for Vietnamese goodness, and Peonies if you want to sip on matcha surrounded by lilies and roses – it’s a flower shop and veggie cafe all in one!
It won’t surprise you to learn that Bali is something of a mecca destination for vegan foodies. Indonesian cuisine is already fairly plant-based, heavily using tofu and tempeh in a variety of dishes. So while spots like Sawobali, an entirely vegan and gluten-free buffet, as well as Alchemy, a raw food cafe, will prove a treat in Ubud, you’ll be able to find a good meal wherever you go.
Want to indulge in some more stereotypical vegan activities throughout your stay? The Yoga Barn boasts the most beautiful surroundings as well as a juice bar to reward yourself after a downward dog-packed day.
When you hear Jamaica, you probably think of jerk chicken, but ackee and saltfish is actually Jamaica’s national dish. The Caribbean combination is served at both breakfast and dinner, and while you can’t partake in that specific tradition, the unusual fruit is also incorporated into patties stuffed with seasonal veggies – perfect for eating on the go!
Vegetable rundowns also find their way onto many menus, involving simmering fresh vegetables in coconut broth before serving with bammy bread on the side for dipping. Other island classics include boiled bananas, dumplings, and of course you’ve got to try all the fresh seasonal fruit!
To be sure of a great meal, try Jamaica Mi Hungry – their smoothies, raw vegan pizzas and burgers are just what you need after a day spent sunning yourself on the sand.
With the city’s food scene coming on leaps and bounds over the last few years, vegans visiting Glasgow can now indulge in all the beloved classics of Scotland‘s cuisine too! The Glasvegan has you covered when it comes to a full Scottish breakfast, complete with haggis, black pudding and square sausage. When lunchtime hits, head to ViVi’s Deli for plant-based sandwiches, shawarma and even mac n cheese. Then, as the sun goes down, Stereo is your go-to bar for a burger and cold vegan beer.
The vegan diet may not be for everyone, but visiting some of these food spots over others is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint when travelling abroad. To learn more about what we’re doing to reduce our own environmental impact, you can read about our sustainable mission and tree-planting initiative here. We also have a sustainable villa collection, so when you’re ready to book one of our villa holidays, feel free to contact a member of our concierge team.