There is a number of different ways to incorporate cuisine into your travel experience, from snacking on delicious street food at an open-air market to a luxury dinner out. But traveling as a vegetarian often comes with limitations, particularly in travel destinations where vegan diet is hard to find. The good news is, there are many countries and travel destinations out there for such travelers to discover. If you are a vegetarian traveler, then visiting these countries should be on your bucket list.
Israel is arguably the best vegetarian country in the world. Each street food available in this country is vegetarian-friendly, making it an ideal travel destination for vegetarians. Tel Aviv is particularly popular in this regard. In fact, locals have named it “vegan capital of the world”. A number of traditional foods that you can find here are already vegetarian or vegan, e.g., falafel, shakshuka, and hummus. With over 400/vegan-friendly restaurant, you certainly won’t go hungry in this city.
India has one of the highest percentages of vegetarian population in the world. So, you can never go wrong in this country. Since 30% of Indian population is vegetarian, every region and city have many savory and sweet specialties that you can indulge in. From fancy restaurants to street hawkers, there is no shortage of places offering vegetarian-friendly options. Paneer cottage cheese, chickpeas, lentils, and beans are just a few of the amazing ingredients that can make a vegetarian meal in this country so delicious.
For centuries, cuisines from around the Mediterranean have been perfecting a wide variety of delicious vegetarian dishes. In Lebanese diet, there are a vast array of vegetarian favorites, such as pickled olives, vegetables, tomatoes, all sorts of beans, lentils, cauliflower, and okra. Don’t forget to taste hummus, which is a staple in many Middle Eastern cuisines. It is a smooth blend of varying garnishes, olive oil, lemon juice, and mashed chickpeas.
Indonesia is another recommended travel destination for vegetarians. Bali is a haven for vegans and vegetarians. Numerous restaurants here offer traditional Balinese cuisine featuring the vegetarian diet. Indulge in tofu curries, Buddha bowls, plant-based burgers, and lush acai bowls. Apart from all the favorite veggie staples, there is a huge variety of Indonesian cuisine as well. Balinese veggie curry is another great dish to sample. It comes with vegetables or tofu and the sauce is based on chilies, turmeric, lemongrass, and coconut milk.
Last country on the list is Taiwan. In 2016, its capital Taipei won the title of ‘Asia’s Most Vegan Friendly City’, which is a great sign that the country is going to be a haven for vegetarian travelers. The capital city of Taiwan is home to about 300 vegetarian restaurants. Even non-vegan restaurants here offer a variety of delicious vegan options. In Taipei’s neighborhoods, plant-based restaurants are popping up all the time. There are also lots of vegetarian food snacks.
A few decades ago, traveling as a vegetarian was challenging and frustrating. Not anymore. With many people nowadays opting for plant-based diets, there are several options available for vegetarian travelers. The above-listed are some of the best countries in this regard.
Photos by: Bern Fresen, Alana Harris, Buenosia Carol, Anastasiia Rozumna, Victor Mui