Whether it is for ethical or health reasons, the number of vegans around the world continues to grow by leaps and bounds. And while nowadays vegan options are more readily available, dining out, especially abroad, still remains tricky for most of us plant eaters. Fear not though, as we have a list of the top ten cities in the world where eating vegan is a little less challenging and a lot more fun.
With its winding canals and charming windmills as just some of its many virtues, Amsterdam has plenty to offer the average traveler. For vegans though, the capital city has a surprising number of veggie food options ranging from Dutch fries (think French fries on steroids) to Ontbijtkoek (a traditional spice cake). For what is arguably the best vegan meal in town, we suggest TerraZen Centre. If you only need a few snacks or a coffee to start your day, Vegabond Store and Café is perfect for a quick stop at a reasonable price.
Surprise! As it turns out, the home of fine wines and cheese does actually know how to cook without butter. These days, Paris seems to be adopting new, healthy options with it comes to local fares. Perfect for not only vegans but those looking to avoid vacation weight gain. Wild & The Moon, which is opening up a location soon in New York, is not only a chill place to relax but arguably offers some of the best organic juices in the city. And Brasserie Lola is perfect for those looking to sample traditional French cuisine (vegan style of course).
Oddly enough one of the most common things I hear from vegans visiting Lisbon is “Wow that was easy”. With tourism in Portugal being on the rise, the culinary scene has promptly adapted to offering a number of fully vegan spots as well as various others with vegan menu options. Even better, quote a few traditional Portuguese dishes such as caldo verde and tremoços, are naturally vegan. For more of a local (and well-priced) flavor, we suggest Tão in Chiado. If you prefer something more upscale with more options, Terra has a buffet that is constantly raved about.
Considering their reputation for seafood, you wouldn’t think that any of the Scandinavia capitals would be especially vegan-friendly. Shockingly though, the city offer much more than just pickled herring and meatballs. For the best options head over to the Sodermalm or Vasastan areas. The former is widely known as one of the hippest neighborhoods in Europe with vegan hangouts such as Hermans, Falafelbaren and Mahalo. If you are looking for something a bit more upscale, Vasastan offers alternatives including Holy Cow and Kokyo.
Yes it is Germany, but we promise there is more to eat than just schnitzel. In fact, the city has actually become a haven for vegans with more than 50 completely restaurants as well as clothing and novelty shops. It has become an entire lifestyle movement here with over 80,000 vegans said to be living within Berlin at present. As such, honing in on the best restaurants can be a daunting task. We suggest chatting with the locals to find the newest hotspots but favorites such as Let It Be (a burger and crepe bar) and Café Vux which surely do the trick.
While not as advanced as Oslo and Stockholm (the Danes do love their meat), the vegan scene in Copenhagen is ever growing. Be prepared to frequent laidback cafes and cozy bistros, though, as the fancier dining season has yet to catch on to plant-based living. Souls is one of the newest options and with generous portions for breakfast, lunch, and no dinner, it’s no shock it has become a local hit. And there’s always Kalaset which is not only has a funky, vintage feel but is well situated for a near all the major sights.
If any city in Europe can rival Berlin, though, it is Prague. Considering its size, just 1.5 million people, the variety of options is quite surprising. If you are looking to try some traditional Czech style comfort food, Plevel, is the perfect stop with everything from hearty soups to veggie risotto. For those in search of a quick coffee or snack, Mama Coffee is small Czech café chain that has multiple locations throughout with a number of vegan options. And if you don’t want to worry about sorting through the menu, Moment will save you the trouble with its 100% vegan fare.
Of the cities listed, Vienna is probably the most interesting mix of modern and historic. While the number of vegan eateries is steadily increasing, like most other restaurants in the city, they are still cash only. Just be sure to grab a few euros when you head out for some delectable ice cream at Veganista or baked goodies at Happy Cakes. A must stop restaurant, though, is Hollerei, one of the first vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurants in the city.
Even though only about half a million people reside in Oslo, the vegan options are that of a U.S. city twice its size. They even have an app—Vegan Norway—to help visitors and locals alike find veggie options in the city and throughout the country. Some local fav spots worth trying are Aktivisten Kafe, which is 100% vegan, and Funky Fresh Foods, with its raw cakery. Even three Michelin-starred Maaemo offers vegan-friendly gourmet dishes for the epicurean traveler.
We have to admit, London did not initially strike us as the most veggie friendly place, but oh how things have changed in recent years. Nowadays there are entire groups dedicated to helping visitors and locals alike find the best vegan restaurants, shops, and events (www.veganlondon.uk). Some of the best venues include Flat Three (which may seriously convince you that vegan food can taste better than meat), 222 Veggie Vegan (delicious AND ultra healthy), and Fed By Water (Italian food so yummy you won’t even miss the cheese).
Check out the video for Europe's First All-Avocado Restaurant.