Dec 13, 2017
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Vegan Travel: A Vegan Round The World Tour

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Vegan Travel

If you’re a health nut and a lover of plant-based food, vegan travel can be a bit of a challenge – depending on where you’re going, of course. We came up with a solution for communicating requirements with the vegan travel card, and we also have some advice per continent on finding vegan food around the world.

Being Vegan in Asia

In Asian countries in general, including India, Thailand, and Vietnam – all of which are mainstays for round the world travelers these days – vegan options can be relatively easy to find. But travelers to China and many parts of the Americas, in general, can find hunting down those vegan options a little more problematic, particularly when they’re off the beaten track.
stinky tofu, Beijing food market, vegan, china
So, let’s have a look at a few interesting vegan options, depending on where you’re going, that you can also try at home.
Firstly, remember that you don’t necessarily need to prepare these yourself if the recipes look a little daunting.

Companies such as Deliveroo have plenty of vegan and vegetarian options from local restaurants depending on where you are. These generally include many vegan favorites from around the globe – like the vast array of Indian vegetable curries that most vegans seem to love. It’s easy to see why; vegan curries are some of the tastiest on the planet and India is generally well-served for these options.

So, for example, a nice Tofu Cauliflower Korma served with naan bread, chapatis, and/or rice is a great option and relatively quick and easy to make. If you aren’t a big fan of tofu but you are a vegan, then it’s easy to substitute this with chickpeas – and this gives it a bit more body.

Alternatively, if you’re planning a trip to China which, as we’ve seen, can be difficult for vegans, how about making some vegetable fried rice or vegan Dim Sum buns before you go? Again, there are plenty of recipe options available online. When you’re actually in China, though, then one good thing is that dairy products aren’t traditional ingredients so there’s little risk of mistakenly ordering something that has dairy in it.

Eggs can be avoided but avoiding meat in quieter areas where communication may be more difficult can be hard. The best tip is to simply be really clear that you want no meat (or dairy or eggs) whatsoever. Most vegan travelers report success with this simple method, though there is always the risk of inadvertently eating minced pork, which is very prevalent.

Vegan Travel in the Americas

What about some of the more meat-dominated areas of the globe? Well few, if any, countries are better known for their beef than Argentina and it’s true that, outside the major conurbations, travelers can struggle to find vegan options when eating out.
But vegan restaurants in Argentina do exist and one of the most delicious recipes around is that of Argentinian vegetarian empanadas.

These are simply superb when made properly and there are plenty of recipes online – as well as deliverable options. They’re also a great option to serve to the dedicated meat-eaters out there who eschew vegan and vegetarian food options – like pasties filled with corn, olives, and seasoning; there are countless options available. They’re usually served as a side but can be a whole meal when served with a nice dip or two.
The USA made it very easy for us to find vegan food, so long as we were near a city or small town. Palm Springs in California, with a population of ~50,000 had two plant-based restaurants, including Native Foods Cafe. Whole Food supermarkets across the country have enormous vegan sections, making it easy to gather the ingredients you need to prepare the perfect vegan meal.
The Getty Center vegan burger, Los Angeles
Los Angeles is the vegan mecca, everywhere we went seemed to have a vegan option available as well as plant-based diners, fast food outlets and fancy restaurants.

Vegan Travel in Europe

The continent of Europe is divided into 50 diverse countries, each with their own regional cuisine and tradition. Some of the most popular food in the world came from Europe, pizza, pasta, and the humble French fries.
Ship Inn Ouseburn, Newcastle, Tofu fish and chips vegan
Being vegan in Europe isn’t overly difficult if you’re visiting major cities. Our experience of veganism in the United Kingdom, particularly London, Newcastle, and Manchester has been easy. There’s always a vegan restaurant nearby or Happy Cow is always there to help.

Vegan friendly map, Europe vegetarian population

Image Source: Lonely Planet

Being vegan in Spain proved most difficult for us, particularly in the touristic Canary Islands which is rife with meat and cheese platters, steakhouses and seafood paella. Touristic lands such as Gran Canaria and Lanzarote seem to have kept the same routine format of culinary offerings for many decades and show no signs of improvement. We ordered chips (fries) mostly along with vegetables and rice and pizza without cheese. We also took lentils, tofu and Nakd bars across during a recent trip.

According to a study published by Lonely Planet, the top vegan countries in Europe are:
1. Iceland
2. Austria
3. Czech Republic
4. Lithuania
5. United Kingdom

Moscow was a nice surprise for us, we found the Avocado Cafe, a wonderful vegan restaurant right by the famous Red Square. Vegan travel isn’t so difficult after all, vegan gems pop up in the most unexpected places sometimes and there are many online resources that can help.

Of course, the safest option for all vegan travelers is to stick to vegan restaurants where they’re available, whilst preparing all other meals themselves in self-catering accommodation. So, practicing before you go with ingredients that will be available locally, or ordering in, makes lots of sense.

Do you have any vegan travel tips for Africa and Australasia? We have no experience in this part of the world and would love to have information on our site available for our growing audience. Let us know in the comments below!

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