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Vegan Travel: Navigating the World’s Best Cities for Plant-Based Eaters

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Veganism has not only become a lifestyle choice for millions but also a movement reshaping dining cultures around the globe. This shift towards plant-based eating is influencing travellers too, who often face the challenge of finding ideal eating spots while exploring new cultures. Finding meals that align with your ethical and health choices can sometimes feel daunting while abroad, but the good news is there are plenty of destinations to enjoy the best vegan options around.

If you are undecided on a destination for your next trip, here you’ll find a short guide to the globe’s most vegan-friendly cities. From Berlin’s bustling vegan markets to Los Angeles’ diverse plant-based cuisines, we’ve picked just a handful of cities where your travel experiences will not only be memorable but extra delicious, with your tastebuds highly satisfied throughout.

The global embrace of veganism 

There’s been a noticeable uptick in those adopting plant-based diets for health, ethical, and environmental reasons, with an estimated 2.5 million vegans in the UK alone, around 4.7% of the adult population, a rise of 1.4 million since 2023. The demand for vegan options has spurred restaurants, cafes, and markets to expand their offerings to cater to this growing demographic, with the global vegan food market size estimated at $23.31 billion in 2020 and expected to reach a massive $61.35 billion by 2028

So, what does this mean for eager travellers? Well, cities known for their rich culinary traditions now have many more vegan-friendly establishments, making travel for vegans not just easier but a delight. The trend towards plant-based eating highlights a broader move towards sustainability and conscious consumption, with even big-name brands and chains embracing more vegan options than ever before. It’s never been a better time to explore the world and eat great plant-based food, whether you’re vegan or just looking for more meat-free options to try. 

Our pick of the top cities for vegan travellers

Ready to explore the world and visit cities renowned for their exceptional plant-based dining? You’ll want to dive straight into our picks below, providing a roundup of the top destinations that stand out as vegan paradises, offering a diverse range of eateries, cafes, and markets dedicated to serving delicious vegan fare.

Berlin, Germany

Often mentioned as the vegan capital of Europe, Berlin boasts an impressive array of vegan restaurants, food trucks, and bakeries, with 124 vegan restaurants in the city centre. Highlights include Vöner for its vegan take on the classic kebab and Brammibal’s Donuts for a sweet treat. There’s even The Green Market, which has 100% vegan street food and Frea, which is a vegan Michelin-starred restaurant for those looking for fine dining options.

Los Angeles, US

Known for its health-conscious lifestyle, LA is a haven for vegan eaters, offering everything from high-end plant-based restaurants to casual vegan cafes, all with the glamour of Hollywood in the background. Choices such as Âu Lạc, which offers Vietnamese fusion dishes in an upmarket setting downtown, Gracias Madre, which serves up innovative Mexican plant-based dishes, and Cafe Gratitude in the city’s art district, which focuses on organic, sustainable meals, are standout examples.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

This city is a hotspot for vegan cuisine in the mountainous North, thanks to its traditional Buddhist vegetarian cuisine, with numerous restaurants offering plant-based versions of traditional dishes. such as Pun Pun, which is known for its organic, locally sourced ingredients, creating flavorful vegan Thai meals, and Free Bird Café, which has an entirely vegan menu. Chiang Mai has the second most vegan restaurants of any city per 100,000 people, only beaten by Phuket, so there’s plenty to discover if venturing to this part of the world.

Brighton, UK

While many may think immediately of London due to the sheer number of restaurant options, Brighton shouldn’t be overlooked when seeking plant-based deliciousness. As a vibrant coastal city with a thriving vegan scene, Brighton has been home to a variety of vegan cafes and restaurants in the last few years, such as the multi-award-winning Terre à Terre, known for its creative and sophisticated vegan cuisine that saw it voted as one of the top 50 restaurants in the world for vegans, and Purezza, seen as a culinary pioneer since 2015, offering vegan only freshly made pizza.

Tel Aviv, Israel

Renowned for its vibrant vegan culture, Tel Aviv is home to many vegan restaurants you just have to try when visiting. Meshek Barzilay started as an organic farm and now delights with its organic Indian and Asian-influenced dishes, and Anastasia, which is popular for its vegan breakfasts, salads and more, also doubles as a shop stocked full of vegan products.

These cities not only cater to vegan dietary needs but also celebrate the plant-based lifestyle, making them perfect destinations for vegan travellers. If you’re looking for an array of flavours and experiences, you cannot go wrong in these five vegan-friendly cities.

Tips for vegan travellers

So, now that you have some tasty destination ideas from all over the world, here are some further travel tips you’ll want to consider before booking your flights:

  • Practise explaining your dietary preferences. Learning how to explain your dietary needs in the local language can be incredibly helpful. Phrases like “I am vegan” or “Does this contain dairy/meat?” are helpful, and depending on where you visit, explaining you do not eat any animal products, including meat, fish, dairy, and eggs, can clarify your needs. Carrying a translation app or a translation card, like these ones from Allergy UK, can help overcome language barriers, which is essential if you have any food allergies too.
  • Planning your trip. Research is key to a seamless vegan travel experience and will help you find recommended restaurants, cafés, and markets. Planning where you’ll eat in advance can save time and ensure you don’t have to compromise on your dietary choices while away. You’ll also want to ensure you have suitable travel insurance for the duration of your trip, meaning if you have a medical emergency related to food or any other issues, you can get the help you need quickly.
  • Staying flexible. While it’s important to plan, staying flexible and open to new experiences can lead to discovering hidden gems. Sometimes, the best vegan food can be found in unexpected places, like small local eateries willing to adapt their dishes to your preferences. Exploring local markets for fresh fruits, vegetables, and vegan staples is another way to immerse yourself in the local culture while sticking to your diet.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy a culinary adventure across the globe, all without the worry of having your dietary requirements misunderstood, With peace of mind, you’ll be covered just in case anything unexpected happens. 

Explore the best vegan dishes worldwide

If your mouth is watering at the prospect of visiting any of these vegan travel havens, we don’t blame you. You can finally look forward to experiencing new culinary delights without compromise, anywhere you find yourself in the world, with these five destinations just some of the great cities embracing veganism. 

Tim Williamson, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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