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24 October 2022

Where to Travel for the Best Vegan/Vegetarian Dining Experiences

In today’s health-conscious and more environmentally friendly economy, it’s a great time to go meatless or vegan. Generally speaking, everywhere you go, there are plant-based alternatives in grocery stores, on restaurant menus, and in take-out joints. Take fast-food chains like McDonald’s with their new P.L.T. and Tim Horton’s with their Beyond Meat breakfast sandwiches. Vegan/Vegetarian dishes are not just a last-minute omission of meat and cheese or a plate full of uninspired salad delivered to your table anymore: this type of cuisine is becoming an integral part of the culinary scene.

 

Of course, vegan and vegetarian cooking has always been around. Take, for example, countries like India and Israel, where a large percentage of their population avoids different types of meat. It has not been until recently that mainly carnivorous nations like Canada and the U.S. have embraced a more plant-based diet. This bodes well for the plant-based traveller.

 

Here’s a roundup of the best vegan/vegetarian eats around the world, according to the density of choice and quality of taste.

1.    India

Over 30% of India’s population adheres to a vegetarian diet and veganism is a growing trend. Although meals are often prepared with ghee, dairy products, and cheese (paneer), these animal ingredients are easily replaceable with healthy and flavourful oils such a mustard and coconut. It is doubtful that one could become bored with all the variety of spices and curries available in India! Be mindful when indulging that many baked goods are made with hidden milk powder and eggs. If you are interested in Ayurveda, India is a great place to start incorporating the ancient health system into your diet and lifestyle.

2.    Israel

Falafel may not have been invented in Israel, but it is here that someone had the brilliant idea to place it into a pita. Vegetarians and vegans can enjoy the best falafel pitas accompanied by naturally vegan and delicious hummus and no shortage of elaborate salads. Jerusalem is known for its vibrant food markets, and if you venture into Tel Aviv, visit Nature Boys for vegan burgers, described by a happy customer as “love at first bite.”

3.    Germany

Germany is high up on the list of countries with elevated rates of vegetarianism and Berlin, in particular, is a hub for vegans seeking good eats and “woke” companionship. Many Germans are open-minded about food preferences and practices. They are ditching the meat for vegan alternatives such a spicy tofu and tasty beetroot hummus Buddha bowls. Rated the number two most vegan-friendly city in the world by HappyCow, Berlin is welcoming more and more vegan restaurants.

4.    Thailand

Vegans and vegetarians can rejoice in the selection of fresh and local ingredients offered at Thailand’s endless fruit and vegetable markets. Vegans love Bangkok and Chiang Mai, for dining out and shopping for groceries. Keep in mind that many homes and hostels do not have ovens, so if you crave something warm, finding a favourite restaurant might be your best bet.

5.    United Kingdom

Put your ideas of English breakfasts, meat and potatoes, fish and chips, and haggis aside because the U.K. has some of the best vegan food on the planet—you just need to know where to look. London, England has close to 500 vegetarian and/or vegan options listed on HappyCow and is pushing back against the stereotype of having bland food. It has places like Farmacy, 222 Vegan Cuisine, and Temple of Seiten, where their entrees taste like meat but are 100% vegan!

6.    Malaysia

Malaysia is a melting pot of cuisine from the ethnicities who live there—Malay, Chinese, and Indian—with an infusion of flavour from their Thai neighbours. Kuala Lumpur is not only easily accessible by flight from many places but is a vegan haven with all its colourful fresh fruit and vegetable markets. And very cheap! You can get yummy tasting inexpensive tofu and many comfort foods from home—like British marmite if you’re into that.

7.    Indonesia

You might be living under a rock if you haven’t scrolled through Instagram at least once to find a sun-kissed social media influencer lounging under a cabana with an acaï bowl in one hand and a green juice in the other, raving about their life-affirming trip to Bali. Indonesia, especially Bali, is a friendly hotspot for vegetarians and vegans. Indonesian food with staples like noodles (mie goreng), tempeh, rice (nasi goreng), tofu, and curries are inherently vegetarian and delicious.

 

Chances are if you’re reading this, you’ve already embraced a vegetarian/vegan diet and love to travel. For those on the fence, hopefully, this guide will inspire you to try new plant-based cuisine when you’re eating abroad! Because your body is your temple, don’t leave home without a proper travel insurance plan. Contact your travel insurance representative for a solution that will give you peace of mind for your foodies adventures abroad.

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When should I purchase it?

We strongly recommend that you purchase coverage before departure. Although some of our insurers will cover you if you are already on your trip, they may exclude any pre-existing medical conditions, limit the amount payable on your policy or impose a large deductible.