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Vegan Voyager: Europe’s Best Vegan Food

January 13, 20244 min read

Vegan Voyager: Europe’s Best Vegan Food

Lifestyle Collective, January 13, 2024

By Julie-Ann Sherlock

I have been a vegetarian since I was 16, and thankfully, food choices have improved since then! Back then, I was lucky if I could find some TVP (a soy-based textured vegetable protein) in my local town. I had to rely on pulses, beans, eggs and dairy to get my much-needed protein. 

While I have not gone full-blown vegan, mainly due to my already heavily restricted diet due to allergies, I only eat cheese and occasionally ice cream, so my diet is primarily vegan. 

Living a semi-nomadic life regularly throws me challenges on the food front. I must always consider my allergies, or death may join me on my journey, and also the ease of finding food that fits my ethical stance of not eating animals. 

Thankfully, as flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan diets have become more popular, more options are available, so it’s finally becoming less of a nightmare. Europe, in particular, has become a haven for the foodie who chooses not to eat animal products. From traditional dishes with a plant-based twist to innovative creations, there is something for every vegan food lover. 

So, to help my fellow veggies and vegans out, here is a list of five of the best cities to chow down on plant-based food in Europe. 

1. Berlin, Germany

When I first visited Germany as a backpacking 18-year-old, finding something to eat was a drama. The diet there was highly meat-based, and my only options usually were salads, french fries and breads. I once ordered a cucumber salad in a restaurant in Dusseldorf and was presented with just a plate of cucumber. Delicious.

Times have changed, and Berlin has earned its place as one of the world’s top vegan cities, with a plethora of vegan eateries. The city’s diverse culinary scene offers everything from vegan street food to fine dining experiences. As with most countries, Indian food often provides the best options, and Naveen Path is no exception. Try their jackfruit curry or soja Colombo for mouthwatering Asian flavours.

Don’t leave the city without trying vegan-ised versions of schnitzel or wurst or indulging in a vegan brunch at one of the city’s many trendy cafes.

2. Barcelona, Spain

While Barcelona may be known for its traditional Spanish cuisine and seafood, it has recently embraced the vegan food revolution. Various restaurants and cafes offer a unique blend of Mediterranean flavours in plant-based options. 

Vegan paella, anyone? According to travel vloggers Vegan Eats, the Bubita Bar is THE place for this famous Spanish dish. Another must-visit restaurant is Vrutal, where the El Chignon Mexican-style plant-based burger is king. Pair it with some delicious cauliflower wings or roasted sweet potatoes for a meal to remember. Indulge your sweet tooth with some Vegan-friendly gelato at Amma Gelateria. Deliciosa!

3. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Billed as Europe’s greenest city, Ljubljana is also riding the wave of veganism. From fast-food staples like pizza and falafel to local delights such as Aleluja, a buckwheat and turnip stew*,this city makes eating out easy. (*may contain pork lard, so ask before eating!)

For excellent vegan food, don’t miss Bistro Maha, nestled between the old city and the stunning Tivoli Park. With many Mediterranean-influenced restaurants and some great Asian options, Ljubljana offers a world of cuisines that are adaptable for vegan and vegetarian diets. 

4. London, United Kingdom

London has long been a hub for international cuisine; its vegan food scene is no exception. This paradise for plant-based food lovers offers restaurants, cafes, and food markets catering to the non-animal product-eating masses. 

Every type of food under the sun is available, with most restaurants offering a wide range of vegan options. If you want to try some traditional-style fish and chips, check out Hobson’s in Soho. Perhaps you fancy some great Indian food? Then, head to Dishoom, a chain of high-class restaurants in several locations across the city and the UK. (A favourite of my vegan sister and hubby in Edinburgh.)

5. Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Netherlands has seen a rapid increase in veganism in recent years, and Amsterdam has become a hotspot for plant-based food. The city offers a variety of vegan-friendly restaurants, serving everything from traditional Dutch dishes to international cuisine. 

I had the best ever falafel from a stall on the banks of a canal in Amsterdam. It was so good it almost convinced my meat-eating sons to become vegetarian. You should also try the vegan bitterballen, a plant-based version of the city’s famous snack or get your mouth around some vegan sushi. The choices are as plentiful as the canals!

Bonus recommendation: Dublin, Ireland: My country’s capital already had lots of veg and potatoes on offer, but now, proper vegan options have become the norm. My favourite is Cornucopia in the city centre.

Travelling as a vegan can be challenging, but it is becoming increasingly easier with many more places catering to plant-based diets. 

Want my top tip? Download the Happy Cow App to help you find some great choices no matter where you wander. 

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