10 Best Countries for Vegetarian or Vegan Travel

Vegan Travel or vegetarian travelers, maintaining a strict vegan/vegetarian diet while traveling can sometimes be extremely challenging. Luckily there are plenty of places where vegetarianism is commonplace and even encouraged (specifically in Buddhist countries). Here are 10 countries where vegetarian travelers and vegan travel should have an easier time finding vegetarian restaurants (listed alphabetically):

  • Canada
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam

Even though you are on vacation, it is important to maintain a healthy diet. Especially if you plan on traveling to foreign countries and have reserved a cheap hotel in Hong Kong for more than a week. There are even farmers markets that you can buy fresh groceries at to make your own meals. This tactic will not only help you eat better but also save money. Posto Pubblico is a well know local produce brand in Hong Kong that can ensure you are eating organic. If you want to splurge a little, there are some excellent restaurants in Hong Kong like Lock Cha Tea House that accommodate to a vegan lifestyle.

Vegan Travel

Vegan Travel

photo credit: NatalieMaynor

I would argue that the best country to eat vegetarian or vegan is the one where you work on an organic farm. During our experience WWOOFing in El Bolson, Argentina the diet was almost entirely vegetarian, with plenty of vegan options at every meal.

A great resource for finding vegetarian restaurants is Happy Cow. Check out their list (from 11/2008) of the top vegetarian cities in the world:

10 Best Countries for Vegetarian or Vegan Travel

When looking at the list, remember that these are the number of restaurants in each city, and it doesn’t take into account the size or population of the cities.

1. Singapore, Asia (144) [GGTG note: The list seems to encompass all of Singapore and not just Singapore City.]

2. London, England (135) (*201)

3. New York City, New York (121) (*237)

4. Bangkok, Thailand (73)

5. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (72)

6. Taipei, Taiwan (63)

7. Sao Paulo, Brazil (59)

8. Los Angeles, California (59)

9. Chicago, Illinois (58)

10. Tokyo, Japan (55)

11. Toronto, Ontario (52)

12. Berlin, Germany (49)

13. Montreal, Quebec (49)

14. Portland, Oregon (49)

15. North West London, England (49)

16. Seattle, Washington (48)

17. Chiang Mai, Thailand (48)

18. San Francisco, California (44)

19. Barcelona, Spain (44)

20. Sydney, New South Wales (43)

21. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (43)

22. London, England (43)

23. Vancouver, British Columbia (43)

24. Mexico City, Mexico (43)

25. Brooklyn, New York (42)

26. Dubai, United Arab Emirates (40)

27. San Diego, California (38)

28. Java, Indonesia (38)

29. Munich, Germany (38)

30. Paris, France (37)

31. Vienna, Austria (37)

32. Taichung, Taiwan (35)

33. Penang, Malaysia (34)

34. Minneapolis, Minnesota (33)

35. Madrid, Spain (30)

36. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (30)

37. Houston, Texas (29)

38. Kathmandu, Nepal (29)

39. Prague, Czech Republic (28)

40. Stockholm, Sweden (28)

41. Oslo, Norway (28)

42. Atlanta, Georgia (28)

43. Kowloon, Hong Kong (28)

44. South West London, England (27)

45. Auckland, New Zealand (27)

46. Kyoto, Japan (26)

47. Washington, District Of Columbia (26)

48. Bali, Indonesia (26)

49. Las Vegas, Nevada (26)

50. Buenos Aires, Argentina (26)

51. Lisbon, Portugal (26)

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Comments

  1. By Pat@www.nevadacountymall.com/blog on

    The best city in California for vegans and vegetarians is most definitely Nevada City, Grass Valley California! The best organic stores, the best restaurants with so many to choose from. It is definitely a vegetarian dream!

  2. By on

    I’m not much of a meat eater and I was PSYCHED by how many options there were for me in Vietnam! Wow, did I feast on fine food. I was also really surprised in the meat and potato country of Austria how many excellent veggie meals I had. Even in small towns there were surprisingly delicious options. I’m tellin ya, a spinach and goat cheese strudel? That’s a good thing.

  3. By on

    1. Singapore, Asia (144) [GGTG note: The list seems to encompass all of Singapore and not just Singapore City.]

    That’s cause we only have one city in Singapore, and that is Singapore… :) we are a city-state-country!

    Didn’t know we had so many vegan restaurants tho… interesting..

  4. By alison on

    hmm… not impressed with malaysia – lots of ‘seitan’ revolting pretend meat, served as fake shark! why do they think vegetarians want to eat pretend dead flesh? especially bizarre things like shark. brighton (uk) amazing, especially terre-a-terre restaurant.

  5. By on

    In my opinion, the best vegetarian or vegan diet is from the Mediterranean diet. Of course in recent year, much meat has been added into their selection of food. But look at what they eat originally — it was all veg…healthy stuff and full of goodness.

  6. By Mika on

    Re. Toronto. I wholeheartedly agree. I’d go back to the Kensington area just for 666 Buddha (located at 666 Dundas, just a little west of the core, Eaton’s Centre). Huge portions of excellent vegan Buddhist Chinese food. Faux meat options but we made out just fine with the massive bowls of hot and sour soup and mushroom and veg stir fry. I do remember the mock duck being pretty outstanding.

  7. By rotem on

    that’s wrong israel is one of the best countries for vegetarians it is over than 8% of the population are vegetraians! we have alot of vegetarian resturents, and all the food is marked if it is meat,not meat and not milk products, milk products…and all of this makes your life easyer as vegetarian!

  8. By Monchichin on

    Honestly, Barcelona is NOT good for a vegetarian. I have lived there myself and they put tuna in so called “vegetarian” meals. Stockholm should definitely be above Barcelona.

  9. By Nivedha on

    I can’t blif india is not in that list….afterall, india has the highest number of vegetarains of the rest of the world COMBINED!!!
    and it has SOOOO many veg restaurants everywhere too!

  10. By on

    Vietnam is one of the best destination for vegetarian travellers. If you were in Hue, you actually can attend vegetarian cooking class where you can learn to make some proper vegetarian foods. Or simply go to some pagodas in Hue also have chance to have vegies food.
    Love to be there!

  11. By Alex on

    India is the world’s biggest vegetarian country. It is estimated by US Government, UNO and others that 20-40% or 300 million (average estimate) of Indian population is vegetarian. Vegans are rare in India. Most are lacto vegetarians.

  12. By Andre Correia on

    The list of cities doesn’t tell which city is better for veg*ans.
    To know that we should divide the number of vegetarian restaurants by the populatio or by the total area.
    A city 1 million people with 10 veg restaurants is more vegetarian friendly than a city of 10 million people with 50 veg restaurants.

  13. By on

    India is definitely the best destination for vegetarians. I would also add Italy, as there are lots of veggie options even though they don’t really understand the concept of just eating vegetables. It’s be harder for vegans though.

    I never understand why Thailand is on these lists. We found it difficult there especially as fish sauce is added to everything.

  14. By Daria on

    I am vegan and love living in Grass Valley, CA. Pat is completely right, i’ve lived in NYC, LA, and Hawaii, and small little GV, CA is a paradise for veggies. This is a tiny town with some amazing perks. Come visit if you can!

  15. By subhendu on

    I am from India and i changed to vegetarian after seeing this video

    We the human being meat. That’s true. We can kill animal for meat i accept that but let them to live a happy life at lest as long as we are not killing them.

  16. By anhhh on

    Though I’m not a vegetarian, vegetarian restaurants are quite common in Vietnam, especially in the big cities like Hanoi,Hue, Ho Chi Minh, or the tourist attracting spots such as Sapa, Halong. If you are vegetarian and intend to come to Vietnam, don’t worry about what you will eat.

  17. By umesh on

    hi , i feel proud that i born in India , i am pure veg, healthy and have enough power so that i kick on ass of anybody . and hate peoples who kill innocent animals just for taste , shame on those peoples who eat ,sell and have involvement in any type of murder of animals , you cant escape .. god is watching everybody and very soon you will born as a chicken or a pig and a sharp knife over your neck and people will wait till you fry in boiled oil… remember this , don’t cross the limitations .

  18. By umesh on

    hi , i feel proud that i born in India , i am pure veg, healthy and have enough power so that i kick on ass of anybody . and hate peoples who kill innocent animals just for taste , shame on those peoples who eat ,sell and have involvement in any type of murder of animals , you cant escape .. god is watching everybody and very soon you will born as a chicken or a pig and a sharp knife over your neck and people will wait till you fry in boiled oil… remember this , don’t cross the limitations .
    yourseverumesh@yahoo.com

  19. By on

    Bogota, Colombia is another awesome city for vegetarians. There are about 50 strictly veg restaurants throughout the city. The movement here is really booming – it’s an exciting place to be for non meat eaters.

    • By Sandy on

      Yes, you’re correct . Thailand is not a vegetarian-friendly country. I am a vegetarian and live in Thailand. I have to cook my meals at home.

  20. By on

    Paris??? Paris should really be removed from the city list. I almost starved in Paris looking for a vegetarian MEAL let alone a vegetarian restaurant. Glad I was only there for the day, I ended up having to settle for a baguette and cheese. Not to mention I got kicked out of a restaurant because the owner was annoyed that I asked for quiche that doesn’t have ham in it.

    • By Clare on

      I’ve been to Paris and true the France isn’t the easiest place. However, the top restaurants I’ve been to, when I asked for veggie 2 starters, they very kindly made the second course more like a main course by increasing the potions as all their mains were meat or fish.

      In Paris, try a North African or Middle Eastern restaurant or some eithnic restaurant like Indian or Chinese (or Japanese) if there are Japanese restaurants there.. There are Vietmanese restaurants in France but can’t remember seeing one in Paris – there must be some. Alot of Algerians and Moroccons in Paris, so I hear. I went to one Moroccon restaurant and had a delicious dish with cous cous. I also went to one Italian restaurant where I had a veg. pasta dish. I expect they also had pizzas with veg toppings too but as it was some time ago I can’t remember.

  21. By Eternal on

    In the US, California, especially bay area and LA area are best places for vegeterians. I remember when I was living in TX, I found it very difficult to get vegeterian food.

  22. By Chelsea on

    If going to Sydney, go to Badde Manors in Glebe. They have great vegetarian food and none of the whole food that looks/tastes like meat thing that you find in a lot of restaurants…plus two blocks away is a Max Brenner Chocolate Bar (uhh love the sweet tooth)

  23. By Motor Insurance Singapore on

    Great list, never thought of going for a vegetarian tour. It must be a healthy tour if i go for one. Thanks for this amazing list and it must took you quite a while to compile it.

  24. By Surajit on

    Elizabeth, this is a nonsense type of list. The poster of this list just opened his school’s map book and typed some name of cities from the map book.

    Actual scenario is “INDIA” , yes , “INDIA” is the largest country in World to have biggest number of vegetarians . Being an Indian, I am giving the names of those cities of India, where you can find less than 2% non veg people.

    Ahmedabad,Gujrat
    Gandhinagar, Gujrat
    Haridwar, Uttar Pradesh
    Jaipur,Rajesthan

    ………………with this take Patna city also (less than 10% non-veg)………………..if so, just think the scenario of entire India’s veg population !!!!!!!

  25. By on

    Useful list, it’s not always easy to find vegetarian food when you’re travelling. The hardest place I found was Laos, they just couldn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to eat meat if it was available. Mind you that was about 12 years ago so it might have changed a lot since then.

  26. By Surajit on

    Abhi, you are absolutely right bro, No other country is consisting more veg-population other than India………………..Besides being the world’s greatest country in all sectors, India consists largest number of Veg country. Yie logo ko kya pata, ki Bharat me kya hai ?? Raheta hai khudki choti si duniya me , aur veg population counting karne chale !!!

  27. By molly on

    I would argue the no. of restaurant of these countries. not sure, if the listed restaurants offer vege and non-vege (I mean not pure vege restaurants) mixed. I am sure that you must be aware of many vege people are not eating garlic/onions/shallts. I suggest, the list should be detailed for information.

    • By on

      Hi Molly – I have actually not heard of vegetarians not eating garlic/onions/shallots. Does this relate to religious principles? Or of the general idea that some vegetarians also avoid root vegetables grown underground?

    • By on

      Hare krishnas are the only subgroup of vegetarians that I know of that do not eat garlic, onions, shallots, nor spicy peppers. There may be some other Indian cultures (from which the Hare Krishna faith is derived) that do this, too.

      I’ve been to Hare Krishna restaurants and temples in different cities for the crazy cultural experience, but I’m not a huge fan of their food. I live for garlic, onions, and peppers – the spicier the better!

    • By Gupta on

      There is a religion called Jainism in India.They are mandatory vegetarians and avoid all underground vegetables, including onions, garlic etc.

      Other than that there are sects of Hinduism ( and movements such as Hare Krishna ) that do the same as mentioned above.

  28. By on

    Awesome, I love that London is #2! Lots of people complain about (the more traditional) food in the UK but I loved London for it’s huge variety of vegetarian restaurants, even back nearly 10 years ago when I was there!

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