Best Vegan Destinations ~ Beyond Rice and Salad

Updated:

If you follow a strict vegan diet then traveling around some countries can be a bit tricky.

In many cases locals find it hard to grasp the concept of veganism, and determining whether a dish is actually vegan can be a challenging task.

There are, however, a number of vegan destinations around the world where a range of culinary delights are on offer for the dairy and meat free traveler, and at very little cost to boot.

Here are our top five affordable best vegan destinations for vegan-tastic bargain holidays.

best vegan
Marrakech olives merchant

5 of the World’s Best Vegan Destinations

Morocco

Traditional Moroccan cuisine includes a range of vegan delights and you’ll have no trouble finding a wholesome hot meal there.

Vegetable tagines are an excellent choice and include couscous and vegetables in a fresh tomato broth.

Snacking isn’t an issue either, as at locals markets you’ll find stalls selling a range of tasty dried fruits (try the dates!) as well as plump olives, flat breads and harissa dips, and freshly squeezed juices.

Moroccans love their salads and add all sorts of cooked and raw ingredients as well as herbs, pulses and grains. Try Earth Café in Marrakech for temptingly low-cost dishes in a bright, cosy setting.

Goa

Indian food is a vegan’s dream since around a third of Indians are vegetarian. This means that vegetarian food is clearly labelled so you’re half way to working out which dish is for you. When it comes to choosing the most vegan-friendly regions of India, Goa has to be high on the list.

A popular hangout for westerners, the area is home to a huge amount of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. Try a thali to sample small portions of several dishes with bread and rice. For one example, Blue Planet Café can be found in one of South India’s ‘eco-resorts’ and specialises in healthy vegan/vegetarian treats.

West Coast USA

If you’re heading to the west coast of the US then there are a couple of vegan hotspots where you certainly won’t have a problem finding meat and dairy-free food. San Francisco and Portland are the two best destinations where you will find an abundance of vegan-friendly restaurants and a culture that is welcoming of your diet and lifestyle.

From Mexican and Thai to Sushi and burgers, vegans can enjoy a full international spectrum of tastes. Portland’s A N D Café is all about the home-made vegan and celiac-friendly cuisine, whilst preserving an American diner feel.

Israel

In many countries around the world Israeli food outlets become the default option for vegans thanks to the falafel, pita, salad and hummus typically on the menu. Israeli delicacies suitable for vegans extend far beyond falafel, though, and include stuffed vine leaves, hummus, olives, eggplant salads and the tasty sweet treat, halva.

The city of Tel Aviv is known for its up-and-coming reputation and the food is no different – Befood is a good option for quick and tasty takeout.

best vegan food to eat
best vegan food to eat

Jamaica

To round out our list of the world’s best vegan destinations is Jamaica.

If you’re heading to the Caribbean islands then you will likely be able to find a good range of vegan foods, but Jamaica has the best concentration of vegan restaurants.

Vegetable stews, callaloo, curried vegetables served with peas and rice are amongst the vegan treats on offer.

Super food coconuts are also abundant and prevalent in much Jamaican cooking.

Try Livity in Kingston for fresh vegan fare but if you’re dining elsewhere, remember to check the ingredients of an Ital dish – this Rastafarian style of cooking is what locals often call vegan or vegetarian food but it can sometimes contain fish.

Looking for more ideas? Here are 10 countries where vegetarian travelers and vegan travel should have an easier time finding best vegan 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. 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.

Going to Hong Kong? 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.

best vegan options

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 the best vegan options at every meal.

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). This top five list of the world’s best vegan destinations is just an introduction to the many vegan-tastic destinations out there.

(Images by Anton Zelenov and Chrysaora, used under Creative Comms license.)