Over the last 2 or 3 years, travelling while being a vegan or vegetarian has become dramatically easier! Plant-based restaurants been popping up at record rates all over the globe, offering more vegan friendly choices than ever before. Also, there are now apps and sites to help you find meat-free dishes… no matter what country you might be traveling in.
Even with the rise of vegan/vegetarian friendly destinations, there are still some countries out there where meat is king and animal products are a staple in every dish. Here is a list of the top 5 countries that are vegan and vegetarian friendly, some of which might surprise you!
Tel Aviv, Israel’s beautiful coastal capital city, has started calling itself the ‘vegan capital of the world’ and no one seems to be arguing with them.
Seemingly overnight, the cities hottest restaurants have been flipping their menus upside down and resurfacing with 100% totally vegan options. They want to fit in with the exploding trend of cruelty free dining throughout Israel that’s even spreading to smaller cities outside the capital.
Even big brands like Dominos and Ben and Jerry’s have jumped on the vegan bandwagon, using Israel as testing grounds for their newest dairy-free products.
Israel as a whole has been a leader in vegetarian cuisine, as many of their most popular traditional dishes are already meat free. You are probably already familiar with hummus, baba ganoush, falafel and Israeli salads which are naturally vegan.
- On Happy Cow there are 700 vegetarian and vegan friendly listings in Israel.
- 5% of Israelis classify as vegan, while up to 13% classify as vegetarian
Israeli Cities To Travel To:
Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Eilat, Haifa, and Herzliya.
India has more vegetarians than any other country on Earth!
While being a complete vegan might not be as easy in India (especially rural areas), sticking to your vegetarian diet will be no problem at all!
Partly because of religion and partly because of economics, a vegetarian diet is extremely popular and widespread throughout all of India. In every city or town you visit you will be sure to find a restaurant that is either completely vegetarian, or serves popular vegetarian dishes.
If you are vegan, be on the lookout for dishes like vegetable samosa, vegetable biryani, pakoras and channa masala, which are all vegan friendly.
- There are 1045 vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurant listings on Happy Cow.
- 31%-38% of Indians are vegetarians, and while exact vegan numbers haven’t been verified as of 2019, some reports say it’s around 5%-10%.
Indian Cities To Travel To:
Mumbai, Bangalore, New Delhi, and Chennai.
Taiwan probably isn’t a country you thought of when you think ‘vegetarian friendly’, but it’s heating up with tons of cruelty-free options!
Both PETA and CNN have praised Taiwan for being one of the top ‘Vegan Friendly Countries’ in the world, with the capital city of Taipei currently has one of the fastest growing vegan restaurant scenes on the planet!
After only Israel and India, Taiwan has the 3rd biggest population of vegetarians per capita, so it’s no wonder it would soon take stage as a vegetarian haven.
Taiwan is so vege-friendly for a few reasons. It has some of the toughest food labelling processes in the world, the government heavily promotes residents to eat ‘meat-free day’ once a week, and 1/3rd of the country is Buddhist, which usually coincides with a vegetarian lifestyle.
- Happy Cow lists almost 1000 vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurants in Taiwan.
- 14% of the population in Taiwan identifies as being vegetarian.
Taiwanese Cities To Travel To:
Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Hsinchu.
4. United States
You might say The United States is a country of polar opposites. While the US technically has some of the LOWEST worldwide rates for vegetarianism, and yet despite it TOPPING the list for global meat consumption, you’ll still find some great meat-free dining options.
To say that Veganism is exploding in the US is an understatement. Forbes recently talked about how in just 3 years people who have made the switch to a vegan diet has risen by over 600%!
This means that vegan and vegetarian restaurants are popping up everywhere, even in small rural towns!
In bigger cities such as Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, New York City, Miami, Denver, Seattle and Chicago, you’ll find hundreds of vegan and vegetarian restaurants that will cater to your wildest dreams! The menus are so creative and so enticing that many non-vegans are dining at 100% plant-based restaurants just to give it a try.
The latest trend in plant-based eating is all the American fast food chains jumping on the bandwagon. You’ll find almost ALL the most famous brands offering plant-based burgers, vegan breakfast sandwiches and other cruelty-free food to go.
- When you go on Happy Cow, you’ll see just how many vegan and vegetarian options you have in the US. There are over 33,000 vegan and vegetarian listings and more are being added every single day!
- Numbers from 2018 put around 5% of Americans eating a vegetarian diet, with 3% being vegan, but these numbers are projected to double by 2020
American Cities To Travel To:
Los Angeles, Orlando, Seattle, Austin, Scottsdale, San Diego, Portland, New York City and Philadelphia.
Sure it’s a small nation, but Singapore was voted by PETA as being Asia’s 2nd most vegan friendly country, only behind Taiwan.
- Even though the entire country of Singapore is only 2/3rds the size of New York City, you’ll still find 1280 vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurants to eat at!
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