Being vegan is becoming increasingly easy in London.
A few years ago, you could barely eat out anywhere and people treated you like you had two heads.
Today, every chain restaurant is trying to cash in on the green pound and lovely plant-based markets are springing up across the UK offering delicious, cruelty free snacks and products for all.
But going on holiday can still be a really tricky business. Hell, travelling as a vegetarian can, at times, seem impossible. Take out eggs and cheese and in some places, you’re in for one long chip fest.
Which is why so many of us pack our own food for going away.
According to research commissioned by Celebrity Cruises, 77% of vegans say they’ve packed their own vegan food before travelling abroad, including tofu, nut milks, Pot Noodles, and crisps.
Over a third of UK vegans have had to reconsider their holiday plans due to crap vegan options.
So, where’s an itchy-footed vegan supposed to go?
According to the same survey, over three quarters of those interviewed agreed that Europe actually has a pretty good plant-based scene, with Germany coming out top.
Here’s a list of the top 10 vegan-friendly holiday destinations:
Coming in at first place for the best European countries for vegans is Germany.
Regularly hailed as the centre of the vegan revolution, it’s long had a reputation for being forward-thinking when it comes to meat- and dairy-free options and it continues to be a world-leader.
In fact, last year Germany was the fasted growing vegan food market in the world, closely followed by the US, UK, France and Taiwan.
Europe’s first vegan supermarket chain, Veganz, began in Germany in 2011and it now has 10 branches across the country, offering more than 4,500 products.
When you visit look out for vegan versions of German classics, like tofu snitzel and currywurst.
Ask an Italian grandma to make you something vegan and you’ll probably be greeted with an icy stare. After all, Italy was built on cheesy pizza and pasta, right?
But apparently, Italians are very accommodating when it comes to making traditional dishes vegan, by allowing folk to opt out of having cheese on top of things. And as you head further south, dishes become more veg-based anyway.
Ok, so they’re big on chorizo and manchego. Yes, there’s a lot of meat and seafood going on. But you know what? Tapas also has a lot of unintentionally vegan options.
We’re talking padron peppers. Olives. Gazpacho. Patatas bravas. There’s loads of stuff out there which you can patch together to make a really delicious, filling meal.
For the best vegan options, the Balearic Islands of Ibiza and Mallorca really stand out. After all, they’re fast becoming islands as renounced for their yoga retreats as their mega clubs.
Austria’s capital, Vienna, is quite the up-and-coming hotspot for vegan dining. There are a number of restaurants and delis that are either exclusively vegetarian and vegan, or have superb plant-based options. One of the most established restaurants known for vegan food is Hollerei, close to the famous Schönbrunn Palace.
A must-visit is also Naschmarkt, an open-air market that features a range of food stands where you can find vegan-friendly options.
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Frites (chips) are Belgium’s national food and while a few places cook them in animal fat, there are plenty which offer vegetarian options. Hell, they’ve even got vegetarian frites shops.
Make sure to head to Ghent in you’re in the country, it’s widely regarded as the most veggie and vegan friendly city in the country.
Veganism isn’t particularly common in Greece, so you may not find a plethora of purely vegan restaurants. But the good news is that once you move past the halloumi and feta, Greek cuisine involves a lot of accidentally vegan dishes.
Most meze selections involve houmous, dolmadas (stuffed vine leaves), and spanakopita (spinach filled flaky pastry).
Sure, weed is vegan, but man cannot live on cannabis alone – even for a weekend.
Many of the big cities in Holland have embraced veganism, or at least have good, varied vegan options. Take Amsterdam; places like Vegabond, The Meets and Koffie ende Koeck all serve fantastic vegan eats and are fantastically Instagrammable. Always a plus.
If you’re in Croatia to do something other than drink your weight in cheap beer, Split has some great vegan fast food. Try some at Vege Fast Food or Galerija Food Bar – which serves up fantastic seasonal vegan dishes in a beautiful summer garden setting
Denmark’s apparently well known for it’s vegan-friendly status.
Copenhagen is the epicentre of plant-based dining, and you’re recommended to head to the intriguing district of Christiania and you’ll find Morgenstedet; although it’s technically a vegetarian restaurant, its vegan option are great and very reasonable priced.
Alternatively, if you’re after something a little different, both simpleRAW and 42 Raw are entirely vegan and are a great way to experience the raw food movement.
Now this one might seem surprising, bearing in mind that Paris can be a struggle to navigate even as a pescatarian but the country is undergoing something of a plant-based revolution.
Lyon boasts vegan pizza at Color Vegan, there are vegan burgers at Marsesille’s Le Cours en Vert and, believe it or not, vegan croissants do actually exist at Cloud Cakes in Paris.