Travelling vegan

vegan cakes on a cake serving dish in french cafe

Travelling vegan has never been easier as many countries throughout the world are getting on the bandwagon and providing lots more options – it’s getting better all the time too! Often there are native dishes which are by default vegan or they can easily be adapted.


Be Prepared

The key is to plan well so if you know you’re going to be covering long distances, you might need to make a small dish or sandwich rather than relying on service stations. Bags of nuts are a great item to keep on you as they’re full of protein and available everywhere. You might also want to think about packing a few other essential items. For example, one of the team recently went to a small French village on holiday so packed a couple of bags of vegan cheese. They were then able to go to the local pizzeria and enjoy a full vegan feast rather than a plain pizza. Also consider taking a good stash of protein bars if you’re going somewhere with limited vegan options.

Here are a couple things you can do to help you on your travels:

  • Download the Happy Cow app and/or Vanilla Bean app which list thousands of vegan-friendly eateries around the world. You can use the apps to do a bit of foodie research on your destination – all part of the fun!
  • Buy The Vegan Passport, which is a multilingual phrasebook and guide to eating vegan around the world.
  • Look at Pinterest, Instagram and vegan blogs from other travellers for tips and inspiration.
  • Buy The Vegan Travel Handbook by Lonely Planet Food – very interesting tips, ideas, tours, festivals, eateries, food vans and lots more.
  • Look at local vegan groups or Facebook pages in your chosen destination for tips and possibly even to meet up for a meal.
  • Book a vegan meal on your flight – if you can’t see this option then give them a call, ideally with more than 72 hours notice.
  • Contact your catered accommodation in advance to let them know you’re vegan and talk through the options available to you.
  • Get some empty bottles for your cruelty-free toiletries and fill them up before leaving. If you’re reducing plastic then Lush and various online zero waste shops offer some great travel products and containers.
  • Try to get sunscreen which is ‘reef safe’. Some chemicals in sunscreen are toxic to coral reefs and cause coral bleaching which puts the reefs under severe stress. Choosing a non-nano, mineral, ‘reef safe’ formula such as Jason or Holland & Barrett is much kinder.
  • Pack a Tupperware container or even better a reusable lunch box – it comes in super handy for taking your own food out on an excursion or for taking home leftovers after a meal out.
  • Pack a reusable bottle to save buying lots of plastic bottled water. All airports have drinking taps for refills and most accommodation should provide drinking water so you can fill your bottle each day.
  • Try to find accommodation with a kitchen – you can make vegan food in any country in the world – rice, grains, nuts, fruit, veg, pulses and spices are available everywhere.
  • Get creative with restaurant menus – this is where the vegan passport will come in handy! Even if a restaurant or café doesn’t offer obvious vegan options you can often order several separate side dishes or adapt one of the mains. For example you might be able to order hummus, chips, dips, olives, soup, pasta, salad and other veggie-based small plates. You could also switch out a few things or remove certain ingredients. Most restaurants should be happy to help if they understand what you’re asking for and why.

Some of the Viva! team recently went to a small ski resort in the French Alps and shopped in the tiny local shop. Even though there were very limited vegan options they ate incredible food every night by getting creative and sharing the cooking – they made bean burgers, sweet potato fries, lentil spag bol with homemade garlic bread, mushroom risotto, fresh salads, roast veg, mezze and homemade pizza – and all the recipes came from the Vegan Recipe Club app!

Top vegan destinations

Here are some of our favourite vegan foodie destinations (some cities, some countries) from the Viva! Team:

Bali, Indonesia

We don’t need to say much about why Bali is an incredible vegan destination – think an abundance of fresh tropical fruit, salads galore, Buddha bowls, smoothie bowls, raw food, vegan breakfasts, brunches, tofu dishes, pancakes – the list goes on! Our top three:

The Seeds of Life, Ubud

seeds of life restaurant bali
Credit: @seedsoflifebali - Instagram

Give Café, Canggu

give cafe bali

Peloton Supershop, Canggu

peleton super shop bali

Berlin, Germany

Everyone agrees that Berlin is a vegan foodie paradise! With vegan bars, cafés, restaurants, supermarkets and pubs there’s something for everyone. The team’s top three recommendations are:


kopps vegan restaurant berlin
Credit: @koppsberlin - Instagram

1990 Vegan Living

1990 vegan living restaurant berlin
Credit: @restaurant1990 - Facebook


Sunshine vegan restaurant berlin
Credit: @SunshineVeganRestaurant - Facebook

Bristol & Bath, UK

We can’t help but be a bit biased when it comes to the hometown of Viva! and next door neighbour, quaint Bath as there are some amazing vegan eateries and a vibrant social scene at both. Our top three Bristol casual cafes:

Eat Your Greens

eat your greens restaurant bristol
Credit: @eatyourgreensbristol - Instagram


koocha mezze bar bristol
Credit: @koochamezzebar - Instagram

Fi Real

fi real vegan restaurant bristol
Caption: @firealuk - Instragram

And top Bath choices:

Oak (previously Acorn – Viva!’s 25th anniversary winner for Best Vegan Restaurant)

Oak vegan restaurant, bath
Credit: @acornrestaurant - Facebook
The Green Rocket Cafe
green rocket cafe bath
Credit: The Green Rocket Cafe - Facebook
Olive Tree (Michelin Star has a Vegan Seven menu for special occasions)
olive tree restaurant bath
Credit: @olivetreebath - Instagram

Budapest, Hungary

This was a favourite city of quite a few of the Viva! team as you’ll find vegan restaurants, bakeries and even a whole courtyard dedicated to plant-based cuisine. Our top three:

Napfényes Étterem

Napfenyes Etteremb Budapest
Credit: Napfényes Étterem - Facebook

Kozmosz Vegán Étterem

kozmosz vegan restaurant budapest
Credit: @vegankozmosz - Facebook


tokmag vegan street food budapest
Credit: @tokmagvegan - Facebook

California, USA (everywhere!)

California is a haven for vegans with plant-based menus, cafés, restaurants, grocery stores and bakeries nearly everywhere you go! There’s often an emphasis on hearty and healthy. Tip: you’ll find Mexican tacories in lots of places around California which are really affordable, delicious and have good vegan options. Our top three California vegan hotspots:

Café Gratitude, LA

Cafe gratitude california
Credit: @cafegratitude - Instagram

Timeless, San Francisco

Timeless coffee san francisco
Credit: @TimelessCoffeeRoasters - Facebook

Vegan Picnic, San Francisco

vegan picnic san francisco
Credit: @veganpicnicsf - Facebook

Copenhagen, Denmark

Eat vegan in style in the sophisticated streets of Copenhagen. With a growing vegan scene, there are lots of trendy eateries offering hearty, wholesome, organic delights and usually served with a beer (note: it is on the pricier side). Our top three:


Souls copenhagen
Credit: @soulscph - Facebook


Kaf vegan cafe copenhagen
Crdit: @kafcopenhagen - Facebook


Madenitaly vegan copenhagen
Credit: - Facebook

Florence, Italy

Not an obvious choice for vegans but it’s actually very easy to eat plant-based here and there are some incredible hidden gems (along with stunning scenery of course!). Our top three:

L’OV Osteria Vegetariana

L’OV Osteria Vegetariana florence
Credit: @osteriavegetariana - Facebook

Libreria Brac

Brac Libreria di Arte Contemporanea
Credit: @libreria.brac - Facebook

Dolce Vegan

dolce vegan florence
Credit: @dolceveganfirenze - Facebook

Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow has a thriving vegan scene with lots of cool and tasty hang outs. Here are some of our favourites:


stereo cafe bar glasgow
Credit: @stereoglasgow - Facebook


mono glasgow

The 78

the 78 glasgow
Credit: @the78barandkitchen - Facebook

Madrid, Spain

Madrid’s vegan scene is booming and there is a vast array of vegan restaurants, cafés and juice bars – we highly recommend! Here are our top three:


vega madrid
Credit: @vegaconsciente - Facebook

Rayen Vegano

Rayen Vegano madrid
Credit: @rayenvegano - Facebook

Viva Burger

viva burger madrid
Credit: @vivaburgermadrid - Facebook

Melbourne, Australia

The vegan scene in Melbourne has exploded over the last few years and there are some incredible places to eat when you know where to look. Here are three of our favourites:

Smith & Daughters

smith and daughters melbourne
Credit: @SmithandDaughters - Facebook

Madame K’s

madame k's melbourne
Credit: @madamekvegetarian - Facebook

Trippy Taco

trippy taco melbourne
Credit: @trippy.taco - Facebook

New York, USA

You could make a trip to New York purely to eat – it’s that easy and that incredible for plant-based food. There are vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants everywhere and really great quality too! Here are a few of our favourites:

Beyond Sushi

beyond sushi new york
Credit: @BeyondSushi - Facebook

Champs Diner

champs diner new york
Credit: @champsvegan - Facebook

Red Bamboo

red bamboo new york
Credit: @Redbamboonyc - Facebook

Paris, France

Paris never used to be a vegan hotspot but things have changed a lot over the last five years and there is now an abundance of vegan eateries. From plant-based pâtisseries, cafés, restaurants, concept stores, fine dining, junk food and stylish modern bistros… you definitely won’t go hungry here! There’s even a whole area dedicated to meat-free living called Veggie Town (make sure you get a map!): Here are our top three:

Le Faitout

le faitout paris
Credit: @lefaitoutrestovegan - Facebook


brEAThe Paris
Credit: - Facebook

Today Tomorrow

today tomorrow paris
Credit: @aujourdhuidemainfr - Facebook

Prague, Czech Republic

Not only is Prague stunning, it’s full of delicious vegan food! Plant-based eating is very normal and welcomed throughout the city – you’ll find lots of vegan restaurants, good vegan menus in most veggie restaurants and various options in non-veg eateries. Here are a few of our favourites:

Country Life

country life prague
Credit: Country Life - Facebook

Loving Hut

loving hut prague
Credit: @lovinghutczech - Facebook

Vegan’s Prague

vegan's prague prague
Credit: @vegansprague - Facebook

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Brazil is certainly not renowned for its vibrant vegan scene but it is slowly emerging in some of the bigger cities. Whilst it’s not a foodie destination, the vegan cafés and restaurants that are here are great, including all you can eat buffets with a variety of mock meats and sushi. As a separate mention, a couple of the Viva! team headed into the Amazon via Manaus (the gateway city) and found several vegan restaurants including pizzas with ‘cheese’ and mock meats! Our Rio favourites:

Refeitório Orgânico

Refeitório Orgânico rio
Credit: Refeitório Orgânico - Facebook


Teva rio
Credit: @tevavegetal - Facebook


Spazziano rio
Credit: @spazziano - Facebook

Tel Aviv, Israel (and Israel generally)

Veganism is so ingrained in the culture here that you can eat plant-based nearly everywhere you go! It’s really hard to narrow down our top choices as there’s so much delicious food all over. Here are some of our favourites in Tel Aviv:

Meshek Barzilay

Meshek Barzilay Tel Aviv
Credit: @meshekbarzilay - Facebook


Goodness, tel aviv
Credit: @goodnesstlv - Facebook

Anastasia Cafe

Anastasia cafe tel aviv
Credit: @cafeanastasia - Facebook

Vietnam (generally)

Vietnam is another one of those countries where you can find incredible vegan options everywhere you go. We must give a particular mention to the Pho dishes, summer rolls and all you can eat buffets, yum! Here are a few of our favourites:

The Veg, Hanoi

the veg, hanoi
Credit: @TheVegHN - Facebook

Phuoc Duyen Chay, Ho Chi Minh

Phuoc Duyen Chay, Ho Chi Minh
Credit: @phuocduyenchay - Facebook

Quan Chay, Hoi An

Quán Chay Đạm. Vegetarian Cafe
Credit: Quán Chay Đạm. Vegetarian Cafe - Facebook

Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw is a really exciting place to visit for vegan food – you’ll find a fusion of plant-based sushi restaurants, traditional Polish cuisine, ethnic cafes and vegan junk food. Here are our top three:

Vege Bistro Warszawa

Vege Bistro Warszawa, warsaw
Credit: @VegeBistro - Facebook

Lokal Vegan Bistro

Lokal Vegan Bistro, warsaw
Credit: @lokalmargines - Facebook


Krowarzywa, Warsaw
Credit: @Krowarzywa - Facebook

Top vegan cities

Here are the top 10 vegan-friendly cities according to Happy Cow:

  1. London, UK (wow we’re doing something right!)
  2. New York, USA
  3. Berlin, Germany
  4. Los Angeles, USA
  5. Toronto, Canada
  6. Warsaw, Poland
  7. Portland (Oregon), USA
  8. Bangkok, Thailand
  9. Tel Aviv, Israel
  10. Prague, Czech Republic
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