Whether you’ve been vegan for a while or are setting yourself some plant-based goals for the future, certain parts of the world make it so much easier to adopt a vegan lifestyle than others. Fortunately for all of the vegans out there, plant-based options are becoming increasingly popular all over the world, with these six cities earning themselves a place at the top of the list when it comes to being vegan-friendly.
Vegan restaurants in London are nothing new. However, over the past few years, veganism has infiltrated the city in so many unexpected ways, complete with vegan pubs, vegan donut shops, fine dining vegan tasting menus, and a new, plant-based street food scene.
While the clean eating trend has definitely been helping to push this lifestyle into the mainstream, several of the new restaurants that have been opening up have been focusing on the idea that vegan food doesn’t necessarily have to be healthy. Vegan menus are available at most of the fast food chains in London, while vegan kebabs, vegan fried “chicken”, and vegan pie and mash have also been taking the city by storm.
Vegan clothing is also becoming much easier to find throughout London, with some stores fully dedicating themselves to this. The city now even boasts a vegan hair salon, the first that the city has seen.
If you really want to embrace veganism as much as possible while in London, book yourself in for a stay at the Hilton London Bankside. This luxury hotel has recently launched a vegan hotel suite, complete with vegan furnishings, fabrics and products, as well as a vegan room service menu.
The best vegan menus in London:
- Itadaki Zen – reputed to be the first vegan Japanese restaurant in all of Europe, stop here for some quality tempura and sushi, along with bento boxes
- By Chloe – this chain from the USA has done well in London with their classic, comfort food offerings
- Tredwells – although not strictly a vegan restaurant, their “Planted” menu showcases exciting creativity and innovation
- Temple of Seitan – the vegan fried “chicken” here was so popular, that the restaurant now has several locations around the city, as well as regular pop-ups
- Rasa – specializes in vegan and vegetarian dishes from South India
New York City
New York City is already considered to be one of the major food capitals of the world, so it should come as no surprise that it didn’t take very long for the city to embrace the growing vegan trend. There are numerous dedicated vegan restaurants to be found in the city, with hundreds more offering delicious, plant-based menus.
Vegan products are also so easy to find just about anywhere you go in New York. The grocery stores feature a wide range of different vegan brands, while vegan clothing stores are on the rise. Try Habit on 5th Avenue for everything from clothing and accessories to jewelry and candles, or MooShoes on Orchard Street for vegan footwear. Don’t forget to also stop off at one of the OROGOLD New York stores to treat your skin to some skin care product demonstrations and VIP facials, with many of the luxurious products here being plant-based.
If you have been finding yourself craving cheese, New York City is even home to a vegan cheese shop. Located in Brooklyn, Riverdel stocks a variety of vegan cheeses, including several artisan offerings, along with plant-based deli meats and desserts.
Looking for somewhere vegan to stay?
While you won’t find any 100% vegan hotels in New York, the Archer Hotel is very vegan-friendly. Just let them know that you are coming and they will ensure that your turn-down service treats are fully vegan, and your fridge is stocked with soy milk.
The best vegan menus in New York City:
- Avant Garden – the number one place to go in the city for vegan fine dining
- Seasoned Vegan – transforms meat-based classics into vegan friendly dishes, such as grilled burdock root instead of barbecued crawfish and fermented soy instead of chicken nuggets
- Franchia Vegan Cafe – famous for their flavorful Korean/Asian fusion dishes
- Delice & Sarrasin – this restaurant specializes in vegan versions of French classics
- Nix – a Michelin-starred vegetarian restaurant that specializes in sharing bowls brimming with delicious plant-based bites
Toronto has already been hosting the largest vegetarian food festival in North America for several years now, so the city clearly has a large vegan market. It makes it hardly surprising then that Toronto is considered to be one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the world, with several vegan offerings available.
Not many cities boast a vegan chain of restaurants, but Toronto is home to six locations of Fresh, with another recently opening in Los Angeles. Over the past year, the restaurant has slowly been converting their vegetarian menu into one that is completely vegan.
The city’s vegan butcher, known as Yam Chops, has been operating since 2014, and has a very loyal following. With “bacon” made from coconut, “pulled pork” made from cabbage and soy-based “beef”, this is a great place for vegans to add some extra excitement to their home-cooked meals.
Vegan grocery stores are also a-plenty, as are clothing and shoe stores, making it easier than ever to transform your entire lifestyle into a vegan one when in Toronto. You will even find a vegan brewery in the city – the first in North America. Every single beer that is produced by the Vegandale Brewery is 100% vegan, allowing you to indulge guilt-free.
The best vegan menus in Toronto:
- Avelo – a fine dining, gourmet vegan restaurant that makes use of seasonal and local ingredients, meaning that their menu regularly changes
- Apiecalypse Now – famous for their delicious vegan pizza and poutine
- The Hogtown Vegan – a must-try spot for vegan classic comfort food, with everything from “chicken” and waffles to “cheese” fries
- Bloomers – this vegan restaurant and bakery has an incredible menu to choose from, but make sure that you don’t leave without trying their exquisite donuts
- Veggie D’Light – flavorful vegan Caribbean food, with its brick and mortar location being relatively new
Thai food is known for being incredibly complex, and because Buddhism is a significant part of Thai culture, plant-based food has long since been popular here. Just about every restaurant in Thailand will offer a solid plant-based menu, with these dishes being just as delectable as those containing meat.
One of the very first completely plant-based Thai restaurants to open in Bangkok was May Kaidee, which now has three locations around the city. In addition to the plant-based meals they serve up, May Kaidee also has an accompanying vegan cooking school, and regularly publishes Thai vegan cookbooks, making it easier for others to embrace the vegan lifestyle.
While there is no shortage of vegan products available at the grocery stores around Bangkok, the city does also have two grocery stores that only sell vegetarian products, giving plant-based shoppers more choice than ever.
One thing to keep in mind when ordering plant-based food at a non plant-based restaurant in Thailand…
Even though you may be ordering what looks to be a vegan dish, make sure that you inform your server that you are vegan, as fish sauce is an extremely popular ingredient in Thai cuisine.
The best vegan menus in Bangkok:
- Salada Organic Kitchen – located right behind the Bon Marche Market, this restaurant makes good use of all of the fresh produce available to them on a daily basis
- Suananda – this Ayurvedic wellness center is not only home to a vegan restaurant, but also boasts a meditation hall, massage therapies and hosts numerous workshops and classes
- Veganerie Concept – a vegan bakery and cafe with a full food menu
- Mango – specializes in vegan Thai food, and is also an art gallery
- Sustaina – a Japanese vegan and vegetarian restaurant, with the ground floor of the restaurant turned into a small organic supermarket that sells produce from the restaurant’s farm
With Tel Aviv being home to the highest percentage of vegans compared to any other city in the world, it should come as no surprise that this Israeli city has evolved to become an extremely vegan-friendly destination. In fact, Tel Aviv is where Dominos first launched their vegan pizza!
The traditional cuisine in Tel Aviv draws on influences from the rest of Israel, as well as the Mediterranean and Middle East, all of which translates beautifully into vegan dishes.
Many of the fast food chains here offer vegan options, and there are also two vegan grocery stores to be found in the city. Even better, Tel Aviv is home to the only vegan chocolate shop in the world, known as Coco Vegan Chocolate & Cacao Temple. The city also boasts vegan clothing, shoe and bag shops.
Wondering where to stay in Tel Aviv?
The Norman Tel Aviv is an extremely vegan-friendly hotel, with a special section on their website that discusses this. All of the restaurants in this environmentally-friendly boutique hotel offer vegan options, as does the bar when it comes to bar snacks.
The best vegan menus in Tel Aviv:
- Meshek Barzilay – an organic vegetarian with an emphasis on fresh produce and a menu that changes with the seasons
- Alegria – unconventional, creative dishes are what Alegria focuses on, with everything from smoked mini-burgers to roasted tandoori tofu skewers
- Market – this unique restaurant focuses on warming, flavorful stews. Have yours served on rice or noodles, customize the daily flavor with the addition of toppings of your choice
- Green Cat – famous for their vegan pizza, which is always cooked to perfection
- Neroli – a vegan raw restaurant, that began with just shakes and juices but now boasts a full food menu
The capital of Poland, Warsaw is surprisingly vegan-friendly, with its vegan restaurants being located in prime, convenient spots around the city. While this may be the case, there is one area I particular that vegans will not want to miss out on…
The Southern Downtown neighborhood, known locally as Śródmieście Południowe, is affectionately nicknamed the Vegan District.
Simply due to the high concentration of vegan restaurants that have opened up here. From a vegan bistro to a vegan burrito and taco bar to a vegan dessert cafe, the Vegan District contains all you need for an unforgettable meal.
Vegan grocery stores are also easy to find in Warsaw, but you may not even need to seek one out with all of the vegan options available in regular grocery stores.
The best vegan menus in Warsaw:
- Krowarzywa Vegan Burger – famed for cooking up the best vegan burger in the city, with a small, but fresh and seasonal, menu
- Tel Aviv Food & Wine – a fine dining restaurant that specializes in Middle Eastern cuisine, with a vegan menu that is just as exquisite as their other menus
- Youmiko Vegan Sushi – as you can tell from the name, vegan sushi is the specialty here, as are a small selection of plant-based cocktails
- Lokal Vegan Bistro – this vegan restaurant serves up traditional Polish cuisine, giving you the opportunity to try authentic local plant-based dishes
- Leonardo Verde – if you’re craving Italian, this vegan trattoria and bar will not disappoint. They also have a cocktail bar that stays open until late on weekends
Traveling can sometimes be a challenge for those leading a plant-based lifestyle, especially when it comes to dining out. So, if you would like a stress-free vacation full of delectable vegan dishes, take your pick from one of these six cities, which are regularly voted as being the most vegan-friendly in the world.