Are you a vegan or vegan hopeful that is looking to travel through Europe but unsure of how to make traveling as a vegan in Europe awesome?
Well, let me show you.
I’ve been vegan for three years, and quite frankly, it hasn’t always been easy. Traveling as much as I have has left me at the mercy of terrible vegan food or limited options from the different places I’ve visited. It’s not uncommon for me to have to get creative and transform a dish on a restaurant’s menu into a vegan-friendly version.
That’s why I was a bit apprehensive of what I would find when I went on my three-week Euro trip late last year. But, to my surprise, there were a plethora of vegan options, and it was all pretty AMAZING.
What I can tell you is being vegan doesn’t mean you have to skip out on delicious foods and experiences. It just requires a little bit of maneuvering of the right tools to use.
Fortunately, I have them all here for you!
So, before I explain how to make traveling as a vegan in Europe awesome, let me show you the mouthwatering results.
My first stop on my culinary journey was Portugal, and I can confirm it is true what they say – Portugal, and particularly Lisbon, is one of Europe’s meccas for food.
I ate all my heart’s desires and then some.
There seriously wasn’t a limit to what I could have.
I ate vegan style traditional Portuguese foods and commercialized food alike. It was magic, and I was in heaven.
I even stumbled across a restaurant that was vegan-friendly on my day trip to the city of Sintra and had an appetizing lunch.
I eventually made my way to Porto to tackle their delicious cuisine and was not disappointed.
As an extremely vegan-friendly place, I was excited to discover the vast array of plant-based restaurants in Paris, France. And boy, did they not disappoint.
From sweet potato bites to cheese boards, I was in vegan heaven.
I even ended up spending the Thanksgiving holiday in France and enjoyed a five-course vegan meal on the Seine (not pictured). It was all ‘Magnifique’!
If you are vegan and are looking to be surprised, visit Budapest. I was pleasantly not prepared for the abundance of super delicious vegan options! Yes, Budapest is a very meat-centered city. However, you don’t have to look too hard for the delicious plant-based options.
One of my favorite meals in all my European cities was at a quaint restaurant called Great Bistro. It was so good that I forgot to take some photos of my delicious meal!
I even enjoyed a vegan four-course dinner at the wonderful Tasting Table. And since it was the holiday season during my visit, I tried out some cuisine at the Christmas Markets.
Generally, it really isn’t hard to find great food when you’re a vegan in Budapest.
How I Did It
Now that you’ve confirmed I ate well during my trip - Want to know how I did it?
Well, it’s quite simple.
The Happy Cow App
It kept me fed my entire trip! The app lists all the vegan or vegetarian-friendly restaurants in the city you’re visiting, along with ratings, reviews, and more. One of the many neat things about the app is it allows you do do a GPS locator search for vegan restaurants near you. Because of that, I was able to find restaurants on the fly when I was out and about. If it weren’t for Happy Cow, I would have been miserable in my attempts to find something to eat. It has restaurants from cities all over the world listed, so it really has you covered.
Vegan Food Tour
Many cities offer them. In fact, I went on one while I was in Paris. The food tour can serve dual purposes. First, you’re getting a chance to try out the restaurant to see if you like it enough to return. Second, you can pick the brain of your tour guide, who is most likely a vegan native of the city you’re visiting, for recommendations.
Make A Friend
One of the best ways to get great restaurant options is to make friends with a local who is vegan. I met a French woman named Chrystal, who gave me a ton of restaurant recommendations from places that weren’t on Happy Cow. Sites like Trip Advisor and WithLocals make it easy to connect with vegan locals who can offer up advice on where to chow down in town.
Ultimately, being vegan isn’t the end of incredible culinary experiences; you can find them wherever you go as long as you utilize these tools!