Eating vegetarian or vegan while traveling Western Europe
Veganuary got you hook-line-and-sinkered? Well, eating vegan or veggie has gotten waaaay easier on the road, so you’re in luck. Travelling can seem daunting when you have special dietary requirements, but it’s actually easy to eat vegetarian or vegan across most European countries…
In Belgium, many of the things that spring to mind such as waffles and chocolate aren’t exactly vegan, but don’t worry, you won’t be left with nothing. Vegetarians – eat as much as you can!
Now, cooking for yourself is pretty easy in Belgium. There are lots of different veggie and vegan products available in the supermarkets. If you look in local organic shops, you’re even more likely to have luck.
If you’re in Brussels, you can eat out at Belgium’s largest selection of vegan and vegetarian restaurants. Moonfood, Les 4 Jeudis, and the hilariously named Judgy Vegan will see you through.
Bruges offers diners some exclusively vegan choices too, however, Project W2 and Volkskeuken Uitgezonderd are both only open at very select times. You should look them up in advance so you don’t miss out. However, both De Bron and De Plaats are known as vegetarian but they’re also vegan-friendly, so you can usually find something there.
Look, a lot of people will try to scare you by saying that you just can’t “do” vegan in France. It’s true that it can be more difficult – after all, it’s a country of meaty classics and, y’know, cheese – but that doesn’t make it impossible.
When shopping for produce to cook yourself, why not head to some of the markets? They have a variety of exciting fresh produce, and this means that you can save a little while cooking fresh vegetarian or vegan dishes for yourself.
In terms of eating out, the Parisians are of course known for incredible cooking, and that extends to vegan fare. You won’t miss out on the classic coffee-shop culture, with an array of bakeries such as Cloud Cakes (fully vegan, FYI). When it comes to restaurants, try Gentle Gourmet, as well as the Hank Vegan Pizza and Hank Vegan Burger places.
Heading to Disney? The so-called “happiest place in the world” is happy for vegetarians and vegans as well; they cater to all dietary requirements. You don’t need to call ahead, they’ll have special menus available. Just tell your server! Your best bets are the buffet places though; everything is clearly labelled for you.
On a separate note, if you’re vegetarian – some places in France don’t class fish as meat, so just check first, before you’re served something you might not want. Be aware as well that substitutions aren’t really as common as in other countries; a lot of the time you can’t make changes.
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When most people think of The Netherlands, they think of Amsterdam. It’s laid-back, modern, and accommodating of alternative lifestyles! That’s good, then, because it means vegetarians and vegans will find plenty. This is the most vegan-friendly city in this part of Europe; you are genuinely spoiled for choice.
Mr & Mrs Watson, TerraZen Centre, and Alchemist Garden lead the way, while The Dutch Weed Burger Joint is incredible, too (and no… despite where it’s located… it’s not what you think)! Oh, and Meatless District has quite the name for itself, probably because it’s to die for.
In Eindhoven, try Bij Albrecht, and in Utrecht, why not give ACU Kitchen Punx a whirl?
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For such a small country, Luxembourg has a lot of different options when it comes to eating as a vegan. Vegan restaurants such as Flowers Kitchen, OAK Bistro and Nirvana Café are very popular among vegans, and for vegetarians, there’s Beet and Glow.
Finally, Monaco gets a brief mention. If you ever find yourself in this luxury haven (lucky you), then Eqvita in Monte Carlo is wholly vegetarian – plus it’s owned by Serbian tennis player Novak Djokvic.
For a full list of vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants across Europe – and the world – check out Happy Cow. They produce tons of veggie/vegan guides to loads of places across the world.
Ready to clue yourself up on all places Europe? We’ve got a bunch of travel guides to give you some inspo!