A Guide To The Top 5 Cities For Veggie Voyagers

6 November 2014

As a vegetarian who is as hooked on travel as I am on lentils, I know all too well how hard it can be to find a good feed abroad, not to mention a meal that ticks some dietary boxes. Too often vegetarians on the road are forced to eat thrown together after-thoughts, comprised largely of lacklustre carbs heaped on top of yet more lacklustre carbs.

Yet every so often a city surprises you, hosting numerous restaurants which not only cater for but celebrate vegetarian cuisine. Here is a guide to the top five vegetarian meccas of the world.
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1. Varanasi, India

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As the only country in the world to boast an entirely meat-free city, it is no surprise an Indian city holds prime position on this list. With menus dominated by flavour filled, creamy curry sauces, fluffy naan breads and refreshingly sweet lassis, visiting India is likely to be on any traveling foodies bucket list. What makes this country so special for vegetarians is the high portion of vegetarian dishes available, thanks to the large Hindi population.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to try the street food- from dossa to paratha, these bites pack some serious punch with little impact on your wallet.

 Think outside the box in Berlin

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2. Berlin, Germany

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Think German food is limited to schnitzel, sauerbraten and bratwurst? Think again. Berlin defines eclecticism and the food on offer is no exception. Berlin caters to everybody, with a huge range of dishes to be sought and sampled, from your classic meat based meals to the 28 pure vegan restaurants on offer. The eastern suburbs of Kreutzberg and Friedrichstein are the perfect starting place for a vegetarian seeking a tasty bite.

Tip: Check out Viasko in Kreutzberg for an upmarket vegetarian dining experience

 Modern Melbourne is a veggie nirvana

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3. Melbourne, Australia

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Melbourne is undoubtedly Australia’s food capital, so there should be little surprise to hear it is also a veggie nirvana. With the multicultural nature of the city comes a vast array of specialties ranging from a fresh, light Vietnamese pho found on the streets of Footscray, to the upmarket Greek menu on offer at Gazi. Almost all restaurants will at least cater to vegetarians, but if you’re looking for a dedicated vegetarian menu take a walk down Brunswick Street in Fitzroy and feast your eyes on the huge number of options available.

Tip: If you’re dining with meat-eaters check out Peko Peko in Smith Street. They offer a delicious, varied Japanese menu catering for all diets.

 Sherpa Stew is the dish of the day in the Himalayas

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4. Kathmandu, Nepal

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I have one word for you- momos. Nepalese cuisine certainly takes cues from neighbouring India, not that I have any issue with that! Also similar to India is the high proportion of vegetarian locals, making this country a goldmine for traveling vegos. Nepal does offer one huge point of difference from India, deliciously spicy little dumplings called ‘momos’. Similar to a Chinese dumpling but with signature Indian spices, momos personify the saying ‘big things come in small packages’.

Tip: If you’re trekking through the Himalayas, be sure to try Sherpa Stew. A mix of vegetable broth, momo pastry and whatever vegies still grow at that particular altitude, Sherpa Stew is a home-style meal bound to both fill and warm you up.
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5. Cusco, Peru

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South America is notoriously difficult for vegetarians however Cusco, Peru offers a sanctuary for vegetarians drowning in a sea of beans, rice and hot sauce. The gateway to Machu Picchu has a surprising number of vegetarian dedicated restaurants, interspersed between restaurants boasting the national delicacy- guinea pig.

Tip: If you need help sourcing out the best vegetarian restaurants jump on Happy Cow, it will find the closest vegetarian options to you.

Nicolle White

Having traipsed around each corner of the globe, Nicolle believes travel is accessible to everyone. She aims to inspire others by debunking myths about budget, solo travel and fear mongering within the industry. You can find Nicolle's work at www.nicollewhite.com