The Best Vegan-Friendly Cities in Europe
Flight Centre's vegan blogger Kirsten Cardrick scours the continent for the best vegan restaurants in Europe.
It might have been slightly slow to get going but the vegan scene is finally taking off amid the meat and dairy-rich food of Europe. Veganism isn’t necessarily the norm in the world of brie and bratwurst but getting a veggie 'not dog' won’t be quite as awkward as it might have been 10 years ago.
So, if you’re heading off around Europe and want to fend off all that meat and cheese, consider making these your first stops:
Vegan-friendly restaurants in London, England
NUMBER OF VEG-FRIENDLY EATERIES: 335
An entry that probably surprises no one, London has an astonishing number of ways to eat vegan. Soho boasts the country's first all-veg pub – The Coach & Horses in Soho is London's (and maybe England’s) best-known vegetarian restaurant and offers vegan and veggie slants on British pub classics. If you're feeling flash, Vanilla Black is the place to go - its decadent menu features such delights as iced avocado with an olive crumb and Jerusalem artichoke cake with brazil nut milk and cabbage.
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NUMBER OF VEG-FRIENDLY EATERIES: 290
The sheer number of veg-friendly places in Berlin means that you’re almost never more than three miles away from some amazing food. Your starting point might want to be a place called Culinary Misfits, a restaurant that specialises in exclusively serving ‘ugly’ vegetables. Don’t worry though, you’ll still be able to gorge on pizza, burgers and ice cream too. If you like Vietnamese food, then head for 1990 Vegan Living, which serves up sizzling bowls of vegan noodles and all sorts of delicious miniature tapas-style dishes.
Vegan-friendly restaurants in Glasgow, Scotland
NUMBER OF VEG-FRIENDLY EATERIES: 48
Glasgow is winning hands down when it comes to veganism; I can’t remember the last time it wasn’t voted the most vegan-friendly place in the UK. VegFest (Europe’s largest vegan festival) has added Glasgow to its roster. Make sure to grab breakfast at The 13th Note and check out the vegan haggis at Saramago Café Bar. For a mid-afternoon tea and (vegan) cake, you can't beat Cafe Strange Brew, which also serves excellent veggie and vegan breakfast fry-ups.
Vegan-friendly restaurants in Prague, Czech Republic
NUMBER OF VEG-FRIENDLY EATERIES: 83
Czech cuisine is not renowned for its veg-friendliness, but Prague is a hidden gem in this respect. For veg takes on traditional Czech food try Maitrea or get a massive plate of Indian fare at Balarama. For something a little different, try the vitamin-packed dishes at My Raw Cafe, where everything is not only vegan but, yep, you guessed it, raw. As an added bonus, generally speaking Prague is so cheap you could literally eat yourself to breaking point without also breaking your wallet.
Vegan-friendly restaurants in Amsterdam, Netherlands
NUMBER OF VEG-FRIENDLY EATERIES: 140
There are a lot of reasons you might chose to visit Amsterdam, and luckily the vegan fare is now one of them. Vegabond is a beautiful little spot to grab a wrap and a bottle of wine to takeaway, but for a full dining experience try De Culinaire Werkplaats, where they treat their plant-based dinners like works of art and let you decide how much the meal was worth once it’s over. If you're craving a junk food feast, look no further than the Vegan Junk Food Bar, which has two locations in town and serves crazily-stacked burgers and fries loaded with onions, jalapeños, garlic and/or vegan cheese.
Vegan-friendly restaurants in Stockholm, Sweden
NUMBER OF VEG-FRIENDLY EATERIES: 89
Stockholm puts itself on the veg radar by being home to Hermans, a vegetarian restaurant many consider to be one of the best in Europe. Here you can enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner buffet and finish your meal off with a slice of vegan cake – if you’ve got room. If buffets aren’t your thing, there are near on a hundred restaurants you can choose from, unsurprisingly the city gets more vegan-friendly the closer you get to its centre. Perhaps make a trip to Farang, a rather snazzy Southeast Asian restaurant that offers a seven-course set vegan menu. Look out for the stir fried sesban flower and sugar snap peas with mushrooms and ginger. Mmmm.
Vegan-friendly restaurants in Barcelona, Spain
NUMBER OF VEG-FRIENDLY EATERIES: 101
Spain isn’t the easiest place in the world to not eat meat, but Barcelona is so keen to be welcoming it declared itself ‘veg-friendly, friend of vegan and vegetarian culture’ in March 2017. City Hall even produced its own vegetarian guide to the city and has encouraged its residents to try out meat-free Mondays. Like most places you’ll find a mix of simple veg-friendly places and purely vegan restaurants like BioBento and the appropriately-named Veggie Garden. Cake lovers should not miss the Santoni Cafeteria, which serves vegan pizza, vegan muffins, and vegan croissants, among other tempting treats.
Vegan-friendly restaurants in Vienna, Austria
NUMBER OF VEG-FRIENDLY EATERIES: 121
If you’re going to be vegan in Austria do it in Vienna; you want it, it’s got it. Loving Hut is an all-vegan fast food restaurant with two outlets in the city and, for those of you after seasonal, local, natural and untreated, try out Cuchina which, among all its other amazing qualities, serves its vegan breakfast all day. You can also get an easy fix of animal activism by eating at I love Veggie Burger, where 5% of your bill goes to the Austrian animal protection society. Not only does it serve up sensational burgers, but tasty vegan wraps too - try the Chili sin Carne wrap with jalapeños and vegan cheese.
NUMBER OF VEG-FRIENDLY EATERIES: 196
Try and go hungry as a vegan in Paris and you’ll fail. Not only will you not be full, but you’ll probably eat some of the best food of your life. Gentle Gourmet started its life as a vegan bed and breakfast and has since morphed into a world-class eaterie over the years...
Also worth noting is La Boucherie Végétarienne (or the 'Vegetarian Butcher' to you and me), which doubles up as a fast food place and fake meat retailer. If raw food is your thing then head for 42 Degrés, the first vegan raw food resturant in the city, where everything is heated to no more than 42°C; try the mushroom fondant with sunflower.