Why Traveling as a Vegetarian Doesn’t Suck

Why Traveling as a Vegetarian Doesn’t Suck

Admit it, you’ve thought about it once or twice.

Maybe you’re even in the middle of a conscious crisis. To vegetarian or not to vegetarian, that is the question…

Whether you think you can go veg or not, one of my top concerns while we were traveling was whether or not we would find communities/cities/countries that catered to vegetarian diets. Would we have to live on bread and butter? Would we have to find some kind of vegetarian speak easy located in the dark corners of French cities because *gasp* French food without meat?

PREPOSTEROUS.

I’m here to happily tell (and show) you a tale of four vegetarians who successfully made their way through eight countries with full bellies, big smiles and tons of inspiration. For this post I’ll break up our eats and treats by country and showcase the best right here for your viewing pleasure.

Lets start in Germany, our first European country…

Germany

You might be thinking, ‘Germany?? Land of frankfurters, Rouladen and dumplings? What on earth would vegetarians eat there? Surprisingly Germany had a ton of vegetarian restaurants and vegetarian/vegan food in their supermarkets. In addition to pasta and pizza I had one of the best veggie burgers of my life at a restaurant in Romerburg (Frankfurt) called Jamy’s Burger. It was a perfectly prepared slice of deep fried portobello heaven.

In addition to our pasta, pretzels and portobellos we cooked at home. German grocery stores carried a brand called VEG with clear, easy to read labels indicating that the product was in fact vegetarian (little green leaf). At the Frankfurt airport we ate at a cafe with similar labels. Oh, and beer. Lots of beer!

Spain

It’s impossible to talk about Spain without talking about the amazing food. Barcelona in particular had vegetarian restaurants, vegan restaurants, raw Spanish/Japanese hybrids, juice bars and traditional restaurants to boot. A quick Yelp search brought endless options for us, and better yet they were all within walking distance. I can safely say with 100%  certainty that you will NOT go hungry in Barcelona, no matter who you are.

One of our favorite restaurants were: PimPam (veggie burgers), Teresa Carles (all vegetarian/vegan) and Vegetalia. Each was a little different and unique in their own right.Most, if not all of the restaurants in the Gothic Quarter proudly served local Spanish ingredients and it was always so fresh.

PimPam is this incredible hole in the wall joint that serves burgers and fries. Lucky for us we stumbled in dying of hunger and ordered another incredible veggie burger. They don’t skimp on the fries either, which we appreciate.

 

Teresa Carles was my absolute favorite restaurant we went to in Spain. The locally grown food honestly tasted better than it looked, and it looked amazing. One reason we loved this restaurant so much was because the menu is all vegetarian with special catering to restaurant go-ers who have allergies or those who have an intolerance to gluten or dairy. They offer unique flavors of fresh, cold pressed juice in addition to their Catalan derived beer and wine section.

Does it get better? Oh yes, yes it does. At Teresa’s we were able to eat tapas for the first time since most Barcelona restaurants only offered sea food or meat for tapas options. They have deep fried balls of cheese with a tangy, savory sauce on top along with bite sized burgers, vegetable tempura and so much more.

We loved this restaurant SO MUCH we went back two days later.

Last but not least we have another all vegetarian restaurant in the Gothic Quarter… Vegetalia! We loved Vegetalia because they had the best brunch EVER. For roughly 10 euros you got all of this, and either coffee, tea or juice. The restaurant is notoriously kid friendly. We sometimes found it difficult to dine in a restaurant that had a high chair. Not the end of the world but it certainly made our lives easier when Vegetalia had one! Also note: Griffin appreciated the lemons they served.

France

It was hard but not impossible to manage staying in France for 3o days as a vegetarian. I’ll admit, the French were not quite as understanding of our moral choice to be vegetarians, but it was fun to explain it to them in my broken French all the same. We had to adjust the way we ate in France which meant I cooked more and we ate out less, way less. Good news for us, French groceries were relatively cheap (although, not as cheap as they were in Italy or Spain).

The French are a proud people, and I personally find them to be charming in their French pride. When we went grocery shopping the LOCAL label jumped out at you. Nearly every product was grown in France and that is something really important to me. We could learn a thing or two from the French farmers!

Aside from homemade meals, we had a great Indian food menu to choose from in Aix-en-Provence.

Italy

When you think about Italy it’s probably all pizza, pasta and wine, right?? Wrong.

There is also alotto gelato 🙂

And it’s wonderful. Perfect. Magical. Amazing.

Oh… did we mention the gelato????

 

I hope you’re inspired. And hungry. Or both. Be both.

 

-Shelley

 

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40 Comments

  1. While I am not vegetarian, I definitely have seen more and more restaurants popping up that serve really great food for people who don’t eat meat! I could really go for some gelato now…

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  2. Interesting post! I’m not vegetarian myself, but I live in Mexico City and I’d be interested to see you tackle vegetarian/vegan dining here – it’s incredibly difficult! Everyone thinks chicken doesn’t count as meat 🙁

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    • The French thought the same about fish! They didn’t understand why we considered fish and other sea creatures meat !!! LOL!!! Do you end u cooking a lot since it is difficult to eat out?? I’d imagine lard is in eevvverrrrything!

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  3. I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m glad you all weren’t stuck eating bread and butter the entire trip! It’s good to know that there are restaurants in other countries that cater to vegetarians.

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    • Ha! Same here, although I could eat a baguette in France all day every day

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  4. Great post (all that food is making me hungry)! I’m not vegetarian, but generally opt for non-meat dishes like pasta or pizza or salads anyways, so I agree there’s plenty of great food to be had that doesn’t involve meat!

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  5. I can totally relate to this as a traveling vegan. Sometimes it takes looking a little harder for options but I am never disappointed with what I find. I especially like how you laid out different meals you had in different destinations – it’s great to highlight that as you said “it really doesn’t suck!” – Thanks for sharing 🙂

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    • So happy you enjoyed this post! Thanks for reading!

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  6. How great is it that there are so many food options EVERYWHERE. Also, gelato is yummy and I’m so glad you are able to indulge. Thanks for sharing your food adventure!

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    • Gelato is THE BEST! Thanks for reading

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  7. Haha, I wrote a very similar post about a year ago with a very similar title! Vegetarian travel WAY doesn’t suck! I loved the veggie food I had in Italy! Fun, informative post!

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    • I would LOVE to read your post! Can you link it here??? Where did you go??

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  8. You definitely make a good argument for vegetarian eating in other countries. Especially gelato in Italy! My kind of food. Haha! Thanks for sharing.

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    • Thanks for reading!

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  9. Great post! I am a vegetarian living in Europe, it definitely has it’s challenges, but it’s not so bad. I live in Munich, which is the most German of German cities haha. People ask me all the time how I do it, and I have a great veggie supermarket right by my house and we even have monthly vegetarian meet ups around the city. If you ever make it back here go to gratitude or Ham So. They’re amazing veggie restaurants. It’s so great to do German vegetarian that isn’t just cheesy pasta or pretzels. Thanks for inspiring others to eat less meat!

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    • You’re so welcome! Do you cook a lot since there aren’t as many options for you in Germany? We found that it was super easy to eat veg in both Frankfurt and Berlin. Such a happy surprise.

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  10. after seeing this my idea of being a complete vegan is not wrong. there is so much to eat and you can get in different parts of the world. I can definitely survive on the veg burgers though! Haha! Cheers!

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    • Same! Veggie burgers were so good everywhere we went. Especially in Barcelona!

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  11. I didn’t realize there are so many delicious dishes as a vegetarian! I love German food because of how much meat is involved, so I would not have thought there are so many delicious vegetarian options as well. Thanks for sharing!

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    • We love our meat eating friends just as much as we love our vegetarian and vegan friends… it’s all about balance!

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  12. I love how you showcase so many different countries in this post. I’m not a vegetarian, but my sister is! I will definitely be sharing this post with her too because your suggestions sound delicious!

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    • Would love for you to share with your sister! it isn’t harder, just different and sometimes uniquely challenging

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  13. Love love this post with all my vegetarian heart, haha! Great post. I can’t wait to travel to Germany now, didn’t realize they would have so many vegetarian options, noms!

    Have you tried the buckwheat galettes in France? they are absolutely delicious.

    Xxx

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    • Buckwheat galettes?? That sounds incredible! Thanks for reading!

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    • Falafels = LIFE! and they are theeee best in France!! I swear.

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  14. I think Germany is amazing when it comes to vegan and vegetarian food – at least in the bigger cities that have universities (as to be honest it’s the students who often do support those restaurants which then can grow) happy you had similar experiences in Germany. France is really tough, not impossible but food in Paris isn’t so much fun as a veggie:)) but nothing is impossible!

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  15. Not a vegetarian but will pass on this great article to the ones I know are 😉

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  16. Love this post! It’s nice to read as a vegetarian who loves travel but can get a bit worried when going to completely new countries!

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  17. Wahh your pictures definitely made my mouth water 🙂 Loved reading your article because we’re both vegetarians (almost vegan) and on a mission to show people that being vegetarian when traveling is not hard – quite the contrary! France/Belgium are tough when it comes to meat indeed, but things are changing and it’s not rare to find veggies options on restaurant menus anymore. Will definitely keep your blog in my bookmarks!

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  18. Interesting post (all that food is making me hungry) ! Thanks for sharing ! I’m not vegetarian myself and I often travel to Germany but I didn’t realize they would have so many great food for vegetarian people. I will pay more attention next time ☺

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  19. Great to see you managed to get some delicious food! I’ve been travelling round South America as a vegetarian for the past 5 months and it’s a little more difficult here… Meat seems to be in almost everything (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks!) Luckily I’ve been volunteering at places that serve vegetarian food and that’s been great 🙂

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  20. YUM everything looks so good!

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  21. Great post, I am not 100% vegetarian, but I reduced me meat consumption a lot. Vegetarian is healthier when you travel anyway 🙂

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  22. Good for you guys for trying so hard and sharing all this great info. The food is mouth watering. That mushroom tart in France. And Italy cracked me up because I ONLY eat pasta, pizza and gelato when there. LOL

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  23. Amazing post <3 I think the same hahahaha PS: OMG I'm so hungry right now because of you

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  24. Haha “alotta gelato” IM SO HAPPY YOU WROTE THIS POST! I recently gave up meat for lent and it actually isn’t as hard as I thought. I also travel with a lot of vegetarians and similarly, it’s never a huge problem. Also that homemade mushroom tart you made in Cannes? GIMME! Can you post the recipe? Lolol but I’m serious.

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    • Ahhh!Thank you!! I’m so glad you liked the post! I am getting ready to post another recipe blog post with some more vegetarian goodness , so stay tuned!

      As for the tart….
      It was puff pastry, mushroom filling with yellow onion simmered in vegetable broth, fresh thyme, parm cheese and topped with more parm cheese!

      Reply

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