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?
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…
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!
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.
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.
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.