It’s January, and it’s ice-cold, so we’re assuming you want to book a holiday to escape those dreaded blues. But you’re also vegan, which means that choosing a destination where you’ll get to fully immerse yourself in the cuisine may be tricky…
Veganism is definitely on the up for 2017, though, which means it’s getting much easier for you to travel without having to worry about what you’ll eat. So, in honour of veganuary and making New Year’s resolutions, here’s a list of the most vegan-friendly destinations – from Majorca to Vietnam – to help you plan your next vacay. Some of them might surprise you.
Sun, sea and seriously good parties are usually what springs to mind when you first think of Majorca. But what you might not know is that it’s a growing destination for vegans. And with vegetables being the staple ingredient for most dishes, it’s no wonder the vegan-friendly menus are something to shout about.
We think Palma is one of the best places to visit in Majorca if you’re vegan. There are heaps of cafés, tapas bars and Spanish restaurants to choose from here. Why not go for a late brunch at Bagel Café? You’ll get to start the day with croissants, bagels, and pastries – all gluten-free of course – for a reasonable price of two to eight euros. Not to mention it’s a really trendy place, too.
You’ll hit the vegan jackpot in Thailand. Did you know being vegan is deeply linked to the practise of Buddhism? This means it’s really easy to find vegan-friendly food in the land of smiles. The base of most dishes are rice and noodles, with lots of vegetables, and absolutely no cheese, butter, or milk. Meat is only a small part of Thai meals, too, so it can easily be removed without affecting the taste of your supper.
When you’re looking for places to eat, all you need to do is look out for a bright red and yellow sign that looks like the number 17 – it’s the national symbol for vegan. You’ll find it plastered outside restaurants, on street stalls and even on the food packaging in 7-Eleven.
The Hill Tribe restaurant in Khao Lak is one of our vegan-friendly favourites. True to its name, it’s an open-air eatery surrounded by a tropical garden. And the menu is nothing short of impressive, either. The menu lists things like vegetable soups, fragrant curries, and banana fritters, to name a few.
There are loads of other vegan-friendly dishes to sample in Thailand, including vegetable spring rolls, tom yum mushroom soup, salads, pad thai and fried tofu.
Being vegan in Vietnam is a breeze. Similarly to Thailand, a lot of the Vietnamese locals are Buddhist, so vegan food isn’t hard to come by.
Most of the dishes here are packed with fresh herbs, spices and sauces that are completely vegan-friendly. Pho – also known as noodle soup – is the most common meal here. You can eat it at any time of the day, and you can add in as many or little toppings as you wish. Tofu is really popular, too. You might be surprised to learn that it’s used in custard, which is particularly delicious. Eggplant is another really popular ingredient in Vietnam. It usually comes garnished in toasted peanuts, soy sauce and garlic. Banh mi is another national favourite that you won’t miss out on. It’s a baguette-style sandwich packed with loads of vegetables, fried tofu and garlic sauce.
When you’re eating out in Vietnam, a street stall is your best bet for an unforgettable meal. They’re dotted on almost every street corner, plus you can sit with the locals on tiny chairs and tables. Did we mention how cheap it is, too?
Kuala Lumpur is home to over 100 vegetarian and vegan restaurants, so it’s a paradise for vegan foodies. The cuisine is really diverse, too. In neighbourhoods like Brickfields, you’ll find everything from Chinese, Indian, Korean, Malaysian and Thai food to nibble on. Plus, there are tonnes of street food stalls as well as high-end restaurants which mean your budget won’t suffer, either.
And in terms of where to eat, we think De Health Paradise Organic – in Taman Desa – is definitely worth a visit or two. The name of the restaurant is a bit of giveaway. All of the ingredients are locally sourced, and the menu is almost completely vegan. Some of the most mouth-watering dishes here include pumpkin with green mango and carrot pickles, all lavished in a sesame and mushroom paste topping. Yummy. The drinks menu is just as intriguing, too. You can pick from vegetable juices, apple cider vinegar drinks and specialty detox teas. And if that didn’t impress you, there are tonnes of events here, including health talks, detox workshops and cooking sessions which you can attend.