1. Taipei, Taiwan
Taiwan has a majority-Buddhist population, so cruelty-free dining is commonplace, and Taipei is particularly has a wide verity of vegan dining possibilities. Vegan restaurants and supermarkets are easy to come by as are vegetarian spots offering plenty of vegan options. Tofu crops up regularly in street food, and a local speciality is the ‘Taiwanese Burrito’ — which consists of vegetables in a peanut sauce, wrapped up burrito-style. Raw vegan desserts are worth visiting Ooh Cha Cha for and About Animals is a cosy, relaxed bar, its signature dish is kimchi burgers. Taipei is so geared up toward vegetarians and vegans that many of its hotels offer vegan breakfast and dinner options.
2. Ghent, Belgium
The city has wholeheartedly embraced the meat-free concept, to the extent that ‘Veggie Thursday’ sees school children and public service workers offered entirely meat-free meals once a week. Local cafes and restaurants also offer extra vegetarian options on Thursdays. Ghent local businesses have provided a huge number of organic markets, vegetarian cafes and a largely vegetarian organic supermarket. Although many of the spots are vegetarian rather than fully vegan, there are always plenty of dairy and egg-free options and a good range of vegan beers at the small (population 250,000) city’s bars. Long-standing favorites include organic lunch joint Avalon and a vegan buffet at Komkommertijd. The city places a big emphasis on organic, locally-sourced produce too.
3. Edinburgh, Scotland
Named by PETA as the UK’s most vegan-friendly city in 2015, Edinburgh swiped the title from its neighbor Glasgow. Edinburgh offers over 20 vegan venues along with a good selection of meat-and-dairy-free options at most other cafes, bars and restaurants. Vegans can even try vegan haggis, which is a headliner at Henderson’s — a trail-blazing vegetarian restaurant that has been in business for more than 50 years. Popular food trucks offer baked potatoes topped with everything from chickpea curry to vegan bolognese. The Auld Hoose is a popular pub famous for its extensive range of veggie-friendly options, including mammoth portions of nachos made with vegan cheese. For upscale vegan dining, try David Bann, where sophisticated dishes such as ravioli stuffed with hazelnuts, red cabbage and thyme come at surprisingly accessible prices. It’s vegetarian rather than all-vegan, but there are loads of vegan options on the menu.
4. Chennai, India
Almost half the population of India is vegetarian, and while regions in the north often use clarified butter in cooking, the south is more vegan-friendly. Chennai, in particular, has become a destination city for vegan foodies, mainly for the diversity of vegan curries, dosas, thalis, sambhar and chutneys. Chaat — a catch-all term for Southern Indian street food — is very often good to go for vegans, with options including spiced corn and potato-based aloo. For those spending a decent amount of time here, Chennai Vegan Drinks is a meet-up group for vegans in town.
5. Brighton, UK
Brighton is home to numerous cruelty-free eating and shopping establishments. There are several dedicated vegetarian and vegan bed and breakfasts and VegFest, a major vegan food festival, takes place each March. Brighton’s vegan drinking-and-dining scene ranges from cute artsy cafes — many of which are located in the backstreets that make up the Laines — with Lydia’s Vegetarian Cafe being a longstanding favorite and from the same owners, Rootcandi is the UK’s first plant-based tapas restaurant. Brighton even has the UK’s only plant-based vegan Pizzaria — Purezza.
6. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai has carved itself a reputation as one of the country’s top destinations for cruelty-free dining. In addition to the vegan buffets that can be found in Thailand, Chiang Mai has an ever-increasing number of upscale eateries, salad bars, organic-farm-to-table restaurants and macrobiotic spots. Highlights include Pun Pun — which has two restaurants and a vegan store in the city, all specialising in inventive, organic, locally-sourced food, coffees and smoothies. The mushroom-based version of the ubiquitous fermented Thai sausage is a thing of real joy. A standout among the buffets is Khunchurn, which also provides a home delivery lunch service.
7. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio’s dedicated vegan joints such as Leblon institution Vegetariano Social Clube and downtown lunch stalwarts Green, VegeCoop and Tempeh have seen their plant-based ranks swelled by a host of newcomers such as Prana and Vegan Vegan, while the juice bars on virtually every street corner have been offering veg concoctions since way before juicing was a thing. Many of the salad bars in Rio pay by weight and are a joy — olives, hearts of palm, fish-free sushi and colorful bean salads. Furthermore, Rio’s best churrascarias (all-you-can-eat meat grills) are in fact dream dinner spots for vegans. Diners can make unlimited visits to buffets groaning under the weight of meat-free sides, salads, and sushi. Some steakhouses, such as Fogo de Chao, offer discounted prices for those who won’t be partaking of the meaty main attraction. Don’t forget to try Acai on the beach — just listen out for vendors yelling ‘ah-sigh-eeee!’.
8. Berlin, Germany
It seems like a host of Berlin’s creativity has been poured into the vegan dining scene. Even the most hardened of carnivores may be away from their schnitzel and currywurst. The city has hosted Europe’s largest vegan-vegetarian festival each summer since 2008; the world’s first vegan supermarket chain — Veganz — was founded here in 2011. It homes more strictly-vegan eateries. Lucky Leek, in the trendy Prenzlauer Berg district, is worth a visit offering five-course taster menus paired with vegan wines. There are similarly sophisticated venues dotted around town, along with countless vegan and vegetarian cafes and food trucks.
9. Portland, Oregon
When lunchtime rolls around, we inevitably find ourselves craving the most ridiculous tempeh reuben from @byeandbyeportland. (The side of brussels and frosty hefe didn't hurt either.) Best tempeh reuben we've had so far, from top to bottom. May have had it three times in the course of a week, the last time we were in Portland.🍴 #letthegoodin #byeandbye #tempehreuben #vegan #plantbased #eatwellfeelgood #foodtourists #hefeweizen #beer #sauerkraut #pdx #portlandfood #brusselssprouts #veganfoodshare #veganeats #foodphotography #foodgram #huffposttaste #buzzfeast
In Portland veggie legend the Bye and Bye is a bar with an all-vegan menu, offering everything from edamame bowls and hummus to barbecued tofu and veggie platters; cashew cheese and salad baguettes, and spaghetti with vegan meatballs and almond ‘parmesan.’ But you don’t need to go to an all-vegan eatery to chow down on cruelty-free delights in Pdx. Most restaurants, coffee shops and bars offer a good range of labelled vegan options to go with the craft beers and fair-trade coffees. The city even launched its own Vegan Beer and Food festival in 2015, and there are scores of stores selling vegan clothes and accessories. Portland can even lay claim to having the world’s only vegan strip bar — Casa Diablo — should you be so inclined.
10. Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver is home to vegan shoe stores, bakeries, food trucks, brunch joints, raw food bars and supper clubs. The Acorn is rated among the best restaurants in Canada and, though it’s vegetarian rather than vegan, there are plenty of options here for strict vegos, and the slick decor makes it a good option for a special occasion meal. There’s more fine vegan dining at Graze, which also does a fine line in vegan desserts, while Heirloom is a long-standing favorite on the meat-free scene, with some good vegan wines as well as hearty brunches. Tacos, veggie burgers and Asian-accented ‘chicken’ burgers are among the highlights of Vancouver’s famously veggie-friendly food truck scene.