If you’re a veggie and you’re heading to Europe any time soon, then you’re in for a treat! There are dozens of destinations serving up meat-free grub and delicious dishes to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Here’s your ultimate guide to the best of vegan Europe, as well as travel tips, vegan restaurant recommendations, and things to know before you go…
Though I might be biased about Paris being a dream vegan destination considering that I actually live there, there’s no denying that the city is absolutely filled with restaurants, shops, bars, and bistros, all catering to the meat-free crowd. Truth be told, there are over two dozen all vegan restaurants and even more dining destinations which are more than willing to cater towards a vegan diet.
Though it would be hard to pick an absolute favourite when it comes to the mouthwatering choices available, some personal recommendations include HANK Vegan Pizza (located in the heart of Le Marais), Tien Hiang (delicious mock meat-infused meals), and Wild & The Moon (hands down, the best smoothie bowls and quirky hot drinks in town).
Upon visiting Prague (or Praha as it is so-called in Czech) with a couple of girlfriends earlier this year, I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer number of vegan restaurants on offer in the Czech Republic capital city. Not only this, but every restaurant we visited (and we sampled many, all in the name of ‘market research’) was reasonably priced, served up beers along their menus, and the quality of all the food we enjoyed was absolutely fantastic.
One of the top places to grab a vegan meal in Prague is that of Forky’s, where you’ll find a delightful seletion of noodle bowls, burgers, and a personal favourite, no fish and chips (tofu marinated in seaweed). Otherwise, head to MAITREA for a more upscale dining experience or Vegan’s Prague for traditional Czech dishes (which are usually made with meat) made vegan and vegetarian.
Read more: A vegan’s guide to Prague
Of all the reasons to visit Ghent (and I can assure you that there are many!) one of the lesser cited ones is that the Flemish city is an absolute delight for those who are vegetarian and vegan. From fast food joints to more luxurious dining experiences, you won’t go wrong by discovering Ghent’s vegan scene.
Otherwise, it’s worth noting that the city has a plethora of hidden gems worth uncovering, including a bar where you have to exchange your shoe for the duration of your drink in order to ‘rent’ the unique beer glass, a strange story about warring sweet sellers in the main town square, and, of course, the chance to see the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (i.e. the Ghent Altarpiece).
So wide-ranging are the vegan options in Ghent, that many people unofficially cite it to be the ‘vegan capital of Europe’. And while it’s hard to say the top spot for food in Ghent, some of the top vegan restaurants in the city include Le Botaniste (this restaurant is set against the backdrop of a vintage pharamcy store and their slogan is even ‘let food be medicine’) and Moor & Moor (a vegan and veggie café that doubles up as a vegan grocery store).
London, England, UK
Of course, no guide to the best of vegan Europe would be complete without a nod to the UK capital city of London. Home to a plethora of concept stores, vegan grocery shops, and delectable restaurants, bars, and cafés, there’s something for every taste and every budget when it comes to vegetarian London.
Fancy sampling some traditional British dishes made vegan? Well, be sure to head to by CHLOE, which serves a selection of no-meat fish and chips, shepherds pie, and even vegan afternoon tea. Otherwise, for those looking for an ever-so-Instagrammable interior, served with a side portion of vegan food, Kalifornian Kitchen is the place to go. All pink façades and floral decor, the café is well-known for its healthy dishes.
Though many visitors to the Netherlands miss out on the delightful city of The Hague in favour of more famous Dutch destinations such as Rotterdam and Amsterdam, this would be your first mistake. After all, while many people assume that the city is simply politics and history, the Hague has plenty to offer even the most discerning of visitors, including the chance to glimpse The Girl With the Pearl Earring and the option to visit the beach in the form of Scheveningen.
But perhaps what surprised me the most by a visit to The Hague was the sheer number of vegetarian and vegan options on offer. From the upscale restaurant of Hortus (whose weird and wonderful food pairings marvel and surprise diners in equal measure) to the friendly FOAM restaurant, The Hague truly is a veggie paradise in the heart of Europe.
Though the Western Swedish city of Gothenburg often misses out on much of the press it deserves in favour of stylish Stockholm, that doesn’t mean you should miss Gothenburg off your Northern European itinerary! After all, the second largest city in Sweden offers highlights such as the Gothenburg Museum of Art and the chance to explore the nearby Gothenburg Archipelago, a breathtaking area of outstanding natural beauty.
And when it comes to the vegan scene in Gothenburg, veggies will surely not be disappointed. Some of the top places to head to for meat-free fare include Kafe Frilagret (specifically known for their vegan brunch, the food is beautifully presented and truly brings meaning to ‘food is art’) and Blackbird, who serve traditional Swedish dishes with a vegan flair.
Read more: A foodie’s guide to Gothenburg
As the capital city of Scotland, many visitors to Edinburgh are surprised by the ‘town’ charm of the UK settlement, not to mention the friendly local vibe of many of the bars and restaurants across town. Not only this, but vegan visitors to the city will also be delighted to discover that there are a myriad of meat-free veggie options dotted across the city.
After all, for those who wish to dine vegan in Edinburgh, there’s something to suit all tastes, budgets, and requirements. When it comes to vegan cafés, be sure to head to Pumpkin Café, which can be found in the picturesque Grassmarket area of the city. Other highly rated vegan dining destinations in the city include Holy Vegan and Henderson’s (vegan and vegetarian restaurant), which was one of the first meat-free eating establishments in the city.
Buzzing, vibrant and ever-so-cool, the capital of vegan food in Europe is undoubtedly Berlin. Both the capital and largest city in Germany, the European settlement boasts a population of over three and a half million residents and many things to do, including discovering street art and exploring Berlin via bike.
Easily one of the best spots to enjoy vegan Europe, one of the top restaurant recommendations in Berlin is that of Hot Dog Soup. As you might have guessed, the menu is characterised by soups and hot dogs! For delectable vegan sweets, including dairy-free donuts, be sure to head to the well-reviewed Brammibal’s Donuts, which serves all kinds of the crowd-pleasing favourite with an unusual twist.