Let’s admit it. Being vegan in a country that loves its Butter Chicken and Mutton Biryani is hard. But then, we are also blessed with our dosas and khichdi, right? Well, have you ever wondered what it must be like for a vegan to travel the world and find food that fits his/her diet? We found these cities around the globe, which are a vegan’s absolute paradise. By Shubhanjana Das
1. Tel Aviv, Israel:
The vegan capital of the world, Tel Aviv, takes its vegans and the practice of veganism very seriously. With over 400 restaurants serving vegan delicacies in a fun mix of Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern varieties, Tel Aviv’s emphasis on the freshness of every fruit and vegetable served on the plate is on a CRAZY level, and vegans seem to love it! Here, food isn’t prepared from wrapped products but freshly sourced from shuks (markets) every day. We wouldn’t mind a bite (or a bowl) of galean mjadra, their signature vegan dish. After all, who wouldn’t want the deliciousness of lentils, paprika, almonds and berries cooked and served with bulgur wheat, topped with salsa and tahini?
2. Taipei, Taiwan:
Taipei seems to be serving what vegans couldn’t really have imagined before – vegan street food. So plentiful are vegan eating options in Taipei that it is considered one of the easiest and most comfortable Asian cities for a vegan (from a culinary point of view) to travel in. With a number of enthusiastic cafes and restaurants happily dedicated to serving only the most appetizing vegan food, there’s no dearth of vegan sandwiches, burgers, pasta, and cakes if you make your way around the bustling streets of Taipei.
3. Ghent, Belgium:
There’s no scope of second thoughts when it comes to Ghent for it has been officially declared the veggie capital of Europe, so much so that schools and public services offices celebrate a ‘veggie Thursday’ every week! Say what! Organic supermarkets supplying the vegan cafes and restaurants with an abundance of the freshest produce are enough reason to try the vegan menu, which extends far beyond bland salads. If you do accept Ghent’s cordial invitation to vegans worldwide to come and experience this veggie-loving city, then don’t forget to try Komkommertijd, a vegan buffet on the outskirts of Ghent that busts the myths that circulate around the concept of veganism by simply serving the best food a vegan will ever taste.
4. Edinburgh, UK:
PETA has recognised Edinburgh as UK’s most vegan-friendly city in 2015 and ever since a flurry of vegan tourists and travellers have flocked the capital of Scotland to relish the superb array of options that they are offered. Not only does it offer vegan alternatives to meat and dairy-based dishes but also whips up food that can turn even a meat-lover vegan! That statement isn’t an exaggeration if we consider the vegan Bolognese at popular food trucks, vegan haggis at the popular vegan joint Henderson’s, cheesy vegan nachos at The Auld Hoose or hazelnut filled risotto at David Bann. Who said vegans have limited options!
5. Chennai, India:
In a country where 40% of the population eats vegetarian, it shouldn’t be all that difficult to find vegan food in some part, right? Even surveys have pointed to Chennai’s growing interest in veganism, reflected in the insurgence of vegan restaurants in the city. The food here is primarily cooked in coconut oil and there are PLENTY of vegan options to choose from. Here, even non-vegetarians are most likely to be eating most vegetarian (if not vegan food) without even noticing it! Curry, thali, dosa, chaat, sambhar, idli, vada, chutney – you ask for it and it shall be served to you steaming hot, and with a smile.