10 Best Countries in the World for Vegetarians

Calling all of my vegetrian friends out there! If you are concerned about food struggles when travelling, fear no more. Although eating meat is part of the national identity in many countries, there are destinations that may otherwise be defined as a vegetarians paradise. In fact, travelling in one of the countries I list below is what made me become a vegetarian.

Here are 10 countries around the world that will make every non-meat eater a happy traveller:

#1 Germany

When you think of German food, schnitzel and wurst may be two of the top items that come to mind. However, you will find that new vegetarian and vegan restaurants are popping up in several cities around the country, especially Berlin. Berlin is fastly becoming one of the best cities in the world for both vegetarians and vegans. Even if you aren’t dining in a vegetarian specific restaurant, all restaurants & cafes in the city have some labeled vegetarian and vegan options on their menus.

Indian Vegetable Thali

Image by: Eric Parker

#2 India

This is the land that has changed me in many ways including the way I eat. India is in fact the birth place of vegetarianism. It is in fact deeply rooted into the culture and religon of the country and has even been ranked the lowest consumer of meat in the world. Pretty impressive for a country with a population of 1.252 billion people!

From thalis and dosas in the south of India to aloo ghobi and dal makhani in the north, India has countless vegetarian (and even vegan) dishes for you to choose from.

#3 Canada

You can find vegetarian and vegan restaurants in all of the Canadian provinces however, you are going to get the most options in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta.

When I am not travelling, I spend my time in the city I was born and raised – Toronto! Not only is Toronto the most multicultural city in the world, but it’s also one of the best places to eat. As a vegetarian who dines out several times a week, I never run out of new and very delicious options for vegetarian and vegan meals around the city.

Vegetarian restauarants don’t just exists in Toronto but also in many other cities throughout Ontario. You can also always find vegetarian and vegan options in every restaurant that isn’t geared specfically to non-meat eaters.

Ethiopian injera

Image by: Rod Waddington

#4 Ethiopia

Many Ethiopians belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which requires Wednesdays and Fridays to be meat-free. On top of that, there are long periods of vegetarian fasting.

I personally love ethiopian food. Not only do you get to eat with your hands (the best way to eat), but I love how everyone eats from the same dish. My favourite dish consists of injera, the national staple and the base of almost every meal. Injera is like a large thin pancake customarily used to pick up the food from your plate. So, what would you be picking up with the injera? Lentils, spinash, peas, beans and cauliflower spiced with the traditional Ethiopian berbere sauce. Yummy!

#5 Taiwan

Not only is Taiwan a great country for vegetarians but vegans as well! One out of ten Taiwanese are vegetarian. The reason why Taiwan has a such a large vegetarian population is because of the Buddhist and Daoist influence however, the government also encourages one-day-a-week vegetarian diet and strictly regulates vegetarian labeling of foods for all.

Plantains

Image By: Rasta Seed

#6 Jamaica

Many people belong to the Rastafari movement follow what’s called the Ital diet. They believe the Ital diet increases Livity, or the life energy that Rastafari generally believe lives within all human beings. Since meat is dead, eating it would therefore work against Livity elevation. Rastafarians also disapprove of processed food. Herbs and hot peppers are a frequent substitute for salt. Sugar is usually avoided or only a little raw sugar sweetens some food on occasion. Rastafarians also make their own tofu, veggie mince, and soymilk from scratch.

Even if Rastafarianism only makes up a small popultions of Jamaica, there isn’t a shortage of vegetarian dishes to be found as the Ital diet has become popularly accepted. You can find everything from boiled green banana to mango chutney to beans, peas, callaloo, cornucopia of coconut cream, sweet potatoes, and banana-corn meal bread! There’s also nothing quite like a good Ital vegetable soup or stew in my opinion.

#7 United States

From NYC to Portland to San Francisco to Seattle to Texas, there’s plenty of vegetarian cuisine to go around in the U.S of A.

You can find the world’s only all-vegan strip mall in Portland and stumble into a vegetarian restaurant in New York even when your not trying to. Texas is the vegan food truck capital of the world while Los Angelas is high on PETA’s 2013 list of vegan-friendly cities.

Nasi Goreng Singapore

Image By: Rooey

#8 Singapore

According to one of my favourite global vegetarian resources Happy Cow, Singapore has over 350 vegetarian restaurants scattered throughout the island country. Since the country is so culturally diverse, you can find all types of vegetarian cuisine from Japanaese to Malaysian to Indian to Italian, etc.

#9 England

A few years ago, PETA ranked London, England the most vegetarian-friendly city in the world. Brighton has also been a very veggie-friendly town in the England for decades. Basically, the country is a vegetarian haven and if you don’t have to be a meat eater to eat extremely well here.

Israli Hummus

Image By: Megan

#10 Israel

Hummus, falafel and latkes, oh my! Being vegetarian in Israel is no problem. Israeli street food is especially vegetarian friendly. Since Kosher food laws stipulate that meat and dairy products must not be mixed, many restaurants (one third to be exact) either serve meat or dairy products. This means that a very high proportion of restaurants in Israel are almost effectively vegetarian restaurants.

Which country or city would you add to this list?

 

Kristen Sarah is a full-time traveller, tiny home owner and adventure junkie. She has one of the leading YouTube travel channels and is the head honcha of award-winning travel and lifestyle website, Hopscotch the Globe.

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22 Comments

  1. July 3, 2017 / 7:24 pm

    I agree with all except Ethiopia I don’t think that country should be on the list therefore it may be vegetarian but the people aren’t like literally not even 5% of the population is vegetarian yet they have so much vegetarian food it’s ridiculous and makes no sense at all. I don’t really think they deserve the credit unless they are vegetarian as well like they are and all these other countries like India, Israel, Germany, etc. heck I think Iran should’ve made the list more because there are actual vegans even in that country

  2. Himanshu
    October 25, 2016 / 6:26 am

    Vegetarianism and percentage of vegetarians in the country isnt getting any better. A recent news article pegged number of veggies to around a mere 40% of entire population. Which i think is the lowest in the entire known history. Can only hope situation doesn’t get any worse.

  3. July 22, 2016 / 5:20 am

    Visit Taiwan (Taipei City) and enjoy the world's best and most mouthwatering vegetarian buffet, it's simply astonishing !!!

  4. April 21, 2016 / 3:57 am

    With sanitation of water close to 100%, as well as the presence of excellent vegetarian chefs in the country, Penang, Selangor and Johor states of west Malaysia should be one of the most recommended place for vegetarians to visit (where Malaysian Chinese concentrated). Highly budgetal, you can get from MYR 4-7(mixed rice type with 3-4 veges), to MYR 30 (premium large set) per meal. This means that for a meal of £ 4 in UK, you can at least have three to five meals in Malaysia. If you want vegan, visit Simplelife (RM30/meal), if you are okay to communicate a little with the Chinese restaurant owners about milk presence, you can also have good vegan food in common restaurants. You can hardly find Malaysian Chinese chefs in western countries so consider taking a stop when you pass by SEA 🙂

  5. March 15, 2016 / 8:25 am

    This is an best article on vegetarianism, not human rights. Singapore has a tendency to execute for nonviolent offenses. Jamaica has a nonexistence of gay rights. India has a bit of an issue with inter ethnic violence. Yes, Israel’s government is a major asshole to Palestine, but left up to human rights, none of these countries are beacons of freedom. Let’s not apply a political agenda to a culinary article. Thanks.

  6. Ali Khan
    February 21, 2016 / 6:38 pm

    Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal. All three countries are great for vegetarians which were not mentioned here. :>

  7. dk
    January 24, 2016 / 6:42 am

    india is the first country for vegetarian.here 80% people donot eat non veg or eat ocasinally few ocanisally

  8. December 9, 2015 / 6:20 pm

    I definitely think the U.K. is a great country for vegetarians. I was happy there were vegetarian options at just about every bar and restaurant I ate at. I miss my natural food store – where I would get my tofu – in Leeds. I also think Thailand is a great country for vegetarians – there were vegetarian options at all the guesthouses and restaurants I ate at. Then again, all the places I went to were tourist-oriented.

  9. Di
    November 12, 2015 / 1:03 pm

    Czech republic!! Recently went to prague and i was overwhelmed by the many EXCELLENT vegetarian and vegan restaurants. It was a great surprise

    • November 15, 2015 / 10:24 pm

      Nice! What was one of your favourite meals there?

  10. November 12, 2015 / 12:06 am

    I would never have guessed Germany or Jamaica. I'm excited to find this post because now I'll have a great list of countries to visit for their great vegetarian cuisine!

    • November 15, 2015 / 10:21 pm

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed this post. I’m going to be writing a part 2 🙂

  11. November 11, 2015 / 3:35 pm

    ITALY! I've been here for 11 years and have never had a problem! It's great! I thought for sure it'd make the list! 😉

    • November 15, 2015 / 10:20 pm

      I’m writing a part 2…it may just make the cut 😉 Love Italy!

  12. November 11, 2015 / 3:21 am

    I would have never believed Germany to be on #1 spot. Nice post Kristen

    • September 16, 2015 / 9:55 am

      Thank you! There’s a lot of delicious vegetarian food all around the world for us to enjoy 🙂

  13. September 14, 2015 / 6:43 pm

    This is great information. I've had vegetarian dishes in several of those countries and they are delicious. I just had a vegetarian meal in Toronto just now. I'm predominantly an omnivore but for the 5 weeks I was a vegetarian in India I really enjoyed it and found it very easily to give up meat. I much preferred feeding the happy cows my leftovers than eating a hamburger with no cows to feed.

    • September 14, 2015 / 5:13 pm

      Oh man all of those cows that became our friends in Rishikesh were the best. I loved feeding them!

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