10 Best Vegetarian Countries in the World

Calling all of my vegetarian friends out there! If you are concerned about food struggles when travelling, fear no more. While there are no entirely vegetarian countries that exist, not every country eats primarily meat. 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 to one of the countries I list below is what made me become a vegetarian.

Here are the top 10 very vegetarian 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 birthplace of vegetarianism. It is in fact deeply rooted in the culture and religion 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 restaurants don’t just exist 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 specifically 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, spinach, 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 is 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.

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 population 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

While certainly not one of the more strictly vegetarian countries, from NYC to Portland to San Francisco to Seattle to Texas, there’s plenty of vegetarian cuisines 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 you’re 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 Japanese 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 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

When it comes to very vegetarian countries, Israel is one for the books. Hummus, falafel, and latkes, oh my! Being a 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 vegetarian country or city would you add to this list?



  • My vegan daughter has been in the far east – Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam – for a few years now, and has no trouble eating cleanly.

  • This is the most ridiculous list I have ever seen. To put Germany at no 1 for vegetarians is absolutely absurd. I live here since 10 years and getting Vegetarian food which is delicious is extremely difficult unless you are living in Berlin probably. Try going to a German restaurant the only veg thing will be salad.

  • South East Asia has some of the best and cheapest vegetarian food. I lived in Singapore and rate Singapore’s street food as some of the best and cheapest too. With lots of choice.Malaysia and Thailand also has great vegetarian food. One of the reasons I suspect is that the vegetables and spices do not have far too travel to the market, fresh ingredients are the norm.

  • Great post! Thank you for the insightful article. If you want to lose weight quickly, the easiest way is to eat green vegetables. Of course, all vegetables are good, but some are relatively better for weight loss-these are green vegetables. Green vegetables are nutritious: low in calories, rich in vitamins and minerals.

  • You forgot to add Nepal. I have been a vegetarian myself since I was 12. Though our food is similar to that of India for the most part, you can certainly find more different options like momo and even the foods that are similar are prepared a bit differently here than in India. The closest matching food to Nepal with India would be those from Indian states like Sikkim, Darjeeling.

    I have been living in the United States recently and I have also been exposed to the vegetarian/vegan diet in United States. There are few differences I noticed in vegetarian diet here and in Nepal. Before I state my findings, I want to state that the reason I became vegetarian was mainly because I wanted to live a healthy life. So proper nutrition and health is my priority and I have felt the positive effects of vegetarian diet in my body and mind. I felt my body light, more active, and I stopped being angry and agitated, a certain kind of uneasiness disappeared within couple years of being a vegetarian.

    In Nepal and India, like in street foods and in lunch and dinner we tend to overcook vegetables which destroys the essential nutrients. We also deep fry vegetables which sort of defeats the purpose of vegetarian diet as a healthy lifestyle. Though in United States, I see that a major portion of vegetarian diet consists of salads and they don’t tend to overcook vegetables, which is something a vegetarian from India can learn from US. However, in US we sometimes tend to use too much sugar and dressings and sometimes even bacon, chicken on salads, which also defeats the purpose of healthy vegetarian diet.

    So I think its better for health if we consume vegetarian diet in their raw form for the most part and consume overcooked or deep fried vegetarian options as a side dish only.

    Vegetarian diet has worked for me very well. Though I must say, it is not just the vegetarian food that has given me the bliss of healthy life. I have combined vegetarian diet with yoga, intermediate fasting, and preferring raw foods over cooked and processed food, all of which together have worked like a charm.

    • On a completely unrelated note, I heard that turmeric can be really useful in weight loss and has a natural antiseptic effect on our food. Turmeric is used in almost any vegetarian dish in India and Nepal. Also several of those spices, they are really a medicine if used in right combination and quantity.

  • 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

    • First of all thanks Kristen Sarah for posting such very valuable information.
      @Omar, I respect your opinion but when someone writes ideas or views for the world, one has the responsibility to show the fact or at least be reasonable, otherwise it is gonna be a misleading or bias.
      Indeed, Ethiopian food is a pioneer in the history of culinary art of ancient vegetable cuisine like India (following early Buddhism and Jainism). In Ethiopian, food is usually served on a large platter and vegetarian sauce are decoratively arranged around the center dish, mainly to be shared (like mentioned by Kristen) that is draped with Injera (made from “teff”or Eragrostis tef, its scientific name). Teff is an ancient grain from Ethiopia and it is naturally gluten-free and iron rich (Aptekar, Lewis, In the Lion’s Mouth: Hope and Heartbreak in Humanitarian Assistanc, 2013).
      Historically, Ethiopian food is vegetables and there are plenty of people who are completely vegetarian still now and most of them are from orthodox Christian population, accounted about 44% of the population (Seleshe et al., 2014) and ancient vegetarianism is back to 4th – 8th centuries that was practiced by Buddhism, Jainism and Christian (Greece, Jewish, Coptic and Ethiopian orthodox) and still practiced by these society (as it is also figured out above by Kristen Sarah). In developed world, Europe, vegetarianism was emerge somewhat during the Renaissance and became a more widespread practice during the 19th and 20th centuries and The International Vegetarian Union, a union of the national societies, was founded in 1908, which is located in UK (https://ivu.org/history-legacy-pages.html).
      Coming to your point, from the beginning you contradict yourself by saying they have so much vegetarian foods (which is right by the way) and yet you said less than 5% population (as if you have done an epidemiological study, if you did let us know and read the research finding). If a population has so much vegetarian foods (which is right) why would an extremely low population of the country is consuming vegetables?. Plus you even forget the history of vegetarianism and yet rashly say “they don’t deserve the credit”. I am not saying that there are not meat consumers, indeed there are also some people who consume meat products. But your comment is very misleading and inappropriate.

    • India is real, when it comes to vegetarian. As Gujarat and rajasthan twi big state has nearly 90% of vegetarian in whole state. While 8% are those who some times eat meat and 2 percent people eat regularly aka meat. While many other state also have large amount of people eating veg food. Iran food is colorful. Some sufis are veg rest all are meat eater.plus we dont wanna get kidnapped and end up in Pakistan.

  • 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.

  • 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 🙂

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.


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