Best Destinations for Vegetarians

While some may think that a non-meat diet is a relatively new phenomenon, pushed into the mainstream in the 1970s by the McCartneys, vegetarianism has... Read more
Best Destinations for Vegetarians

While some may think that a non-meat diet is a relatively new phenomenon, pushed into the mainstream in the 1970s by the McCartneys, vegetarianism has enjoyed a long and diverse history and has been preserved in most cultures since the beginnings of time. Although the term ‘veganism’ wasn't used until the 1940s, evidence of people choosing to avoid the consumption and use of animal products can be traced back over 2,000 years. 

With a continuously growing selection of vegan products available in supermarkets and increasing awareness and acceptance, dietary requirements have never been such an important factor when exploring new destinations. Fortunately, most countries cater to non-meat diets, with vegan and vegetarian options available on most menus.  

History of Non-Meat Diets Across the World 

Earliest ideas of vegetarianism can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians in around 3,200BCE; Abstaining from consuming animal products and refraining from wearing clothing made from animal-derived materials are practices deeply rooted in karmic beliefs of reincarnation. 

In Asia, early religious philosophies such as Hinduism, Brahinanism, Zoroasterianism and Jainism encourage a non-meat diet with the message of non-violence and respect for all life forms. Buddhism in particular Upholds compassion for all living creatures and may have been an influence upon ancient Greek philosopher Pythagaros - Pythagoras was a huge advocate for vegetarianism as a means of avoiding animal cruelty and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Asoka, the Indian monarch who ruled from 264 to 232 BC, underwent a transformative conversion to Buddhism, and as a result enforced the law against killing certain animals and pushed his kingdom to embrace a vegetarian way of life.

As early Christianity expanded around 3 AD, it brought ideas of human supremacy over other living things, although unorthodox groups, such as the Bulgarian Bogamils, continued practising vegetarianism.

During the Renaissance period, figures, such as Italian dietitian Conaro, promoted the removing of meat from diets to ensure a long and fruitful life. Leonardo Da Vinci was famously repulsed by the slaughter of animals denounced the eating of meat.

Best destinations for Non-Meat Eaters 



In a nation where Hinduism is the dominant religion, many followers abstain from consuming beef. As a result, India is considered one of the greatest destinations from a vegetarian and vegan’s point of view.It's quite common to find restaurants that offer a range of vegetarian options, and some even have entire menus devoted to meatless dishes. The availability of vegetarian and vegan curries in India varies drastically throughout the country; In North India, you can savour rich vegetable curries, lentils, and chickpeas immersed in spicy sauces, along with an array of fried street foods and delightful bread options like poori and naan. Travelling to South India offers a different culinary experience with lighter, yet equally delicious vegetarian cuisine. Here, you can enjoy perfectly crisp dosas filled with turmeric-spiced potatoes and idli sambar, which features spongy rice cakes served with a flavorful onion and lentil soup. 


Italy's cuisine is arguably the most vegetarian-friendly of all European countries. Its meatless menus are a delightful tribute to the abundance of fresh produce and exceptional craftsmanship that Italy proudly embraces. Roasted squash, peppers, and glistening olives come together to create a rainbow-coloured antipasti platter. Aromatic truffles work their magic, infusing savoury depth into meat-free risotto dishes. Ripe, juicy tomatoes take centre stage in aromatic pasta sauces, and adorn crispy pizzas with their vibrant flavours. Big, silky basil leaves contribute a splash of green to caprese salads, making them a true visual and culinary delight. Spaghetti, lightly tossed with olive oil, chilli flakes, and sliced garlic, offers a simple yet intensely flavorful option. Bucatini, generously blanketed with grana padano cheese and a sprinkle of black pepper, provides a comforting yet luxurious experience. Italy's vegetarian fare is a testament to the beauty of simplicity and the quality of fresh ingredients.


While Jordanian cuisine traditionally emphasises meat and dairy-based dishes, vegetarian dining in Jordan is a delight, with an abundance of mezze dishes to savour. The Middle Eastern country offers a wealth of options for vegetarian travellers. Crispy, bronze-hued falafel can be found throughout, often served alongside puffy pita, sliced tomatoes, and fresh mint leaves, creating a harmonious blend of flavours and textures. Jordan's hummus offerings are equally impressive, featuring whipped chickpea spreads generously drizzled with olive oil, garnished with herbs, and enlivened with a splash of zesty lemon juice.Other culinary highlights include tabouleh, a finely chopped salad bursting with the vibrant flavours of parsley and bulgur. Fattoush, a herbaceous salad adorned with sumac and crispy pieces of bread, offers a delightful crunch. For a comforting and hearty option, there's mujadara, a combination of rice, lentils, and caramelised onions.




Exploring Mexico as a vegan or vegetarian is a surprisingly pleasant culinary journey. The country offers a wealth of meat-free adaptations of traditional Mexican dishes in many of its vibrant cities. Imagine fresh corn tortillas, nachos and tacos brimming with housemade soy meat, accompanied by intensely flavorful salsas and a generous squeeze of zesty lime juice. Salsas and sauces take centre stage in Mexican vegetarian cuisine, utilising a variety of vegetables such as Aubergines, jackfruits, cauliflowers, lettuce, peppers, radishes, cactus, and pastor made from Soya, mushrooms, and more.

Mexico City, a cosmopolitan hub, stands as a treasure trove for vegetarian travellers. Here, you can explore an array of plant-based restaurants, as well as conventional eateries serving classic meat-free Mexican delights like quesadillas and chiles rellenos de queso, where roasted peppers are generously stuffed with cheese. Vegetarian dining in Mexico is a delightful and rich tapestry of flavours that showcases the country's culinary diversity and creativity.


In Iceland, vegetarian dining has found its niche, particularly in the eclectic capital city of Reykjavik. Here, a multitude of charming plant-based restaurants cater to veggie enthusiasts with a diverse array of offerings, from delectable veggie burgers and vegan tacos to tapas, hearty soups, and wholesome grain bowls. Even as you venture beyond Reykjavik, you'll discover that bed and breakfasts scattered throughout the country uphold vegetarian-friendly traditions. These accommodations invariably provide skyr, a yoghourt-like dairy product often enjoyed with fruit, along with freshly baked breads and farm-fresh eggs to start your day on a nourishing note.For those travelling the scenic roads of Iceland, quick and convenient vegetarian options are never far away. Gas stations and rest stops readily offer a selection of tasty vegetarian sandwiches, ensuring that even on the go, you can maintain your plant-based preferences with ease.

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