Vegetarian / vegan in foreign lands

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  • This is something that has occurred to me a number of times when I have been to another country. As a vegetarian, one of the biggest hurdles I seem to face is how I am going to feed myself. I usually manage, but not as well as I would like.

    This thread is to share tips on how to eat well in places where vegetarianism seems to be almost unheard of.

    My first tip regards travelling on Eurostar. If you choose to travel in standard premier, they will provide a cold meal at your seat. Normally this would consist of some sort of meat dish. You can however get a specially prepared vegetarian meal by stating this when you book. It can be a bit pot luck as to what dishes they will serve you, but there is a tofu dish that they do serve which I have found to be particularly nice.

    So any more tips for vegetarians abroad?

  • It can be fun, I have had complete refusal in France (I left), a salad covered in seafood in Germany (returned) and a late night stop in the only place open in Spain we entered to find bull's head & bull fighting decor; it belonged to an ex bull-fighter. I resigned myself to not being able to eat anything yet the chef came out to speak to me personally "was I a proper vegan?" at my insistance that I was he surprised me with an amazing salad covered in various nuts and dried fruit.

    I find it easier to feed myself from a supermarket. Otherwise if going to a restaurant with friends take one that speaks the lingo.

    Learn the local phrases for no meat, fish, dairy, egg etc etc& said with a smile usually works better.

    They do say that sampling the local cuisine is half the fun of travelling but I'd rather it didn't include any dead things :)

  • I check out happycow too, or stay in hostels with a kitchen, then I can cook nice vegan food for myself!

    I have found a French chain of Hotels that have a kitchenette in the rooms:

    The last time I was over there, I stayed in one of their apartments, it gave me a lot of flexibility.

  • Happycow is a great site for finding vegetarian/vegan restaurants. It covers most of the World. I'm even have a list pre-prepared for my project trip to Colombia. It's also worth checking out lists of local dishes, and of course to get an understanding of common food items, as not all people or countries may understand 'vegan'.

  • And if you have language problems there's always (shameless plug here) the rather fab Vegan Passport put together by the Vegan Society. It's a "multilingual vegan phrasebook...for... vegans and vegetarians. Small,... include[s] the languages of over 95% of the world's population." Images here. I have it, and scanned it to PDF so I can carry it around on my phone.