Vegan Restaurants Near Me: A Complete Guide To Finding Vegan Food Around The Globe
Hello fellow vegans, desperate to find the answer to “how to find vegan restaurants near me”! And those weary folk dragging themselves through Veganuary (it gets better, I promise) and those horrified few who have accidentally stumbled up this leafy vegan hub of plant-based goodness. Stick around for a few mins, wouldn’t you? Dust burger? You may like to open one or two of these for reading later (they open in a new tab):
As a full time traveling vegan it is really important to me that I find nutritious, delicious vegan food anywhere in the world. I’ve discovered places where it’s easy to be a vegan traveler, with the best vegan restaurants (Sri Lanka and Bali, holla) and places where it’s more difficult (Thailand, I’m looking at you).
You can either stumble around the world surviving on expensive airport apples and plain crisps, or you can get smart, find the best vegan restaurants and markets, and feast. “Fail to prepare and prepare to fail”, and all that jazz. Learn from my mistakes and use the resources on this page to prepare a foolproof vegan foodie trip no matter where you are in the world and no matter what your budget is.
So, without further ado here is how I would recommend finding great vegan food across the world (without desperately punching ‘vegan restaurants near me’ into Google after another hungry day.
- 1 1. Do Your (Vegan) Research
- 2 2. Get The Best Vegan Apps
- 3 3. Join Local Vegan Facebook Groups
- 4 4. Meet other Vegans
- 5 5. Use Vegan City Guides
- 6 6. Cook Your Own Vegan Food
1. Do Your (Vegan) Research
Research the country before you get there. I would recommend simply searching ‘Vegan XYZ food’, with XYZ being the name of the country you are visiting. This gives you a heads-up of what you can order from local restaurants without having to head to a vegan restaurant.
For example, in Thailand I knew that I could safely eat mango and sticky rice (for ever and ever, amen), in Sri Lanka I knew that I could go to town on lentil dhal and veggie fried rice, and in Bali the local Nasi Campur (rice with veggie and tofu/tempeh) was on the cards. It’s much easier to know ahead of time which traditional foods are vegan rather than having to leg it to vegan restaurants, which might be abundant (if you’re in, say, LA) or may be non-existant (our experience on the Thai-Burma border). Check out vegan friendly options we discovered in Bali and Thailand.
2. Get The Best Vegan Apps
Get the vegan APPS. My good friend Layla from @veganvibesfamily had been nagging me for-everrr to get the Happy Cow app, which will pretty reliably find you places with vegan food near to your location. You can choose for the app to filter the best vegan restaurants, vegetarian and vegan restaurants, restaurants with vegan options and shops where you can buy cruelty-free food and ingredients.
I tried the app today in Galle, Sri Lanka, where I’ve visited 4 times recently, and it hit the nail on the head with several places that I’ve eaten at recently and can confirm offer good vegan food. The app responds to user feedback so if somewhere is claiming to offer vegan food but actually doesn’t, it will be removed.
Other apps that are useful for your vegan travels are:
Vegetarious– this app does a similar thing to Happy Cow but we’ve found it sometimes offers different choices to Happy Cow- it’s always nice to have options! Get it for free on the iTunes or Google Play stores.
Is it Vegan? – What magic is this?! Simply use the scanner to scan the bar code of whichever food or drink you want, and it will tell you if it’s vegan. There are limitations to this app; it mainly focuses on the USA and obviously you can’t use it on dishes in restaurants and some ingredients (like glycerine) can’t be determined as definitely vegan as there are several sources. Get it on the iTunes or Google Play stores.
VegGuide- VegGuide is a great website for finding vegan restaurants (although it works best in the US).
A word of- well, sense- while using these apps: there is no replacement for common sense. There can always be glitches and misinformation so these apps can’t be relied on to get you everywhere in the world, happily, as a vegan.
3. Join Local Vegan Facebook Groups
This has proven invaluable to me while in Sri Lanka; a vegan friend (the founder of the wonderful Dogstar Foundation) added me to the Vegan Sri Lanka group, and it’s fab. People post in there every day with what local products they know to be vegan; restaurant and cafe recommendations, and all kinds of useful info like that. It’s nice to be able to take a screenshot of some snacks and walk into a shop and pick up the same stuff, without having to read through a million labels!
I would recommend joining these groups long before you get to the country, so you can get an idea of where to shop and what to buy- however I jumped into a couple when we got to the country and it has been very useful.
Here’s a handy clickable list of the geographical vegan groups on Facebook- take a deep breath, I scoured the web for an extremely comprehensive list. If a country or state is missing it’s because the Facebook links were dead- ain’t nobody got no time for that. If you need to translate from one of the non-English pages use this translator link.
Vegan Travel (general)
Vegan Middle East
Vegan South America
4. Meet other Vegans
Local vegans will of course know the best cruelty-free places to eat, so why not meet up with other vegans, make friends and free two birds with one stone? The best websites and apps for meet-ups are:
Vegan forums on Happy Cow (see the ‘app’ section above)
Meetup.com, where you can choose to meet people near you with similar interests
Veggiedate.com, if you are in a ‘dating’ kinda mood
Veggieboards online forum has specific vegan forums
Veganforum.com is a place for vegans to chat and has specific travel related threads
Vegan Friend Me is a Facebook group for vegans worldwide who want to make new friends
5. Use Vegan City Guides
Check out these vegan travel bloggers via Vegantravel.com to search for vegan city guides as well as these 48 vegan travel bloggers that love to share their ethical travel adventures with you. There’s nothing like firsthand experience of a place to ensure you head to the best spots and get to try the most delicious vegan food that a city has to offer!
6. Cook Your Own Vegan Food
If you fancy a break from eating out, cook your own ethical food in the kitchen of your apartment or hostel. I recommend downloading the Food Monster app, which has over 8000 delicious vegan recipes for you to try. What’s tastier than home-cooked food without the brain-work?
I hope you have found my guide to answer “how to find vegan restaurants near me” helpful. If you think you could add something or have a must-visit restaurant you think we should try, please get in touch! You may also like my other vegan posts:
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