How to stay vegetarian when travelling abroad

Finding a place to eat in a country that doesn't speak your language when you're vegetarian can be a bit of a minefield, especially when a lot of countries have their own definition of what a vegetarian is. For example a lot of Asian countries will serve dishes made up of stock from animal bones as they believe that if you're not eating the carcass, then it is vegetarian. Europe is generally more safer, but even then there are some countries that have adapted to vegetarianism more than others . To celebrate National Vegetarian Week and my love of travelling, today I've put together a few tips on how to stay vegetarian when travelling abroad. Travelling abroad when you are vegetarian is little bit tricky, but when you have the knowledge and research your trip properly, it isn't impossible.

Read reviews

When finding somewhere to travel, always read reviews on vegetarian forums and blogs or ask your local vegetarian/vegan Facebook group to see if they have travelled to the area. Research local restaurants and see how the country generally cope with vegetarian culture. When looking on TripAdvisor you can do a keyword search for the term 'vegetarian' to see whether any previous vegetarians had issues with their food.

Look for vegetarian only restaurants

It is surprising how many cities now have vegetarian or vegan cafes so it is always worth looking around to try find some. I managed to find some in Bruges, Amsterdam and Dublin on my travels and if the person or people you are travelling with don't mind you stopping there for a bite to eat, it is generally a safer option.

Stick with chain restaurants if you are unsure

If you are really struggling with the language barrier or feel too afraid to take the risk in some local restaurants, try looking at chain restaurants. The bigger the restaurant, generally, the more experience they will have had catering for different dietary requests.

Write an itinerary

Once you have done your research at home and found a few restaurants that you would like to visit, consider writing an itinerary. If you have a plan of action, you are less likely to be caught off guard trying to find a place to eat.

Don't be afraid to email

Don't be afraid to email restaurants before you go to see if they have a vegetarian option and whether it can be adapted. A lot of restaurants are usually happy to help as it means they will have their restaurant full.

Carry around a phrasebook

If you're heading to a country that speaks very little of your own language, consider carrying around a phrasebook or download a translating app on your phone. This will help you put your point across if you're not confident and help the person serving you. It is also helpful to try memorise the word for vegetarian in their language for emergencies.

Download the Happy Cow app

The Happy Cow app enables you to search for vegetarian and vegan restaurants nearby using your GPS. It works in 180 different countries and you can even save your search offline if you know you're going to be heading somewhere with little internet.

What are your tips for travelling with a dietary request?


  1. These tips are great! Definitely important to look at reviews :)

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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