Being a vegetarian while travelling has traditionally been tricky. From language barriers making it hard to work out if there’s meat in a dish to some cuisine featuring meat-based stock as standard, there were – and sometimes still are – some hurdles that must be overcome in order for vegetarians to have a meal they can enjoy.
However, vegetarianism – and veganism – has become a lot more mainstream in recent years. In America, at least 6 percent of the population identify as vegetarian or vegan. That figure could be closer to 10 to 15 percent, according to recent surveys. Additionally, three-fifths of American households go meatless at least sometimes.
This trend towards a rise in vegetarians extends around the globe too: there are almost 1.5 billion vegetarians worldwide.
With so many people opting to not eat meat, it’s becoming easier to be a vegetarian while travelling. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next trip, here’s a roundup of some of the best destinations to visit as a vegetarian.
Around 42% of the Indian population is vegetarian, making the country a great option for those planning their travels this year. This leaning towards vegetarianism is the result of religious ideals coming together. Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism gained momentum and refraining from eating meat became the natural outcome.
India also has the perfect growing conditions for vegetables, beans and grains. This is why you’ll find these staples in most dishes, especially in the north of the country. There are plenty of dishes to try, from pea fritters to the chickpea-based curry, chana masala.
A fusion of different cuisines can be found when you visit Sicily. As well as Italian dishes, Greek, Arab, Spanish, and French influences can be found on many meals in this part of Italy. This is largely thanks to different empires ruling there at one time or another.
Vegetarians taking a European tour are spoiled for choice when they’re on this island. From fresh citrus fruits and olives that appear in salads and other dishes to tomato-based pasta meals, there is a lot to tuck into here.
Although Peru is known for its meat-based dishes, like ceviche, there are plenty of plant-based meals that will sate the appetite of vegetarians visiting the country. Rice, potatoes and lentils form the basis of much of the cuisine here, so there are lots of options for non-meat eaters.
One dish in particular that’s popular is succotash, a filling potato and bean-based meal packed with herbs and tomatoes. While meats like bacon are often added, there are lots of vegetarian variations available that are equally tasty.
Will you plan your next trip based on its vegetarian credentials? Where will you go?