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Surviving as a Vegetarian Traveler

The joy of being a vegetarian traveler - discovering a new dimension to the world of travelFamilies from Gujarat carry their theplas and pickles during their holidays. Some people carry their ready-to-eat food mixes. Some carry home made lentil powders and pickles that they have it with rice or bread. There are a crazy few who live on Maggi noodles and trail mixes. And then there are people who actually do not embark on their international holidays because they are worried about vegetarian or vegan food.

From far away, traveling as a vegetarian or vegan looks daunting, but in reality, it is not as complicated as it looks. I am a prime example! I am sure you all know that I have been traveling quite a bit for the last 12 years. And I have almost always managed to find vegetarian food, stay healthy, not lose weight or muscle mass and have actually enjoyed the different local vegetarian options from every country that I have visited. May be, it is my experimenting nature or the fact is that there is a lot of delicious vegetarian food to eat all round the world. All you need to do is go with an open mind and follow these simple and handy tips to thoroughly enjoy your sojourns as a vegetarian/vegan traveler.
  

T I P S   T O   E N J O Y   V E G E T A R I A N   T R A V E L
 
Handy Tips to enjoy Vegetarian and Vegan Travel

There are some basic tips that you should remember and follow if you wish to be a successful vegetarian or vegan traveler.
 
1) Eat like the locals

People all over the world, however much they love meat, need their veggies, greens and fruits. And that is why all cultures, races and countries have vegetarian foods and dishes in their regular diet. All you have to do is figure this out. It is easy if you are a slow traveler like me as you have more time to interact with the locals, but even if you are not, you will learn a lot about the vegetarian/vegan food items in the local cuisine by talking with locals, by getting invited to their homes, by visiting restaurants frequented by locals, by exploring local food, vegetable and fruit markets, by visiting local supermarkets and sometimes by just getting lucky.

2) Indulge in street food
 
In my 10 plus years of independent travel, I have found more vegetarian and vegan food options on the street than in some of the best hotels and restaurants. And not just that, these vegetarian street food items are from the local cuisine unlike the established hotels and restaurants. Another advantage of eating from the street is that you can actually see the cooking in front of you with the raw ingredients and all and you can also ask questions then and there. Even if you are having trouble with the foreign language, sign language and facial expressions usually work at street food stalls.  

3) Learn vegetarian keywords in foreign languages

Whether you are using the handy phrases from your travel guide or you are using the nifty features of Google Translate, it always comes in handy to learn some vegetarian keywords in the local language. Some keyword examples would be: I am a vegetarian, I don’t eat meat, I only eat plants, vegetables and fruits and so on. In my case, I always make it a point to know the phrases that will help me eat vegetarian food. Sometimes, I use help and guidance from locals (this is usually a lot of fun) and at other times, I download the offline language packs from Google Translate so that I can somehow manage my way with food easily.

4) Cook your own meal

In these days of AirBnB stays, one almost always get access to a kitchen at their place of stay. Hence, if you are really fussy about your vegetarian/vegan diet needs, then you can buy the required groceries from the nearby supermarket or local farmer’s market and can cook your own delicious vegetarian/vegan meals. Some hostels and other places of stay also allow you to use their kitchen and cook your own food.

5) Religious Institutions or Religious Food

There are many places across the world that are associated with certain religions or cultures that require them to serve vegetarian or vegan food. For example, the Sikh gurudwaras across the world, the Buddhist temples of China and South East Asia, the Hindu temples of India, some Israeli places of worship, certain type of churches and many others. They could either serve vegetarian/vegan food on certain days of the week, certain months in a year or simply all round the year.

6) Vegetarian and/or Vegan Restaurants

With Vegetarianism and Veganism becoming popular all over the world, a lot of new restaurants are opening up. While some of them are run off the mill, the others are novel and offer interesting local and fusion food. There are some vegetarian restaurants that serve mock meats (ones that have the texture of meat, but are made from mushrooms and/or vegetables). While there are lots of food apps and websites to help you find such vegetarian/vegan restaurants, I use Happy Cow.

I N D I A

Top 10 Iconic Vegetarian Street Food Joints of Hyderabad10 Yummy Amritsar Experiences the Foodie in you should not miss10 Iconic Vegetarian Food Joints of Jaipur

A Vegetarian Assamese Meal: Must Taste on your Next Holiday to AssamDon't Miss to Taste the Traditional Lunch on your next Badami HolidayTop 10 Traditional Food Joints of South Bangalore 

Traditional Vegetarian Food Trails of MumbaiThindi Beedhi - Bangalore's Famous Food Street


I N T E R N A T I O N A L

Turkey Food Travel through this Vegetarian's GutA Gastronomic Journey in Istanbul Singapore and Food: Made for each other

Where to find vegetarian food in MalaysiaHow to survive as a vegetarian in IranSurviving as a vegetarian in Oman    
       
Drinking Coffee the Parisian WayMexican Delight at Los Angeles Tropical Fruits of Malaysia: Have you tasted them?

My Favorite Food of 2013Feast on the Tropical Fruits of Thailand Popular Shan Snacks of Burma

Vegetarian Food in Indonesia Warungs of Indonesia

V E G E T A R I A N   R E S T A U R A N T S   F R O M   A R O U N D   T H E   W O R L D

Below is a list of some restaurants that serve delicious vegetarian/vegan food and that I have personally experienced and enjoyed.

I N D I A    
    
Kritunga: Delicious and Spicy Rayalseema Food
   
I N T E R N A T I O N A L

Blue Elephant: Gourmet Thai Food in Bangkok 5 Flavor-Filled Vegetarian Restaurants in VancouverBlue Pumpkin: The Best Dessert Bar in Cambodia

May Kaidees: A Vegetarian's Delight in Bangkok, Thailand Tamnak Lao Restaurant: Best for Lao Food Ying Vegetarian: A Must Visit for all Vegetarians in Hong Kong

B E S T   V E G E T A R I A N   B L O G S   &   R E C I P E S

If you love vegetarian/vegan food, would like to know more about vegetarianism and veganism from around the world, would like some inspiration on plant-based healthy diets and/or would like to dish out some of your own creations, you might be interested in these vegetarian blogs and recipes from these foodies, food bloggers and foodie travelers. 

Saffron Trail by Nandita Iyer – healthy vegetarian food, Indian and from around the world

Legal Nomads by Jodi Ettenberg – telling stories through food

My Diverse Kitchen by Aparna – vegetarian cooking and breads

The First Mess by Laura Wright – healthy food blog with delicious plant-based recipes

Naturally Ella by Erin Alderson – great resource for natural cooking and vegetarian recipes

Green Kitchen Stories by David, Luise & Elsa – the healthy vegetarian recipe blog

L A T E S T   P O S T S   O N   V E G E T A R I A N   F O O D    

For all my latest blog posts on vegetarian food from India and abroad and handy survival tips for vegetarian travelers, click here.
   

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