Veganism is certainly not an easy choice and, especially when traveling, it can become even more challenging. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of the top 10 vegan cities in Europe, where finding vegan venues is really easy.
The Internet is changing the whole world. It can easily open our eyes to the impact of livestock farming and the shameless cruelty of meat producers. The environmental consequences of the livestock industry are increasingly being questioned. Because of overpopulation, a vegetable-based diet will be an irreversible future, regardless of how this problem is perceived or the habits of each person. At this time, each state is moving towards a more conscious consumption with its own speed. Avoiding products of animal origin, is no longer associated with Ayurvedic cuisine of India (the most vegetarian country in the world) or religious reasons.
Unlike the long-established vegetarian diet, veganism is still not widespread in the world. The countries with the highest presence of vegans are Israel, Sweden, Japan, Poland, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Germany, but it is still a small minority. Although the majority of the population continues to eat animal products, vegans are still on the rise. Veganism is not only about vegan food, but also about the food industry and the most attentive, healthy and conscious lifestyle.
Many now have the opportunity to try new dishes and products, which are traditionally part of the vegan culture. In fact, it is often food that allows an initial approach to different cultures. Restaurants with vegan menus are increasingly numerous, and as often happens, the first openings take place in larger cities, where the encounter between different cultures is much favored.
When there are many possibilities to try this cuisine in one’s own city, it is easy for a proposal like vegan to enter the normality of city life. Especially if you consider that the vegan alternative is very healthy and takes its cue from the typical dishes that everyone knows, it is even easier to accept it positively.
This is what has happened in many European cities, where vegan dishes are easy to find and particularly appreciated.
Let’s see now the 10 most vegan cities in Europe and you will discover that this trend is not only useful, but also very fascinating, current and tasty.
1. London, England, UK
Despite being a very modern city, where you can easily find fresh and quality products, London is never associated with a healthy lifestyle. In recent years, however, the city has changed a lot. Not a week goes by without the opening of a new cruel juice bar or restaurant. People in sportswear flock to London’s parks in all weather conditions. Londoners practice yoga and meditation, go to masterclasses on healthy eating. And instead of going to the pub on Friday night, they’re getting ready for the next marathon.
In 2017, London was the first city to enter the Happycow site, which reported 100 100% vegan restaurants on its map. There are now 170 vegan activities within a radius of 8 km around the city. The number of vegan restaurants, greengrocers and even vegan clothing stores is steadily increasing in the metropolis. All these locations are very popular among both tourists and locals. According to a survey conducted a few years ago, there are more than 540,000 people who maintain a vegetarian diet in the UK. 120,000 of these live in London.
2. Berlin, Germany
According to an analysis published in Yougov, by 2015 there were already about 8 million vegetarians and about 1.3 million vegans in Germany, more than 11% of the population. It is not surprising that the industry in the country is growing significantly. The vegetarian diet is particularly widespread among the inhabitants of Berlin.
Vegetarianism has been present in Germany for a long time, towards the end of the 19th century. In June 1892, the VEBU (Vegetarian Union) appeared in Germany. Since then, being a vegetarian in Germany has been a common occurrence.
In recent years, the vegetarian diet has gained popularity among Germans. For those who choose to abandon animal products, there are many specialist shops, restaurants and even hotels. Vegetarian menus are available in school canteens. Most restaurants have vegetarian options in addition to typical dishes and even McDonald’s restaurants offer vegetarian hamburgers.
More and more fully vegetarian restaurants appear in Berlin every year and to date there are already 470.
3. Amsterdam, Netherlands
In 2017, Amsterdam was named the most vegetarian city in Europe for the number of vegetarian consumers in relation to the total population. The city is famous for its Dutch Weed Burger. Other notable places are Mr. and Ms. Watson, famous for his vegan cheeses.
Today there are about 250 vegan restaurants in the city, but to promote veganism the Dutch have not limited themselves to food. This year the fashion brand Mercer Amsterdam, presented a model of sneakers made from recycled pineapple fibers. The model was created in collaboration with Piñatex, a Philippine manufacturer specializing in ecological leather. The brand has defined these shoes as the most ecological ever and they are not only natural and eco-friendly, but also very stable and durable.
4. Milan, Italy
Once in Milan we ate risotto and cutlets, then sushi and hamburgers and now it’s time for vegetarian and vegan restaurants. Avocado, toast, quinoa, chia seeds and others from the list of vegan products are the new trends. It almost seems that the Milanese no longer go to trattorias, but prefer cruel restaurants, fast food vegetarians, sandwiches veggie or other new places 100% without animal products.
To be honest, it is much more for fashion than for environmental reasons, but in any case the tradition of vegetarian cuisine in the Lombard capital remains strong. In Milan there is the first vegetarian restaurant in Europe to receive a Michelin star in 2006. This is the famous restaurant Joia, chef Pietro Leeman has allowed the vegetarian cuisine to make a leap in quality.
In general, even the most traditional Italian dishes include some vegan delicacies. Try to think of seafood pizza, spaghetti with garlic, oil and chilli, simple tomato pasta or even sorbet made from water instead of milk.
5. Hamburg, Germany
Hamburg vegan is best known for Vincent Vegan’s food truck, which recently opened its first traditional restaurant. In 2014 startup Vincent Vegan became the first vegan van in Germany. This idea was effective right from the start because it took up the need for a quick and healthy meal at the same time.
Meanwhile, the owner of another famous vegan restaurant, Happenpappen, has opened his own cooking school that promotes a healthy diet. The vegan tradition in Hamburg will continue to develop over the next few years and there are currently 149 vegetarian and vegan restaurants. Their number will surely increase, as will the interest of tourists in this beautiful city.
6. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is one of the most progressive cities in Europe in terms of vegetarianism and veganism. Eco Festivals, green food, ethical shops, vegan cafes – the traveller will feel at ease here and will certainly not be hungry.
The network of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the Czech capital is growing every year. In the city of one and a half million inhabitants there are already 100 vegetarian restaurants, bistros and bars, each of which has its own particularities.
A few years ago there were only a few establishments in the Loving Huts chain, which can now be found throughout the city. What distinguishes the local vegans in Prague is that they are rethinking the traditional national cuisine, removing some ingredients and adding vegetable alternatives.
7. Warsaw, Poland
The fascination of conscious eating has taken over the world and the gastronomic map of Warsaw has also become remarkably green. There are already 40 entirely vegan restaurants in the Polish capital. More than 500 have a wide choice of vegetarian/vegan options. From vegan snacks to vegan chocolate. According to the already mentioned HappyCow website, Warsaw is among the top 3 vegan-friendly cities in the world.
Fashion for a conscious diet is conquering the world and the gastronomic map of Warsaw has become remarkably “green”. There are already 40 completely vegan places in the Polish capital. More than 500 bars and restaurants have a wide choice of vegetarian/vegan options on the menu – from vegan snacks to vegan chocolate. According to the HappyCow website, Warsaw is among the top 3 vegan cities in the world.
On the other hand, in 1912, the book “The History of the Vegetarian Movement in Poland” was published in Warsaw itself. In addition, the magazine “Jarskie Życie” (“Vegetarian Life”) was published every month in the Polish capital. Among other things, this magazine told about vegetarian places in Warsaw, Lvov, Krakow, Lodz, Wroclaw and Katowice.
8. Edinburgh, Scotland
Scotland’s most beautiful city is known for its large number of vegetarian venues – there are about 120 of them. In 2015 Edinburgh was the UK’s most vegan city, according to PETA. It should not be forgotten that this city is the perfect place for lovers of culture, nature and good food.
It is in Edinburgh that you can find the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the UK, Henderson’s, which offers dishes with organic and eco-friendly products. Other noteworthy venues include Novapizza Vegetarian Kitchen, the fabulous Holy Cow burgery and David Bann gourmet restaurant.
9. Gothenburg, Sweden
According to Happy Cow, there are over 70 vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Gothenburg. Not bad for a city with half a million inhabitants.
One of the tourists’ favourite restaurants is the stylish Open New Doors, located right next to the bridge, with a great view of the city. In addition to the restaurants in the city there is also a cruelty-free beauty salon and an extensive network of clothing stores, where wool, silk and leather are impossible to find.
10. Bristol, England, UK
This year Bristol was the city where people were most interested in abandoning animal products and becoming interested in the difference between vegetarian and vegan, according to Google searches. This city has become a vegan Mecca in recent years. There are many vegan restaurants and cafes. Beauty salons and cruelty-free hairdressers have also become very popular. The Bristol community is very active. In February, the House of Veg, the first supermarket with only vegetable products, was opened.
Surprisingly in Bristol, 3 out of 4 deputies say they do not eat meat or animal products.