How To Stay Veggie On Your Travels
For vegetarians travelling can be a make or break for the discipline as many find that “Vegetarian” is not as popular or easy to ask for as in other parts of the world. For example many continental food cultures consider the request for “vegetarian,” to merely mean no red meat, or only a small amount.
Don’t worry though, we’re here to help! Check out our guide to staying veggie on your travels:
1. Prepare Online
Probably the single best way to make sure you can find something to eat is to do some research online before you go. Look up specialist restaurants and places you know you can trust. Most restaurants let you download a menu to your smartphone so you’ve always got a handy reference. Try going to a few travel forums and ask the question. There may even be apps for your phone that will help.
2. Learn A Phrase Or Two (And Carry A Cheat Sheet!)
If you are not fluent in the language of the country you are travelling in then look up the phrase for “Please can you show me the meat-free options” and have it handy (in case your studying doesn’t pay off!). The word “vegetarian” doesn’t translate all that well, so find ways to articulate a meatless meal! Useful phrases to consider looking up include knowing the phrases for various meats (so you can avoid them on the menu) and a way to ask if animal fats are used in all their cooking (obviously this depends how strict you are!)
3. Or Just Cheat!
Many restaurants have “tourist menus” which are typically in English and can make choosing food much easier. Although, be careful as sometimes translations can be inventive. Don’t be afraid to ask for a substitution or to leave ingredients out, most places recognise different dietary needs.
4. Pick Your Restaurant
As a vegetarian you will know that some types of restaurants are more likely to have suitable food for you than others. The usual culprits of salad, pizza, pasta as well as Middle-east and Asian dishes should be high on the “safe bet” lists. It’s also fair to say that while most restaurants will accommodate you you’re better off heading to the hipper, younger areas of a city to get good veggie grub – while traditional restaurants are often superb many can be stuck in their ways!
Okay, so we’re not advocating becoming one with nature and living in the Tiergraten, Parc Guell or Hyde Park but you can stick to great fruit and vegetables, as well as lots of tasty snacks from various markets in most cities. It’s a fairly good feeling to be enjoying fresh fruit from a local market while exploring the lesser known parts of a flourishing vibrant city.