Veganism and vegetarianism have become quite common around the globe, and eating your way through Europe has never been easier for people who follow these diets. While many famous European dishes contain some variety of meat or dairy, there are many ways you can still enjoy local foods and get the ultimate European gastronomy experience! Read on for our tips for vegans and vegetarians while travelling through Europe!
1. Download an App
There’s lots of smart phone apps which use your location to find vegan and vegetarian restaurants in your area. Download one to see how many options you have on your travels!
2. Go grocery shopping
This is helpful for snacks and meals, especially if your hostel has a guest kitchen. Many European countries offer discounter grocery shops, so ask at reception of your hostel where they’re located. Some grocery shops, like in Switzerland, for example, offer discounts after 6 p.m. on items with shorter sell-by dates as a means to reduce waste. And in a country as expensive as Switzerland, it’s nice to save a few bucks!
Europe is also famous for its open air farmers markets, where you can purchase an array of fresh fruits, veggies, breads, and more! Markets are a great option for getting a taste of the local produce, especially if eating local is part of your diet ethos!
3. Spice it up
Bring your own herbs and spices if you plan to do a lot of cooking on your travels! These ingredients can make your otherwise bland, 3 ingredient meal something you’d actually want a second helping of. And if you want to avoid plastic containers, we recommend picking up some silicone bags. They’re lightweight, compact, durable, and washable!
And if you plan on not wasting any extra food you might cook up, bring along some Tupperware, or other plastic free food storage containers. Not only will it help make your trip more eco-friendly, it’ll help save you money for other things…like drinks 😀
Benefits of Vegan/Vegetarianism While Travelling
One thing for sure is you’re bound to have a smaller carbon footprint than that of your fellow meat-eating travellers by following one of these diets. And if you plan on doing a lot of local food shopping, we have a surprise for you! All hostels in the Gli ostelli famosi d'Europa network have cloth bags for our guests, so if you’d like to take one, just ask at reception!
Another benefit is that these diets are typically easier on the wallet. Unlike other parts of the world, Europe has fresh, yet cheap, options for produce, ultimately making your wallet happier!
And finally, you’re less susceptible to food poisoning or other infamous gastro illnesses one can catch while travelling. Not all countries have the same standards when it comes to meat processing, so some people get sick from introducing new foods to their systems. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get unlucky, we’re just saying your chances are lower!
While in Switzerland, most lactose intolerant people avoid cheese fondue, but it’s actually lactose-free! While the typical way to enjoy this dish is with bread, you can also use fresh, raw vegetables. We recommend mushrooms, radishes, red and yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli. Enjoy!