The World's 10 Best International Vegan Cities
VegNews editors unveil their ranking of the most vegan-friendly international cities—rich with food, fashion, and culture (sans animal products).
In the much-anticipated Travel Issue of VegNews—on newsstands now—we’re thrilled to bring you the top 10 vegan cities in the world. From food to culture, these places are at the forefront of plant-based trends. For all the delicious details on the can’t-miss dishes and events, pick up a copy today (or subscribe). But for now, here’s a sneak peek at the top 10 vegan cities around the globe!
Vegan is, after all, as normal as it gets in London. Major supermarkets from Aldi to Tesco have introduced their own house brand of vegan products, more than 500 restaurants from Brixton to Islington offer vegan options, and even politicians like London-based Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn are heeding veganism’s call. The VegFest UK London draws more than 10,000 attendees to its hyped-up, energy-infused event every autumn. Yorkshire’s very own Donald Watson, founder of the word “vegan,” would be bloody proud!
You know a movement has arrived when it earns its official place in the local lexicon. In 2016, "veganisme" was added to the French dictionary, and has grown by quantum leaps since. Today in la Ville Lumiere, you can indulge in a vegan charcuterie plate at a traditional bistro, attend a plant-based pop music festival, and nibble on buttery croissants at an authentic boulangerie. And, oh (la la): Paris now boasts more than 45 vegan restaurants!
Berlin’s reputation as the epicenter of European cool is warranted. The DIY hipster-aesthetic isn’t just surface stuff, though—it runs deep in the local culinary culture. Exhibit A: Street Food Thursdays, held in an old abandoned market, for vegan ice cream, doughnuts, and spring rolls; and Exhibit B: Bite Club, a food truck pop-up party where everything from spicy dan dan noodles to zucchini pancakes are yours to savor. For Exhibits C–Z, get yourself to the German capital ASAP.
Australia is among the top five fastest-growing vegan markets in the world, but we’re surprised it’s not number one; there’s certainly enough vegan action happening in the Victoria State capital of Melbourne alone to warrant the top spot. A strong animal-rights movement coupled with a vibrant health-conscious tribe means there’s something for everyone in this university town, from vegan maker’s markets to food truck festivals and beyond. Building your Melbourne vacay around dining experiences? Make sure to follow @VeganFoodsMelbourne’s Instagram.
Amsterdam took top spot due to its booming vegan social media presence. In the last 12 months alone, a half-dozen new restaurants arrived on the Dutch capital's food scene, each with its own Insta-worthy specialty. At Mastino V, it’s the decadent, crunchy-crust pizzas; at Men Impossible, the slurpy ramen bowls; and at Vegan Junk Food Bar, the cheesy, shawarma-loaded fries take the cake. Our advice? Book your next vacay stat, and pack your fat pants.
6. Tel Aviv
Nanuchka, the Tel Aviv restaurant getting buzz around the globe for its inventive Georgian cuisine, isn’t the only popular spot to give its menu the vegan treatment. The Israeli army has also revamped its food options to meet the needs of plant-based conscripts, dishing up hummus, avocado sandwiches, and lentil burgers in its cantines. More good news: In January, cultured-meat startup SuperMeat announced it successfully raised $3 million to bring its slaughter-free chicken to market. And the city’s annual Vegan Congress draws thousands eager to hear leading speakers pontificate on topics ranging from the veganism-feminism connection to effectively communicating the plant-based message to diverse populations.
Even its nickname—The Big Mango—hints at Bangkok’s obsession with food. The city dazzles with its bright lights and golden temples, but a confluence of food cultures is what really makes the Thai capital sparkle. Whether you’re craving a luscious wedge of carrot cake, a refreshing cold-pressed green drink, an Indian masala dosa, or fish-free bowl of tom kha soup, you’ll find it here, and then some. Plus, an active vegan social scene means you’ll always have a partner in edible crime.
What would Taipei’s vegan scene look like without Buddhism? The city of 2.7 million is in the process of discovery, as a young generation of ethically and environmentally motivated upstarts are shedding the Buddhist ideologies and reimagining plant-based living in fresh new ways. Between vegan bake sales, animal-rights-driven vegetarian festivals, and trendy pop-ups, Taiwan’s vegan makeover is looking—and tasting—marvelous.
9. Mexico City
The most populated city in North America, Mexico City, recently became one of the most animal-friendly, and not by accident. Politically, the city sits to the left of the liberal-conservative divide, voting in favor of same-sex unions, legalization of marijuana, and a ban on animal circuses. This year, it made a bold step to revamp its constitution to recognize animals as sentient beings deserving of moral consideration. And every January, the Minding Animals International conference draws crowds who come to hear the likes of authors Jonathan Balcombe and Carol J. Adams speak on animal issues. Holy mole, Mexico. We’re impressed!
What do pizza marinara, pasta pomodoro, and focaccia have in common? These traditional Italian foods were accidentally vegan long before the term came into vogue. In Rome today, you don’t have to search far and wide to try authentic plant-based local fare—it’s everywhere. Not surprising when you consider that seven percent of the population are herbivores. Pro tip: Take the summer heat down a few notches with granita di mandorla, a frosty concoction made simply from almonds, sugar, and ice. And don’t miss aperitivo hour at Breaking Bread bistro for generously proportioned plates of olives, focaccia, marinated vegetables, and vegan cheeses for next-to-nothing prices.
VegNews Travel Editor Aurelia d’Andrea can’t wait to try Taiwanese-style stinky tofu, straight from the source!
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