Eating habits are evolving, and many are giving up meat and dairy—some for better health, others for the planet. As an ecologically aware generation travels the world, some destinations have risen to the challenge of meeting their dietary needs. By Bayar Jain

1. Say ‘no cheese!’ in Italy

Vegan Destinations

Italy may be celebrated for its ham and cheese, but its rich food culture thrives equally on soups, casseroles, and hearty legume dishes. For centuries, Italians have relied on ingredients like fava beans, dried peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes to hero their foods. While the pasta al pomodoro e basilico, paired with Prosecco, remains an all-time classic, Rome’s handmade gnocchi, Bologna’s steaming bowl of fagioli all’uccelletto stew and crunchy bruschetta al pomodoro are starting to tease global taste buds now. The Vegan Travel Club not only lets you savour these foods but also includes wine tours and vegan cooking classes in each of its vegan-friendly packages.

2. Go on a vegan safari in Botswana

Vegan Destinations

For any animal lover, experiencing a safari in Africa is a moving experience. But the irony is, most vegans find it difficult to get a cruelty-free diet on their safari vacation. In Botswana, one can watch zebras, wildebeests, and elephants roam free, just the way
nature intended them to be. Due to the prevalent no-hunting policy in the country, the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, and Khwai have thriving fauna. This animal love
extends to the food as well, with dishes like yam and vegetables, South African pap and chakalaka, Ghanaian beans and plantains, Kenyan chapati and vegetable stew being served to guests. Check out Vegan Safari Africa for the adventure of a lifetime, which does not hurt any animals in the process.

3. Try staples of Southeast Asia

Vegan Destinations

The Southeast Asian region is a vibrant fusion of cultures, and their vegan dishes are a testament to this variety. In Laos, traditional temples house tasty tofu lap and bamboo basket sticky rice; Thailand brings with it scrumptious bowls of pad thai and som tam. Malaysia, on the other hand, doubles as a melting pot of rich and spicy dishes influenced by Malay, Chinese, Thai, and Indian cuisines. VegVoyages, a culturally immersive and local interaction-based vegan tour operator, curates culinary journeys across these countries.

4. Relive the Silk Route days in Iran

Vegan Destinations

Thanks to its strategic position along the Silk Route, Iran familiarised itself with ingredients from around the world. The variations in climate also contribute to a variety of agricultural produce. Here, local ingredients like saffron, pistachios, pomegranates, quince, dried lemons, and sumac join hands to create flavourful dishes. It’s no surprise, then, those Persian foods were once largely vegan. Lubia polo, tahchin, ghormeh sabzi are just a few of the many popular dishes at the local restaurants. Get in touch with Iran Vegan Travel to plan your Persian vegan vacation, and get a taste of all of Iran’s flavours.

5. Cut a caper in South America

Vegan Destinations

A popular myth about South America is that the entire region’s plates are filled with Argentinean parrilla or Ecuadorian pig roasts. The concept of veganism, however, is on the rise here as well. While Guatemala is home to soulful coffee, Costa Rica boasts of delicious black beans and rice. Countries like Belize and Costa Rica are home to veganised variations of classics like tofu tacos and avocado, and corn tortilla chips and salsa. Vegan Adventure Holidays can organise a vacation to this lesser-explored region. Apart from planning your holiday, they even have an online learning platform and community for vegan adventure travellers where you can share notes and ideas with one another.

Handpicked by A-list

Anahita Dhondy Chef-Partner, Sodabottleopenerwala

New York:

A large number of salad bars, speciality vegan restaurants and menus.


Lots of good Indian restaurants; places like Hoppers, Farmacy, Tredwells, and Omved Gardens are a must-try.

Related: Travel Trends 2020: Vegan Vacations Are In Vogue!