During my research for my first Europe trip, one concern that had me worried was the fact that I am a vegetarian. I was not sure if I would find vegetarian friendly restaurants in Budapest, and if I did, I was not sure whether the food would be any good and how expensive they might turn out to be. Knowing that there will be other vegetarian travellers like me, I’ve taken the help of some fellow bloggers to compile a sample list of some vegetarian friendly restaurants (or vegan friendly restaurants) in Europe. This is by far not an exhaustive list, and I intend to keep adding to it as and when I get more suggestions.
City: Porto, Portugal
Vegetarian Friendly Restaurant: Brick Clérigos
Recommended by: Maya and Sari of Chasing Lenscapes
Whenever we travel, we find ourselves spending so many hours on our feet since walking is our favourite way of transportation abroad whenever possible. It is a great opportunity to discover cool local places and really get to know a new city. We stumbled upon Brick Clérigos while exploring the streets of the charming Porto in Portugal (it is located just next to the Clérigos Tower). We always like to have something light for lunch and this place was just perfect! Various wraps, toasts, salads, vegetarian plates and soups, all looking so healthy and delicious we had a hard time choosing just two dishes (so we stopped there the next day too). They have great choices for vegetarians and some dishes suitable for vegans. The atmosphere is welcoming and friendly and the design is unique, with a big wooden communal table in the middle and hanging pots and pans and lots of plants all around. We tried the wonderful vegetarian salad, the quinoa salad and a couple of great wraps and also had a taste of the delicious roasted veggie soup. Don’t forget to taste their homemade desserts before you leave. You might need to wait a few minutes for a sit but you can also make a reservation in advance. We would definitely recommend it amongst the vegetarian friendly restaurants in Porto.
You can follow Maya and Sari on Instagram
City: Ghent, Belgium
Vegetarian Friendly Restaurant: Plus+
Recommended by: Bernadette of A Packed Life
Ghent, a medieval gem of Flanders, Belgium, is a wonderful destination in its own right and has also been described as the vegetarian capital of Europe. Thursday in the city is Veggie Dag, when the whole place goes semi-vegetarian, with most establishments offering way more than a token meat-free offering. One of my favourite vegetarian friendly restaurants to catch a great veggie or vegan offering is Plus+ on Ajuinlei, just behind the River Leie that runs through the centre of Ghent.
Here you’ll find a daytime selection that lets you build your own meal from scratch. Choose grains, leaves, and all manner of gorgeous ingredients to create a bowl, and add some warming broth to the mix on a chilly day. You can see my February choices: a bowl of steaming sweet potato soup, quinoa with a falafel, leaves and other salads. What you can’t see is the snow starting to fall outside on the river, making this a magical place to enjoy lunch. You’ll find plenty more places to gladden the vegan or vegetarian soul in Ghent.
You can follow Bernie on Facebook
City: Krakow, Poland
Vegetarian Friendly Restaurant: Hamsa
Recommended by: Gabrielle of Up and Gone
Located in the Kazimierz, or Kraków’s Jewish quarter, Hamsa is an Israeli restaurant that prides itself on hummus and happiness. It delivers both in spades—in the form of light and savoury dishes heaped with spices as well as history. The space, though housed in an older building in the Kazimierz, is light and airy, decorated in the whites and blues of the Israeli flag. On the menu, visitors unfamiliar with this cuisine can orient themselves on the different ingredients (chickpeas, hummus, tahini) and their role in Middle Eastern culture. As for the food: their mezze platter was a light and perfect breakfast: spicy hummus, crispy falafel, and labneh, a very soft cheese that was rolled into balls, soaked in olive oil, and served with pillowy pita. Almost everything is vegetarian, with plenty of vegan options as well. If you head over to Hamsa in the evening, they also have a lounge space with a bar and a beautiful patio that looks like it’d be a wonderful spot to enjoy a warm evening. It is one of the more popular vegetarian friendly restaurants in the area.
You can follow Gabrielle on Facebook
City: Hamburg, Germany
Vegetarian Friendly Restaurant: Kartoffelkeller
Recommended by: Anna of Would Be Traveller
The Kartoffelkeller is a restaurant in Hamburg dedicated to the humble potato. Vegetarians rejoice!
Located on the Deichstraße, this restaurant is in the heart of the city’s action – just a few minutes’ walk from Speicherstadt and the tourist attractions in the area.
Germany used to be considered a country of carnivores thanks to its love of schnitzel and sausage, but it also has one of the fastest growing vegetarian populations in the world (10% of Germans are now vegetarian!). Because of that, it’s quite easy to find good vegetarian food in Germany now, and a large number of vegetarian friendly restaurants.
There’s plenty of choice on Kartoffelkeller’s menu for vegetarians. I chose a delicious potato, spinach and cheese gratin, but I had a hard time choosing between that and the traditional potato pancakes that came in a huge variety of different flavours and toppings.
Sadly for vegans, the potatoes are often covered in cheesy or creamy sauces, but a couple of the potato salads may be suitable.
It goes without saying that you’ll need to like potatoes if you go here!
You can follow Anna on Instagram
City: Manchester, UK
Vegetarian Friendly Restaurant: Little Aladdin
Recommended by: Chris Behrsin of Being A Nomad
Manchester isn’t quite what it used to be when I was growing up there. Every time I visit home, I’m amazed to see how expensive things are. Nowadays, it’s difficult to eat out there for under £10 ($13) a person.
Which is why we were pleasantly surprised to find the Little Aladdin vegan restaurant, on High Street, just a stone’s throw away from Market Street and right on the edge of the hip-and-happening Northern Quarter. Its location makes it ideal for those returning home after either work or early after a night out, and looking for vegetarian friendly restaurants.
Best of all, it’s cheap and 100% vegan. Every day, they cook up a selection of different vegan curries, and you can get a plate of them with rice for £5 (approx. $6.50). When we tried this, the dishes were basic but tasty, and we certainly got our money’s worth.
A favourite amongst the locals for cheap vegan lunches, this is also an excellent option for budget travellers to Manchester, a city that’s famous for its curries.
You can follow Chris on Facebook
City: Ios Island, Cyclades, Greece
Vegetarian Friendly Restaurant: The Octopus Tree
Recommended by: Cristina of LooknWalkGreece
I’ve been vegetarian since 1999. I visited Ios Island, Greece, as I was “transitioning” to vegan, in May 2017. I’ve always been a fan of the Greek cuisine and knew how many vegetarian and vegan options it included. Luckily, my Greek friend also knew this and promptly asked me to the official season opening of the Octopus Tree. The taverna serves fusion Greek and Spanish dishes. What does it mean for you? A lot of vegetarian options. The Classic Greek Salad (Horiatiki) is a must try – and make sure to ask for the local cheese, not only feta. They also make an amazing potato salad. Pair it with beetroot salad. And don’t forget to try the spicy feta dip and tzatziki. Indeed, we tried the mezedes every time we went and, each time tried something else. For 2 adults you can order 3-4 mezedes and you are set for the night.
Their menu lists the ingredients in each dish so don’t be afraid to check them or ask the friendly staff if you have any doubts.
You can follow Cristina on Facebook
City: Helsinki, Finland
Vegetarian Friendly Restaurant: Fafa’s
Recommended by: Anna of Hammock Stories
Fafa’s is a super cool, laid back chain restaurant based in Finland, concentrating on Middle Eastern street food, and it’s a popular vegetarian friendly restaurant option. It has become quite popular and has started spreading from Helsinki to other cities in Finland and even Tallin, Estonia. There have even been talks about Fafa’s trying to expand into the UK! I recently visited their Helsinki location, Siltasaarenkatu 12.
They make awesome pitas, salads, a few side-dishes and yummy sweet potato fries. The prices are moderate, around 9-11 Euros if you are a vegetarian/vegan. My favourite portion is the falafel, hummus and eggplant pita. I just love everything with eggplant. Sometimes I want to give myself a treat and order a dish with cheese in it. You can have the eggplant one with feta. Or you could go for either a falafel & halloumi or goat cheese & pesto pita. The pitas usually have lettuce, tomato, parsley, tabouleh, matbucha, cucumber and tzatziki, just to name a few. It really is quite filling, but luckily not too heavy.
In selected restaurants they have beer, but mostly its lemonade, ginger beer, juice and so forth. If you are on a budget, you can choose tap water and may I say, in Finland, we have the best tap water. No use ordering expensive bottled water here!
You can follow Anna on Facebook
City: Budapest, Hungary
Vegetarian Friendly Restaurant: Trattoria Mamma
Recommended by: Me!
I was travelling with a friend and I am a vegetarian while she isn’t, so I didn’t wish to go to a place that served only vegetarian or vegan food. We found this Italian place near the St Stephan Basilica, and liked the outdoor seating. The menu had enough options to make it qualify as a vegetarian friendly restaurant so we decided to give it a shot. We tried the bruschetta and different kinds of pasta, and of course wine. I guess the wine must have been really good because I don’t really remember what I had for dessert lol! If you are okay with eating cheese, and enjoy Italian food, then this is a good place , specially for dinner. Their lovely outdoor seating overlooks the Basilica area, and afterwards, you can walk over to the famous ice cream place Gelarto Rosa to get yourself an ice cream shaped like a rose!
So there you are, just some ideas for vegetarian friendly restaurants (or vegan friendly restaurants) in Europe. I will add to this list as and when I receive more inputs from bloggers. If you are travelling and looking for vegetarian food in Europe, there are some great resources online that you could refer to such as Happy Cow. Using this and websites like Tripadvisor, you will easily be able to find suitable vegetarian or vegan food options for yourself or your companions, wherever you are.
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