As a vegan traveller, there's surely nothing more satisfying than finding a local food on your travels that just happens to be vegan! So many people assume as vegan travellers we miss out on all that local food has to offer whenever we visit somewhere new, but of course this need not be the case! Sure, we won't be eating any steak in Argentina, pork loin in Czech Republic or milk chocolate in Switzerland, but there are still plenty of accidentally vegan foods to be discovered all over the world.
So for this post, I asked some awesome vegan travel bloggers to share their best finds of accidentally vegan food they've come across on their travels, to inspire you and give you hope that if you're travelling as a vegan, you can still enjoy the local food wherever you go!
Since my first visit to Paris, and well before I even considered being vegan, I have been infatuated with the French baguette. This masterpiece in bread making with its crusty exterior and chewy interior, is simple yet complex and basically the stuff of dreams. Making this bread in France has been elevated to an art form and there is even a law that dictates the ingredients only include flour, water, yeast and salt.
Thankfully for anyone not living in France, the baguette is available all over the world and can usually be purchased at a small price. Because of its diverse nature you can enjoy it any time of the day. Slice up some vine ripe tomatoes, cucumbers and red leaf lettuce and you have a sandwich for a lunch. Pair with a pot of raspberry jam and coffee and you have a lovely breakfast. Couple it with soup for a satisfying dinner or just tear off pieces throughout the day as a snack. The baguette is nothing short of a man made miracle, versatile, delicious, and thankfully vegan.
We weren't quite sure what to expect from Georgia, especially in the area of vegan food, so we were thrilled to have found mushroom kinkhali while we were there. Kinkhali is a Georgian dumpling usually filled with meat, but because of religious fasting, you can sometimes find it without meat and dairy. These beautiful pockets of dough are served steaming hot and bursting with flavours of garlic and dill. We added a generous dash of ground black pepper to them and dug in hands first. At .60 cents (CAD) each you can bet that we kept them coming. There is nothing better than a plate of hot mushroom kinkhali after hiking up one of Georgia's snowy mountains. And maybe a shot of chacha.
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Giselle and Cody run Mindful Wanderlust, a responsible and ethical vegan travel blog. They are trying to change the way people see animals and travel by sharing their experiences. And of course they love food. Check them out on Facebook and Instagram.
We’ve been on the road for 15 months now, on a Vegan Food Quest to find, eat and write about the best vegan food in the world. During that time we’ve eaten in some of the finest restaurants and hotels that South East Asia has to offer but that doesn’t stop us looking for tasty street food snacks wherever we go. We’re always excited to find some accidentally vegan street food that's quick, cheap and absolutely delicious and so when we first discovered one of our all time favourite street foods, you can imagine how happy we were.
The particular little beauties that we are in love with are called khanom krok; small rice flour and coconut milk pancakes, found everywhere in Thailand but we’ve also found them in Laos and apparently you can get your hands on them in Cambodia too (but we’ve yet to find them here).
They are sweet and savoury at the same time, creamy, salty and highly addictive. Often topped with sweetcorn, taro or spring onion they are a perfect snack especially when eaten fresh out of the cast iron griddle they are cooked in. There are many different variations of both topping and pancake mix but they're always vegan – we’ve tried them every time we’ve found them and as much as we have our favourite street vendors we love them all. It’s fair to say that we are kind of addicted to khanom krok.
Paul & Caryl from Vegan Food Quest spend their lives finding, eating and writing about the best vegan food in the world. Currently based in Siem Reap, Cambodia, they are just as happy enjoying vegan fine dining as they are eating from a local street food vendor. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
One of my favourite accidentally vegan foods are the peanut marzipans de la Rosa from Mexico. I discovered them first through a Mexican flatmate and when I visited the country and I couldn't resist eating them every day. They are made of peanuts and it's a pleasure to feel how they dissolve in your mouth. Plus, they come in a pretty colourful box! They might not be the healthiest food, but you cannot miss them if you go to Mexico!
Elena is a Spanish girl living in Berlin who tries to travel as much as possible and enjoys writing about it from time to time. Check out her blog, Travel and Tofu, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Hopkins is a small village, situated on the Caribbean Sea. It is considered by many to be the cultural center for the Garifuna people, rife with their own distinct style of music, dance, language, dress and of course their own cuisine. Garifuna dishes seem to combine older African traditions with Central American flavors by using only very local ingredients. With their close proximity to the ocean it is not surprising that many, if not most, Garifuna dishes include fish, so we were extremely pleased to find bundiga, a vegan Garifuna meal.
Bundiga can be made with or without seafood, so be sure to specify before ordering. Bundiga’s lack of color is made up in flavor and, although you can find more complicated recipes online, the woman who prepared our meal surprisingly only used three ingredients: green bananas, coconut and black pepper. And so we sat in flimsy plastic chairs at a plastic covered wooden table with the sea breeze blowing salt into the air and enjoyed every last bite of our hearty dish – delicious meal, fantastic evening! Be sure to add, like to all your Belizean meals, some Marie Sharp’s hot sauce, the pride of Belize.
Currently based in Florida, USA, Mindy and Ligeia of Bounding Over Our Steps are enjoy traveling the world and checking out the vegan scene in each place they visit. They are passionate about animals and animal rights and hope to one day live in the cruelty-free world they envision. Follow their adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
When we rolled into Puerto Viejo, a small town on the east coast of Costa Rica, we hadn't realised what a vegan hotspot it was going to be. We even found a vegan cooking class there! While cycling along the coast we came across a little place called La Biotica Organica which cooked up wholesome, homemade, organic and vegan food. Costa Rica's typical dish of rice and beans comes cooked in coconut milk in this area to give it a Caribbean flavour. We were wowed by the comida typica at this place which consisted of rice and beans, beetroot and lentil patties, a carrot and ginger veggie stew and fresh salad. Our bellies were so full we could barely cycle after!
Charlie is a long-term traveller, freelance writer and house sitter taking an alternative path across the world. Her travel blog, Charlie on Travel, is about simple, sustainable and socially responsible travel. Follow her adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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