Traveling as a vegetarian in a meat country

As a strict vegetarian I’m a little harder to travel with than most. I have not sampled the wiener schnitzel in Austria, the foie gras in France or the blood sausage in Ireland. On my last trip I ate either Asian or Indian food every single day because they are the easiest menus to find variety on.

However, I’ve also been in countries where Asian and Indian foods are non-existent. So then what?

My first choice for vegetarian fare is the local farmers market. A delight of most European cities, farmers markets put you in the heart of a local community. You can also get fruit, nuts and easy vegetables for a picnic that day. I always pack a few sporks in my bag for spontaneous outdoor eating.

Locate the grocery store when you arrive at your destination. Even if you are not vegetarian, grocery stores are another lesson on the culture you’ve just stepped into. Ponder over the labels and look for canned goods that have easy open tops. You can also pack a hand-twist can opener in your carry-on bag without TSA problems.

Talk to a local produce vendor at the farmers market about restaurants that have vegetarian meals. They typically know about restaurants that have meatless options nearby. If there is a language barrier in the area you will be traveling in, pack along a good travel dictionary that has phonetic spellings for saying key phrases or words.

If you are staying in a city for a few days, research apartment rentals online. I have always had great success finding apartments with kitchens for less than an average hotel. Considering the money you save buying groceries versus eating out for every meal, it’s well worth the effort.

For a list of helpful vegetarian eating establishments worldwide, check out Happy Cow or the Vegetarian Vacation URL guide.

Happy meatless travels!

4 thoughts on “Traveling as a vegetarian in a meat country

    • You are so right. Happy Cow IS a lifesaver! Just looked at your blog, and it’s great! I’ve started following you on Twitter, and look forward to your postings.

    • I’m so happy to hear that the vegetarian links were useful! I spent several trips just eating french fries until I got the hang of dining healthfully in a foreign land, and wanted to share what I had discovered. Best wishes in your travels!

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