Best Vegan-Friendly Cuisines from Around the World

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by Alena Schowalter
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Do you love traveling or eating out? Here are our top spots and vegan-friendly cuisines from around the world to check out!

No need to stay at home and just stick to old, familiar food as a vegan.

It’s time to get out of your routines and try exotic flavors and textures worldwide!

Whether you want to add more variety to your home-cooked meals, check out a new restaurant in town, or prepare for a global adventure, here are our top tips and recipes for vegan-friendly cuisines.

Best Vegan Cuisines

Some parts of the world are naturally far more vegan-friendly than others! There are cultures that have been eating mostly plant-based foods for a very long time and know how to make them taste fantastic.

Discover exciting ideas for regionally-inspired dishes you can cook below with our selection of vegan recipes from different world cuisines!

Make your favorite cuisine vegan-friendly

Check out our recipe collections full of vegan goodness from your favorite cuisines below!

Top Vegan-Friendly Cuisines to Try

Mexican Food

Mexican dishes are often made with beans (hello, plant-based protein!) and are remarkably easy to prepare at home.

It emphasizes tomatoes, avocados, fresh veggies, rice, and corn. These are inexpensive and versatile ingredients!

Plus, you can always add a little guac or salsa. Find our favorite recipes here!

Finished vegan bean burrito on plate next to limes and yogurt

Asian Food

Other very plant-forward cuisines are located in Asia. They include Indian, Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Chinese.

Large parts of India and Buddhist-inspired countries are vegetarian or plant-based, and their traditional dishes are very easy to make fully vegan — if they aren’t already.

We know that “Asian” is a vast category, and we’ll surely explore this part of the world more in the future!

Common ingredients include rice, vegetables, coconuts, and soy products like tofu or tempeh.

black pan with homemade vegan Chow Mein Noodles and chopsticks

Italian Food

Italian cuisine offers a large assortment of possibilities for vegans! From flavorful sauces and vegetables to pasta, pizza, and salad, anyone can find a fully plant-based dish they love here.

Even if you’re on a budget or dealing with picky eaters, spaghetti with tomato sauce is always an option!

Enjoy lots of herbs, garlicky flavors, and satisfying carbs when making authentic Italian recipes. Check out our favorites below!

woman with apron standing next to a dish with baked vegan lasagna and serving one piece of it

Mediterranean Food

The Mediterranean way of eating and living has been associated with happiness and longevity for a long time.

The Mediterranean diet includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood, nuts and legumes, and olive oil.

This region of the world includes France, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Greece, Malta, and parts of Northern Africa such as Tunisia and Morocco.

It’s often easy to find fully vegan food in these countries or restaurants that focus on these cuisines!

baking dish with four eggplant halves filled with red seasoned quinoa mixture next to some vegan yogurt

8 Tips for Eating Out as a Vegan

Do your research

Use an app like HappyCow or check out the restaurant menu online before going there. 

This way, you can either choose a fully vegan or vegetarian restaurant or see if others have eaten something vegan there!

Talk to the staff

Let the waiter or waitress know about your diet and name a few ingredients that you would NOT want to find in your dish.

This is always a little different when it comes to different cuisines: in Thai restaurants, it might be fish sauce. Mexican chefs might add lard to their beans.

Sometimes, people are not super familiar with the term vegan; give them a short rundown: no meat, chicken, seafood, dairy, or eggs.

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Look out for the “v”

Many menus show a little “v” next to some dishes. Be careful, as this can either mean vegan or vegetarian!

Sometimes, it’s self-explanatory if the menu features both a “v” and “ve” or “veg” and some of these recipes feature prominent ingredients like eggs or cheese. In this case, you can figure out which of these stands for vegan!

The “v” can also indicate that a dish is vegan-friendly and can easily be made vegan by request.

Ask if they have a vegan menu

Some restaurants actually have a special vegan menu! Just because you can’t spot any vegan-friendly dishes, doesn’t mean the place doesn’t serve fully plant-based meals.

Get creative

Sometimes, the sides are your best friend. Ask for a serving of rice, sautéd vegetables, beans, and a dip or sauce they offer!

You can also ask other questions like “Can you make a huge salad with all of the vegan food you have in the kitchen?” 

Closeup of male chef with tattoos arranging green vegetables on a plate

Bring some vegan ingredients

This one is controversial. We used to bring our own dairy-free milk to cafés back in the day when barely anyone offered soy or oat milk — and most of them would make us a vegan cappuccino using the milk we brought.

It can also be helpful to bring a small pack of vegan cream cheese or mayo when ordering a veggie sandwich or burger at a place where they’ll just omit all of the creamy dairy products for you and you’re left with a dry meal. 

Talk to the chef

If the waiters aren’t knowledgeable or creative when it comes to vegan options, perhaps the chef can help.

You’d be surprised at what dishes they might come up with for you! You wouldn’t have gotten it if you didn’t ask for it.

Be kind & patient

Always take your time to explain your needs and wishes — especially if the waiter or chef is struggling to accommodate you.

Tell them how wonderful their vegan food tasted and don’t make a huge deal out of it when they accidentally did add some animal products to it despite their best efforts.

What have been your experiences when eating out as a vegan? Which is your favorite vegan-friendly cuisine? Share with us in the comments below and Pin this article here.

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Hi, I'm Alena Schowalter — a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with my husband, I founded nutriciously in 2015 and have been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages toward a healthy plant-based diet. I enjoy discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature, and creating new recipes. Read more about us here.

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