10 Best Cities for Vegetarian Travelers

Quinoa Nut Burger Platter at Radha Yoga & Eatery in Vancouver. SweetOnVeg
By Charis Atlas Heelan

Don't eat meat? No problem. We've uncovered 10 top food havens where vegetarian travelers can enjoy a wide selection of local cuisines without fear of going hungry. For more detailed information about specific restaurants in these cities, check out online guides like www.peta.org, www.vegguide.org, www.vegdining.com, and www.happycow.net.

Photo Caption: Quinoa Nut Burger Platter at Radha Yoga & Eatery in Vancouver. Photo by SweetOnVeg/Flickr.com.
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Take away shop in London. khanster
Once named the most vegetarian-friendly city in the world by PETA, London has moved beyond its reputation of being a "meat and three veg" kind of place. Instead, the British capital has elevated vegetarian dining to a new level and is awash with vegetarian restaurants, take-out joints, and boutique produce stores.

Where to Eat:
Saf (www.safrestaurant.co.uk) on Old Street for fine vegan cuisine and a Sunday roast lunch, including unique raw dishes; The Gate (www.thegate.tv) in a converted church in Hammersmith featuring a veggie fusion of Indian, Arabic, French, Italian and traditional Jewish cuisines. Photo by khanster/Flickr.com
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Smith Street, Singapore. williamcho
Whether you choose an up-market eatery or a stall at a traditional hawker market, Singapore is a fantastic place to find a large selection of vegetarian dishes. With a sizeable South Indian population, there are numerous Indian vegetarian restaurants. The dominant use of tofu in Malay and Singaporean food means you'll get your fix of protein, too.

Where to Eat: If you need a break from Asian food, try Original Sin (www.originalsin.com.sg) in Holland Village, which specializes in Mediterranean fare; or Ci Yan at 8 Smith Street for its organic menu without flavor enhancers; and Lotus at 201 Balestier Road for its banquet-style Taiwanese food. A list of veggie places to eat and shop is available through the Singapore Vegetarian Society at www.vegetarian-society.org.

Photo Caption: Smith Street, Singapore. Photo by williamcho/Flickr.com
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San Francisco cable car. Frommers.com Community
San Francisco has a long tradition of healthy living and eating habits, as reflected in its large number of vegetarian, vegan, and organic eateries. The trend started in the 1960s and has continued with city-wide vegetarian-friendly campaigns like the adoption of Paul McCartney's Meat Free Monday; in fact, San Francisco was the first U.S. city to embrace the meatless Monday idea.

Where to Eat: The gourmet Millennium (www.millenniumrestaurant.com) on Geary Street prides itself on promoting organic food production, small farms, and sustainable agriculture while delivering a tasty roster of intricate vegetarian dishes; Greens (www.greensrestaurant.com) in Fort Mason -- opened by Zen Buddhists more than 20 years ago -- offers a selection of vegan options and incredible bay views; and Golden Era (www.goldeneravegetarian.com) on O'Farrell Street serves up delicious Vietnamese and Chinese vegetarian delicacies. A final suggestion: Gracias Madre in the Mission District which serves exquisite Mexican food, which is vegan and features ingredients from the owner's farm. For a list of San Francisco's veggie restaurants check out www.vegsf.com.

Photo Caption: San Francisco cable car. Photo by markselmi/Frommers.com Community
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Taipei, Taiwan. Frommers.com Community
Don't be alarmed if you spot reverse swastika signs on restaurants in Taipei -- they actually are a symbol of Buddhist or Taoist vegetarian food (along with the Chinese character su). There are hundreds of places to eat well as a vegetarian here, although you may wish to brush up on a few local terms, learn how to identify certain characters, and remember that a lot of the places use MSG (Wei Jiing).

Where to Eat: There are several vegetarian buffets including at 186 WanTa (LungSha Temple), 411 ChinChow Street (ChungShan), and 124 Bo Ai Rd (Taipei Railway Station). Other quality vegetarian eateries include Hui Liu on Yongkang St. Park (9, Lane 228, Hsin Yi Rd, Sec 2) for pastas, noodles, and great desserts; So Free Pizza (28, Lane 283, Roosevelt Road, Sec. 3) for wood-fired meat-free pizzas; and the Loving Hut, a chain of outlets (in Cingdao Road East, Guangfu South Road, Huaining Street, and Mingjhih Road) opened by followers of Supreme Master Ching Hai, an advocate of vegetarian living.

Photo Caption: Taipei, Taiwan. Photo by Andrew Klotz/Frommers.com Community
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Pioneer Square in downtown Portland, Oregon. Frommers.com Community
Known as a city with a healthy lifestyle and a growing interest in sustainability, it is natural that Portland is also home to a substantial number of vegetarian, vegan, organic, and fair- trade restaurants and food stores.

Where to Eat: The Black Ship Bakery and Mothership Café (www.blacksheepbakery.com) for tempting vegan treats, breakfast and lunch; Old Wives Tales (www.oldwivestalesrestaurant.com) for a predominantly gluten-free menu and plenty of vegan options; and Blossoming Lotus (www.blpdx.com) for Mexican-, Asian-, and Middle Eastern-inspired vegan meals. For more info on where to eat in Portland, visit www.vegportland.com.

Photo Caption: Pioneer Square in downtown Portland, Oregon. Photo by DrFumblefinger/Frommers.com Community
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Angelica Kitchen, the longstanding vegetarian restaurant in New York City. edenpictures
The Big Apple can satisfy every culinary craving, and vegetarians here never have to go without. Apart from being able to find quality non-meat dishes on almost every New York City restaurant menu, countless vegetarian-exclusive restaurants will cater to your eating preferences uptown, downtown, or in the surrounding boroughs.

Where to Eat: Dirt Candy(www.soyandsake.com) for innovative veggie cuisine in the East Village; Angelica Kitchen (www.angelicakitchen.com) for seasonal organic plant-based food another East Village classic; Pure Food and Wine (www.zenpalate.com) which serves an all-raw menu that's fabulously delish in the Union Square area; and Han Gawi (www.hangawirestaurant.com) in Koreatown on E. 32nd Street.

Photo Caption: Angelica Kitchen, the longstanding vegetarian restaurant in New York City. Photo by edenpictures/Flickr.com
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Rice porridge breakfast in Chiang Mai, Thailand. wat suandok
Thailand's northern culinary capital is also a vegetarian's delight, with food inspired by a broad cultural mix that includes Thai, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Vietnamese, Muslim, and Western influences. Look out for yellow banners bearing a single character (jay means vegetarian) to identify restaurants.

Where to Eat: For almost 30 years, UM (on Moon Muang Road opposite Thaphae Gate on the eastern city wall) has served traditional Thai and Chinese dishes made from organic produce; Taste from Heaven (on Thapae Road with a jungle-like outdoor dining garden) uses no MSG, and the restaurant helps support animals at the Elephant Nature Park; and Pun Pun Organic restaurant (at Wat Suan Dok, on Suthep Road) supports local organic farmers and uses no MSG, GMO, or refined grains and preservatives. This restaurant serves some dairy and egg dishes, but no meat.

Photo Caption: Rice porridge breakfast in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Photo by wat suandok/Flickr.com
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Radha Yoga Center & Eatery in Vancouver. mlinksva
Ranked sixth in PETA's top 100 most vegetarian-friendly North American cities, Vancouver's restaurant scene has emerged as a vegetarian hotspot, with one in 10 Canadians now identifying themselves as non-meat eaters for moral, philosophical, or health-related reasons.

Where to Eat:
A yoga studio by day, Radha (www.radhavancouver.org) serves seasonal menus of organic vegan cuisine and raw foods by night; Jamaican Pizza Jerk (www.pizzajerk.ca) sells vegan pizzas by-the-slice with tasty faux ham; The Naam (www.thenaam.com) -- Vancouver's oldest and best-known veggie hangout that is open 24/7 -- prepares home-style food with a vegetarian twist including tasty brunches and a huge menu; and Manor Guest House Bed and Breakfast (www.manorguesthouse.com) features a gourmet vegan breakfast for its guests.

Photo Caption: Radha Yoga Center & Eatery in Vancouver. Photo by mlinksva/Flickr.com
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Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall, Jerusalem. Frommers.com Community
Jerusalem has many kosher restaurants that only serve milk-based dishes, which means that no animal products (including oils and fats) have ever entered the kitchen. This means your utensils and plates will never have been used around meat either.

Where to Eat: Dan Hills (www.rol.co.il/sites/eng/dan-hills) offers vegetarian and dairy- based dishes with a French touch; Primavera (www.2eat.co.il/eng/primavera) is an Italian vegetarian and dairy restaurant in the Plaza Hotel with panoramic views of the Old City; and Te'Enim (www.teenim.rest-e.co.il) has equally stunning views of the Old City walls and offers a Mediterranean menu with some Asian- and Middle Eastern-inspired dishes.

Photo Caption: Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall, Jerusalem. Photo by candi/Frommers.com Community
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Mumbai, India. Dan..
With the largest vegetarian population in the world, it is only fitting that Mumbai makes the grade. Indian vegetarians are primarily lacto-vegetarians, meaning that they do not eat meat, fish, or eggs, but they do eat dairy products. Many of these vegetarians follow these principles predominantly for religious and spiritual reasons (Hindus make up 83% of the population). This way of life means you can find vegetarian meals in pretty much every restaurant and food stall in Mumbai.

Where to Eat: Cream Centre (www.creamcentre.com), which has locations in Chowpatty and in Mumbai at the Oberoi Mall, serves both Indian and Western dishes; Rajdhani (www.rajdhani.co.in) is a chain with seven outlets in Mumbai and several more around India with vegetarian menus that change daily and seasonally. For a change of pace, Little Italy (www.littleitaly.in) is a chain of veg-friendly Italian restaurants with six Mumbai locations (including Charni Road, Marine Lines, and Ghatkopar).

Photo Caption: Mumbai, India. Photo by Dan../Flickr.com
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