Vegan is a new buzz word, apparently. Veganism is trending, they say. Lonely Planet named vegan travel the “travel trend of 2018”. Vegan Europe is at the forefront of the vegan movement, with a plethora of amazing vegan restaurants and options no matter where you go.
Since people love to talk about what’s trending, there have been a lot of articles floating around recently talking about the most vegan-friendly cities in the U.S. or the most vegan-friendly cities in the world. However, if you look these articles, you’ll notice one thing in common. There is no rubric or basis for choosing these vegan cities beyond the fact that the writer had some good vegan food there.
So, naturally, we decided to write our own list to the most vegan-friendly cities in Europe – based on actual facts and statistics, with some parameters. We first started this vegan Europe list in 2017 and have updated it yearly ever since. We hope it helps with planning your vegan holidays in Europe!
How We Calculated This Vegan Europe List:
We used the number of fully vegan restaurants listed on HappyCow (like a vegan Yelp) as a barometer. Yes, we know that this isn’t a failsafe method. There surely are vegan friendly cities in Europe with few vegan restaurants but vegan options aplenty in traditional cuisine. There are many places whose traditional cuisine can be quite vegan-friendly – we love to search out these dishes. (Check out Nomadic Vegan’s book Veggie Planet on exactly this subject). But these accidentally vegan dishes are exactly that – accidental. When possible, we like to support people and initiatives (like vegan restaurants, sanctuaries, hotels, etc.) that are consciously working towards a more ethical, environmentally friendly, and healthier world.
We also used this method because it’s what we do and it works. Every time we visit a new city, we check out Happy Cow and read guides by local bloggers. This is what has helped us to write our many vegan city guides and eat at some of the best vegan restaurants in Europe and the U.S. Doing some research is key to successful vegan trips. Not only do we love to get excited about the delicious food we’re going to eat, but research gives us realistic expectations from a place and the food that’s going to be available.
One more thing to keep in mind – the actual proportion of vegan spots to the total population. To use a U.S. example, when measured in vegan restaurants per capita, Salt Lake City is on track with Portland, which crushes New York City. A lot of the top vegan cities in Europe are capitals, but some of them are smaller cities – there were quite a few cities on here that surprised us, and we expect will surprise you too!
- Budget Vegan Guide to NYC: Manhattan Edition
- Epic Guide to Cheap Vegan Food in Portland
- Ultimate Vegan Guide to Salt Lake City
Vegan Europe: Top 10 Most Vegan-Friendly Cities in Europe in 2019
We first published this list in 2017, and it’s been interesting to see changes to the rankings for the best vegan cities in Europe as the world gets more vegan each day! For people who are swayed by stats like us, we included how many new vegan spots opened up since we wrote this list last year, and if the city moved up or down in the list. (Keep in mind that as restaurants open and close, these numbers may vary slightly throughout the course of the year).
But this is more than just a simple ranking of the best places to visit as a vegan in Europe! We also include tons of resources to help you in planning your trip. We’ve linked the most extensive guides and resources we could find – compiled by vegans who live in these respective cities (where possible).
Nothing irritates me more than when non-vegan bloggers or journalists write articles claiming to be complete vegan guides to a destination. They always find a way to sneak in a comparison to meat and you can’t help but feel like someone paid them to do it (probably because someone did). Even worse are articles about places the writer has never even been to, or alleged complete guides where the writer has only spent one day in the destination and simply lists restaurants that they never even tried.
Finally, while there are still very few fully vegan hotels in Europe, we included options for vegan-friendly places to stay (such as offering vegan breakfast options).
Without further long-winded adieu, here are the top vegan cities in Europe!
1. London, England: 145 Vegan Restaurants
Change from 2018: +25 vegan restaurants, same ranking in list
It’s no surprise that London grabs the top spot here. Like NYC in the U.S., it’s hard to compete with a city of eight million. Both cities regularly come in on lists of top vegan cities in the world. Every month there are multiple vegan street fairs, events, and meetups.
Some unique vegan restaurants in London include the insanely popular Temple of Seitan featuring vegan fried chick’n made from seitan, an all-vegan Japanese restaurant, vegan doner kebab, vegan Ethiopian, a plethora of vegan cafes…ok we’ll stop now. If you’re more into fine dining, London is home to one of the best vegan restaurants in the world.
The UK, in general, is one of the most vegan-friendly countries in Europe that we’ve been to. We spent the entire summer of 2017 there, house sitting in insanely vegan friendly cities of Glasgow and Brighton and traveling throughout the country in between. The UK is really one of the best countries for vegans in Europe.
London Vegan Resources: Fellow vegan travel blogger Caitlin of The Vegan Word lives in London and has a vegan London travel guide. VeganLondon is a website completely dedicated to everything vegan London (duh). They’ve got a ton of resources, including an events calendar! For more vegan London food porn, you can’t go wrong perusing through @vegansofldn on Instagram.
Where to Stay: There is no shortage of vegan London accommodations. We’ve included a few options here for different budgets. Click on the hotel names to check prices and availability.
|Double room with vegetarian host. |
3 night minimum stay.
|Kew Gardens |
B & B
|Boutique vegetarian bnb with veggie |
|La Suite West||4 star hotel with vegan restaurant and |
|Hilton London |
|5 star luxury hotel with an entirely|
2. Berlin, Germany: 82 Vegan Restaurants
Change from 2018: + 21 vegan restaurants, same ranking in list
Berlin is often known as the “vegan capital of Europe” and it’s a well-deserved title. The city is a wonderland of plant-based food and we won’t lie – that was a big factor in us returning twice in 2017. Happy Cow even named it number one on its list of Top Vegan Cities in the World!
Berlin is home to one of the largest vegan festivals in Europe, Veganes SommerFest, as well as a chain of vegan grocery stores, Veganz. Some of the most popular vegan Berlin eateries include Brammibal’s vegan donut shop, Voner, a vegan doner kebab joint, and Kopps for a gourmet brunch buffet. There is also a “vegan shopping center” with a vegan shoe store, restaurant, clothing store, cafe, and grocery store.
Honestly, we much prefer Berlin to London as it’s overall way cheaper, way less crowded, and we love the alternative vibe of the city (check out our post on Alternative Things to Do in Berlin if you’re headed there). It’s without a doubt one of our favorite cities ever, and a place we’ll always keep returning to.
Resources: Make sure to check out long time Berlin resident VeganNomNom’s epic Vegan Guide to Berlin or one of (also a Berlin resident) Indefinite Adventure’s many food-specific vegan guides (like best vegan brunches in Berlin). We use these guides extensively whenever we are in Berlin! If you like food tours, don’t miss out on the vegan food tours offered by Maja at Vegan Tours Berlin.
Where to Stay: Almodóvar Biohotel is a 4 star organic, vegetarian design hotel with a vegan breakfast buffet (gluten-free, and raw options as well)! The hotel uses eco-friendly practices and includes a yoga mat in every room, perfect for keeping active on the go. They’re located just a few blocks from Berlin’s vegan mini-mall mentioned above. Click here to check availability and current rates.
3. Paris, France: 66 Vegan Restaurants
Change from 2018: + 17 vegan restaurants, +1 in ranking
France is not known to be one of the best countries for vegans due to the use of butter and cheese in French cooking. However! Eating vegan in Paris is sure to be a delight with almost 66 entirely vegan restaurants in Paris. Vegan highlights include the mouth-watering pastries of VG Patisserie, several vegan brasseries, and famed Le Potager du Marais in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Paris.
For vegan tours in Paris, check out Vegan Food Tours France.
Where to Stay: Solar Hotel proclaims itself to be the first green and affordable hotel in Paris and even offers free bikes for guests to use. They use a variety of energy and waste-saving tactics to reduce the hotel’s environmental impact. Click here to check availability and current rates.
4. Prague, Czechia: 50 Vegan Restaurants
Change from 2018: – 2 vegan restaurants, -1 in list
Prague is perhaps the most surprising in its high place on this list. The Czech capital is much smaller (1.26 million) when compared to the other best vegan cities in Europe.
The city is bursting with old-school charm in every corner, though the small Old Town can be overwhelmed with tourists in the summer months. Most people only spend a few days in the Czech capital, so you’ll likely not be able to come close to trying all the delicious vegan food on offer in just one visit! Try vegan Czech food (including bac’n dumplings!) at Plevel, visit vegan lunch spot and grocery store Puro, or take an I Like Veggie walking food tour for a personalized vegan Prague tour.
Resources: Vegan blogger Randi of Veggie Visa lives in Prague – check out her epic Guide to the Best Vegan Restaurants in Prague.
Where to Stay: All Vegan Airbnb! With breakfast included! There’s also a cat. Yes, please. (Get $40 off your first Airbnb booking with this link).
5. Warsaw, Poland: 47 Vegan Restaurants
Change from 2018: same number of restaurants and same ranking
Warsaw often gets overshadowed in favor of popular Polish student city Krakow. However, the capital city of Poland is certainly worth a visit, with sprawling parks and a beautiful (if completely rebuilt) Old Town.
Many vegan travelers have expressed their surprise upon arriving in Warsaw and finding a plethora of vegan restaurants. Jub of TikiTouringKiwi even called it the “new Berlin of the East” because of the incredible vegan food in Warsaw. The offerings are diverse, from restaurants serving vegan versions of traditional Polish food, to burger joints, vegan sushi places, bistros, and vegan hot dog trucks. Best of all, you’ll find the prices here much lower than more touristed Western European countries.
Resources: Check out Bright Nomad’s Vegan Travel Tips for Warsaw and Vegans with Appetites’ Foodies Guide to Eating Vegan in Warsaw. If you’re going to be traveling around the country, Bounding Over Our Steps has a very informative article on Being Vegan in Poland.
6. Amsterdam, the Netherlands – 38 Vegan Restaurants
Change from 2018: +12 vegan restaurants, +1 in ranking
Amsterdam is known for being pretty environmentally conscious, with its infamous bike highways (seriously, bikers scared me way more than car drivers in Amsterdam). Still, the Dutch capital wasn’t even on 2017’s vegan-friendly cities in Europe list with “only” 12 vegan restaurants in Amsterdam. In the past couple of years, Amsterdam has TRIPLED the number of vegan establishments in the city. If that doesn’t prove that veganism is the future, we don’t know what is. (Or maybe it’s just all the vegans in Amsterdam getting the munchies?)
One of the most famed new spots is Vegan Junk Food Bar, which is pretty much exactly as described, and now has three locations throughout the city.
Resources: VeganAmsterdam.org is your one-stop shop for all things vegan Amsterdam. The website has reviews for vegan, vegetarian, and vegan-friendly restaurants in Amsterdam, talks about vegan grocery shopping in Amsterdam, and keeps you up to date with all the latest openings and news.
7. Madrid, Spain: 35 Vegan Restaurants
Change from 2018: +9 vegan restaurants, -1 in ranking
We lived in Madrid for several years and frankly, we’re tired of hearing that it must be difficult to be vegan in the Spanish capital. With 35 fully vegan restaurants, a vegan bakery, THREE vegan donut shops, several vegan grocery stores, many vegetarian restaurants, and vegan options throughout the city, Madrid has a thriving vegan scene and deserves way more recognition than it gets. Madrid vegans are passionate about veganism and there are frequently animal rights protests, vegan events, dinners, and more. There are vegan restaurants in Madrid opening every month and the quality for price is among the best of the vegan cities we have explored.
All of this has happened in the past few years, which is even more impressive. We’ve had some amazing vegan food in Madrid, with many places offering up veganized versions of traditional classic Spanish foods, like croquetas and tortilla. In the winter, many places offer a vegan “cocido Madrileño,” which is Madrid’s traditional winter stew.
Resources: We’re going to tout our own horns a bit here because we have written so extensively on Madrid’s vegan scene after living there for years. Read our Ultimate Vegan Guide to Madrid for our take on all of Madrid’s vegan restaurants as well as vegan options at vegetarian and omnivore spots. We also have a vegan tapas guide for Madrid and a guide to the best vegan lunch specials. Spanish speakers can check out Madrid Vegano for up to date news and events.
In 2018, we even came out with a full Madrid Vegan Guidebook that’s packed with 5X more info than we could fit in our online articles. Click here to learn more about the Madrid Vegan Guidebook.
8. Budapest, Hungary: 29 Vegan Restaurants
Change from 2018: +7 vegan restaurants, +1 on list
Having Hungarian blood (my grandfather was born and raised in Budapest and I still have a lot of family in Hungary), I’m proud to see Budapest on this list. Though I’ve been to this beautiful city many times both growing up and as an adult, only one of those times has been since I became vegan. Budapest is now one of the most popular vegan-friendly cities in Europe!
Napfenyes Restaurant is probably the most famous vegan restaurant in Budapest and serves up Hungarian food veganized. There are also several veggie burger joints, some of the best falafel I’ve had outside of NYC at Hummus Bar, and an artisanal all vegan cheese shop (say whaaa)! There’s also a monthly vegan pop up market!
Resources: Laura of Vegan Vs. Travel currently lives in Budapest and has rounded up the best spots in her post Best Places to Eat Out in Budapest.
9. Lisbon, Portugal: 29 Vegan Restaurants
Change from 2018: +8 vegan restaurants, moved from honorable mentions
Lisbon is a beautiful city (though let’s be real, what city on this list isn’t?) with a thriving vegan scene to boot, so it’s the perfect vegan friendly holiday destination. Portugal also just mandated vegan food to be served in prisons and public schools, so it’s safe to say that this small country is at the forefront of veganism in Europe.
Resources: Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan lives in Lisbon – check out her guide to the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Lisbon. My Five Acres also has an extensive vegan and vegetarian guide to Lisbon, complete with must-eats and what to avoid. We always love when bloggers include restaurant “misses” since it helps others know what to avoid.
10. Barcelona, Spain: 27 Vegan Restaurants
Change from 2018: +7 vegan restaurants
Madrid and Barcelona have a bit of a rivalry. Outside of Spain, Barcelona is more well-known and more frequently visited than the capital.
Popular spots in Barcelona include Cat Bar, a cat themed vegan bar with local craft beers and burgers, and Barceloneta, a beach-side bar offering vegan versions of Spanish dishes, including vegan paella on Thursdays.
Resources: Caitlin of The Vegan Word lived in Barcelona for over a year and recently updated her Ultimate Vegan Guide to Barcelona. She also just published an extensive actual book on vegan Barcelona! Click here to grab the Vegan Barcelona Guide.
Overall, Spain’s major cities just don’t get enough recognition for vegan-friendliness. Truth be told, we’ve found all of Spain’s major cities to be surprisingly vegan-friendly. There are even 10 fully vegan hotels in Spain!
- Guide to Vegan Tapas in Granada
- Vegan Valencia Guide: Vegan Paella, Tapas, and more!
- Vegan in the Basque Country
Honorable Mentions for Most Vegan Friendly Cities in Europe
We got so carried away we couldn’t stop at just 10. Here are a few cities that almost made the list. Some of these were on 2018’s list, so they’re definitely up there in terms of great spots for vegan friendly vacations in Europe. All of the vegan Europe honorable mentions have over 20 vegan restaurants!
Vienna, Austria: 24 Vegan Restaurants
Change from 2018: +1 vegan restaurants
Among the vegan restaurants in Vienna include Swing Kitchen, which has multiple locations, does not use plastic, and plays swing music in the background while you eat.
Resources: Indefinite Adventure has spent time in Vienna and has created an extensive vegan guide to the city.
Stockholm, Sweden: 21 Vegan Restaurants
With just under 1 million residents, Stockholm is a quite the vegan-friendly city! The environmental movement is strong in Sweden, so it’s no surprise that Swedes are aware of the environmental impact of eating meat.
A lot of the vegan spots in Stockholm lean toward the health-focused as well, with a number of raw food places and cafes.
Resources: Chris of LessonsLearnedAbroad lives in Sweden and has a great vegan guide to Stockholm. We love how he has neatly listed the pros and cons of each place! GoodEatings also has an extensive guide to Stockholm as well, complete with grocery stores!
Milan, Italy: 22 Vegan Restaurants
Change from 2018: -4 vegan restaurants
While many people think of Italy as the land of cheese and prosciutto, Italian food is actually very veggie friendly, naturally. Like in Spain, they cook in olive oil, not butter, and many vegetarian pasta dishes and even pizzas are made without any dairy.
Italy has several vegan restaurant chains, like Flower Burger with its iconic brightly colored burger buns, or for vegan Italian food, Universo Vegano, which we ate at several times while touring the vegan restaurants in Florence. Both of these places have locations in Milan (Flower Burger first started here). In Milan, you can also dine at Shaolin State of Harmony, which is a raw vegan restaurant located inside the Shaolin Cultural Center. We practice and are big fans of martial arts, so this one is super intriguing in particular. Milan is also home to Joia, the first vegetarian restaurant in Europe to win a Michelin star.
We haven’t been to Milan, but have heard mixed reviews on the vegan scene. A friend of ours said most of the vegan restaurants were pretty pricey and high end. If you’ve been, please please share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Resources: Fine Dining Loves has a list of the best vegan spots in Milan, with recommendations on what to get at each spot – we love when people do that! Also check out VegItalyGuide.com, a website by a half Italian half American couple dedicated to helping vegan travelers in Italy.
Rome, Italy: 20 Vegan Restaurants
Change from 2018: +3 vegan restaurants
See our above discussion of Italy’s vegan-friendliness! Also, there is a vegan restaurant and cat abode called Romeow Cat Bistrot. If that’s not a reason to go to Rome, I don’t know what is.
Resources: Check out Puntarella Rossa’s great post on the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Rome. The Nomadic Vegan lived in Rome for many years and has written about rediscovering Rome as a vegan.
Where to Stay: Rome has no shortage of veggie-friendly and eco places to stay. Bed and Breakfast Bio is a cute bnb in a residential area with individual rooms (like Ginger or Tumeric Rooms). A fully vegan breakfast served in their leafy courtyard. If you have an early or late flight, The Vegan Inn near the airport might be a good option. Click here to check for availability and current rates at The Vegan Inn. If you prefer staying in your own apartment, Casa Veggy has you covered. Click here to learn more about Casa Veggy. For hostels, check The Beehive Hostel, which has a vegetarian cafe on the premises.
Turin, Italy: 20 Vegan Restaurants
Another Italian city, making Italy one of the most vegan countries in Europe! Turin made waves in 2016 when the city’s new mayor announced plans to make Turin a “vegetarian city.” The city plan includes educating about animal welfare and the environmental and health benefits of eating vegan. Turin, or Torino, is already quite environmentally minded. This is because of the heavy pollution the city experiences due to its location between mountains.
One of the most popular vegan restaurants in Turin is Mezzaluna. This restaurant is the city’s first vegetarian (later turned vegan) restaurant, which opened in 1994.
Resources: As part of the initiative, the city of Turin has created its own veg map for tourists. Check out Vegan Miam’s extensive guide to Vegan Eats in Turin. Sam’s Guide to Eating Vegan in Turin is also fantastic!
Further Resources for Vegan Europe Travel and Beyond
It’s important to note that the vegan demographic is an easy target for those wanting to make money off a growing movement. We’ve come across a couple of non-vegan restaurants that have labeled “vegan options” on their menus that are not in fact vegan. In Bucharest, most vegan restaurants use honey as a sweetener. In Florence, we discovered (by asking employees) gelato listed as vegan actually contained cow’s milk.
Ultimately, for those looking for reliable information, you need to consider the source. Find a vegan who’s actually on the ground in the place you’re visiting, rather than someone who might not even be vegan and has just done research for an article.
Happy Cow: Vegan Yelp. User-sourced so doesn’t always have all restaurants with vegan options. But it is a great as a starting point to find vegan restaurants in Europe and around the world.
Vegan Travel FB Group: A great worldwide resource with 30K members that I admin. Head here to ask any and all questions vegan travel. But please – use the search bar first as your question may have been answered already! (It very likely has been for the popular vegan holiday destinations).
Vegan Meetups, Couchsurfing and Traveling – Link up with vegan hosts and travelers worldwide.
Vegan Travel:Vegan community with reviews, blog posts, videos, and more for planning your vegan trips.
Essential Vegan Travel Guide: This guidebook by The Vegan Word tells you everything you need to know about vegan travel!
Sustainable Vegan Travel FB Group: We created this group since we didn’t see any groups dedicated to vegan travelers trying to also (further) reduce their environmental impact while traveling. Come join us and say hi! There are lots of Europe-based travelers in here happy to answer your questions.
Have you been to any of these vegan-friendly cities in Europe? Any other resources or guides we missed?
Europe has some of the best countries for vegans in the world. We have had many trips within Europe filled with delicious vegan food, and we’re sure you can too!
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